Macho Harris starting at free safety

090709-macho-harris-400
Macho Harris won the Eagles' starting free safety job with a strong performance against the New York Jets in the final preseason game. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)

A week ago, rookie Victor "Macho" Harris said he didn't even know he was in the competition for the starting free safety job.

Today, he's the starting free safety.

Quintin Demps, the guy who lost the job to Harris, revealed that news after practice.

"No," Demps said when asked if he was running with the first-team defense. "Macho was."

Demps, in his second season, had been considered the heavy favorite to win the job vacated when Brian Dawkins signed with Denver as a free agent. Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott made it clear last week that the fight for the job was still on and Harris claimed it with a strong performance against the New York Jets in the final preseason game.

"I'm disappointed in myself," Demps said. "I just have to come out and be ready to play my role. I'm on special teams and we're still competing. I'm going to come in and compete every day."

Even though Demps is on special teams, he will not be the primary kick returner, a role he held all of last season. That job now belongs to reserve cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who finished second in the NFL last season when he was playing with New England. Hobbs averaged 28.5 yards per kickoff return.

Demps expressed disappointed about not being named the starter before the Eagles' game against the Jets, but he was much more subdued this afternoon.

"I have to help Macho out as much as I can and be humble about it," Demps said. "It's the National Football League. I had an opportunity, I didn't take advantage of it and I have to take it for what it is."

Continue Reading