Long-snapper Clark Harris, never one to take himself too seriously, had just been told if he plays in every game the rest of this season he’ll pass by one Bengals all-time leading receiver Chad Johnson with 152 games played.
“My kind of guy,” Harris said before Monday’s practice. “I’m not going to pass him in very many things, but to play in more games is pretty cool.”
After signing an extension through the 2020 season on Monday, Harris, the oldest Bengal at 34, has a shot at playing in a lot more games than that. But he’s not going to made career of it. He thinks that’s a big reason he’s had a career.
“I’m a laid-back guy,” said Harris, an understatement right there with A.J. Green is pretty good. “On game day, I don’t think about it. I don’t go out there all stressed out, like, what if I mess up? I just go out there and play. If it all ended today, I’d be happy that I had the career I did. My family would be fine. I try to have that mindset that it’s fun. It’s a game. I try to keep it in perspective. Really, it’s just a game.”
Harris knows by the virtue of his position he’s not a borderline Hall-of-Famer like Johnson. Or a Super Bowl hero and team icon like long-time Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham (140 games). Or an NFL MVP like Boomer Esiason (134 games). Or a historical linchpin like Bob Trumpy (128 games).
But he also knows his skein of no unplayable snaps in 1,364 attempts since he arrived for the Oct. 18, 2009 Paul Brown Stadium game against the Texans has a niche in Bengaldom. When he made the Pro Bowl last season, he was the first Bengals long snapper to do so.
“I want to be good and I want to do my best when I’m in here,” Harris said. “This is a great organization. All the way down from the owners to the coaches to the guys. I’m friends with the equipment guys. I’m just comfortable.”
You don’t have to tell Harris that since he’s been here, he’s snapped for three AFC North champions and he’s been on teams that have won 56 percent of their games in the regular season. He’s a laid-back guy, but he’s not dead.
“We’ve had our ups and downs. More up than down,” Harris said. “The Pro Bowl was great, but it really doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl does.”