May 8, 2016

Highlighted Year: John Harris, 1981

Safety, Seattle Seahawks

Age: 25
4th season in pro football & with Seahawks
College: Arizona State
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 200

Harris intercepted 12 passes in his last two collegiate seasons and also excelled as a kick returner, garnering All-Western Athletic Conference honors after each. He was chosen by the Seahawks in the seventh round of the 1978 NFL draft and moved directly into the starting lineup at free safety. Harris suffered through an injury-plagued ’79 season that limited him to seven games, but bounced back to regain his starting job in 1980, intercepting six passes. 1981 marked the arrival of rookie first draft choice Ken Easley, who moved into the lineup at strong safety and created an effective tandem with Harris.

1981 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 10 [2, 1st in AFC]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at Oakland 9/20, at Green Bay 11/1
Int. return yards – 155 [8, tied with Ken Easley]
Most int. return yards, game – 60 (on 2 int.) at Green Bay 11/1
Int. TDs – 2 [2, tied with Darrol Ray & Cedric Brown]
Fumble recoveries – 3

TDs – 2
Points – 12

Seahawks went 6-10 to finish fifth in the AFC West.

Harris spent another four years with the Seahawks, starting every game as part of a talented overall secondary. Over the course of eight seasons with Seattle, he intercepted 41 passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns, recovered 11 fumbles, and appeared in 119 games, 112 of which he started. Harris was traded to Minnesota just prior to the 1986 season and spent the last three years of his career there. He ended up with a total of 50 interceptions and added another five in the postseason, four of them with Seattle and two in the AFC Divisional playoff loss to Miami following the 1984 season.  


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970