- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

RICHMOND — A year ago, Maurice Harris went through training camp with the Washington Redskins, only to be cut when the team finalized their 53-man roster. But the 25-year-old landed on the practice squad and was called up midway through the year, appearing in six games.

Though his playing time was limited, Harris managed to make a spectacular catch in his season debut — hauling in a 36-yard touchdown with just one hand. The highlight was few and far between and he finished the season with just four receptions for 62 yards.

Now in 2018, Harris, who has been with the Redskins since 2016, is trying to become more consistent. And so far in camp, he’s performed well and has made a strong case to make the final cuts.

“Every day, I like to come to work. I don’t look at it as being under or having a spot, I just try to come to work every day and play my hardest,” Harris said.

Harris said his goal is to be on top of all his assignments, cut back on the mental errors and play with effort every single day.

The Redskins’ top three receivers (Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder) are set, but the last two or three spots are up for grabs. Harris is in competition with Trey Quinn, Brian Quick and several rookies. Even with the competition at wide receiver being stiff, Harris said he wants to help his teammates succeed.

If Harris wants to make the roster, he’ll have to show he can be on the same page with quarterback Alex Smith. Throughout training camp, Harris has made some big plays with the Redskins’ new quarterback and he believes their chemistry can be dangerous for opponents.

“Alex, he’s a great quarterback. We’ve connected on some passes and it’s going pretty well so far,” Harris said. “We’ll try to keep that up and continue making plays.

What may help Harris to stand out from his competitors is his ability to return kickoffs. In only three returns last season, Harris recorded 71 yards, averaging 23.7 yards per return. Although the numbers aren’t jaw-dropping, they’re solid enough to consider Harris as a reliable return option.

“Special teams is very important, especially for a guy like myself still trying to make the team,” Harris said. “Making big plays in games is going to separate yourself from the group.”

With one preseason game in the books and three more on the horizon — including Thursday against the New York Jets — Harris will have an opportunity to make more of those big plays.

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