SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 26, 2010

Salem's Harrington earns a tryout with Chicago Bears

(Continued)

"I know I'd need to gain some weight to play on the inside but I can also play outside," Harrington said. "I'd rather compete for two positions than be stuck at one."

Harrington was also invited to Washington Redskins camp, which takes place the week after the Bears'. If he doesn't earn a contract with Chicago, he'll try to catch on with Washington. A contract in either place would deliver a spot in training camp, but not necessarily on the final roster.

"Nothing is ever guaranteed," Harrington said. "If the Bears aren't interested (after the weekend), I'll have to prove myself the following week to the Redskins. You have to survive five cuts in (July and August's) training camp to even be on the active roster.

"Next week is where it starts."

Harrington, who turned 23 earlier this month, felt that his time training at Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning program was crucial to improving the measurables pro scouts look for.

"Its an unbelievable staff," Harrington said. "I wasn't that flexible when I got there and I never worked on speed. They really helped me out with that and my footwork is a lot better."

The Colonial Athletic Association has seen plenty of its players make it in the NFL as undrafted free agents — Harrington's former UMass teammate James Ihedigbo is one example with the New York Jets. In fact, the Bears were the team that signed Patriots safety Brandon McGowan as an undrafted free agent out of Maine, so the precedent is there for the Harrington to become the latest CAA success story.

"I'm flying out Thursday and I'll fly home on Sunday night, hopefully with a contract," said Harrington. "I think they're looking for the effort and the little things: Paying attention, not being too cocky and representing myself well in a controlled manner. You want to show you'll be a good player and good for the organization."

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