Steelers sign Harris to practice squad

The Steelers rounded out their eight-man practice squad for the start of the 2009 NFL season when they signed safety Tuff Harris on Monday.

Harris, 6-feet, 198 pounds, began the 2008 season on the Tennessee Titans' practice squad, and he was then added to their active roster for six games starting on Nov. 22. He finished those six games with three tackles, all on special teams.
 
Originally signed as an undrafted rookie from Montana by the Miami Dolphins in 2007, Harris, 26, was on the Dolphins' 53-man roster for one game that season before being waived. He also spent time with the New Orleans Saints before going to the Titans.
 
Harris grew up in Lodge Grass, Montana, which also is known as the Valley of the Chiefs. He is a member of the Crow Nation, a tribe of Native Americans who lived in the Yellowstone River valley and now live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana.
 
Harris' given Indian name is Chaawagiichish, and it means Rejoice in Prayers.
 
Born Chester David Harris, he got the name "Tuff" when he was just a few weeks old after contracting pneumonia. He was rushed to the hospital by helicopter and stopped breathing several times, but through it all Harris never cried too much. The doctors told Harris parents that "the kid is pretty tough to go through all that."
 
Harris will wear No. 37.

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