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Hard-hitting Harris paces Panthers' defense

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Strong safety Chris Harris has turned out to be the Carolina Panthers' top offseason acquisition. The Panthers changed their defensive stats yesterday to give Harris another forced fumble. That gave him eight, which leads the NFL. It also tops Mark Fields' single-season team record. Harris says a fumble forced against Houston earlier this year was questionable. But he says the NFL credited it to him and now the team has done so. Harris was shocked when he was traded by the Chicago Bears during training camp. But he's learned the new defense and warmed up to his teammates and become one of the defensive leaders. Four days after the trade, Panthers safety Mike Minter retired and Harris became the most experienced safety on the team. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)