Today, JETSerious will focus in on our very own MLB David Harris, and a play from his exceptional season in 2011.
This goes unnoticed a lot of the time, but believe it or not, David Harris was tied for a team-high 4 interceptions in 2011. Who’d he tie with? The one and only… Darrelle Revis.
Not to mention, 2 of Harris’ 4 interceptions were one-handed catches. He is really starting to emerge as one of the TOP Middle Linebackers in this league, alongside Patrick Willis. Let me explain why I feel that Harris is on the top of his game. I apologize for any blurred photos, due to my limited access to film.
Jets vs. Giants Week 16 of 2011
Rex Ryan’s Jets are lined up in a 3-4 Defense. There are 3 Down-Linemen, and 4 Linebackers. One Middle Linebacker is David Harris (highlighted in green circle). Harris has the responsibility of covering the middle of the field, especially when Victor Cruz (slot) begins his route.
As you can see, Harris does a nice job of dropping in coverage on Victor Cruz. He puts himself in great position to jump the route, if Eli Manning decides to force the throw to Cruz. Eli, however, is smarter than that. He notices that Hakeem Nicks (bottom) is 1-on-1 with Darrelle Revis. He’s running a slant route, which is ordinarily a safe throw—when a receiver has inside position like Nicks does here. On most throws, the worst-case scenario is a deflection by the CB, because the WR has the body-position advantage. What Manning doesn’t realize, is that David Harris is reading his eyes, and starts to flow in the direction of his pass.
From this angle, you can really tell how Harris traps Cruz, and eventually passes him onto the next level in zone coverage—covered by Brodney Pool.
As soon as Harris makes eye contact with the ball, he makes a strong pedal towards Nicks. If Nicks makes the grab, he will try to knock him out (not literally…there’s no “bounty” here folks!)
But if Revis can deflect the pass, Harris then has the responsibility of attacking the ball for an interception.
Revis is able to get a hand on it, and knock the ball up in the air. As I stated before, Harris’ new role is to make a run to the deflection. Good eye and hand coordination are required to do so.
It’s easier to tell from this angle, that Harris is pretty damn far from the ball. He relies on his speed and athleticism to make an attempt to pick it off. But can he really get to it from this spot? Turn to page 2 to find out…