JETSerious Film Session: Harris Project Part I
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…
Harris maintains eye contact and focus, while running full speed. Not many Linebackers are capable of doing this, outside of Patrick Willis. But one of the most under-rated Linebackers in the game, David Harris, CAN.
Just look at this effort by #52, not to mention the one-handed catch! This is what it means to “Play Like A Jet”!
In case you did not know.
Harris shows great awareness with his eye-popping grab. He does a 180°, shifting his body, and makes a move up-field.
You really can’t ask more out of a Middle Linebacker. Within one play, Harris eliminated the short read to Victor Cruz, got in position to stop the slant, and made an incredible one-handed interception in a crucial time of the game (I just wish we made a comeback after).
Although we didn’t win the game, the point is, that if Harris can elevate his play from last season…. LOOK OUT!
David Harris has the versatility that few others around the league do. Rex Ryan must love coaching Harris because he is an excellent and humble teammate. Harris, in my opinion, is in the prime of his career. This means that there are plenty of plays, just like this one, that will help the Jets Defense in the future. By help, I mean getting back to the #1 Defense in the league like we were in 2009. I have faith that we can do it… What about you?
Check out our JETSerious Film Session: Harris Project Part II….by clicking here.