The Rise of New York Jets’ DT Damon Harrison


Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates a touchdown with nose tackle Damon Harrison (94) during the second half of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Has there been any player more worth rooting for more than Damon Harrison? Joining the team in 2012 as an undrafted rookie out of William Penn, Damon simply put his head down and worked hard. Beginning his 2012 as the low man on the totem pole on the 53 man roster, Harrison continued his reign of hard work, earning playing time by the end of the year.

All the while, he has been a guy that loves his family, and stays close to his fans in Jets Nation. Everyone is behind him, and with good reason.

2013 has rolled around and what has Damon done? Has he been content to simply make the 53 man roster? Heck no. He continued to work his rear end off, and has made his game that much better, earning him the start along the line. Karl Dunbar has done wonders with this young man.

And it has paid off in spades. Not only with the eye test, but in the numbers as well.

Per Pro Football Focus, who is ranked #3 overall for defensive tackles with an overall grade of 5.1?  That would be Mr. Damon “Snacks” Harrison.  With a 6.0 in run defense, Damon Harrison ranks number one, and nobody else in the league is over a four.  Needless to say, Snacks has been eating!

Even dropping back into pass coverage, Damon is getting it done, ranked number four with a 0.5 grade.  Harrison is becoming a stud, rapidly.  It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy either, or a guy more deserving than he is.

His dominance began right away, week one against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the afternoon where the Jets front seven rendered Doug Martin useless, Damon led the way with an overall grade of 2.6. Against the run, he was a stout 2.7 rank, second only to Sheldon Richardson and his 4.5 rating. Dropping back in pass coverage, Harrison posted a 0.5 as well, and didn’t have a penalty called on him.

The other night, against the Patriots, the snacking continued for Damon Harrison. Guess who led the starting defense with a grade of 2.5? None other than Damon Harrison once again. Against the run, he posted a 3.3 grade, the best on the team, with Demario Davis being the only one close with a 2.4 rating.

Damon is, day by day, becoming a guy that teams must plan to stop.

Not only is Damon making his own tackles, he is so tough to move, much like Wilfork, he opens up the lanes for guys like David Harris and Demario Davis to make their tackles. Just like a good nose tackle should.

Damon Harrison is a testament to good, hard work. He is a guy that is accessible to all of his fans, shows himself as just a regular guy, looking to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

For all of the time we spend talking about players that run their mouths, and get in trouble, guys like Damon don’t get enough notoriety. That stops now. Damon deserves all of the credit he gets. Hopefully he will remember all of us when he gets voted All-Pro for the first time.