NY Jets 2015 Spotlight: David Harris
Last season for the NY Jets, linebacker David Harris was the voice of their defense as he prepares to continue being the smart veteran leader the team needs for 2016.
The Jets along with other teams in the NFL are always looking for a leader on defense and Gang Green have found one that will be there at least a few more seasons. Harris has been the Jets’ leader on the defensive side of the ball and has been consistent since 2007.
Ever since he took over for an injured Jonathan Vilma in 2007, Harris hasn’t looked back and has stepped up big in being the best inside linebacker the Jets have had since then. He has always challenged others to step up their game and rallied the troops when the Jets needed it most.
This past season, Harris continued to put up good numbers with his statistics which as a fan, one can appreciate for all the hard work he put in. The numbers he recorded this season were 6th best on the team with 108 combined tackles, 67 total tackles and 41 assisted tackles. Harris also had 4.5 sacks on the year.
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With the way he pursued the ball it looked like he knew what was going to happen before the ball was even snapped.
Those type of players are hard to come by because a lot of defensive players aren’t very knowledgeable and aren’t quick enough to make an immediate impact.
Head coach Todd Bowles often referred to Harris as the glue and the heart of the Jets’ defense. He has kept this defense to be a very tight knit group in everyone getting along with one another and helping each other out. Harris has also taken many players under his wing to help them learn the game and what they need to do in order to succeed on and off the field.
Harris is getting older and will probably not be able to be as productive as he normally is for the team which is a major concern at the position. Harris will need to have someone else on the defensive team step up and take over his role.
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The Jets are looking to get younger and faster at the position but that doesn’t mean Harris will see less playing time next season. It would be wise for the Jets to continue adding talent to the position so Harris can mentor and develop his future replacements. He can still contribute but needs a partner in crime to help alleviate the load.