Originally posted on One Jet At A Time  |  Last updated 5/23/13
Damon Harrison is a prime example of a good role model is for this New York Jets squad. Harrison reaches out to his fans on Twitter and also gives out free butt-kicking lessons in Madden to fans and teammates. Damon is a great personality on and off the field, but let's breakdown this defensive tackle's skills. Before I go on, let me note how well "Big Snacks" did in the first day of open-to-the-media OTA's. Damon Harrison recorded an interception on Mark Sanchez and hopefully will continue to improve. Sanchez joked about the pick after practice. "A couple of those throws I want back," Sanchez said. "Of all people, freakin' Snacks; that's like your worst nightmare." This shows that Harrison's relationship with his teammates is alive and well. Everyone loves "Big Snacks."   What Harrison brings to the field:   Damon Harrison is a huge presence on the field, weighing in at 342 pounds and sizing up at 6'2". What I really saw and liked about Damon this past season is the difficulty that opponets have had against him. Opposing offensive lines see the huge target in Damon and are forced to double team him. This helps his teammates recognize openings for a mixture of all kinds of blitzes. What most fans don't understand is that even when Harrison isn't making a highlight-reel play, he is forcing that double team. He is making a play in a sense, everytime a teammate can make one, because of his efforts.. Harrison has bull-rush ability. When he finds an opportunity, he bursts through the opponent, but he needs to 'find' and create these chances more often. Nonetheless, Harrison has NFL-level abilities and can make them work for the good for the Jets team. (More after the jump...)   Areas for improvement:   Of course, being a bigger man will tend to limit your speed. This is indeed the case for Damon Harrison, who struggles to get to the target in a timely manner. Being fast off-the ball is different than running down the ball carrier. The ball carrier is 95% of the time faster than the average lineman. If Damon was quicker on his feet, he'd be able to capitalize on the holes he creates in O-lines, as opposed to relying on a linebacker to 'finish the job.' Prehaps losing some weight in training camp could help Harrison get faster. 5-time Pro-Bowler, Vince Wilfork of the Patriots, is a height/weight comparison to Harrison (6'2", 325lbs), that possesses the speed/motor to stay on the field.   His Role Many will shrug off Damon Harrison due to the defensive line weapons the Jets have. '12 Pro-Bowl snub Muhammad Wilkerson and '12 first round pick Quinton Coples look to dominate, alongside newly acquired draftee, Sheldon Richardson.    So where does Harrison fit? Harrison will make a excellent substitute. Now before everyone gets into a commotion on how a substitute isn't "important," let me stress this: a tired starter is no better than any substitute. The "swap-in" man is always ready and hungry. Hungry is the definition of Damon Harrison in every sense. Harrison (depending on his improvement this summer) could increase his role in '13, especially as NYJ could implement more 4-3 looks. New York's defense will never be tired with the interchanging of these big men. I know "Big Dame" can make a huge impact, and I am rooting for him.
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