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Richardson, Harrison Are Living Behind the Line

Posted Nov 29, 2013

Sheldon Richardson and Damon “Snacks” Harrison are both young, emerging stars on our defensive front, but that’s not all they have in common. They're both celebrating their birthdays today, Nov. 29.

“It’s crazy. We found this out a long time ago,” Richardson said. “We were planning on something but it ended up not working out because we have the game Sunday.”

Both players are postponing the party to prepare for their pursuit of the passer. And both guys have made breaking through the opposition’s O-line look easy this season.

According to editor-in-chief Randy Lange’s unofficial statistics, Richardson leads the defense with 8.0 tackles for loss, ahead of David Harris and Quinton Coples’ 6.0 stuffs and Harrison’s 5.5.

Sheldon had 3.0 TFLs at Baltimore on Sunday, including one on a Ray Rice reception. He’s the first Jet — again, unofficially — to record that many TFLs in one game since LB Jonathan Vilma’s 3.0 vs. Jacksonville in Game 3 of the ’05 season.

Meanwhile, when you include the stops at the line of scrimmage, Snacks is the only Green & White player with at least 0.5 tackles for loss/no gain in every game this season. He’s compiled 14.0 such tackles on the year, leading the team ahead of none other than Sheldon Richardson at 13.0.

“Just the guys around me doing their job,” Harrison said of his ability to bust through the blocks. “Nothing special I’m doing. Muhammad [Wilkerson]’s in the right place, Sheldon’s in the right place, Calvin [Pace] and ‘Q’. To be honest with you, it’s nothing that I’m doing. I’m just in the right place at the right time.”

On Wednesday, Richardson received an early birthday present when he was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month for November.

“I just found out 10 minutes ago in the final huddle for practice,” the first-round rookie out of Missouri told me in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a great honor and I’m happy that some hard work is paying off for me.”

And fans have an opportunity to give both Richardson and Snacks a belated birthday gift — a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl — by following this link.

Of all the defensive tackles on the ballot, NFC teams included, Richardson’s 59 tackles are far and away in the lead. The next closest DTs are a pair of Buffalo Bills, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, with 49 and 48 respectively. And in fourth, Damon Harrison with 46.

But no individual triumph would trump a team win Sunday vs. the Miami Dolphins.

“We’re just trying to get these wins,” Richardson said.

VIEW photos of Harrison and Richardson in action

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