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Elite LB Harris Continues to Develop His Game

Posted Aug 13, 2012

Now that the NFL has decided to keep the Pro Bowl, can someone remember to buy David Harris his ticket to Honolulu this January? 

I mean all the guy did last season was total a team high in tackles (117), finish in a tie for first in interceptions (4), rank second on the team in sacks (5), establish a career high in passes defended (5) and add the first TD of his career. And the scary thing is the 28-year-old Harris, a second-round pick of the Jets out of Michigan in the 2007 NFL Draft, is intent on getting better.

“Bob Sutton, our linebacker coach, has really focused with us on our pass drops and man-to-man drills,” he told me in our “Jetting with Cortland” video today. “We go against some pretty athletic tight ends every day in Dustin Keller and those guys, so we get good work at it in practice and it carries over to the field.”

The 6’2”, 250-pound Harris is prepared for a lot of action because teams look at the outside and don’t see matchup advantages.

“We know the middle of the field is going to get attacked this year with the type of talent we have with Revis and Cromartie,” Harris said. “Offenses aren’t going to win those matchups very often, so coming into this offseason we knew we had to get in better shape, a step quicker, and anticipate routes and route combinations which offenses are trying to throw at us.  We are just doing a good job of reading what the offenses are trying to do and it’s helping us.”

Harris was a walking PD on Sunday.  It seemed like every time I took another note — there was No. 52 getting his hands on the ball.  Keller is not only a big-time talent, but he’s also Sanchez’s favorite target and the Jets have been practicing lately without three of their top wideouts in Santonio Holmes (rib), Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) and Chaz Schilens (ankle). 

While Harris has been impressive with his route recognition, Bart Scott has trimmed down and rookie Demario Davis will be counted on immediately to help in the coverage department.

“He’s doing a great job. He’s staying after meetings with Bob and getting extra coaching tips,” Harris said of the rook. “He’s a faster learner which is good. He is very athletic and it helps him on the field. He still has a long way to go, but he’s much improved from what he was at OTAs.”

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