But Harris declines to get worked up about his game-high 14-tackle outing, which included all or parts of four tackles at or behind the line.
"Nobody on this defense is about individual stats," David told me today after practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "Everybody just comes out there and does his job and puts his piece into the puzzle. If everybody keeps putting in one more piece each day, we'll get closer to completion. We still have a long way to go, and hopefully we'll just keep getting better."
David Harris appreciates the praise but lets it all roll off his back. Some players mouth those platitudes about team before individual but David has lived that philosophy since before he arrived on the Jets as the second-round pick in 2007.
So it didn't mean a whole lot to him that his 14-tackle game at Atlanta was his most since he had a 15-tackle showing at New England in '09, or that his 3.0 tackles for loss/no gain were his most since a 3.5-tackle game at New Orleans earlier that season. In fact, Harris' tackle and TFLNG totals against the Falcons were both his most in a Jets victory in his career.
More important was that he and his defense and his team still aren't where they want to be.
"The defense was playing well, but we can always get better," he said. "We allowed too high a percentage on third down, we gave up way too many first downs, we didn't make the crucial stop when the team needed it. There's always room for improvement."
That's the best way for individual leaders and their teams to approach their seasons. This week it's not in any way about David Harris trying to equal or top one of the finest individual games of his career on Monday night.
"The guys in this locker room, we don't buy into all the up-and-down stories in the media," he said. "We just try to focus on this game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and what we can control."
As Eric Allen reported for us this morning,
"I've been going out just about every other morning and running three miles on concrete and I really thought that would be the real test on if my knee would swell back up and get sore again. And it hasn't," he said.
After that, he said, his thinking then turned to "I don't want to turn 50 one day and look back and say, 'What if I just called somebody to say, "Hey, you know, if there's an opportunity, I'm really thinking about trying to get back." ' "
As Rex Ryan said, Garrard's roster exemption "is almost like a two-game trial. We'll see where he's at. ... Obviously with Mark [Sanchez] being out on IR, this is really more about let's see where David is, can he help our team or not."
"Geno has the job," he said. "If my number is ever called, I need to be ready for that. So my thing is to help these guys out and just be as much of a leader as I can in the locker room and as much of a mentor and leader as I can be in the quarterback room, because I was a rookie once and I know how it is."
Injury UpdateThe Jets' injury report flipped from Wednesday, when eight players didn't participate and three were limited. Today three players were DNPs — WR