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It's Almost as If David Harris Grew Up Here

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Jets' Veteran MLB Loves the Competition Ahead in Friday Night's Jets-Giants Battle

The Jets have a representative from virtually every borough in New York City and every state in the tristate area to put different spins on what Friday night's 46th Jets-Giants preseason game means to them.

There's Willie Colon from the Bronx, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Oday Aboushi from Brooklyn, Troy Davis out of Queens, and D'Brickashaw Ferguson representing Long Island. Muhammad Wilkerson out of Linden is the head of a class of six New Jerseyans, and two Nutmeggers from Connecticut are also on the roster.

But for this piece we wanted to reach out to a mild-mannered Michigander who says of himself, "I just fly under the radar."

"I guess guys play harder because both New York teams are playing in it. It's always a good competition and both sides look forward to it."

So says middle linebacker David Harris.

Harris came to the New York area as our second-round draft choice in 2007, yet he's got as good a perspective as anyone in this year's annual summer matchup for the Snoopy trophy. He's played in seven Jets-Giants preseason games, more than any Jet except for Ferguson and Nick Mangold, the 2006 first-rounders.

And the quiet presence on the defense doesn't blow off the rivalry factor of this game as so many other Jets and Giants have over the years. Harris seems to embrace the game, even though as we all know, it's just a summer thing.

"It's always a good game because neither side wants to lose to the other. I guess you'd call it braggin' rights for the city," Harris said, using that familiar phrase that was trotted out 45 years ago by Weeb Ewbank before the first Jets-Giants game in August 1969.

"It's a good test because most guys prepare for it like it's a regular-season game. The starters play a little longer in the game, they see more reps. It's good for the city, and it's always the most power-packed game of the preseason, so it should be fun."

Harris as much as any Jet on the current roster really seems to enjoy the pure competitive aspects of this rivalry, and it has come through in his statistics. Consider these numbers:

Clearly, Harris likes his annual reunion with Eli. And again this year he'll get another guy to hug before and after the game in Giants linebackers coach Jim Herrmann.

Before Herrmann went to the Giants in 2009, he was the Jets' LBs coach for three seasons. And before the Jets, he was Harris' D-coordinator at Michigan.

"It's always good to see Coach Herrmann. He was my first professional football coach," Harris said. "We even go back to 2001, when I was getting recruited to go to Michigan as a high schooler. We've got some history together. He knows me better than anybody at this level."

And David Harris would like nothing more on Friday night than to continue his competitive play against Herrmann, Manning and the Giants on the way to getting himself ready for the season ahead.




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