After starting eight games at center for the Jets last season, Jonotthan Harrison is looking to turn pencil into pen.
“For now, my goal is to enter the season as the starter, take it one step at a time from there,” Harrison said. “I have my other personal goals, but that’s my large one right now. I’m going on Year 6. I’ve had my years starting and I’ve had my years where I didn’t start as much. My goal is to definitely enter this season as a starter and earn my credibility as a lineman.”
In order to cement his spot, the 6’4”, 300-pounder is striving for consistency both on the field and in the classroom to make the sure the line is always on the same page. Even though Harrison has never played in a system like head coach Adam Gase’s attack, he believes the up-tempo style suits him well.
“It’s perfect,” he said with a smile. “When I was first looking at this offense, I was intimidated. I was like, ‘Man, this is so different. I have to get used to this.’ Then after going on the field and putting it together, everything clicked. This could be my bread and butter for sure. I’m really excited to see how this pans out.”
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Gase said the Florida product did a “great” job leading the offensive line in the spring and believes quarterback Sam Darnold trusts Harrison up front. The duo gained playing experience down the stretch in 2018, starting the final four games together.
“He’ll trust me to take care of certain things that he doesn’t need to stress about,” said Harrison about his relationship with the second-year signal-caller. “He’ll tell me, ‘You do this, you do this, you get the line on the right page.’ He trusts me with that and it’s a good sign. It shows the connection that we have and that chemistry can go a long way.”
Not only do Gase and Darnold both like what Harrison brings to the offensive line, but OL coach Frank Pollack also praised Harrison for his work ethic.
“He’s a very smart player, he’s working his butt off,” Pollack said. “This guy is a grinder. I like the way he works. He is a pro in that regard. The biggest compliment I can give anyone in the room is he’s a pro’s pro, the way he prepares himself and carries himself. Talent level really has nothing to do with that. For me, it’s about how they work and how they prepare every day, and he’s right at the top of the list in that.”