Jonotthan Harrison Kept Competing During Topsy-Turvy 2019


In the apt phrase of Jets C Jonotthan Harrison, 2019 was "an emotional roller-coaster, for sure," for him personally and for his offensive line room.

But by the end of the season, despite all the obstacles, the OL coaster had a fairly smooth finish before rolling to a stop, allowing Harrison to get his heart rate back down and give a dispassionate view of the season.

"I feel like I performed well," Harrison told's Ethan Greenberg. "There's always things I can work on, things that can get better. But part of my job is communicating with the rest of the offense, getting everybody on the same page. I feel like I did a good job of that, and also just going out there and competing. Of course, every pro is going to have a play or two they wish they could get back, but outside of that, I just feel like each game I progressively got a little bit better."

Part of the "screwy" nature of the season, fans will recall, was the then-sixth-year man filling the starting center's role all offseason and preseason, handing the job off to Ryan Kalil, who was signed in early August, then taking the job back after Kalil went on IR shortly after Game 7 at Jacksonville and starting the final nine games in the pivot. And then there were the injuries.

All who worked with Harrison offered similar strong comments about how Harrison's season unfolded.

"Jon's been great," QB Sam Darnold said late in the year. "The way he's just been able to step in for Ryan, it's been great. He's awesome. In meetings, he's been so attentive. You really can't ask for more from him."

"Just because he had been there earlier, there was a rapport there," head coach Adam Gase said. "We kind of had a little bit of a reset and then it was bump, and then when Jonotthan got back in there, it helped us a lot."

And OC Dowell Loggains said Harrison deserves a lot of credit for his sideline work.

"When he wasn't playing, he worked his tail off," Loggains said. "He stood next to the quarterbacks and made the calls and made the Mike declarations. And when his opportunity came back around, he was ready for it and he made the most of it."

But as always with Harrison, it was less about him and more about the team. He was asked if the Jets' improvements in yardage, fewer penalties, and especially the wins in their 6-2 second half can really boost a unit like the offensive line going into 2020.

"Oh, 100 percent," he said after the win at Buffalo in the season finale. "Of course we don't know exactly what next year holds and who they're bringing back. But that's something we can definitely build on, for sure."

But we do know what "next year" holds in a few weeks for Harrison. That's because he was selected as the team's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his tireless commitment to eradicating bullying from the nation's schools. The winner of the league's award will be revealed on the NFL Honors show in primetime on Feb. 1.

"I'm going to Jamaica to visit some family," he said of his offseason calendar. "Then I'm going to the Super Bowl for the Walter Payton Awards. Outside of that I'll just be training in Arizona."

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