The Detroit Lions made a deal for Damon Harrison at last season’s trade deadline, and he was nearly an instant impact player for the team and arguably one of the best additions of the entire period for any team last season.
Arguably, Harrison changed Detroit’s run defense himself, taking a group which was average and turning it into a group which was very stout up front as well as gritty.
This season, though, Harrison has gotten off to a slow start with the Lions. He and his team have been run over in the early season up front and aren’t stopping the run with consistency at all. As a whole, the group has been very below average and have been pushed around in the trenches so far this season. It’s something plenty are disappointed about, including Harrison.
So what’s been the problem? Harrison seems to think teams are bodying him up as much as they ever have, which isn’t an excuse, but something the lineman must account for.
“I would just say teams are doing a good job of making sure I’m accounted for. That hasn’t stopped me in the past and I don’t see why it should stop me now,” Harrison told the media about his slow start to the 2019 season.
Are they playing him any differently? Perhaps not exactly.
“I wouldn’t say differently. They’re just doing a good job of getting me off some things I am struggling with now,” he said, declining to mention what things those were specifically.
Regardless, Harrison is keenly aware that the team must turn things around on the defensive side of the ball.
So far, one of the biggest issues with the defense has been communication. Lions coach Matt Patricia has emphasized that element as something the Lions have to get down, and Harrison agrees with that assessment.
“We have an new group of guys. As you can see, it’s not just the same group of guys on the field. We have a pretty good rotation on all levels. It’s just getting used to how each other plays and trusting that each individual guy is doing their job,” he said.
In terms of getting those issues turned around and straightened out, Harrison is a believer in that happening. As he says, there is no place the Lions defense has to go but up.
“It has to, there’s no other way. It has to,” he said.
Last season, Harrison was dropped by the New York Giants, so one could assume that he might feel a little extra excitement as the Lions get set to tangle with New York this week. Harrison, though, doesn’t see that as the case, playing it off as just another game.
“It’s just another week of football honestly. It’s nothing more into it. It’s just another week to go out there and prove what we can do,” he said.
As for any left over feelings about the Giants, there are none according to Harrison, who said he is completely at peace with the decision the team made in 2018.
“No hard feelings at all, it’s a business. They did what’s best for them and I did what’s best for me which is why I support it,” Harrison said honestly.
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