DT Damon Harrison
Conference Call, March 10, 2016
A: Theyíve seen how far Iíve come and where Iíve been and where I am now, and they all appreciate the journey that Iíve been on and theyíre happy for me.
Q: When you talk about that journey, where did you view it as? When you came into the league, where were you? Where were you in comparison to where you are now as a player?
A: When I came into the league I was pretty much viewed as a camp bodyósomebody who they brought in to see if I could play; the rookie camp and I made it through the rookie mini-camp and the expectations were low. Every day I feared walking into the locker room or walking into the building and having a guy asking me for my playbook. I want to say for the better part of a year that fear sat with me and it forced me to work hard each and every day, on the field and as well as off the field, to where now Iím more of an established player. Trust me, I donít think Iíve made it at all, I still have a lot to prove to myself. Just in comparison where I was then to where I am now, itís night and day.
Q: Obviously, youíre moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 [defense]. Was that something that ever gave you hesitation or do you think this is going to open up a new aspect of your game?
A: I think Iíll be able to show more, but a lot of peopleóI donít knowóthey have the 3-4 and the 4-3, I guess they have it confused. Itís almost similar, the only difference is the outside linebackers. The guys along the line play the exact same positions. In the 3-4 you have your 5-technique, you have a shade, and you have the 3-technique. You have a linebacker whoís also outside in the fiveóthatís the exact same thing in the 4-3. But in a 4-3, you donít play a lot of zero noses that you do in the 3-4. Itís almost the exact same thing, but with just defensive ends in as linebackers.
Q: Are you going to have to move or can you stay in the same house youíve been living in? If so, what kind of bonus is that in free agency?
A: Iíll tell you what man, the transition is going to be so easy. If I wanted to, I could stay exactly where I am. My stepdaughter would have to get out of school. I could live in the house Iíve been living in for some time now, but Iím choosing to move closer on this side so I can get to work a whole lot easier. Itís so easy that it seems unreal that I can do exactly what Iíve been doing for the past four years without having to change anything, just coming to a new facility.
Q: How much did that weigh into your decision?
A: I wouldnít say that it played any part at all. I was prepared to do just about anything, whether it was move halfway across the country, or Iíd been hearing people say, just crossing the street and going over on the side of the street. So it didnít play much role at all.
Q: Was it something that surprised you that youíd be able just to go to the Giants? Was it something you were expecting when free agency started?
A: I didnít know what to expect to be honest with you. You know your value as a player and you know what you put out on film. A lot of people just donítí understand my position and they donít understand exactly what it is that I do, but I know the people that play the game and the coaches, they know exactly what I do. I really just went into blind, I didnít know what to expect from who.
Q: You know Jonathan Hankins at all? Have you reached out to him yet?
A: No sir, I havenít reached out to him. I think Iíve seen him off the field maybe once or twice.
Q: How do you think you guys will work together on the interior? Thatís a lot of player there to stop the run.
A: Just both do our jobs to the best of our abilities and complement each other, work off each other; as well as the guys on the outside. I think it will be fun with me and big Hankins in the middle.
Q: Sometimes guys who used to play nose tackle come in and they ask them to maybe drop a couple pounds. Have the Giants asked you about your weight and where they would like to see you?
A: No sir. I donít believe weíve even got that detailed into the conversations yet. From myself and my personal reasons, Iíve been dropping at least a few pounds every offseason the last three years. So I myself have been losing weight.
Q: We all know Rex [Ryan] gave you the nickname. Does ĎSnacksí travel? With the Giants are you still ĎSnacksí?
A: You canít hide away from it, manóor I canít. I canít hide, I canít run from it. I didnít like it at first, but itís grown on me and the fans love it, so Snacks is here to stay.
Q: You saw one of the Giants collapses on defense up close and personal last year when the Jets beat the Giants. Iím just wondering, is there personal motivation to help a Giants defense literally go from worst to a whole lot better than that?
A: Itís motivation in general, not even just from that game, just to help this franchise get back to where they were. They invested a lot in me, and I know theyíre expecting a lot out of me. That alone, in itself without even talking our game last year, that alone is the motivation to help the franchise get back.
Q: Was there any point in this process you thought you may be back in the last two, three, four months? How did that play out and when did you come to the realization you were going to have to go elsewhere to receive your market value?
A: With respect to both sides, I donít want to get too detailed and deep into it. It was a decision that I made, literally, last minute. It could have went either way. I think I made the right choice, thatís no disrespect to the Jets organization the people there. It could have went either way. Iíve been seeing a lot of stuff from other people, but they have no clue on what was going on.