DT Damon Harrison
April 21, 2016
Q: What has this change been like for you?
A: It was tough at first. It has been much easier than I expected because everything that I have done thus far has been pretty consistent and pretty constant so I canít say that I am a guy that likes change but the transition has been easy.
Q: What surprised you the most about the change?
A: That I look good in red and blue, I would have to say --- no, just how well I have gelled with the guys and you never know what to expect when going into a locker room and the guys have welcomed me with open arms and it hasnít been a problem. That was pretty surprising to me.
Q: How different is the way that they go about their business here compared to what you are used to?
A: I canít really say. I donít want to get into comparisons out of respect for both franchises but each one does things differently and it is football, football is football.
Q: How is walking into an established locker room with the chemistry? How has that process been coming along for you?
A: It is big. They have some guys who have been pretty successful in this league and some younger guys who are looking for sustainable success so just to be in here and getting the vibe from them. Being on the other side of town in the other locker room, you kind of admired what was going on here because everywhere you go, they are always talking about the New York Giants this, the New York Giants that and now to actually be here and to be a part of it is amazing.
Q: Do you feel you can be a leader right out of the gate or do you think you have to kind of feel your way around as the season progresses?
A: Yeah, definitely. I donít want to come in and label myself a leader; I definitely want to get in where I fit in. I am not here to change anything. I am here to do exactly what they want me to do and do everything the New York Giant way and if that calls for me to be a leader, then I am all for it, but if I have to sit back in the back and listen, then I am all for that as well.
Q: This team obviously spent a lot of money to bring in some high profile players, which comes with expectations. Do you welcome those expectations and how do you think this is going to work?
A: I canít really say right now. We havenít put the shoulder pads on and actually got out there and [got a chance to] run around so that is yet to be seen, but I welcome all expectations. I have higher expectations for myself than anyone can ever give me, so it really isnít a problem or an issue with me. We have a group of guys who want to work, who want to get better so it will work out.
Q: How well have you gotten to know Johnathan Hankins?
A: Pretty good man. Hankins is a cool guy. We have actually hung out together a couple times off the field, which is a little different than I normally do because I am not the type of guy that outside of football I hang around too many people, but the defensive line here and a couple of the other guys in the position groups, we have hung out together a couple of times off the field, so it is building a different kind of chemistry.
Q: Do you think the comparisons of you playing in a 3-4 as opposed to a 4-3 are overblown?
A: Definitely. It is still football at the end of the day. My job in the 3-4 was to pretty much beat the guy up in front of me and it is the same thing here, just a different alignment on a consistent basis, that is about it. If people go back and look, I was actually in a shade technique, which is to the left or the right side of the guard as opposed to directly over him more so then I was in the zero so no, I think that is way overblown.
Q: You come from a franchise that is relatively healthy every year. This team here has been hit with a lot of injuries the last couple of years. Do you get a good sense that this team is going to stay healthy?
A: I am not too familiar with the injury history in the past but I know the new strength staff that they brought in, they are putting a lot of emphasis on staying healthy and doing a lot of work without putting orthopedic stress on your body, so I think it will help in the long run. I have just told a couple of the guys who have asked to just listen to your body, know your body. If your body is telling you it is too much, it is too much. If you need to pull back, then do so.
Q: Is this strength program a lot different from what the Jets do?
A: You can probably say that because it is two separate staffs. They each have different views and philosophies, so you can say that.
Q: Given the path that your career has taken, do you still have that free agent mentality?
A: Oh, yes, maíam. I havenít gotten paid yet. The contract is nice and everything, man, but money doesnít motivate me. I am not the guy who once they get the money, sit back, relax and think they made it. No, I am still scared that they will take my playbook if I donít do right. That is a feeling that will never leave me and that is the honest truth, that isnít something Iím just saying to sound good. I love the game of football; I want to be successful, so I will have the free agent mentality until I retire.
Q: You are one of the very few guys in the Giants locker room who has played on a top NFL defense. I know it is April, but do you sense that there are any of the ingredients in place that will make this a top unit?
A: I donít want to say yes and I donít want to say no just because, like you said, it is just April, but when you look around that room and see the type of guys they have in there --- the JPPs, the Oliver Vernonís, the Hankins, the Collins and DRC and [Janoris Jenkins] and everybody else they have in there --- and Kennard. We have the ingredients but we just have to put it all together and we will only be as good as we can be if we can work together.