DT Damon Harrison
Q: Coach McAdoo said they had to pull you out of a couple of drills, were you eager to get back out there today?
A: Yes, I knew the plan that they had for me, but I love the game so it was hard to just sit around and watch. When I was on PUP I couldnít really go outside. I wanted to go out there and be with my teammates, but Hank and JPP, they give me a little crap every day about not being there, so it was good to be back today.
Q: How long have you dealt with the swelling in your knee?
A: Thatís something that has been going on for a while. Itís no secret. Iíve had a few surgeries on my knee, so normally I fight through it, but the Giants wanted to make sure I came back and it was 100 percent with no swelling and this is probably the first practice Iíve had with no pain in about two years.
Q: When was your last surgery?
A: 2010, I think. The last one was a tough one because it was the second one that I had on the same knee, so that made the issue chronic.
Q: What did it fix?
A: My meniscus, it was a micro-fracture I think.
Q: Which knee is it?
A: My left one.
Q: Why did your knee feel so good today, did you do something treatment wise or was it the rest?
A: Well, the rest and the treatment. Leading up to the point when youíre preparing for training camp and the conditioning test and everything, youíre probably going as hard as youíve gone all offseason, so itís just a build up of that. On top of me switching from a grass surface to the turf kind of bothered me.
Q: What have you learned about what you have to do to not make it chronic?
A: Listen to my body. From talking to veterans everywhere across the league, just listen to your body, it wont lie to you. If you need to pull it back, pull it back. As eager as you want to be to get back out there, which I was, I probably wouldíve paid more for it after practice had I gone out there. I even tried to run extra after practice with the guys and the trainers saw me and they said no, so I just want to come into tomorrow feeling the same way I did today.
Q: How much of a transition is there fitting in with new guys to your left and to your right?
A: Itís big. To me, thatís the toughest part. Itís not learning the play book, itís not getting used to a new team and new areas, itís fitting in with the guys you have to play with because everybody has different personalities and you have to learn each guy individually, you canít treat the group the same. I have to give those guys credit, they welcomed me with open arms and made it easy.
Q: What about on the field as well?
A: Itís just communication. Football is football. I have to talk to JPP, ask him to tell me what he likes to do, first and foremost, before I tell him what I like to do so that I can work with him and play with him because heís had success in the league, as well as Hank and Olivier Vernon, so itís just communication.
Q: Does that take a while to get on the same page?
A: Yes, definitely. Itís not something that can happen in OTAís, you can get a feel for it but until you actually put on the pads. I can tell you one thing in OTAís but until we put on the pads, it doesnít happen.
Q: Was the knee a concern for either you or the Giants when you were discussing a contract with them?
A: No, because I never missed any practices or games or anything. It was just precautions, they wanted to be safe and if I had to go out and practice, I wouldíve done it, but I appreciate them wanting to take the time to make sure Iím healthy.
Q: Are you going to be managed going forward to keep going with that?
A: It depends on what the trainers say. Iím going to listen to the trainers for the first time because I hate the training room. I hate being in there. I would rather go home and do my own thing because no one likes to come into work two hours early and leave two hours late, so itís all up to the trainers. I trust them.
Q: When you get to go out there and go up against Weston Richburg, whatís that like? I would imagine when you were with the Jets you went up against Nick Mangold a lot, so just curious what that was like.
A: Rich is a great young center. Heís really underrated in this league. Heís quick and it being my first day back, I told him he got the best of me today. He had some help though, it wasnít just him by himself. It was 77 (John Jerry) and (Justin) Pugh helping him but heís good, heís going to be good and Iím going to be good for him along with everybody on the line. Itís exciting.
Q: Arenít you used to that, though?
A: Yeah, thatís why I have no problem with it. Itís just that initial hit, that first contact that you need. I was a little slower out there today, my hands werenít working with my feet and my eyes, I didnít have it all together.
Q: Technique-wise for you, in this system verus the Jets, is there a major transition?
A: Not at all, itís the same exact thing. As simple as I can put it, youíre never wrong when you knock them back. Youíre not reaching when you knock them back, youíre not messing up on a play when you knock them back, so as long as Iím knocking them back off the line, itís the same thing.
Q: Given that youíre monitoring the knee and theyíre checking on you and everything else, do you feel you need significant preseason snaps to be ready for the season or does that not matter to you?
A: I have to leave that up to coach McAdoo. Me personally, I donít think so. I will do exactly what they want me to do. They want me to go out there and play every snap, Iíll play every snap. If they think thatíll help me, but me personally, 3-4, 4-3, everything is the same. Thereís just an extra D-lineman down there, which you can look at as a linebacker. Itís not difficult at all.
Q: Is it weird being here?
A: Being a Giant? Yessir, it is. You can ask Hank because he gave me a lot of crap about it every single day. Today they were handing out ices or whatever it was and they asked me which one I wanted, and I picked the green one. They were like, Ďwhy do you want the green one?í and I was like, Ďitís green, it looks sour, I want it.í Itís been great, though. Itís a little different, I wouldnít lie to you at all.
Q: Having the knee being pain free at least for today, do the expectations for yourself change?
A: Yes, tomorrow has to be a whole lot better. I canít afford to have another day where Iím slow off the ball or my hands and feet arenít working together because, letís be real, they pay me a lot of money to come here and perform and do what Iíve been doing the past few years and I have to start showing that.
Q: You sound like youíre disappointed in yourself today?
A: I am because I pride myself on being a technician, no matter what. Iím not the most athletic person in the world, but I think I have really good technique and I wasnít able to really show that today. I told coach I was nervous for some reason, I donít know why. Maybe it was you guys with the cameras.
Q: In watching you, the pile did seem to move back when you were in there, so what are we not seeing?
A: I saw the clip on Twitter, too, and they got a good push on me, that was a bad angle. You have to get the coaches tape to see how the line went back before it went to the side. I did my job.
Q: It didnít seem as bad as youíre making it out to be.
A: No, but I expect so much more from myself and I know Iím a whole lot better than that.
Q: You read everything?
A: I read everything. Iím watching you when Iím watching Richburg.