Summer Q&A with DT Damon Harrison

Posted Jul 7, 2016 chats with players for a Summer Q&A about all things Big Blue:  

Get excited. July is the last month without NFL games.

As you -- and Giants players -- enjoy summer vacations, the 2016 season is right around the corner. After reporting for training camp on July 28, the Giants will open the preseason on Aug. 12 vs. Miami and kick off Week 1 at Dallas on Sept. 11.

Leading up to the team's return to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, caught up with some members of the team for a quick Q&A about all things Big Blue.  

Today, we have:

DT Damon Harrison

Q: You’re a big piece in the Giants’ plans as the team transitions to a new coaching era under Ben McAdoo. How do you take that responsibility?

A: I take it full force. I see what they want to do. They’re not so much getting away from what made the Giants the Giants, but they’re just coming of a new age and want to do some new things and I’m glad I get to be a part of that. Coach McAdoo talks about it all the time -- evolution, not revolution. Spags (defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo), the entire coaching staff brought in. Everybody wants to kind of change the culture a little bit, but just keep that rich history that the Giants have and I’m excited and honored to be a part of that.


Q: In the short time that you’ve gotten to know Jason Pierre-Paul, what does he mean to the team and what does he mean to the defensive line?

A: JPP means a lot. He’s a Super Bowl winner, he still is a great player in this league and a guy who’s overcome so much. When you have that much happen in your life, you expect a guy to be down for a while or kind of shy back from being in that public eye, but he’s taken it full force, head on, and to me it’s truly amazing how accepting he is of what happened to him and he doesn’t let it get him down. You know he makes jokes about himself, and he’s proud of the way that he’s pushed forward and come through and overcame all the obstacles. So that’s very impressive to me, because like I said, I’d have thought he would have been kind of down and just, no, he takes days full force ahead and I listen to him. He’s a Super Bowl winner, proven guy in this league, still one of the best defensive ends in the game. So I’m all ears when he talks.

Q: When you walk around as a new member of the team and see that “Giants Pride” sign, are you starting to understand how important it is to this franchise?

A: Everyday, everybody in the building, they talk about a piece of Giants history. And Giants history is so rich that, I knew about the history, but there were some things and some players that I didn’t know that meant a whole lot to the franchise and this area. I take my hat off to the coaches; they make sure that we know about every single player that has played here.

Q: Where does your pride come from?

A: I’m a guy that’s filled with pride because I didn’t have much growing up and I’m very appreciative of everything that I get and everything that’s given to me. I try not to take anything [for granted]. I want to earn every single thing that I have, so I want to be great. I take advantage of every opportunity, every day and every situation.


Q: How important is giving back to the community as an NFL player?

A: Giving back to the community is really important because you never know that one kid’s life you can touch, that one kid who just needs to see that everything that you want to do is possible. They see a lot of guys on TV that they can’t directly relate to, but a guy like myself who’s coming from humble beginnings, grew up in the projects, crime-riddled area, and I chose to go on a different path. So if a kid can see me and I was a success story, you know that means the world.