Defensive tackle Damon Harrison talks about his 2017 season goals.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Damon Harrison was a first-team All-Pro last season because he was the NFL's finest run-stopping defensive tackle. He led all players at his positon with 86 tackles (55 solo). Included in that total were a career-high 2.5 sacks (1.5 more than he had in his first four seasons combined).
Harrison would like to increase that number in the 2017 season, his second with the Giants. And he has an idea how he can begin to harass quarterbacks more frequently.
"Get lighter, quicker on my feet," the 341-pound nose tackle said. "Have the same approach against the pass as I do against the run. But if you notice, I stop my feet a lot, you know what I mean? Anytime I'm pass rushing and that's just me overthinking things, trying to process the blocking schemes, how are they blocking me. But, just letting loose and running up the field every now and then. Like everybody else does. I want to do it, too.
"I had some pretty good pass rushes here in training camp. But, I haven't been able to put consecutive days together. So, thus far, I wouldn't say there's been any major improvements on moving."
Harrison said he has "a number (of sacks) in my mind that I'm chasing." But he declined to divulge it. "I can't do that, man," he said. "Then you're going to try and hold me to it. If I don't get it, 'Snacks' is a liar."
Coach Ben McAdoo said this week that Jay Bromley and rookie Dalvin Tomlinson are the top contenders to start next to Harrison in the spot held last year by the departed Johnathan Hankins. Harrison praised each of them today.
"Jay's come a long way, man, but that's just a testament to him being in here in the offseason," Harrison said. "I come in here to run and he's already running, he's lifting weights, he's focused. It's night and day from where he was a year ago.
"Dalvin is coming along. This past, I want to say, week and a half, two weeks, he's taking coaching very well, he's in the classroom all the time watching the film, trying to improve, asking questions. (Rookie end) Avery (Moss) as well, and Josh Banks. So I think we have a good group, it's a good competition."
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*Linebacker J.T. Thomas and running back Shaun Draughn each passed his physical and are eligible to practice. They did individual drills in today's workout. Thomas and Draughn had been on the active/physically unable to perform list. Thomas was rehabilitating his surgically-repaired knee, and Draughn had an ankle injury.
"It's good to be back out there, but I haven't really done much," said Thomas, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2016 season opener in Dallas. "Now it is time to test the knee out and make sure I am able to do the things it is going to take for me to contribute."
"He is working through individuals and we will have a plan to build him up as we go," McAdoo said. "We are not going to rush into anything with him."
McAdoo said there's a "good chance" Thomas won't play in the second preseason game, Monday in Cleveland. But he stressed that Thomas "absolutely" has time to have a role on the team.
"He's got a chance to build himself up, play in some meaningful games as we go," McAdoo said.
*Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson left practice early.
"He got a sore back just jamming a receiver," McAdoo said. "There were some crossing routes, he just got caught up in the wash there."
*Devon Kennard was limited because he is "just a little bit sore," McAdoo said. "We will get him back on Thursday."
*Veteran defensive tackle Corbin Bryant, who injured his elbow in practice yesterday, was placed on injured reserve. His replacement on the defensive front is Bobby Richardson, who played in 15 games with 11 starts as a rookie free agent for the 2015 New Orleans Saints. He was credited with 40 tackles (20 solo), a half-sack and had one interception. In 2016, Richards did stints on the practice squads of the Saints, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. He was with the Denver Broncos from Feb. 24 to May 3 of this year.
*The Giants filled the opening on their roster by signing linebacker Steven Daniels, who joins his third NFC East team. Daniels, 5-11 and 245 pounds, was a 2016 seventh-round draft choice by the Washington Redskins, from Boston College. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a torn labrum. He was waived on May 2, and awarded the following day to the Philadelphia Eagles. Daniels was released on June 1, re-signed by Philadelphia on July 26, and waived again on Saturday. Daniels was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for Boston College, recording 267 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and three interceptions. He earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior.
*Training camp officially ends tonight. The players are off tomorrow and will return to practice on Thursday. The Giants will play their second preseason game Monday night in Cleveland.