The New York Giants will have a new-look defense this season, featuring plenty of fresh faces.
But there will be one major holdover on the unit: Damon Harrison.
Since signing with the Giants as a free agent in 2016, Harrison has been among the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Despite not getting selected to the Pro Bowl in the last three years, “Snacks” has continued to produce without getting all the accolades.
Perhaps that lack of exposure will change this year and Harrison will end with a much-deserved Pro Bowl or All-Pro honor. His role with the Giants goes far beyond production as he helps the defense shift to a different look.
Gone this offseason is stalwart defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Harrison will anchor a line that includes second-year defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson, who was a standout as a rookie last year in New York. Added into the mix is B.J. Hill, a defensive lineman who was taken by the Giants in the third round this past April in the NFL Draft and a player who looks like he will be a starter this year.
Snacks Harrison gives his thoughts on fellow lineman BJ Hill while Carl Banks analyzes the talents of Hill.
“It’s weird because I’m used to just being out there with Dalvin,” Harrison said. “So exactly where Dalvin was last year, now it’s B.J. Hill, that’s just an adjustment for me to getting used to the opposite but both those young guys have made a lot of great plays in the games and on the practice field and I think B.J. will be a really, really good player in this league.”
Under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the Giants are switching to a 3-4 base defense, an alignment that Harrison played in during his first four years in the league as an undrafted rookie free agent turned starter for the New York Jets.
Harrison is the prototypical nose tackle in this league, and the switch in the look of the front shouldn’t be a learning curve or a hindrance for him.
New Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher is bringing a new pass rush scheme to the Giants. Snacks Harrison, Jeff Feagles and Paul Dottino explain why it could give the opposing offenses trouble.
“It just adds a little bit to where an offensive coordinator has to game plan a bit differently,” Harrison said. “You don’t know what we’ll be in, there’s never a set line so you can’t really dictate what we do. We have to play our game and hopefully, the offense won’t adjust to what we’re doing.”
[Watch Giants Training Camp Live Tonight at 6 PM on MSG & MSG GO.]