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[Updated] Damon Harrison off PUP, joins Giants for practice with high expectations

J.T. Thomas, Jay Bromley still sidelined

It’s "Snacks Time" for the New York Giants. The team announced this morning that defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison has been removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Harrison, signed to a four-year, $46.25 million contract by the Giants as a free agent in an effort to bolster the team’s run defense, joined his teammates for practice Tuesday.

Snacks was asked about his sore knee after practice, and whether it was something he has had to deal with for a while.

"It’s something that’s been going on for a while" Harrison said, "it’s no secret that I’ve had a couple surgeries on my knee. So normally I’ll, you know, fight through it, but the Giants wanted to make sure I came back and was 100 percent with no swelling. This was probably the first practice I’ve had with no pain in two years."

Harrison’s last surgery was a microfracture surgery in 2010 to repair the meniscus in his left knee. He reiterated several times that he needs to listen to his body and the training staff to make sure he can continue to feel as good as he did in his first practice back. "I’m going to listen to the trainers the first time" He added later, when asked if he was going to be managed throughout the season. "I hate the training room man, I hate being in there. I’d rather go home and do my own thing. Nobody likes to come in to work two hours early and leave two hours late."

But when it came to the practice field, Harrison had nothing but praise for his new teammates, particularly the one who lined up across from him.

"Rich (Weston Richburg), I mean Rich is a great young center." Harrison said "I think he’s really under-rated in this league, and he’s quick. It being my first day back I told him ‘you got the best of me today.’ Which, he had some help now, he had seventy-seven (John Jerry) and (Justin) Pugh helping him. But he’s good, man, he’s going to be good, and I’m going to be good for him, along with everybody on the line. It’s exciting."

Along with the praise for Richburg, Harrison was very critical of his own play. "It’s just that initial hit, that first contact that you need, and I was a little slow today. My hands weren’t working with my feet and my eyes. I didn’t have it all together so tomorrow should be a whole lot better."

Later on, he was asked whether having a pain-free practice changed his expectations for himself.

"Yeah," Harrison answered immediately. "Tomorrow’s got to be a whole lot better. I can’t afford to have another day where I’m slow off the ball or my hands and my feet aren’t working together. Let’s be real, they paid me a lot of money to come here and perform and do what I’ve been doing the past few years, and I’ve got to start showing that."

"Yeah, I am, I am." Harrison said, when asked if he was disappointed in himself. "Because I pride myself on having really good technique, and I wasn’t able to show that today. I expect so much more out of myself, and I know I’m a whole lot better than that."