There isn’t much news coming out of the NFL between the time mandatory mini-camps wrap up and the start of training camp. This is the NFL’s “Summer Vacation” or as New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo likes to call it, “Prepcation”. For most players this is a time to get away from football and to get their bodies (and minds) right before the coming grind.
Some take real vacations and travel, others dive into their playbooks and work out. Others take the time to do some things they don’t get the chance to do during the season and have some fun with the media. In that vein, defensive tackle Damon Harrison joined the NFL Network’s morning show “Good Morning Football” to talk about his new son and, of course, the New York Giants.
On Eli and Brandon Marshall ...
After the proud papa got done talking about his five-day-old son, the GMFB crew asked him about Brandon Marshall and Eli Manning using FaceTime to go over plays before camp.
Harrison said, “It’s not surprising at all, man. Between those two guys, they’re very detailed. Eli, the moment we signed Brandon and went back to work, he was in my ear asking me everything about Brandon. And when Brandon got here, I was able to be at the facility the first day, he was asking me everything about [Eli]. And I work with both, and told them they were going to get tired of each other just picking each other’s brains all the time.”
“Just trying to see just exactly ‘how much do you know, Eli?’, ‘how much do you know Brandon?’, ‘what can we do to make each other better?’.”
What does Brandon Marshall bring to the table? ...
As a former teammate of Marshall’s when they were both on the New York Jets, Snacks has more insight into him than many of his current Giants teammates. With that in mind he was asked about
“Leadership, number 1,” Harrison said. “I call him “Dee-Bo”, because I don’t know if you remember the play, I think it was against Cleveland, and we threw an interception at the time. Brandon fell on the ground, he took the ball back from the guy and ran back to the opposite end zone, it was amazing. Brandon is physical, red zone threat. He’ll make Eli better, he’ll make Odell [Beckham Jr.], Sterling [Shepard], and the rookie [Evan] Engram better. As well as help the running game, because you can’t double Odell anymore. You can’t.”
On the NFL Top 100 list ...
Four Giants made the annual “NFL Top 100” list, including Harrison, and he has been vocal that Odell Beckham, Landon Collins, Janoris Jenkins, and himself had all been underrated. But in particular Harrison couldn’t believe that Eli Manning was left off the list entirely. He said:
“I heard he didn’t make it, like, the last few years.
One, they need to stop doing the list in November and December, when guys want to get home, and now it’s ‘you can’t go home until you finish this list’, and you have to fill it out, and guys say ‘man, just write anybody down!’ which takes away from the authenticity of the list itself, and it’s less respectable. I know I haven’t filled out the list in a long time.”
Harrison wouldn’t get into which players were included but undeserving of the honor, but he did name one he would take off to make room for Manning.
“Myself, number one,” he said. “Eli [Manning], when you look at Eli, it’s like kind of like when you look at LeBron [James]. I’m not saying they’re the same, but look at Eli’s numbers. If any other quarterback would have those numbers, it’d be an amazing year. But it being Eli, nobody’s respecting it as much. Like we do with LeBron. LeBron can average 30, fifteen rebounds, twelve assists and it’s no big deal.”
Mrs. Snacks Installed A Filter ...
Prior to appearing on the show, Harrison said that he wouldn’t have a filter.
Who's going to be tuned in tomorrow morning to watch me on @gmfb ??? Should be interesting...y'all know I don't have a filter— Damon Harrison (@BigDame900) July 10, 2017
However, as the segment wore on, it was clear that he didn’t want to say anything controversial or give opponents any “bulletin board” material. As it turns out, he was just following the sage advice of his wife.
“I don’t! I don’t! [want to make news] My wife had a conversation on the way here, she said don’t make the news, don’t make the headlines.” “Coach McAdoo, I’m not making the headlines coach. I’m staying away from it.”
Benny with the good hair ...
While Harrison didn’t want to be controversial, he did have some fun with his head coach, particularly the famous (infamous?) haircut he debuted at mini-camp. When asked why the focus was on Ben McAdoo’s hair and not the fact that the rookie coach won eleven games, Harrison said:
“Benny with the good hair? Yeah, he takes pride in his hair, man. It’s impressive every single day, if he doesn’t do anything every day, I know he takes time in the mirror to fix his hair.”
“What is it, I think he uses mousse or something like that?. I asked him before, but I can’t remember”
“I know my very first time meeting Coach McAdoo, I brought up The Suit, and he wasn’t too happy about the conversation. Let’s get back to his good hair, man! You ask Justin Pugh, I mean Justin Pugh, Coach McAdoo, just good hair family. Pugh takes his helmet off and his head looks just how he walked in the building in the morning. I don’t know how he does it.”
Finally, everyone wanted to know what Harrison, who has become one of the leaders of the Giants’ defense, is expecting for the 2017 season. He refused to get bogged down in individual stats or accomplishments, instead saying:
“Number one, beat the Cowboys in the season opener,” Harrison said. “That’ll set the tone for the entire season. Just to do better than last year. I don’t want to get into numbers and specifics because I’m not that kind of guy. When you look around, and I can only speak for the defensive side of the ball because I’m with those guys so much, when you look around at the group of guys that we have, they’re unselfish. That’s number one, and I’m not saying it for TV, I really mean it. From DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] giving his spot to Eli Apple, and DRC coming off the bench, he’s fine with that. The safeties in the rotation, those guys are fine with it. Jackrabbit [Janoris Jenkins], still working today like he’s trying to get that big contract. Olivier Vernon, he missed a lot of the off-season, but he comes in like he’s been there the entire time. JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul], he works his butt off. Just to perform better than he did last year.”