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Damon Harrison defends Odell Beckham Jr. to Colin Cowherd

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Harrison is emerging as a leader for the Giants, and stands up for their biggest star

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Damon Harrison is a giant of a man, and since coming to the New York Giants in 2016 as a free agent, he has come to be a fan favorite and embody everything that a Giant should be. He is hard working, humble, and an excellent football player — if woefully underappreciated by the NFL world at large.

Harrison is also emerging as one of the vocal and emotional leaders in the Giants’ locker room, a fact that his recent appearance on Colin Cowherd’s radio show made abundantly clear.

One of the big conversations about the Giants’ offseason is whether or not they should extend Odell Beckham Jr. before he hits his fifth season and potentially becomes a free agent. The big concern, according to Cowherd is Beckham’s on-field attitude and actions, and whether or not he could continue to mature and “scale back” the “dramatics.”

“I think if the cameraman would stay away from him,” Harrison said. “His every move is being watched. He’s not over-dramatic, he’s passionate. He loves what he does. And a lot of guys don’t. A lot of guys just come in and put in a day’s work and go home and don’t care. He loves the game of football and that passion, you appreciate that. Because I know he’s not only out there chasing the check, as they would say.”

“He cares,” Harrison added.

Cowherd then asked if Harrison thought that there were some players in the Giants’ locker room who weren’t all in.

“Not all in,” Harrison said. “And they showed this year with 3-13.”

“Exactly,” he added when asked if some players chasing a check was a factor. “And I think that was the reason why in the beginning, I was kind of running away from the captain thing. Because you could see the group of guys that were in that locker room and I didn’t want any parts of that. I didn’t want, I didn’t want any parts of that.”

“So when they wanted you to be a captain, your takeaway was, this group of dudes?” Cowherd asked.

Harrison responded, “Not that blatant, but yeah. I just saw what we had, man, and I just couldn’t put myself in that position to try to lead a group of men who, in its entirety, weren’t all-in.”

“But you think OBJ is?” Cowherd asked.

“Yes, all the time,” Harrison said. “All the time, the guy actually practices. You wouldn’t think that a guy like Odell Beckham would practice, and he actually does. He cares. He’s running routes, he’s blocking, he’s doing everything. And I’ve seen guys not practice at all and still play in those games and that’s what I was expecting when I first got there, but it hasn’t been the case. He’s always out there.”

On Eli Apple

“A young guy,” Harrison said, “another one who has to grow up. He got to learn from his mistakes and his experience. It isn’t college anymore, nobody’s here to hold your hand. But I think he’s a good young man with a good head on his shoulders. And I think he’ll figure it out.”