Thursday, September 17, 2009

David Harris: AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Jets inside linebacker David Harris was given AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 11 tackle, 1 sack, 1 pass defense performance against Houston. Harris was all over the field Sunday, and the stats don't tell the whole story of just how well he played. He and fellow inside linebacker Bart Scott set the tone early with some huge hits, and no play defined the football game more than when Harris caused Texan receiver Andre Davis to hear footsteps and drop what would have been a first down. Davis still got drilled so hard that he got a concussion. Note to all receivers: if you're going over the middle, you're going to get hit anyway, so you might as well come down with the ball.

Wes Welker is a much, much tougher #2 receiver than Davis, but he's also smaller. If Harris or Scott or any other hard-hitting Jet can get a couple shots like that against Welker, it could make him think twice about going over the middle and making some of those huge third down catches that have killed New York in recent Jets-Pats games.

So what was that about trading David Harris and a pick for Brandon Marshall? Would any Jets fan ever trade Harris for Marshall straight up at this point? I certainly wouldn't. Harris has the ability to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL. In fact I would argue he already is one of the best, he just has to build up a track record. He was a stud late in 2007 when he took Jonathan Vilma's starting job. Last season was a bit of a letdown as he got hurt early in the season, but now Harris is back with a vengeance.

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