FLORHAM PARK. N.J. — Damon Harrison may not be as well-known as his defensive linemates, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick had plenty of praise for the 27-year-old nose tackle.
Harrison, who goes by the nickname “Snacks,” was the only Jets’ defense player Belichick singled out during his conference call with beat writers on Wednesday.
“I think Harrison has had a great year, really hard to block, very disruptive,” he said when asked about the Jets’ defensive line.StoryJets' playoff scenariosStoryWeek 16 NFL picksStoryJets’ Wilkerson gets first Pro Bowl spot
And Belichick’s praise of Harrison — who is seeking a big payday after signing his restricted free-agency tender offer ($2.356 million) for 2015 — continued in his news conference with Patriots writers.
“He might be the best of all of them against the run,” he said of Harrison, who has 62 tackles and a half-sack. “He’s got great leverage, reads blocks well, hard to block, penetrates. He’s not just a stay on the line of scrimmage guy. He makes plays in the backfield or knocks the blockers back into the backfield so the runner has to either give ground or cut back into unblocked guys and then they clean them up . . . .I’m not saying they’re not good players, but he’s not only disruptive but he’s also been very productive. He’s a major force.”
LBs David Harris (back) and Calvin Pace (abdomen) were limited, along with TE Kellen Davis (back) and WR Quincy Enunwa (sore neck). CB Dee Milliner (hamstring) and QB Geno Smith (illness) did not practice . . . Patriots TE Rob Gronkowksi (not injury related) did not practice, while WRs Danny Amendola (knee), Julian Edelman (foot) and Brandon LaFell (foot) were among those who were limited . . . Asked if he’s considering resting some of his players with a first-round bye already clinched, Belichick said: “We’re getting everybody ready to play.”