Damon Harrison’s nickname is Snacks. This year he’d like to drop the N.
Harrison registered 2.5 sacks last season, more than he had in his first four NFL campaigns combined. That wasn’t enough.
“I didn’t have many sacks last year, so I’m gonna work my butt off this offseason, or I have so far, to change that,” Harrison said. “If you ask me one thing that I’m changing from last year is I didn’t have enough sacks.”
He said he has a number in mind for a goal, be he chose not to disclose it.
“I want to break Jared Allen’s record,” he joked of the 22 registered by Allen in 2011. Giants Hall of Famer Michael Strahan holds the single-season record for sacks with 22.5 in 2001.
The key to getting even halfway to those numbers, or a quarter, is abandoning an element of Harrison’s game that may sound surprising.
“Not being scared,” the 350-pound All-Pro said.
“I don’t want to say I play scared, but I try to dominate in the run game so much that I end up with two hands on people a lot,” Harrison said. “In passing situations that’s the one thing you don’t want to do is have both hands on someone because you are down the middle. You want to rush half the man. Just getting off the ball quicker, recognizing run and pass quicker as well.”
If he can do that, Harrison may go from being regarded as the NFL’s best run-stuffer to one of the league’s premier overall defensive linemen.
Of course, there is one part of that plan that Harrison doesn’t want to change: The way he celebrates.
“The Snack Dance is staying,” he said of his moves after bringing down opposing quarterbacks.
He just hopes it shows up more often.