Harmon embraces Patriots 'swagger' and non-complacency


Harmon embraces Patriots 'swagger' and non-complacency

FOXBORO -- A familiar refrain was heard across the National Football League this spring: are you bleeping kidding me? The Patriots got that guy?? Bleep. Whether it be Brandin Cooks or Stephon Gilmore or - to a lesser degree - the likes of Kony Ealy, Mike Gilislee and Rex Burkhead, the Pats offseason activities made the defending Super Bowl champs a more talented team, at least on paper. 

“That just shows that this is a team that’s always looking to get better,” Duron Harmon told me. “The players aren’t complacent. The coaches aren’t complacent. The organization isn’t complacent, and I just think when you have that type of mindset coming from up top, coaches, players, the organization, it is easy for the players not to get complacent. We know we have to continue to get better, continue to work. We gotta do everything we did and more last year to try to do what we want to do again this year.”

Harmon has a terrific perspective on the how the operation is run. He has consistently improved, to the point where he was a fairly well sought after free agent. But his first choice was to return to Foxboro, and the two sides made it happen. Was there more money elsewhere? Yes, but the steady Harmon embraces being a Patriot and embraces those around him. 

“When you have a good group of guys, I think that’s what makes playing this sport for this team even better, that’s what makes me even more excited,” he said. “Being able to go out there with a great group of guys, guys that I love and depend on {and} they depend on me… when you have that type of chemistry, that brotherly love, it makes playing football more fun and easier.”

Easier is an interesting word choice. There’s nothing easy about being a member of this team, this organization. Forget about expectations outside the building, the ones inside are far greater, and more pressure-filled than anything we could cook up. That said, the continued success provides an obvious ground floor for the players to build off - hey, you’re Super Bowl champs - and that wealth of experience in all sorts of situations breeds confidence.

“We get the swagger more so from the work we put in,” said Harmon. “If you look at how we practice, how hard we practice, how much work we put in with the weights, the film room, iI think that’s what gives us our swagger because we really believe - I believe - no teams, or very few teams, put in the amount of work we put in. That gives us the type of confidence so that when we got out there we say we’ve seen this before, we’ve been thru this before so let’s just go out here, play by the rules and everything will be fine.”

Coaches and teammates alike point to Harmon as one of the steadiest voices heard throughout the season and certainly at halftime of the Super Bowl. Listening to him talk tells you exactly why.

Report: James Harrison could return to Patriots

File Photo

Report: James Harrison could return to Patriots

James Harrison was a larger than life figure during his time in Pittsburgh. 

It was as if God molded him to be a member of the Steelers: massive, physical, and an absolute bruiser.

But at the end of the day he is a football player. And athletes in this sport don't particuarly like time on the bench.

Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers organization were reminded of this fact in a very harsh manner.

At the end of the December, Harrison made a late season move to sign with the Patriots. It left his former teammates in Pittsburgh frustrated, and his former fans confused.

But at the end of the day he just wanted to be on the football field again. And that's exactly where Belichick put him.

Harrison had the opportunity to appear in many more situations, and had several sacks at the end of the season.

Now there is a new report from Christopher Price of the Boston Sports Journal that he could re-sign with the Patriots in 2018.

A source close to Price and Harrison said "there's a reasonable chance" that he could be on the roster next year.

He will be playing this upcoming season at age 40, and has previously stated he'd like to play one or two more seasons.


King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick. 

Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis. 

“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”

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