After wrapping up a 3-day mandatory minicamp, it seems that the New England Patriots have something to be excited about. Former 87th overall pick out of Alabama, RB Damien Harris, has caught the interest of his coaches. Due to Sony Michel missing workouts for undisclosed reasons, Harris was given the platform to shine by gaining a heavy amount of reps. His reps were greater than that of veterans Rex Burkhead and Brandon Bolden. So, it was prime time for him to showcase his talents after signing a 4-year, $3.6 million deal with a signing bonus of $886,319.
Heading into minicamp, he was expected to be used primarily in goal line situations. However, Harris showed great mobility and comfort catching the ball out of the backfield. That is something that Michel never became comfortable with. In addition to his solid receiving skills, Damien displayed a solid burst, which is something a lot of analysts said that he lacked prior to the draft. This comes as good news to the Patriots coaching staff. Based on a lack of depth at WR, Belichick may be leaning more heavily on Harris and the rest of his backs to provide offense in 2019. Versatility is proving to be a valuable asset for Damien Harris as he seeks to prove his worth to the defending champs. He is more than willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference for his new team. “You can work on anything at this point. That’s our objective-to get better at all phases of the game. I know that’s my objective, to be the best player that I can be. Whether that’s in the run game or the pass game, special teams, whatever I’m asked to do, I want to come out here and do it at a high level,” Harris said. Should that attitude come into question, skeptics need look to his career at Alabama. While in Tuscaloosa, he shared the backfield with a host of players, the majority of who are in the NFL. So, he is no stranger to humbly waiting for his number to be called. He is the epitome of team player.
One can quickly assess that the New England backfield is a crowded one. With that, many would expect newcomers, especially rookies, to catch some animosity from others seeking to solidify their roster spot for another season. However, that is not the case for Damien Harris when it comes to his other teammates. “I never met Sony previously, I know I played against him in college Harris. But once I got here, him and all the running backs kind of welcomed me with open arms and they’re doing everything they can to help me,” Damien said. So, they have denounced the “dog-eat-dog” mentality and instead have decided to become a band of brothers. Damien could not ask for a better situation. Once more, he will again be learning from one of the best coaches to ever step foot on turf. That accompanied with the athletic package he brings to the table provide a guaranteed formula for success at the NFL level. Football fans, get ready to become familiar with Damien Harris.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!