New York Jets: Reflecting on the career of David Harris

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 07: Inside linebacker David Harris (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 07: Inside linebacker David Harris (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Time to look back at the career of former New York Jets linebacker David Harris.

He was a member of the New York Jets for a decade before spending one year with the Patriots. Fans called him “the Hitman” for his strong and consistent tackling. He was a constant force for a Jets defense that had its ups and downs throughout his career. His name is David Harris and he has decided to hang up his cleats after 11 seasons. Here is his statement from yesterday’s announcement:

As much as we hated to see Harris go to that other team last year, it was good to see him earn that Super Bowl ring that he so richly deserved. I know I had a soft spot in my heart for him even after he left. Let’s look back at his fantastic career with our beloved Jets.

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2007 was a big year for the Jets. Not only was Harris chosen in the second round of that draft, the first round saw the arrival of some guy named Darrelle Revis. Needless to say this was quite the jolt for the defense of Gang Green.

As a rookie he made his presence felt. Though he only started nine games, he still put up 127 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Harris was only getting started.

He became the full-time starter in 2008. Including his rookie year he registered at least 100 tackles six times, and at least 90 tackles two separate times. He dipped to 75 tackles in 2008 but that was only because he played in just 11 games. His numbers would have been near his career averages had he played in all 16 contests.

Against the toughest of Jets opponents, David Harris always came to play. In 19 career games against New England he averaged 6.6 tackles per game. He knew what had to be done and he got it done time and time again. In six playoff games, he averaged nearly ten tackles per contest (9.3). That is the definition of a “Hitman”.

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Here are three words to describe David Harris: consistent, unassuming and quiet. He didn’t need to act out or be loud to be a leader. He let his play on the field do the trick. Harris led by going out there week after week and doing his job and that is what players like Demario Davis learned from.

He is the second leading tackler in franchise history and hopefully will take his rightful place in the Ring of Honor. Today we celebrate his career by announcing his name one more time:

At linebacker, number 51, David Harris!