It's Friday, and after a week's hiatus thanks to Independence Day, we're back with another Friday set of Around the AFC East posts. We're getting close to the start of training camp - it's almost football season! - so feel free to let the venom y'all feel for our AFC East foes flow freely (but civilly).
Today's festivities continue as we speak about the Jets' new inside linebacker star, Davis Harris, with Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog:
One of the bigger changes that the Jets' defense underwent this off-season (and, really, during parts of last season as well) was the ousting of Jonathan Vilma at MLB. Second-year man David Harris is his replacement, and has a lot of potential. Will Harris be an improvement over Vilma in the middle? Is he a better fit for the Jets' defensive schemes?
The Jets Blog: Absolutely, Harris is a better fit. Harris has a much better frame (6-2 242) than Vilma does for the 3-4 and is a tackling machine who excels in run stopping. Where Vilma excels over Harris is defensing the pass, an area that Harris will need to work hard to improve on. Overall for the needs of the position, Harris is already an upgrade over Vilma, but "the DH" spent too much time collecting tackles seven yards beyond the line of scrimmage due to the weak run stuffing ahead of him and ended up chasing plays. With the addition of Kris Jenkins (for now) and Calvin Pace, the Jets have made upgrades (albeit moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4) in stopping the run and Harris should benefit from it, though it might not be noticeable initially in his tackle numbers. The tackles he does get should certainly be closer to the line of scrimmage on average than last year's.
I really like Davis Harris - about as much as I can like any Jet - and think he's a stud in the making. But I'm not sold at all on the addition of Kris Jenkins as the Jets' nose tackle (though he's certainly an upgrade over what they had last season); if he flops, which certainly isn't a tough bet to make, the Jets' run defense shouldn't get much better (though, again, it already is better). My money's on Jenkins either getting injured or being a shadow of his former self (the same fears many have about our very own Marcus Stroud), and when that happens, I certainly hope NYC media don't turn Harris into the scapegoat. He's a fantastic talent.
One more round of Around the AFC East coming at you later this afternoon (where we talk about the Pats), and we'll recap all of the day's action for you as well. Stay tuned...