Damon Harrison was once a player that was thought to be Bob Quinn’s best trade acquisition, but on Monday we found out that it was destined to fail.
The Detroit Lions, Damon Harrison saga has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs that finally ended with his release in February. The talented run-stuffing defensive tackle was originally acquired from the New York Giants.via a trade for a fifth-round pick midway through the 2018 regular season.
Harrison’s arrival in Detroit was credited with turning the defense in the Motor City around, ending the year in the top ten of offensive yards allowed per game (335.0). Unfortunately, the player known as Snacks would struggle with injuries last season and see his Pro Football Focus overall grade plummet from 92.0 in 2018 to 63.2.
Like most releases with some drama behind it, a little bit of gossip eventually gets released as well. And apparently the biggest issue for the veteran defender in Detroit was the scheme fit.
Harrison went on Chris Long’s ‘Green Light Podcast’ recently and dropped a number of quotable statements. Including not wanting to even come to Detroit in the first place.
"“To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there. So when I got the call that that’s where I was traded, I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. Bob Quinn was calling me and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”"
If you remember, Lions general manager Bob Quinn traded for Harrison with the idea that he could play him where the New York Giants didn’t think he could. According to DetroitLions.com, Quinn believed Snacks could play in any scheme.
And that the Giants probably didn’t see it that way and that’s why they were willing to move him. Which is ironic because that’s exactly the reason Harrison wanted out of Detroit. In the end, it looks like his previous team was right.
In head coach Matt Patrica’s multiple front schemes, even a nose tackle isn’t just going to line up in the same position. But Snacks is a true nose tackle and prefers to line up not too far away from the 0-technique (directly across from center).
Harrison would go to say that the most frightening thing for him in Detroit was playing 3-technique after being a 1-technique nose tackle his entire career. And that was due to how far back the guards along the offensive line would sit.
In Harrison’s defense, when you’re coming up to what’s probably going to be your last decent contract signing, you don’t want to spend that time on a team where you feel you can’t be the best player you can. You want to be in a position to show out for the money so you can land a nice retirement package with a team that plays to your strengths.
Detroit wasn’t either of those options for Damon Harrison. So it seems that this once heralded trade was always destined to fail.