Despite Late Arrival, Belichick Not Worried About Newcomer David Harris
David Harris hasn’t had much time to get acclimated to his new team, but that doesn’t seem to be having any effect on the former Jet settling in with his new surroundings.
Harris, who signed just barely a month ago on June 21st with the Patriots, hasn’t had as much time as many of his other teammates to get up to speed in New England’s defense but according to Bill Belichick, that doesn’t seem to be hurting his progress.
Belichick equated the situation to what the Patriots experienced with Rob Ninkovich, who joined the team even later than Harris back in 2009 when he signed on August 2nd as a free agent. Like Ninkovich, Belichick cited Harris’ experience being an asset at helping him work through it.
“Yeah, it’s a little bit of a challenge, although we’ve had this before,” explained Belichick when asked about it on Thursday. “[It’s] different, but if you remember, I think it was ’09 when we signed [Rob] Ninkovich and guys like that coming right in before training camp. One thing about David, though, he has a lot of experience. He’s, as you said, played a lot of football and been in a lot of different systems.”
“We gave him a lot of information when we signed him that he’s studied over the last three, four weeks. We were able to catch up on some of that in the last couple days and so, I mean, we’ll see. We’ll see how quickly it comes to him or how quickly he’s able to be comfortable with what we’re doing. I think we’ll be alright there, but there’s definitely some work. But he’s put in a lot of work. Coach [Brian] Flores has, as well, and we’re just trying to get him as up to speed as we can at this point.”
Given how they’ve handled other players in addition to Ninkovich in the past, Belichick said that they’ll be able to get him up to speed.
“We’ve been through that before,” said Belichick. “Even though they’ve been in our system, in this case, we’ll just have to play a little bit of a catchup with him. But, I think we have enough time to get reps on the field, get communication with his teammates, understand the various schemes and adjustments that we make, and we’ll just have to put in some extra work to try to do it.”
“You know, he’s a smart guy, he has a lot of experience and he knows our division, a lot of our opponents pretty well. Not that we’re at that point yet, but when we do get to that point, he’s pretty familiar. You know, we play the same schedule pretty much every year, with the exception of two games that the other division teams play, so I think there’s a lot of things that will come up that will be relevant – not the same, but at least he’ll be able to relate to them.”
As for Harris, the newcomer said on Thursday that New England was where he wanted to be and he immediately jumped at the chance when the Patriots called.
“Just everything — the winning culture, the high standard,” Harris said via NESN when asked about the decision. “This is the place to be if you want to win.”
Posted Under: 2017 Patriots Training Camp
Tags: Bill Belichick David Harris Rob Ninkovich