Longtime Jet David “Hitman” Harris has announced his retirement after 11 years in the league. Harris spent 10 years with the Jets before being released in 2017. He spent his final year playing for the New England Patriots.
Congratulations on a great 11 years, Hitman.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) February 23, 2018
A Pure Leader
The Hitman served as a leader. He wasn’t a very talkative person. He was just a hard worker who played hard week in, week out.
“David Harris operated at the highest standard for both performance and professionalism and is as fine a person as you will ever meet,” former Jets owner Woody Johnson said.
Coach Bowles also had praise for Harris. “I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a person and a leader. He is an example of everything you want from a player. I am proud to have coached him and wish him and his family the best,” Bowles said.
General Manager Mike Maccagnan said “All the while, he served as a humble example to countless teammates on how to be a pro.”
Harris was “the guy” for the Jets defense for nearly a decade. From being drafted 47th overall by the Jets in the 2007 NFL draft, he dominated ever since. He had 127 total tackles and five sacks his rookie year, and he didn’t slump from there. Harris only had five seasons with less than 100 tackles as a Jet.
Harris is the Jets second-best tackler of all time, behind only Kyle Clifton. He racked up 1,260 tackles during his 10 year run with Gang Green. Harris also has the eigth most sacks ever by a Jet with 35. He falls eigth all-time in forced fumbles by a Jet with 10. His career statline: 1,260 tackles, 35 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, six interceptions and one touchdown.
Oh, What a Memory
In honor of Hitman’s career, we look back at the best play of his career. First comes first, the 2011 divisional playoff game. Tom Brady fakes the handoff, rolls out right, and throws right into Harris’ hands. Harris jukes out Brady and returns it for 58 yards down into the redzone. This was Brady’s first thrown interception since week 6 of the regular season. Jets won that game 28-21. Harris had 12 tackles and a pick.
Most think Harris has earned himself a spot in the Jets’ Ring of Honor, and rightfully so. He’s brought the Jets 10 years of not only stellar play, but 10 years of leadership. There are only three words left to say. Thank you, Hitman.