New York Giants nose tackle Damon Harrison took to the podium Wednesday to answer some questions from the media.

On getting along with the younger guys on the defensive line: “Me and Dalvin (Tomlinson) developed a great relationship last year, so it was kind of a carry over. We spoke a lot during the offseason, and B.J. (Hill), he’s an interesting character, man. I don’t know if you guys have been watching, but he’s probably the most athletic defensive lineman that we have, and that says a lot. He can do a little bit of everything, which is encouraging to see, so I’m excited to get a chance to go out there preseason game one and beyond it and actually see what he can do during game day.”

On B.J. Hill: “No, I just knew about the other two guys that they had on the defensive line in college. Obviously, what’s his name, (Bradley) Chubb, and the guy who got hurt here, right? I knew about those two, so I was expecting more of a bigger type of guy, but he was total opposite of a big guy who can move. Kid can run. I know you all have seen it, you’re all watching it.”

On whether his mentality changes with being a mentor to the younger players: “Kind of. It depends on the things we’re going be running that week and the game plan, because Dalvin will tell you, I ask Dalvin a lot of questions out there and he’s able to help me for the most part, and it’s just funny being in this new system that we’re still both trying to learn what each other can do in the system and just to look at each other, ask the question and neither one of us knows the answer, which is another encouraging thing to see, believe it or not, because that means we just got a long way to go in the classroom. We gotta push each other. So yeah, it changes depending on the game plan.”

On the aggressiveness of the defense: “Yeah, it just takes me back to my first years in the league. It’s kind of like a Rex Ryan-type defense. It’s a lot of attacking, it’s not sitting around waiting, trying to read and see the other guys on the offense are doing – it’s playing defense with an offensive mentality, so for the guys like myself and OV (Olivier Vernon) and Dalvin and Robert (Thomas), these are the types of systems that we love to play in.”

On the new Helmet Rule: “I try not to get my head involved at all, so I really don’t have an opinion either way on it. I think it’s great for the game for concussions and everything”

On if he believes the Helmet Rule will cause more penalties: “I think it’ll lead to more lower-body injuries because guys [will be] afraid to hit up high now. I think they’ll have to lower the target, which will cause more injuries.”

On whether or not players are talking about the rule change:  “No, not really. It hasn’t been any serious conversations, you hear guys just saying somehow they don’t like it, somehow they could appreciate it, but I want to watch myself and see how guys adapt to it, those guys in the secondary that are affected way more than we are, and I hope they get on these offensive linemen for leading with their helmets, too, but that’s another thing. I think it’ll be good if it’ll help limit head injuries.”

On if the new coaching staff and new schemes: “Yeah, obviously, because it’s turnover in the building. It’s a few holdovers, but other than that, it’s new faces. Everybody’s trying to learn everybody to figure out what makes that person tick, what makes them go. It’s kind of refreshing. I told you in the past, I’m not a guy who likes change, so it’s a real difficult time for me.”

On if not being responsible for two gaps in the new defensive system the biggest difference so far: “You just gotta be careful when you’re saying that, because it’s not necessarily a two-gapper system, and neither was last year, but I think it’s just more of an emphasis on attacking one gap and just trying not to two gap, which will be tough for me because I’m a two gapper by nature. Just to get out of that and be able just to run up the field like some of these other guys, that’ll be cool.”

On Saquon Barkley and whether the two have met on the practice field: “I haven’t had my opportunity. The kid can run, man. I know you see him out there catching passes out of the back field, and I don’t want to put expectations on the kid yet without having him play a few games, but I think if he continues to prepare and approach the game as he has been, I think he’ll be fine.”

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On Barkley’s attitude: “Great. Great. He’s in the locker room, he’s talking with everybody, which is a good thing to see as well. For somebody like him, it [would] be easier for him to stick with (Jonathan) Stewart or (Wayne) Gallman, or even the receivers, but he’s over by the defensive linemen a lot as well as the secondary and the linebackers, so I think he’s a perfect fit for the locker room.”

On his comments about being a leader: “I think in certain situations. If the situation calls for it, then I’m willing to step up to the plate and be that, but I think as an overall leader, we have some guys who would be perfect in that role. Landon (Collins) is a natural-born leader, whether it be on the field or off the field. Obviously, you all know about Eli (Manning) and Zak DeOssie, but (Alec) Ogletree as well, B.J. Goodson, Janoris Jenkins.

“These are all guys who show some really good leadership qualities and I think that they’re not getting their due justice on that front because you don’t get a chance to see what they do a lot, and I think they do a lot of things to help the guys behind the scenes more so than the guys who do it in front of the cameras or however you call it.”

On if he asked to be worked in slowly or was that a coaching decision: “I do what the training staff tells me. I don’t have a preference either way. I don’t know how that conversation goes.”

On how he feels physically: “Old. I’m about to be 30, but we got a bunch of young guys in the room so I can’t allow myself to slow up mentally, being old. Physically, you can’t hide behind that, but I feel great. I feel great.”

On Will Hernandez and the minicamp scuffle: “You just couldn’t wait to ask that question. You should’ve just asked in the beginning! Why’d you even wait? Look, I don’t have anything against the guy. The guy will be one hell of a player in this league. You can see him working out there, and I’m sure you guys have seen it. It’s one thing to do it in college, but to do it at the NFL level is a totally different thing, and I’ve had an opportunity to watch him firsthand, and I think he’ll be a really good player in this league. That wasn’t anything but football and if you don’t believe that, then obviously you don’t know the game.”

On his comments regarding him not feeling comfortable with change and if it has to do with new people, new scheme or combination of both: “I think it’s more so people, because honestly, I’m not a people person, which is weird. Just not only learning a new defense, but just to get to know people – new faces, new coaches, new players – I just find that difficult because I’m a very personal guy that I don’t like to. I’m not good at talking, I’m just not, and that’s something that I have to break out of, but with this new staff forcing me to do so with them – they’re not forcing me, I have to force myself through it to see how I fit in the new locker room. That’s the difficult part.”

On if he’s had to change his game since physically he feels older: “Yeah, I am. I am. You gotta change the body type to be able to do what Coach (James) Bettcher is asking of the defensive line, which is to get up the field and attack, and anybody who knows me and likes me, that’s not something that’s been a strong point in my game. I can do it, I like to kind of use it as a change up every now and then, so yeah. I do have to adjust, not only for the system but also for me getting up there each whistle.”

On what specifically has stood out about Alec Olgetree: “Well, number one, he came from a successful program so he’s seen what it takes to get to a certain level of success and he’s able to tell B.J. and guys like myself exactly what that takes. Being a middle linebacker, he’s naturally vocal. He has to be, and your personality shows – every middle linebacker’s personality shows, and Tree is a good guy on and off the field, and I really think that you guys would be surprised about what he brings to the table on the field as well as off it.”

– Carlos Rodriguez is a Contributor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Christian can be followed on Twitter @openurmnd.

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