Detroit Lions: Damon Harrison was ‘hell-bent’ on getting out of Detroit

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It was undoubtedly a bit of an eventful day on social media today after one former Detroit Lions player admitted he tried to figure a way out Detroit, even before he arrived.

Last summer, now former Detroit Lions starting defensive tackle Damon Harrison claims he was ‘hell-bent on getting out of’ Detroit.  But Harrison also mentioned on the Green Light podcast hosted by Chris Long, that he avoided Lion’s General Manager Bob Quinn’s phone call for hours after he’d been traded from the New York Giants to Detroit hoping to find a way out before even arriving.  They say, don’t judge a book by its cover, but that wasn’t the case here.

Harrison held out of the Detroit Lions training camp before last season and was placed on the non-football injury list as we find out he was seeking a trade.  Darius Slay decided to take a similar route, and one would think the Lions were actively shopping both while they were placed on the non-football list.

Oddly enough, the Detroit Lions decided to re-work Harrison’s deal, adding a year to his contract awarding him with nearly $2.5 million in additional funds to his salary last year.  All for not though, as Harrison finally got his wish, the Lions released him leading up to the start of the free-agent signing period.  It was a teary-eyed Harrison sitting at his locker, mentioning he is contemplating retirement, he is tired of playing injured, his body aches at the end of the 2019 season.  It really made you feel for the guy.

Since then, the common theme of former Detroit Lions players bashing the organization continues.  Whether it’s Quandre Diggs, Darius Slay, or Harrison, the blows seem to continue for Detroit.  Sure, I’ve been a fan of all three, I didn’t agree with the Diggs trade, it will pain me to see Slay in another jersey, but life goes on.  Why take the time to throw shade to a Lions organization and fan base that’s endured a lifetime of suffering?  Move on, be a professional.

We decided to provide our two-cents, here is our brief exchange.

I will say, Harrison, didn’t have all bad things to say.  He mentioned Matt Patricia, if given time, will get the Lions turned around.  Harrison said the scheme isn’t a bad scheme. He felt he wasn’t a fit for it, though.

That comment sort of boggles my mind.  He’s the prototypical interior lineman for Patricia’s scheme, and in 2018 after he was dealt to Detroit, he excelled in Detroit’s system.

In fact, in 2018, Pro Football Focus awarded Harrison with an elite rating of 92.0, the best of his career.  Last season it was much different, Harrison produced a below-average 63.2 rating, the worst of his career.  Harrison did own that, mentioning while sitting out those three weeks at the beginning of the season, he was out of shape.

He goes on to say he worked hard to get back into physical shape but failed to get his head right.  He couldn’t get the mental side of the game right all year long, and he owned that.  He was clearly very disappointed with his 2019 performance; many athletes fail to mention that, so that should hold some merit.

I just don’t understand why players continue to throw shade or get into a twitter battle with fans.  Be a professional.  The loyal fans will always cheer for their club, they expect constant effort, especially in this town.

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It’s just another reminder for us not to take the athletes like Steve Yzerman, Derrick Rose, Matthew Stafford, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Trey Flowers, Justin Verlander (just to name a few) for granted.  Detroit is a city that prides itself on taking its lunch box to work each and every day, and many sports teams will take on their cities personality.  Remember the ‘going to work’ Pistons?  It seems Matt Patricia is trying to build that mentality in Detroit, but hopefully, we see the positive results before it’s too late.