The additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have solidified the New England Patriots secondary except for one position. With Devin McCourty holding down one safety spot, the Patriots are looking for a player to hold down the strong safety position. With the first preseason game being just one week away, that player appears to be Duron Harmon. On Sunday, the team released their first depth chart and the second-year defensive back out of Rutgers is listed as the starting strong safety.
The position seems to be Harmon’s to lose, but he will have to hold off veteran safety Patrick Chung, who rejoined the team in the offseason. Chung’s experience could play in as a factor if Harmon isn’t able to continue his consistent play. As of now, Harmon is the front-runner and looks to have beaten out Chung and Tavon Wilson and appears ready for the challenge.
With Revis, Browner and McCourty holding down the secondary, opposing quarterbacks will look to challenge the unproved Harmon. To that, the 2013 third-rounder says, “bring it on.” His confidence and maturity is already shining through during training camp. Harmon says he is excited at the possibility of seeing more passes thrown his way and hopes to add a more physical component to the position. The presence of Browner has certainly benefited Harmon.
He told the Boston Herald, “I just looked around at safeties in the league, and I saw a lot of guys that were playing more strong safety were a lot bigger than me. I said I definitely want to get stronger, and I want to get more physical. That’s part of my game that I really wanted to work on this offseason, especially once we got to training camp with the pads on.”
Duron Harmon started three games last season and looked very comfortable in the role. He understands the starting role is not guaranteed, but he believes his confidence in his game has translated to his overall game. In a Bill Belichick type defense, Harmon will definitely need the confidence, as well as a general knowledge of the complicated schemes, to lock down the role on a secondary that is shaping up to be a very special unit.