One of the big question marks on the Jacksonville Jaguars defense is in the secondary at the safety position. The team moved on from veterans Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson and are headed into the season with second-year safety Ronnie Harrison and long time backup Jarrod Wilson as their starters.
Both have flashed ability in limited playing time, but going from a spot-starter to a a full time starter is a big leap, but entering his second season in the NFL Harrison feels ready.
“Last year I was kind of just trying to see where I was fitting in to this defense. This year, it’s kind of clear cut where I’m at, at strong safety, so I’m just trying to come in and work hard every day first off, earn the trust of everybody that’s been out there playing,” Harrison said when asked about the difference between training camp this year and last year. “I’m just trying to show them that I’m ready, staying in my playbook, training hard, studying the plays. Just trying to get it all down, attacking every day like it’s a game.”
Harrison has drawn praise in his young career from many veterans, including the likes of Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey recently specifically said that the duo of Wilson and Harrison was probably the smartest safety tandem he’s ever played with.
While Harrison is set as the strong safety in the starting lineup, the team has mentioned and when you watch practice it’s clear to see, the two players are almost interchangeable and will offer versatile looks on the defensive back-end against offenses.
“Both of us are kind of heady guys, we play above the neck. We’re very smart, we communicate well together,” Harrison said when asked how he and Wilson compliment each other. “We kind of have the similar tools that we both can come and cover down on the tight ends or in the slot, can roam in the middle of the field, so I think we’re paired well together.”
Outside of the linebacker group, the safety position is the one with the biggest question mark on the defense heading into 2019, but it’s also the spot with the most upside.