Patriots rookie Damien Harris feels the Belichick-Saban connection

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The Patriots chose former Alabama running back Damien Harris in the third round of the draft, and it didn’t take Harris long to feel the connection between his new coach and his old coach.

Harris said that as soon as he got on the phone with Bill Belichick after he was drafted, he immediately had flashbacks to Alabama coach Nick Saban. Belichick and Saban coached together for four years on the Browns and have remained close.

“The two-minute conversation I had with coach Belichick on the phone sounded very much like if I was on the phone with coach Saban,” Harris said, via Boston.com. “Everybody knows their relationship, everybody knows they’re very similar in their demeanors, their coaching styles. They’re both about business and winning.”

Harris had plenty of success playing for Saban, and he should fit well with Belichick as well.

29 responses to “Patriots rookie Damien Harris feels the Belichick-Saban connection

  1. Anybody remember that old Houston Oilers team that had the 4 good running backs? Could be seeing that in New England this year.

  2. Lately, it seems as if Belichick prefers players from Georgia. Other than Hightower, no Alabama players have made much of an impression in New England lately.

  3. Wasn’t Crazy about a 3rd round pick on a RB where we just drafted Michel and also have Hill back, Burkhead, White and signed Bolden back. But after last years rash of RB injuries to start the year it isn’t a bad thing. Bolden will likely slip into his usual ST role but I just don’t see having Hill, Michel and Harris on the roster as I feel they’re all similar style runners. Time will tell

  4. One of those guys is the best coach in the the country and the other one collapsed when Saban left the Browns which caused the beginning of the downfall for the Brown’s which still has been in a terrible funk for decades. But Belichick is the best at cheating and not getting thrown out of the league.

  5. Except the part where Saban takes a team that could beat an NFL team and loses by 28 points. That’s not very Belichick like.

  6. If you thought 12 picks was crazy, Bill has 14 next draft! And what if he stays on as GM for a further decade after retiring from coaching? – the salty mountain of hate will go volcanic!

  7. Wasn’t Crazy about a 3rd round pick on a RB where we just drafted Michel and also have Hill back, Burkhead, White and signed Bolden back. But after last years rash of RB injuries to start the year it isn’t a bad thing. Bolden will likely slip into his usual ST role but I just don’t see having Hill, Michel and Harris on the roster as I feel they’re all similar style runners. Time will tell

    ___________________________________________________
    Jeremy hill was a 1 year deal and blew his ACL. He is a FA.

  8. @xxsweepthelegxx – Including FB Devlin, if Pats carry those 6 backs on the roster it’d be 2 more than last year, but really only one more as Bolden (not here last year) is actually an ST specialist. Being light at TE/WR, Bill could play White more as a catcher, but he prob just expects one of those RBs will be injured by Sept. Indeed he has a 7th at the mo – Brossette.

  9. If Harris sees similarities, then he knows he’s going to have to earn everything. Belichick doesn’t care much about where a guy was drafted once he gets to New England. That’s why undrafted free agents like Nick Brossette will have a good opportunity. I actually thought Brossette was a better RB than Harris, so it will be interesting. Obviously Belichick isn’t planning on breaking the bank for Michel when the time comes. Belichick just lets the expensive guys walk, while he plugs in good players that he stole.

  10. It’s kind of funny that anyone identifying themselves as a phins fan would call anyone else a cheater. Wasn’t Don Shula leaving the tarp off the field so that a rain storm the day before the 1982 AFC championship could slow up the field and help his slower team one of the most notorious bits of cheating ever?

    And talk about falling apart after losing a DC, did Shula ever win a title without Arnsparger?

    Yeah, you come on here and call Bill Belichick names while you desperately hope that his former DC isn’t as incompetent as all the other clowns you’ve hired.

  11. This 3rd round pick isn’t a surprise. And here is why…

    Belichick is always adjusting a year or two ahead of what is about to happen ot his teams. He drafts players a year ahead before they replace that old guy, pending free agent, etc.

    Look at Nate Solder being drafted in 2011 and learning under Matt Light for a year.

    I truly believe Sony Michel drafted in the 1st round in April 2018 (just weeks after Gronk threatend retirement) was related to each other. They had James White and Rex Burkhead, yet still drafted Sony with the 1st pick.

    It was Belcihick realizing if Gronk stays or not, he will be gone in a year or two (which Gronk is now) and Brady was about to be 41 year old that August.

    So BB decided the rest of Brady’s career, they will make sure to establish the run (even if 1 or 2 guys go down for the year at RB…drafting Sony will make sure they can still do this).

    It protects Brady, prolongs his career and opens up the passing game for Tom (as we saw in 2018).

    So this 3rd round pick out of Bama is no shock to me.

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see them even carry all 4 RBs.

    I knew they weren’t replacing Gronk in the draft. – Just like they never tried to replace Moss after 2010.

    I will say this, that 1st round pick was directly related to Josh Gordon. BB, Casserio and McDaniels saw what Brady could do with a Gordon type WR in THAT offensive system.

    So they drafted a better off the field version of Gordon last week.

    NOW, imagine if Josh Gordon can ever clear his demons!?

    2 Josh Gordons, Edelman and a 4 headed horse at RB in White, Sony, Burkhead and thi new 3rd round pick.

  12. You would think a Phin fan would know better given the instant collapse of Shula’s Dolphins once Bill Arnsparger, the true brains behind their long forgotten success, left for the Giants job, and when Shula was faced with the first sign of competition for his players. As soon as the World Football League, the closest thing to free agency during that time period, poached Csonka, Warfield and Kiick, Shula was shown to be the fraud and 2-4 Super Bowl loser that he will always be remembered for despite the efforts of Arnsparger to cover up Shula’s numerous shortcomings.

  13. Kids a stud. Should have been off the board before the pats picked him up. I can see them keeping 4 backs with Bolden on ST. Remember Belichick has no Gronk. He and McDaniels will change that offence to play on Brady’s strengths as this late stage of his career and that’s getting the ball out early

  14. BB can have 30 picks in every draft. It won’t matter when Brady leaves and he stops coaching.

    He outsmarts himself collecting so many late round picks. Sometimes, it’s good to actually stay put and pick a good player.

  15. polksaladandy says:
    May 5, 2019 at 11:41 am
    You would think a Phin fan would know better given the instant collapse of Shula’s Dolphins once Bill Arnsparger, the true brains behind their long forgotten success, left for the Giants job, and when Shula was faced with the first sign of competition for his players. As soon as the World Football League, the closest thing to free agency during that time period, poached Csonka, Warfield and Kiick, Shula was shown to be the fraud and 2-4 Super Bowl loser that he will always be remembered for despite the efforts of Arnsparger to cover up Shula’s numerous shortcomings
    +++++++++++++++++
    Shula won games than any other coach. Had two losing seasons in over 35 years of coaching. Belichick had 2 in his first 3 seasons. Terrible attempt to bash the greatest coach in NFL history.

  16. Don Shula had Dan Marino as his quarterback for 13 years and got to one Super Bowl with him, where his team was stomped by that of a better coach, Bill Walsh.

    Yup, he was coach of teams that won the most games. He was a compiler. He stuck around a long time doing good but not exceptional work. The phenomenon is well recognized in baseball. You have pitchers like Pedro Martinez who are the absolute best over a normal length career and make it to the hall of fame as recognition of that brilliance. And you have guys like Don Sutton who hang around forever and eventually amass 300 wins. Don Sutton was a compiler, so was Don Shula.

    Try to imagine giving Vince Lombardi the greatest passer of his era and his only getting to one super bowl in 13 years and getting stomped like a narc at a biker rally once there.

    Try to imagine Chuck Noll or Landry or Walsh getting so little out of that situation when they all did much more with less.

    Bill Belichick is a so much better coach than Don Shula was that Shula’s not even a speck in his rear view mirror at this point.

  17. By the logic of the delusional Phin fan, Brett Favre was a better QB than Joe Montana and Emmitt Smith and Curtis Martin were better RBs than Jim Brown. In Arnsparger’s, I mean Shula’s 33 years of coaching, he coached a total of 36 playoff games, with a definition of mediocre 19-17 record. Obviously, there are more playoff games now with the expansion of the league, but in Belichick’s 24 years of coaching, he’s coached a total of 42 playoff games with a remarkable and unmatched 31-11 record. He’s also done it with a variety of coaches and coordinators and no one needs to be reminded of the defenses he led in New York. In the 15 seasons that Shula didn’t have Arnsparger holding his hand and pointing him in the direction of the field, his teams won a total of 6 playoff games and zero titles. As a previous commenter mentioned, the way Shula wasted the career of Marino was borderline criminal. I hate to keep returning to the same point but it’s no accident that Marino’s Dolphin’s lack of playoff success coincided with Arnsparger leaving the Dolphins for good after Marino’s rookie season. The numbers don’t lie.

  18. billsrthefuture says:
    May 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    He outsmarts himself collecting so many late round picks. Sometimes, it’s good to actually stay put and pick a good player.
    ————————————————————————————
    I forwarded your expert analysis to BB and I’m sure he will give it all the time and attention it deserves.

  19. Dude ia a great player and an even better human being. After having watched him at Bryant-Denny stadium for the past few years, I am sure he will make his name in the NFL. I wish my team had picked him, but you only have so many picks and the good ones don’t last forever on the board.

  20. Shula cheated the original nfl scandal signing a contracr withmiami while he was still under contract to Baltimore

    He cheated to ho to the fins and cheated often once he was there

  21. billsrthefuture says:
    May 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    He outsmarts himself collecting so many late round picks. Sometimes, it’s good to actually stay put and pick a good player.
    —————————————————————————————
    There is a salary cap, and players drafted in earlier rounds cost more than players taken in later rounds. Unless BB is convinced an early round guy is really worth the difference, he’ll trade back. Beyond just the money, the highly publicized early round guys often have an attitude and a sense of entitlement, while the later round guys show up and work their rear ends off.

    BB’s formula seems to have worked pretty well for about 2 decades now.

  22. In a shocker BB drafts one of his pal’s players in the 3rd, and not for an area of need.

  23. vaphinfan says:
    May 5, 2019 at 8:43 am
    One of those guys is the best coach in the the country and the other one collapsed when Saban left the Browns which caused the beginning of the downfall for the Brown’s which still has been in a terrible funk for decades. But Belichick is the best at cheating and not getting thrown out of the league.
    ————————–
    The Browns became the Ravens, drafted future HoFs Lewis and Ogden, then won the SB.

  24. Love the pick…..Pats were caught without enough depth last year & now that potential issue seems to have been put to rest…..having QUALITY DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH is the key to being able to overcome injuries……
    Pats look to have really knocked it out of the park with this years draft…..& they are currently expected to have 14 picks next year as well with 5 being in the top 100…..
    Looking forward to watching Stidham show what he’s got as he develops thruout training camp with Brady’s mentoring….
    Exciting times ahead!!!!

  25. The have 2 runners in Micheal and Harris. Two pass catchers in White and Burkhead and a Special teamer in Bolden. I have no idea why fellow Pats fans think we need to get rid of one of them? 5 is the right amount.

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