Q&A with Falcons safety Duron Harmon

Credit: AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
Duron Harmon arrives for training camp in Flowery Branch, excited to be a part of the Falcons organization.

Credit: AJC

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons safety Duron Harmon is one of the key offseason pickups in the secondary.

Harmon, who started 16 games with the Lions last season, has played in 17 playoff games, including four Super Bowls. He was with the Patriots when they won Super Bowls 49, 51, and 53. They lost Super Bowl 52 to the Eagles.

ExploreFalcons’ 90-man roster analysis: Secondary

In Super Bowl 51 against the Falcons, Harmon played 29 defensive snaps (59%) and made three tackles in the game. He also was beaten by Taylor Gabriel for a 35-yard gain.

Here’s what he had to say to the Atlanta media after reporting for training camp on Tuesday:

On his offseason and how will he fit into the defense: “I got to come in. The thing that I love about OTAs and minicamp, is you get to see kind of what the defense looks like. For me personally, I got to make some — I’m not going to say mistakes — but just got familiarized with the defense. How I see myself in the defense? We’ll have to see, but at the end of the day I have to go out there and perform. I have got to perform in practice each and every day. I have to perform in the (exhibition) season games and I have to earn the trust not only of my coaches, but of my teammates to let them know that I’m a reliable player out there and that I’ll be good for the job.”

On how fast can the secondary can come together: “It’s going to take a lot of work. We’ve got some young guys. We’ve got some older guys in myself and Erik. Fabian is in Year Five and Isaiah (Oliver) is in Year Four. But we’ve got a lot of guys here in two (years) and under. At the end of the day, it’s going to take reps. Not just reps on the practice field, but reps in the film room. Reps at walk-throughs. Reps with us just getting together and talking ball. It’s going to take time. If everybody, in which I believe everybody is willing to put in the work, then things will continue to come together.”

On his familiarity with the new scheme: “We all know that Dean Pees was a coach at New England (where he previously played). Some of the stuff is very familiar, but then he’s got some stuff that’s different as well. I think it’s just meeting, getting into the playbook, learning the playbook and being professional. Keep studying. Even when I think I’m familiar with it, keep honing in on it some more because you can never get familiar enough with a new scheme.”

On if he’s surprised Coach Pees came out of retirement: “When I talked to coach Pees, he said this is what he loves to do. He said he took a year off, but he still saw himself breaking down the film and doing everything he did as a defensive coordinator. So, I think it was an easy transition for him to get right back into the game. I’m very excited to work with coach Pees. Looking forward to him leading the defense.”

On if he was surprised Pees couldn’t stay away: “The competitiveness. There is nothing like football. It’s the ultimate team sport. You look at basketball, you can have two superstars and maybe three and have a chance to win the NBA Finals. In football you’ve 22 starters … you’ve got the special teams. It really takes a full team to come together with everybody doing their job to be a champion. You can’t get that comradery anywhere else. Anybody that’s been a part of it will tell you that.”

On if he’s still excited about reporting for training camp: “Without a doubt, it’s like the first day of school. I’m super excited because not only is it a new opportunity for me, I am thankful to be a part of this franchise. There are lot of great players and more so just great people. So, I’m excited to get to work with them and to see what we can accomplish this year.”

Atlanta Falcons’ 90-man roster analysis:

Part 1: Quarterbacks

Part 2: Running Backs

Part 3: Offensive line

Part 4: Special Teams

Part 5: Wide receivers/Tight ends

Part 6: Defensive line

Part 7: Linebackers

Part 8: Secondary

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

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The Falcons will have a lot of new faces in the defensive backfield next season,

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

THE AJC’S PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

WR 18 Calvin Ridley, 83 Tajae Sharpe, 88 Frank Darby, 13 Christian Blake, 86 Antonio Nunn

WR 14 Russell Gage, 17 Olamide Zaccheaus, 12 Chris Rowland, 82 Austin Trammell, 16 Jeff Badet

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 74 William Sweet, 72 Willie Beavers

LG 68 Josh Andrews, 77 Jalen Mayfield, 66 Willie Wright, 62 Bryce Hargrove

C 61 Matt Hennessy, 67 Drew Dalman, 65 Joe Sculthorpe

RG 63 Chris Lindstrom, 64 Ryan Neuzil, 75 Kion Smith, 71 Sam Jones

RT 76 Kaleb McGary, 73 Matt Gono, 77 Jalen Mayfield, 69 Jason Spriggs

TE 8 Kyle Pitts, 81 Hayden Hurst, 85 Lee Smith, 87 Jaeden Graham, 46 Parker Hesse, 80 Ryan Becker, 89 John Raine

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 5 AJ McCarron, 15 Feleipe Franks

HB 28 Mike Davis, 30 Qadree Ollison, 84 Cordarrelle Patterson, 25 Javian Hawkins, 42 Caleb Huntley

FB 40 Keith Smith

DEFENSE

DL 90 Marlon Davidson, 55 Steven Means, 95 Ta’Quon Graham, 79 Chris Slayton

DL 97 Grady Jarrett, 93 Zac Dawe, 94 Deadrin Senat, 98 John Atkins

DL 96 Tyeler Davison, 50 John Cominsky, 99 Jonathan Bullard, 69 Olive Sagapolu

OLB 56 Dante Fowler, 92 Adetokunbo Ogundeji, 42 Shareef Miller, 52 Emmanuel Ellerbee

ILB 45 Deion Jones, 51 Brandon Copeland, 53 Erroll Thompson

ILB 54 Foyesade Oluokun, 43 Mykal Walker, 48 Dorian Etheridge

OLB 91 Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, 49 Kobe Jones, 59 George Obinna

RCB 22 Fabian Moreau, 20 Kendall Sheffield, 29 Chris Williamson

LCB 24 A.J. Terrell, 33 Tyler Hall, 34 Darren Hall, 38 Marcus Murphy, 41 J.R. Pace

NCB 26 Isaiah Oliver, 25 Delrick Abrams, 35 Avery Williams

FS 23 Erik Harris, 27 Richie Grant, 37 Dwayne Johnson

SS 21 Duron Harmon, 32 Jaylinn Hawkins, 39 T.J. Green, 38 Marcus Murphy

SPECIALISTS

K 7 Younghoe Koo

P 4 Sterling Hofrichter, 9 Dom Maggio

LS 47 Josh Harris

KO 7 Younghoe Koo

KR 84 Cordarrelle Patterson, 12 Chris Rowland, 35 Avery Williams

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