FOXBORO, Mass. — One of the New England Patriots’ newest team captains has a new nickname.
Safety Duron Harmon, who famously declared to the Patriots’ locker room at halftime that New England would come back and win Super Bowl LI, is known as “The Voice” among his teammates, according to fellow safety and co-captain Devin McCourty.
“To me, the great thing is, as he’s grown in this league in the past year, year-and-a-half, he’s become more vocal,” McCourty said Thursday. “Guys joke around and call him ‘The Voice.’ He’s always kind of chiming in at the right time, and I think that’s just his comfort level now where he doesn’t mind talking.
“I think it was great to see him elected captain (by) his teammates, because it reassures him that he’s doing the right thing. It allows him to be even more comfortable speaking up and letting his voice be heard.”
No Patriots player knows Harmon better than McCourty does. The two were college teammates at Rutgers (McCourty was a senior when Harmon was a freshman) and have shared a locker room since the Patriots drafted Harmon in 2013.
“As a freshman in college, him and (fellow Rutgers product Logan Ryan) always were two of the four or five guys in the weight room after everything’s done,” McCourty said. “Doing more stuff, lifting weights. Then when he got here, it was the same thing — him asking me a ton of questions about everything, trying to learn as much as possible, trying to play free safety, play strong safety, play the different sub packages that we have.
“And I think that starts with that willingness to put yourself out there to learn and try to get better as a player. I think other guys see that, and sometimes being a leader is just going out there and performing well, especially when you’re a young guy. Other guys see that.”
Though Harmon’s mouth earned him his nickname, he’s mostly kept it shut during his first few captains meetings.
“(That approach) has just helped me throughout my whole life,” the 26-year-old said earlier this week. “Before you can lead, you have to be able to follow. I really believe that. So I’m just trying to understand. I’m trying to learn. Because this is something new to me.
“I don’t have all the experience there, so it’s just a learning curve. It’s learning how to be a captain — learning how to be an effective captain and how to get your guys to always rally around you. So I’m learning.”
Harmon is one of seven Patriots captains this season, along with McCourty, quarterback Tom Brady, special teamer Matthew Slater, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, tight end Rob Gronkowski and center David Andrews.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images