Despite Visanthe Shiancoe working out for the Eagles two days ago (and subsequently signing with the New England Patriots) and speculation about interest in Jeremy Shockey,
“If anything, it motivates you more,” Harbor said. “Competition is competition. You’ve got competition in the National Football League all the time.
“Another guy or two added into the mix just makes us better as players. You see the competition, you see what other guys do, you learn from them and you just push each other. Either way it helps you grow as a player.”
Harbor’s motivation was evident on his first day of Training Camp, as he was the first offensive player out on the practice field today and the last player in. He stayed behind after the rest of the team to work with a coach on a receiving drill.
Harbor said that he does not view any Shiancoe or Shockey talk as the coaches’ trying to push him out.
“You don’t want to take anything personally,” Harbor said. “They bring a guy in, a seasoned veteran like Shiancoe, it just makes you better.”
Reflecting on last season, Harbor said that he felt that he played “pretty well,” but that he needs to improve. Harbor knows he has to gain the trust of the coaches.
“I need to show the coaches I can do more things, gain their trust a little more and maybe be a bigger part of the offense,” he said. “You’ve got to show the coaches that you’re 100 percent, that you can go out there and do everything: block, run routes, catch, know the offense. And that’s what I plan on doing.”
In order to improve, Harbor has been working on improving both his blocking and catching.
“I’ve been going out day in and day out in the offseason, catching balls, and I feel real comfortable with it,” added Harbor, who played wide receiver from the time he was in fourth grade through college. “It’s something I’ve done my entire life.”
As for blocking, Harbor spent time this offseason bulking up and watching film.
“You have to be ready to handle a 260-, 270-pound defensive end. I’ve watched a lot of film in the offseason. I’ve had some tapes of the games at home. Really, that’s what it is.”
The talk of bringing in new guys might make some players feel threatened or uncomfortable, but that is not the case with Harbor.
“Right now my confidence is about as high as it can be,” Harbor said, and that is a great thing for the Eagles.
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