After the Jets' practice on Thursdays, it's up to the team's leading tackler and defensive signal caller to carry in shoulder pads and helmets for his teammates.

As David Harris said Friday, "I still feel like a rookie."

That's understandable, given those duties. But he certainly hasn't played like one since taking over as one of the Jets' starting inside linebackers after Jonathan Vilma was placed on injured reserve Oct. 27. Harris is tops on the Jets with 74 tackles, two more than fellow inside linebacker Eric Barton, and Harris had 34 of those tackles in his first two starts.

He's leveled off since then, with eight apiece in each of his past two games, but defensive coordinator Bob Sutton still is impressed.

"I think he's gotten better each week," Sutton said.