Harrington, entering his second year in the NFL, wants to take a big jump in his progress this season. He wants to see the entire offense improve its efficiency and he knows his play is a big part of that.
So Harrington is taking a no-nonsense approach to his preparation coming into 2003.
"I remember when I came into this situation last year, there was a lot to learn," said Harrington who openly admits he loves the tone set by new coach Steve Mariucci and the threat posed by new receivers Charles Rogers and David Kircus.
"He's terrific. I love his vision, his attention to detail. He's a great coach." Speaking of Rogers and Kircus, Harrington added, "It's a deep threat, its a way to stretch a defense. It's a force that defenses have to recognize which will open up the stuff underneath."
"Last year we didn't have as many chances to 'check the ball down' as we would have liked last year and I think [he] will definitely help us to get those smaller steps to get first downs. [Defenses] can't drive [to] the underneath routes as quickly if you've got that threat deep."
Harrington believes that he will make a leap in his sophomore season because he has a comfort zone with the organization and his surroundings, something that he didn't have last season.
"You don't spend those first couple of days trying to get acquainted. These rookies are coming in and they don't know how to get to the lunchroom, where the locker room is, what their locker combination is, what room they're staying in the hotel. There's so many little administrative things that you've got to take care of just becoming a rookie.
When you've been here, at least a year like I have, you can come right in and focus on camp."
So let's get down to brass tacks, where exactly does Harrington need to improve?
"We've worked on some very definite things [like] checking the ball down, some very focused points to this offense that I didn't very well last year. I think those things will definitely help me this year."
"I expect to improve every time I go out there, that's something I've worked on very hard this off season. First of all [I want to] get my completion percentage up and just be more effective moving the team down the field."
"There were a lot of times last year when I knew where [options] number one and number two where, but they were both covered, at that point I'd throw the ball out of bounds or throw a ball into the dirt," Harrington continued.
"This year I hope to know where my third and fourth options are. That's something where I can check the ball down and instead of being in second-and-ten, I can be in second-and-six. We'll get four yards and keep a positive tempo with the offense.
If Harrington can speed up the leap from rookie to seasoned veteran, the Lions might have an outside chance -- don't laugh -- at a playoff spot.