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  Harvey's Impact Felt by Giants

By Gene Wang Correspondent
Monday, November 24, 1997; 3:15 a.m. EST

Washington Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey was everywhere Sunday night against the New York Giants. He consistently pressured quarterback Danny Kanell. He was in the backfield disrupting plays, and all over the field making tackles. He even was there to scold — then to comfort — Michael Westbrook after the wide receiver's costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in overtime that stalled the Redskins' final drive.

In fact, Harvey was so dominant, that after the game ended in a 7-7 tie, Kanell said he probably hadn't seen the last of Harvey for the night.

"I think I'll see him in my nightmares tonight," Kanell said. "He showed tonight what a great player he is."

Harvey sacked Kanell four times, a season-high for the linebacker — who has been to three consecutive Pro Bowls. Coming into the game, Harvey was slumping in the sack category, having recorded just one in 11 games. For his career, Harvey has never had fewer than six sacks in a season and twice has reached double figures.

Harvey attributed his big game, in large part, to increased strength in his shoulder, which is healing nicely after a midseason injury.

"I had some confidence going into the game today because my shoulder felt a lot better," Harvey said. "I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. [The sacks] were because we had great coverage. But no matter how you look at it, it's a team thing."

Harvey showed another type of impact when he chided Westbrook late in overtime. after the wide receiver threw his helmet to the turf and argued a call, drawing a crucial 15-yard penalty. Harvey grabbed Westbrook and explained forcefully why his outburst was unwarranted.

In addition to his four sacks, Harvey had 10 tackles, one behind safety Stanley Richard's team high for the game.

"I think when we kept him out for a couple weeks and let him kind of regroup, he's gotten a lot of his energy back," Redskins Coach Norv Turner said. "He had a good matchup, and I guess he just competed."

Harvey has been doing that since the Arizona Cardinals made him their first-round pick in the 1988 draft. By the time he left the Cardinals for Washington after the 1993 season, Harvey had led the team in sacks for five straight years.

In his first season with the Redskins, Harvey recorded 13½ sacks, a career best that tied him for the NFC lead. He also went to his first Pro Bowl that season.

Last night, Harvey showed that form again, though he expressed disappointment in the game's final score.

"We definitely went into this game to win," Harvey said. "We wanted to do anything to win. We control our own destiny, and we just didn't take care of what we had to do. ... We do as much as we can, and if we don't win, it always comes back to look bad on us."

© Copyright 1997

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