As the final day of training camp ended, the 1st quarter defensive hero Chris Harris Jr signed autographs before approaching the podium to answer many questions about the win over Chicago. It only took 3 plays from scrimmage for the no fly zone to stamp its authority and strike undoubted fear into the rest of the league. As Mike Glennon stared down Zach Miller before throwing in his direction, Harris jumped the route and with an escort took it back 50 yards for an INT.
When asked about his INT he replied, “It’s different when it comes in the game, but I still had the same—the scrimmage was ‘game-like’ atmosphere.
I’m ready. My instincts are ready. We’re not playing so much man. That’s why the picks haven’t been so high in the past because we play so much man. We had to be by our guy. When quarterbacks see that, they don’t throw it. Now, we get to play more vision. We get to jump more routes. I expect a high interception level this year.”
CHJ and the 1’s never returned to the field. When asked about the amount of series he was expecting to play had he not made the interception he answered “Probably two series.” With that in mind I’m glad he got the interception allowing the 2nds, 3rds some extra game time.With the defense more focused than ever to succeed this preseason and beyond, CHJ has set himself some high goals for the upcoming season “I think it’s going to be double what I had in the past. I believe that. It’s been like that. My production is high in training camp. I’m ready to roll.”
It’s always good to get in the mind of one of the best players on the best defense in the league. From Harris’s answers I hope every rookie is taking the time out to learn from him as his mindset going into the game and his goals were clearly met after only 3 plays. “I just wanted to test myself to see how I felt—how ‘in game shape’ I felt, how my speed and everything else felt. It felt like an A-plus.” “It’s good to get a test run to see where you’re at. If you’re not ready in that first game, then you know that you have to improve a lot to make sure you’re ready for that Monday night. It was a good test just to see where I’m at. I like where I’m at.”
With the 1’s getting so much time off, CHJ and the rest of the D got the chance to see the baby fly zone in extended action. Despite some good plays, some expected teething problems occurred. Harris isn’t one for beating round the bush when asked to evaluate Brendan Langley and Lorenzo Doss performance against the Bears. “They played well. I think there are still a lot of communication errors. They’re messing up on communication and being on the same page with each other. Those are little things you can fix. Other than that, I think they played pretty well. Doss is pretty tired. He played a lot. I think that was just a good test for him to get his stamina up.”
With all the talk about the NFL being slower than college for a select few players, Harris was asked about the rookies returning to full pad practice after a game and it doesn’t seem to have translated that way for the rookies. “They didn’t really do anything today. We took all of the reps today. I think we took almost 40 something reps like a game, or half of a game. We took the toll today.”
As the Broncos head off to take on the San Francisco 49ers, unlike Aqib Talib, CHJ is not a fan of joint practices. When asked about the upcoming practices he answered “It’s just more like a game. When you play against somebody else, it’s more like a game. Then you practice against them and it’s more like a game. Then you go to the game and it’s the same. It’s like you played three games in a row.”
He reiterated his dislike for joint practices, “It’s just good to see my other guys—I think this week will be cool. I really don’t like the joint practices because they’re more like a game. A game atmosphere. The teams start fighting and things like that. I get enough looks going against DT and E in practice. But, I think it would be good just to see some other guys.”
The injury bug took a visit to Bronco Country today. Derek Wolfe rolled an ankle and will likely miss the rest of preseason in hope he will be patched up and ready to roll in the season opener vs the Chargers. Wolfe will be missed in these last 3 games, especially with NT Wynn out for the season. The back-up DL struggled to shut down any Bear RB without the 1’s, so it’s clear the trenches will need a lot of address with these 2 injuries. CHJ values the Dline captain, “We have to be able to stop the run. That was our problem last year. Teams are going to check us. They’re going to check to see if we stopped that. Whether we can come out and run goal line offense, run the ball, and pound us until we stop it. We need Derek Wolfe. He is our best run defender. He’s our leader upfront. You have to have a guy like him to be able to anchor us.”
And finally a lighter side injury report involving Chris Harris himself. Sporting a face that looked like it got hit by a truck, reporters joked about a new look for Harris “No, I’m mad. At least if I’m going to do something like that dive, I could get the pick. It just happens man, it’s football.” The injury occurred on an interception attempt, “ I should have picked that ball over there while diving. I’m going to go practice over there on those bags over there; diving picks. Those have to count in the season for sure.”
All we need now Broncoscountry is for the offense to gel and perform like the no fly zone and everything will be fine. Hopefully the Broncos 1’s will get a better work out against the 49ers.
See full presser below.