Home / World News / As undrafted player turned all-pro, Chris Harris has felt every pang of the Broncos’ difficult season – The Denver Post

As undrafted player turned all-pro, Chris Harris has felt every pang of the Broncos’ difficult season – The Denver Post

Two days before the Broncos broke their eight-game losing streak, cornerback Chris Harris  trudged to the podium near the team’s practice field to finally reap one reward of a season he’d otherwise like to forget.

Harris, a seven-year veteran who made the leap from undrafted player to multiyear Pro Bowl selection, added another accolade to his name as the Broncos’ 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

“At least something positive comes of this season,” he said with a sly smile as he faced a crowd of cameras.

It’s been that kind of season.

Harris has never been one to mask his anger or elation, never been one to temper his opinion of opponents or even his own teammates, never been one to give the politically correct line when he’s thinking the opposite. Harris keeps it straight and keeps looking forward because doing so has carried him to near the top of the NFL ladder.

Although the Broncos (5-9) have bounced back to win two straight, they soon will spend another postseason on the couch, and for a veteran whose career was built on beating the odds, the past four months have been the most difficult to stomach.

“It’s definitely been hard,” he said. “You expect to go to the playoffs every year, so that’s been really disappointing, not being able to be in those big games this year. We’ve just been killing ourselves the whole year. If we didn’t do that, then we could have beaten anybody, really.”

To know how difficult it’s been for him, just watch. And listen.  

A day before the Broncos jetted off to Indianapolis to snag their second win in five days, Harris sat at his locker thumbing through the same numbers that have left him shaking his head in disbelief for weeks now.

Since establishing himself as one of the NFL’s most recognizable and feared corners, Harris has become accustomed to serving as the do-it-all game-changer. Ask him to play slot and he will turn into the league’s best slot cornerback. Ask him to play outside, and he will shut it down. Ask him to essentially be everywhere at once in the defensive backfield — no problem.

But this year, as Denver’s offense morphed into a turnover machine and the defense was forced to often play from behind, opponents found new ways to attack the Broncos’ No-Fly Zone secondary. Why throw to your wide receivers covered by Harris and fellow Pro Bowler Aqib Talib when your tight ends and running backs can cause plenty of damage?

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