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Harris Jr: No Fly Zone continues ‘to win,’ but offense is making them think

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The Afternoon Drive gets some candid reactions from Chris Harris Jr. about the progress of offense, defense so far.

NFL: Super Bowl 50-Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of mandatory minicamp is in the books, and by all accounts, the defense won this one - again.

But Chris Harris Jr. tells The Afternoon Drive that it is practically not fair to put the Broncos’ offense up against him and the No Fly Zone - plus the Orange Rush - every day.

“It’s hard man, it’s kinda cheating,” Harris Jr. laughed. “When you’ve got that many all-pros and Pro-Bowlers - it’s hard to face us day in and day out.”

But both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch say they’re lucky to have that test every day.

“You feel those guys breathing down your neck almost every rep,” Siemian said. “We’re buying time and working snap counts, which you have to do against this group or else they’ll eat you alive. It’s great practice for us and everybody else.”

Lynch, too, sees it as a challenge “to get ‘them’ more than they get you.”

“They’re competitors. They’re out here playing football, but that’s how I like it,” Lynch added. “Aqib is out there talking trash, so is Chris and so is Von. You’ve kind of got to get them going, too. You get in their heads, they get in your heads and play football.”

Lynch admitted he wisely hasn’t trash-talked Talib or the No Fly Zone yet.

“I’m just going to hold off for now until I get him [Talib] on a couple big plays where I build my résumé up a little bit,” he said.

According to Harris Jr., the two young quarterbacks are working diligently at doing just that. He agreed that Siemian and Lynch have improved.

“Trev is still being consistent. He doesn’t have those days where he’s just so terrible. He’s very level, consistent every day,” Harris Jr. noted. “Paxton - he’s getting a lot more confident. This offense fits him a lot better. ...I expect him to continue to improve.”

Harris Jr. also sees better things from the offense as a whole - thanks in large part to the new coordinator.

The predictable offense of 2016 is gone, and CHJ is definitely noticing (in fact, give a listen around 4:09 to hear his initial reaction to Eric Goodman’s comment that last year’s offense was predictable).

“I think it was, man, and I think this year...they make us think. They make me think - running in motion, different splits, the way they move DT and E. They’re going to love this offense a lot better,” Harris Jr. said, adding that fans will like it better too. “I love, I love him as our OC.”

But Harris Jr. isn’t just excited about a better offensive scheme; he’s ready for a change of pace on defense too. With a new coach, new defensive coordinator, new position coach and some serious weight added to the defensive line, Harris Jr. is feeling a new attitude too.

“The way we practice, we haven’t practiced at this tempo and this level in a long time,” Harris Jr. said with a slight indictment on the previous regime. “We’ve been going hard, man, and no complaints; guys are putting in that work. I think it was an attitude standpoint we needed to get back to.”

Goodman and Shapiro closed out the segment noting how a poor offense and a poor run defense last year prevented the No Fly Zone from being as effective as it could since teams didn’t have to throw their direction as much.

That should change this season - and Harris Jr. knows it.

“Last year teams could push us and get three yards; that’s not what we needed because it made them avoid us,” he said, pointing out how few teams were forced to come back and throw. “They knew they could just get in to the goal line and pound us. ...We had to beef up and I think that’s going to be huge for this season.”

Poll

Forget about starter, which Broncos QB do you think could talk the best trash to the Broncos defense?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Paxton Lynch
    (226 votes)
  • 6%
    Trevor Siemian
    (95 votes)
  • 55%
    Swag Kelly
    (763 votes)
  • 1%
    Kyle Sloter
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    French Fred ("none of the above")
    (46 votes)
  • 0%
    Shasta ("other")
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    Saguaro Bronco ("disagree with premise of the poll")
    (51 votes)
  • 11%
    docllv ("we need Peyton back to talk trash")
    (157 votes)
1363 votes total Vote Now