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Chris Harris Jr. will have a chance to be ‘more aggressive’ in 2018

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The Denver Broncos lock down cornerback will have a few more wrinkles added on defense to give him a chance to make some big plays.

NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have a pretty special player in Chris Harris Jr. and though he doesn’t seem to get the recognition he deserves for being the lock down cornerback he is, his ability to shut down his man on the field is something we enjoy each and every week during the regular season.

Part of the lack of notoriety at times is due to the absence of the flashy stats other cornerbacks get. Harris would prefer that get the pass defense over the pass interception, just to ensure the chance for a big play on offense is avoided.

However, Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods wants to add some opportunities in the game plan for Harris to make some bigger impact plays in 2018.

“[We have] new techniques that we’ve added that let me be a little bit more aggressive,” Harris said last week. [I’ll] be able to jump some routes more, blitzing more. Last year I was supposed to blitz a lot more but I only blitzed like five times. I think Joe [Woods] will blitz me more this year.”

As Harris enters his eighth season, the 28 year old cornerback looks to solidify himself as one of the greats in Broncos history. He faces no bigger test than filling the void left by Talib’s departure. Turnovers are key for a defensive unit and they have been lacking as of late. With Aqib Talib gone, the secondary is going to need the big play opportunities to come from others.

Talib hinted earlier this month that the Broncos should drop its ‘No Fly Zone’ nickname now that he is gone, but Harris wasn’t having any of that.

“‘Lib’ is going to talk mess but I know he’s happy where he’s at now (laughing),” Harris said. “He’s in a good spot. I started the ‘No Fly’ so it’s going to always be here.”

And really the ‘No Fly’ was only able to take flight with the arrival of DeMarcus Ware. His pairing with Von Miller created a pressure cooker for opposing quarterbacks. That led to more mistakes and less time to find the open wide receiver.

With the addition of Bradley Chubb with the fifth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Broncos may have refueled that ‘No Fly Zone’ heading into this next season.

“It’s huge,” Harris said of adding Chubb to the roster. “Being able to have more weapons—we’ve added more defenses to put him on the field to help him bring that rush. It’s about Von, too. He needs to take some pressure off his back. He’s getting double-teamed almost every game. The whole offense is trying to stop him so now he has another guy along with Shane [Ray] and Shaq [Barrett] to be able to get that rush.”

As a member of the secondary, Harris knows how important that pass rush is to winning on the back end. He clearly hopes the addition of Chubb will lead to more opportunities for the big play for the ‘No Fly Zone’. As do we.