The question has been asked since Aqib Talib was traded.
What is the status of the No Fly Zone? Is it still active or is it time to move on?
As long as Chris Harris Jr. plays for the Denver Broncos, the No Fly Zone is in full effect. He’s the embodiment of the group. The attitude, belief, character and swag of the No Fly Zone all derives from Harris. He sets the tone with his play, but also with his expectations of the other members of the secondary. If Harris doesn’t see them playing above and beyond, rest assured, he will let them know.
Name: Chris Harris Jr.
Height: 5’ 10”
Experience: 7 years
Harris is one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. In fact, one could say he’s the best and not be wrong. What else is there to say?
The best way to describe him is like this: Harris is this era’s Rod Smith. He is an undrafted free agent who took advantage of his chance to finally play in the NFL with the Broncos and is one of the best at his position, but is never satisfied. The other way this comparison works is they both are all about the idea that the team comes first and they lead by example.
Harris is getting older?
I’m trying to think of anything that isn’t nitpicking, and I can’t do it. Harris is great in the slot, he’s great outside, he can press, he can play off, he’s physical, he makes plays on the ball and he’s great in run coverage. What will be fun to watch in 2018 is the matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Antonio Brown. The last time Harris was up against Brown, he got torched. Grab the popcorn for the Week 12 rematch in Denver.
Outside of Harris’s control is how Bradley Roby does in place of Talib. In terms of the defense, that’s one of the biggest questions as we inch closer to the season. The best thing Roby has going for him is he has Harris there to lean on.
“I feel great,” Harris told the media at the end of the May. “I feel good. I spend tons of money on my body to stay healthy all year long and to be able to play 1,000 snaps every year — I think I’ve done that since I’ve been in the league. I feel good. I like the role that I have this year. They changed up how I’m playing a little bit so I think we’ll be on a good page this year. I like T-Brock (Tramaine Brock), bringing him in ... another vet coming in. And B-Lang (Brendan Langley) is playing well, too.”
As long as Harris is part of the Broncos’ secondary, the No Fly Zone is in full effect. The expectation remains the same, no matter who is part of that group.
In terms of Harris, it’s all about All-Pro consideration—regardless of where he plays on the field.
“They’ve still got the three defensive backs,” Harris said in response to whether playing in the slot will dampen his chances. “They still have three DBs. I’ve gotten first-team All-Pro, getting it in the slot, so I can do it again.”
What makes Harris so invaluable is more than personal accolades; he wants the Broncos to return to their winning ways in 2018, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.