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Shelby Harris: ‘This is home’

The defensive end met with media to discuss his three-year contract extension, expectations for the upcoming season, and his firm belief in Drew Lock.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Shelby Harris’ tenure with Denver is still going strong.

In light of signing a three-year, $27 million contract extension on March 15, talked about what this means for him and the team going forward.

The defensive end thanked the Broncos for their continued partnership, saying that his family would’ve stayed behind in Denver while he traveled back and forth if he was signed elsewhere.

“I’m just happy to be here. This is home. You know, they gave me my first chance and so I’m happy to continue to stay here.”

“We made it perfectly clear to the Broncos that we wanted to be here, and they made it perfectly clear that they wanted me here. And that’s all you want as a player is to feel wanted and feel appreciated.”

Harris missed a series of games last season due to a bout with COVID-19, but made a strong comeback after getting healthy, which he thinks contributed to the Broncos’ decision of extending his contract.

He also spoke about becoming a better leader over the previous season, especially being one of the oldest in the locker room. “I feel like for me that’s what I’m most proud of is, you know, going out there and trying to lead by example.”

Asked about defensive line coach Bill Kollar, Harris teared up a little. “Well I would say Bill has had the most impact on my career...we didn’t get along at first, but that’s my guy. You know, he pushes us every day...I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

On his drive to win and how they can turn things around in 2021, Harris stressed the importance of keeping the same good players on the roster while adding new ones that fit.

“We have too much talent to keep falling short,” he said. “I really think the one way you keep fixing that is continuity and having the same pieces around.”

No. 96 also praised his head coach, noting their relationship has evolved.

“We’re so lucky to have a guy like Vic out there who understands this league and is so respected around the league and in this locker room,” he said, adding that Fangio has grown as a “leader of men.”

He also joked that GM George Paton became his best friend this week, particularly for re-signing both him and safety Justin Simmons.

“You go out there, you ball, and the Broncos will take care of you. And that’s the culture change that we’re talking about,” he said. “This is family.”

And of course a press conference wouldn’t be complete without speculations on the team’s quarterback situation.

Harris made it very clear that he’s behind QB Drew Lock.

“You expect instant results. Things take time. If the Packers had given up on Brett Favre right away, if the Broncos had given up on John Elway right away, there would be none of them,” Harris said.

Personally, I think that regardless of what goes down in terms of a quarterback, we have something to celebrate with Denver’s move to extend Harris’ contract. And clearly he’s as excited to be here as we are to have him.

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