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Battle in the Slot

Posted May 21, 2013

Tuesday marked the first practice matchup between Chris Harris and Wes Welker.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- During his first two NFL seasons, cornerback Chris Harris saw plenty of wide receiver Wes Welker.

Denver played New England three times in those two years, with both Harris and Welker starting all three contests.

Welker averaged seven catches for 66 yards in those games, only topping the 100-yard mark in their final meeting as opponents during the 2012 season.

When the news broke that the Broncos had agreed to terms with Welker this March, Harris immediately took to Twitter to express his excitement at matching up against the 10th-year wideout on a daily basis in practice.

Tuesday marked the first practice where the two really worked against one another as the team worked in its sub packages for the first time as an offense versus a defense.

That meant the first of the battles that fellow cornerback Champ Bailey said that he was “looking forward to” that should continue on throughout the season.

“We went against each other a lot today,” Harris said. “We definitely would go back and forth. I just know Wes, the type of guy he is just watching film on him and playing against him every year. He’s a guy that is going to bring it every play.”

Harris and Welker both entered the league as undrafted free agents and were both born in Oklahoma. But that’s not where the similarities end.

Even though it’s only been two days of practicing against one another, their competitive spirits have already shown through.

“Going against him, he’s one of the best slot receivers, and I think I’m one of the best slot corners,” Harris said. “Going against him every day, I know he’s an undrafted guy too—he’s a guy that brings it 100 percent every play. The same with me. Coach has to do a good job with just calming us down.”