ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — **Ryan Harris considers Ryan Clady part of his family. The two played together on opposite ends of the Broncos' offensive line for their first years in the NFL, with Harris drafted by the Broncos in 2007 and Clady in 2008.
So with that in mind, returning to the Broncos at this time is not what Harris would call a happy moment. "Ryan's been a part of my family for years and will continue to be, and no one's happy that he sustained an injury," Harris said in an interview with DenverBroncos.com on Friday. "But knowing him, he's a high character guy; he'll be back soon and better than ever."
However, he is prepared and eager to add to the competition for four open spots on the offensive line. Harris brings a familiarity and deep knowledge of the offense's schemes already, having played for Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison from 2007-10 and Offensive Line Coach Clancy Barone in 2010 in Denver, and Head Coach Gary Kubiak from 2012-13 in Houston.
OT Ryan Harris returned to his original NFL team on Friday, signing with the Broncos amid offensive line competition. Go back through his career with these photos.
"This will be my ninth year going into the NFL so I have a breadth of knowledge and experience in both starting games and preparation. I think anytime you can add experience and knowledge like that, it's a good thing," Harris said. "I just have a tremendous familiarity with everything that we'll be doing. Of course, it's always different year to year, but again, that familiarity will really help me contribute and hopefully quickly."
Harris had previously been with the Broncos for his first four years in the NFL, where he played right tackle. In that time he started 34 of 46 games. Since then, he played two seasons with the Texans, starting in five of 32 games he appeared in, and last year he started in 15 of 16 games for the Chiefs.
The Broncos had reached out to Harris a couple weeks ago with interest, Harris said, and then on Thursday following news of Clady's injury, they spoke with Harris again and the two sides came together for Harris to return to his first NFL team in the city he still calls home.
"The reason we're in this league is to compete," Harris added. "And especially in this building, [the reason] is to compete for a championship. I look forward to doing both."