ORLANDO, Fla. — Chris Harris Jr. and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes are AFC teammates this week at the 2019 Pro Bowl, but that won’t stop Harris from trying to glean what he can to help the Broncos next season.
“I’m learning everything that he’s doing,” Harris said from Orlando on Wednesday with a laugh.
Harris said he intercepted Mahomes during the AFC’s first practice, but after two Broncos losses to the Chiefs this year in which Mahomes tallied a combined 607 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception, Harris knows he needs to grab at least one when the teams meet next season.
“I think got him today already,” Harris said. “I need to get him in a regular game, too.”
Head Coach Vic Fangio could put Harris in position to snag that game-changing interception.
While Harris hasn’t yet met his new head coach, he said he spoke with Fangio on the phone and “love[s] everything that he’s talking about doing.”
“[Fangio plans on] just using me everywhere — matching number ones or playing the slot,” Harris said. “Just [will be] playing anywhere for him and I think he’s going to be able to use me great.”
Harris will also work with Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell and Defensive Backs Coach Renaldo Hill. Donatell has spent two different stints coaching Denver’s secondary, and Hill played for the Broncos from 2009-10.
Donatell coached Hill during his time in Denver — and he also worked with former Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.
Harris said Wednesday that he’s talked with Bailey about what to expect from Donatell, and he received a positive review.
“He said he’s great with schemes, execution, techniques and fundamentals,” Harris said. “That’s something that we need. I’m excited to have him. He has a lot of experience. Him and Renaldo. Just having Renaldo, a guy that’s played in the league and had that experience, I think it’s going to be huge for our guys.”
The work for Harris and the Broncos defense, though, must still wait a few weeks.
For now, he’ll focus on guarding some of the NFL’s top receivers in Tyreek Hill and DeAndre Hopkins during AFC practices.
“I like it, because it’s the same guys I go against all year,” Harris said. “So when you get to go against those guys — and they’re very familiar with me — it’s just fun to gain that friendship with the guys we compete against.”
And, just maybe, Harris can pick up a few tips in the process.