ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** Outside linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. were named to separate All-Pro teams Friday, with Miller making the first team and Harris being selected to the second team.
The designations were the second time for each player, with Miller receiving first-team honors in 2012 after his 18.5-sack season and Harris receiving second-team honors in 2014 after his breakout season.
"That's the highest honor that you can get in this business," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said of Miller's award. "Boy, has he played that way. You look at some of our players and I think we have a few guys that are deserving of that type of honor this year. When you look at Von, he hasn't missed a snap. He's been there all year long. His work habits are tremendous. I think [Outside Linebackers Coach Fred] Pug [Pagac] has done a great job with him. [Defensive Coordinator] Wade [Phillips] gets him position to make plays. [Defensive Line Coach] Bill [Kollar] has done a great job with him from a pass rush standpoint. We're just very proud of him."
But Miller was quick to put the credit back to those around him.
"We have a great team and had great coaching this year," Miller said. "Coach Phillips, [he was] instrumental in my success this year. Every day, he came in, he coached me like—it's kind of hard to explain. He didn't coach me like he had been with me through four years. He coached me how I needed to be coached. He pushed me every single day and got it out of me this year. I'm very appreciative of my teammates and my coaches."
Though proud of his achievement, Harris couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed that he missed out on a first-team selection.
"Just to get All-Pro is a great honor," Harris said. "My goal at the beginning of the year was definitely to get first-team All-Pro. I think I just had one bad game. I was this close to getting it. It just gave me some motivation to come back and get it next year."
The pressure ramped up for Harris this year, and for fellow starting CB Aqib Talib, because Phillips used them almost exclusively in man coverage, which allowed Phillips to be creative with blitzing schemes.
"We were on an island every week," Harris said. "Coach Wade put a lot of responsibility on me and Talib to really hold up all year. […]For me, it's definitely a lot harder. Wade puts all of the responsibility on us to make a lot of plays. I really had to be on my p's and q's every day and every game."
That effort paid off for Harris at the individual level, and at the team level, as well, given how the defense ranked at or near the top in multiple statistical categories.
With Harris' long path to the NFL and to the level he's reached, Kubiak was especially proud.
"To get this far and do what he's done, that's really special," Kubiak said, referring to Harris. "We've matched up Chris on a lot of great players this year. We put him in some tough positions. He's been there. He and Aqib both, but he's been there every practice, every rep. It's a great honor for him, too."