Harris Says Stopping The Run Is Key To Defensive Game Plan
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DENVER (CBS4) – When a defense in the NFL can stuff the run like the Broncos have been doing so far this season, it certainly makes things easier for the secondary.
The Broncos lead the league against the rush with an average of only 43.3 yards per game. In Monday night’s 37-21 win over the Raiders the Broncos held star rusher Darren McFadden to only 9 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
They also used a defensive scheme against quarterback Terrelle Pryor that might work similarly well against another mobile quarterback they’ll be facing on Sunday — Michael Vick of the Eagles.
“We’re making teams one dimensional,” cornerback Chris Harris said on the CBS4 show Xfinity Monday Live (which was broadcast on Tuesday night due to the Broncos schedule).
“We knew that we had to stop Pryor from running and make them a one dimensional team and make them throw on us,” said defensive back Chris Harris. “We had tight coverage all night and were able to make him think about where to throw the ball and that’s what led to the scrambling, and the D line did a good job of getting pressure to him.”
Beyond limiting opponents’ scores, Harris said the defensive game plan is really all about staying on the field for the shortest amount of time possible.
“We’re making teams throw the ball and when teams can’t run the ball on us we’re able to give ball right back to Peyton Manning because they’re not taking any plays away from him. We’re doing a good job of getting off the field on third downs and that’s how you really stop the run.”
Despite cornerback Champ Bailey not being able to suit up so far this season, and although there have been some injuries, the secondary for the Broncos hasn’t really skipped a beat.
Harris attributes that in part to “having another year together under our belt and building that chemistry that we have.”
He said that when Tony Carter went down with an injury on Monday night he wasn’t surprised to see Kayvon Webster come into the game and play very well.
“I was definitely impressed with how Kayvon played, and that’s just shows you how deep we are at corner. Him just playing under guys like Champ, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and me, it’s definitely helping him along,” he said.
The noise level got to be a little much for Manning when he was leading the offense at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Monday, so he repeatedly shushed the crowd. That made things all that much louder when the defense got on the field, and it was all good with Harris.
“Yeah, that’s how we want it. We’re practicing signals every week, especially when we’re at home because we know how loud our fans can get. We want them to be loud,” he said.
As good as the defense has played so far this season, Harris said he knows there are still corrections that need to be made. But there’s time.
“We have a long ways to go. We want to be at our best come playoff time,” he said.
- Written by Jesse Sarles for CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with Chris Harris in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.