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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Talking Tim Tebow: Ex-Jayhawk Chris Harris happy to have quarterback on his side in Denver

Denver Broncos strong safety Chris Harris (25) celebrates with free safety Quinton Carter after Carter intercepted a pass by Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter of their NFL wild-card playoff game Sunday in Denver. The Broncos won in overtime, leaving Harris — a Kansas University product — on one of just eight teams still alive.

Denver Broncos strong safety Chris Harris (25) celebrates with free safety Quinton Carter after Carter intercepted a pass by Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter of their NFL wild-card playoff game Sunday in Denver. The Broncos won in overtime, leaving Harris — a Kansas University product — on one of just eight teams still alive.

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The first time former Kansas University defensive back Chris Harris met Tim Tebow, he was too fired up to notice.

“My first encounter with him was during (preseason) camp, the day they announced who made the team,” Harris said during a phone interview Monday afternoon.

Today, Harris, the undrafted free agent from Kansas, and Tebow, the former first-round quarterback from Florida who possesses serious star power, have become key players on the Denver Broncos’ run into the second round of the NFL playoffs.

Although they play different positions and come from different places, Harris and Tebow represent what has made the Broncos successful this season. Both are tireless workers with tiny egos, and that mentality has meshed well with the rest of Denver’s roster. From veterans such as Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins — both still grinding for that first Super Bowl ring in the twilight of Hall of Fame careers — to a stellar class of rookies that includes 2011 No. 2 overall pick and Pro Bowl selection Von Miller, the Broncos and first-year head coach John Fox consistently put the team ahead of everything. That led to an AFC West Division title and an upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs Sunday.

“We’ve been working hard all season,” Harris said. “All of us. We just realized that the game is definitely bigger than us as individuals.”

While the team has been the focus inside the locker room, Tebow talk has dominated headlines just about everywhere else.

“Tebowing” — an actual verb, defined as: “to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different” — has taken the world by storm, and “Tebow Time” has become as popular among football phrases as first down or field goal.

Harris said the polarizing quarterback has been pretty quiet about all the publicity. The way he sees it, Tebow probably is used to it.

“We knew Tebow had all the media hype,” Harris said. “But that just comes with him being the quarterback at Florida and winning those national championships and the Heisman. People like Tim can handle that, though, and that’s part of the reason people like him are great players.”

Does all the praise being tossed at his quarterback bother Harris or any of the other Broncos’ players?

“Oh, man, we don’t care,” Harris said. “We understand that’s how it’s going to be. We know that Tim’s a leader on this team, and we really don’t care who gets the praise as long as we get the win at the end of the day. Since the first day we got here, he’s been a hard worker and has been doing everything he can to gain the trust of his teammates and his coaches and really just prove to everyone that he can play.”

Now that he has the Broncos positioned as one of the eight NFL teams still standing, Tebow’s confidence and popularity both have grown. For Harris, a 2011 KU graduate and starting cornerback on KU’s 2008 Orange Bowl championship team, playing with a player like Tebow has been a thrill. Asked what Tebow trait he admired most, Harris pointed to the one for which most of his KU teams were known.

“Probably his heart, his will to win,” Harris said. “He’s not a traditional quarterback like everyone wants him to be, but he’s kind of like me and a lot of other players on this team. We all just have a chip on our shoulder, and we always play hungry.”

Kind of sounds a little like another quarterback Harris used to know.

“It’s definitely a totally different game, but the way he’s able to keep plays alive with his legs, that’s pretty much the same thing Todd (Reesing) did in college,” Harris said of KU’s record-setting quarterback.

As was the case with Reesing, Harris said the team counts on Tebow to deliver from start to finish, not just when the fourth quarter arrives and the world is buzzing about Tebow Time.

“When it comes down to it, we know if Tebow has the ball in the fourth quarter, we have a great chance of winning,” Harris said.

During his first professional season, Harris was named to the all-rookie team and finished fourth among rookies in tackles, with 72. That total was tops among all first-year defensive backs and ranked him four spots ahead of Miller (64) and six spots ahead of Denver safety Quinton Carter (56). Harris’ five tackles Sunday tied him for third on the team during Denver’s 29-23 overtime victory against Pittsburgh.

Before the season, Harris signed a three-year contract with Denver that, when completed, will pay him a total of $1.47 million, according to the terms of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement.

KU football adds 2 to staff

KU officials Monday announced the addition of Adam Sitter and Scott Vestal to Charlie Weis’ football staff.

Both come to KU after spending time at the University of Florida, where Weis was the offensive coordinator during the 2011 season.

Sitter will serve as KU’s director of high school relations and most recently worked as a graduate assistant under Weis and the UF offense in 2011. Prior to that, he coached high school football for six seasons in his native Orlando.

Vestal will serve as KU’s assistant director of football operations and most recently worked in quality control for Florida’s defense in 2011. Prior to that, the Dallas native worked the same job at Texas in 2010.

Comments

timtation 2 years, 3 months ago

All Tebowers. The loss to the Pat's is all Tebows fault. I'm not going to allow you guys to say it wasn't his fault because you guys gave him the credit for the wins when he didn't earn it and now YOU GIVE HIM THE LOSSES. Where's Tebows god now? Now that he's out of the playoffs talk about him, say he's awesome, morons. What did you think was gonna happen? A Super Bowl? This is why religion is stupid everyone, yes everyone, that believes in religion are uneducated. Tebow was home schooled and is closed minded just like everyone who believes in a GOD. GOD DOESN'T EXIST! now that's my opinion. Why do you believe in God/religion? Because you want to live forever/go to heaven? First of all why would you want to live forever, what are you going to do? Think about it, you're going to float around FOREVER! I stress the word FOREVER cause what are you going to do after you do everything? Remember FOREVER. Heck, I don't know about you but I get sick and tired of doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over...............again even for a day let alone FOREVER. Living Forever sounds more like Hell to me. You know what when I'm dead and gone I just what it to end. Everyone that believes in God you need to understand that religion/God was created by men to make money and to rule them, so humans wouldn't run around like monkeys. This is ALL religions. All most every war is due to religious beliefs. This is not your fault our human minds couldn't understand that back in those days, all we knew is that something had to create us. Now that Science has proved all most everything in the bible wrong it's okay to see why religion is on it's way out. GOOGLE, pictures of deep space by the Hubble telescope. There's pictures of millions of galaxies out there just like ours. Ask yourself "IF GOD EXIST, WHY IS IT SO BIG?" I might understand God existing if the Milky Way was the only galaxy. WE ARE ACCIDENTS! I could go on and on about it but that could take FOREVER and as you know, with me, that would start to get old.

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timtation 2 years, 3 months ago

To all of Tebow's followers. Your God must be pissed off at you for following a false prophet. How can someone follow somebody that's a little kid? He is a hypocrite and a liar and people follow him like he's the second coming of christ. What's he doing with his money? He's spending it on himself because he's greedy and selfish. And don't send a reply saying " Well you would do the same thing" Because I WOULD and that's okay since I don't believe in a God. I wouldn't hide behind a christian additude, I'm straight up and I'll tell anyone I'm a greedy man! What's up with the new Tebow pose? That s*** has been around forever, he's not the one who invented it. This guy is taking advantage of everyone (except me and whoever hates him) including his own God. How? Do you say, simple he's just like the people selling things in Gods temple and Jesus goes in there and tells them to get out because they were using God as a way to make money. Hence Tebow, he's using God in football to make money. He should in no way shape or form be in the pros, he's a little kid playing a man's sport. Makes me sick!

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timtation 2 years, 3 months ago

Tebow's pose? He didn't invent that and he's getting credit for it. It's been around for years!

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timtation 2 years, 3 months ago

Ralster........you da man! couldn't have said it better myself.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 3 months ago

The above exchange demonstrates perfectly why Tebow is so controversial. Yes, there is controversy about his throwing skill, and whether he deserves to be where he is, or whether he will succeed in the NFL long-term. But let's be honest, what takes this topic over the edge is the religious thing. And it isn't that he's a devout Christian - there are many of those in the NFL. It isn't even the fact he draws attention to his faith by "Tebowing". NFL players have made similar gestures (point to the heavens, making the sign of the cross, kneeling and saying a prayer in the end-zone, etc.) for many years. What makes Tebow controversial, I think, is the following he has developed among other like-minded Christians. In particular, he makes people uncomfortable who don't share his views on evangelism and proselytism. Yes, he has the right to thank his maker every time something good happens in his life. But does he have the right to use his position and public access to proselytize? We already have folks pointing to the many occurrences of the number 316 as signs that Tebow is some sort of prophet or that he's on a mission from God. So everything he does and says now is scrutinized as a potential sign from God. I find that frightening, and I wish he could just play football and leave the religious circus behind.

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HawksWin 2 years, 3 months ago

ralster, I usually enjoy your posts except this one. Sorry bro, but I respect Tebow for speaking up for the silent majority. What harm is there for him to do that? Does Tebowing make you sick? poor? crappy? constipated? what? How in the hell is one expressing one's love for his Maker bother you or anyone for that matter? I've had it up to my, no it's gone beyond and I'm not going to be silent about it anymore. I believe you are a nice person, and nice to everybody - but except Christians? c'mon ral! Tebow is a nice guy, and has good morals. What's wrong with that? That sure beats the heck out of crazies in hollywood/entertainers with no self-respect but are about all self-love. Didn't Tebow won the Heisman as the only sophomore - ever?! Obviously someone thought he knows how to play the game. Granted it, it was college football, but we all know, if you don't succeed in college, you got min chance to make it in the pro. ralster, be nice to Christians. You'd rather be around Christians than Christian haters -- believe me, I know.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Funny that Tebow is getting alot of attention courtesy the Bronco defense. Because it sure isnt due to his "ability as a passer". From a football standpoint, Tebow=joke!!!!

Aaron Rodgers supposedly is a 'person-of-faith', yet you dont see that plastered all over creation...(lol!)

Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady will hand Tebow his azz on a 'properly-annointed' platter, from an NFL-quarterback-skills standpoint. The "real" football story in the NFL is the huge, huge performance excellence from Brees, Rodgers, Brady this season. Elway will punt this guy if his on-field-ability as an actual NFL quarterback doesnt improve in a hurry.

Best "tebow-pose" I saw was on my brother's cell phone: some 22yr old 'perfect10' wearing nothing but black pumps doing the tebow-stance. Now that was nice.

I dont need this overblown religiosity...why? Trying to distract from the fact he sucks as a passer, especially compared to Brees, Brady, Rodgers...?

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timtation 2 years, 3 months ago

Matt, more KU less Tebow. You love Tebow and that's fine but you don't have rub our face in it, like Tebow does about God to everyone. Tebow is no leader and is a little boy so if someone that's older than him is looking up to Tebow then you're a LOSER. MAN I HATE TEBOW!

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Sidenote. If the Broncos didn't have a former Jayhawk named Chris Harris they don't beat Pittsburgh.

Any word on those 4 star Cornerbacks that are thinking about visiting Weis?

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danmoore 2 years, 3 months ago

I think the headline provided ample warning that mention of Tebow was forthcoming so if you continued to read I think you have share some of the blame in being disappointed.

IMO, this is not some of Matt’s best work but I think the story is totally legit content for anyone who has an interest in KU football.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Mark my word, but sooner or later the NFL will declare kneeling in prayer a taunting penalty and he will draw a flag...just watch and see!!! That will be a sad day indeed.

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jgrobb 2 years, 3 months ago

Agree Matt. And didn't John Fox coach at Kansas back in the 80's?

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Matt Tait 2 years, 3 months ago

I can respect all of the anti-Tebow feelings on this board, but I think you guys are missing the point. Like it or not, this dude is one of the biggest stories in all of sports right now and, through Harris, we have a direct connection to learn a little more about him. I'm sorry, but I'm going to jump on that every day of the week.

Part of my job is to write things that my readers want to read. And another part of it is to write about things that are hot and stories people are talking about. By combining the two here, I thought this would be a home run and I still think it is.

This had nothing to do with me being a Broncos fan and everything to do with this being a pretty cool story about an awesome former Jayhawk and his up-close-and-personal view of the Tebow phenomenon. Besides, it's a story that not every paper in the country could get with just a simple phone call.

As for those wondering why I didn't just make the story about Chris... I already did that, two months ago. Here's the link.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2011/nov/08/nice-pick-former-jayhawk-db-chris-harris-proving-b/?football

I also just posted a blog about the DC search. See, if you just give me time, I can get to all of it.

Have a great day, everyone!

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dhinkansas 2 years, 3 months ago

How in the heck did we end up with a Bette Midler reference in one of the posts above on a KU sports site? What's next...a plane overhead carrying a banner saying Cher hearts Tebow?

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I plan on watching the Patriots game this weekend. I went to KU. Matt: do you want to do an article on me?

This needs to be a Tebow-less zone.

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jayhwkr77 2 years, 3 months ago

Intelliegent Broncos fans who have a desire to get to the SUPER BOWL (not eak into the playoffs) should be scared to death of Tebow continuing to win.

In the 2012 NFL World, the League is ALL about the QB. In order to win it all, its imperative that you have a top tier QB. This is not hating, this is being Realistic. Tebow will NEVER be the guy to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

As a Chiefs fan, I am pulling strongly for Tebow to continue to win, b/c I am smart enough to realize he will never get a team all the way to the top. (I don't hate Tebow, this has been a good story, but I'm just being realistic)

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txhawk06 2 years, 3 months ago

There's not been this much interest in a white Bronco since O.J......

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bville_hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

I like the fact that Vestal has Texas ties and Texas roots.

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rockemchalkemrobots 2 years, 3 months ago

Tomorrow on KU Sports: Todd Reesing Talks About Chris Harris' Thoughts On Playing With Tebow.

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Michael Maris 2 years, 3 months ago

Ok, things must really be getting boring in the Sports Dept. @ LJW. I know Tait, you said yesterday that you were going to be writing this story.

But, it seems that the longer the NFL Playoffs drag out, the more it seems that a LB Coach with the 49er's chances of becoming the DC @ KU FB is coming to fruition.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

A couple more outstanding adds by Weis to the staff today. Two more from the University of Florida.

Welcome Scott Vestal and Adam Sitter!

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jacqueshock 2 years, 3 months ago

Adam Sitter of Dr. Phillips! Ahhhh DP! Ahhhh DP! Recruit Orlando.

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VaJay 2 years, 3 months ago

Like it or not, Tebow is the flavor of the month in the sportsworld, and as long as the article had something interesting about Chris Harris & how well he's doing, I'm fine with that. It also makes me wish that some team would've given Reesing a shot (I'm thinking of the Redskins specifically - he had to be better than their QBs this season).

What I'm really annoyed about is I got so caught up in the game, I forgot to look for Chris in there & didn't get to notice any of his tackles, etc.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 3 months ago

I hate when articles are written only to get responses from the readers. For that reason I will not be posting a response.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry Matt, I'm a huge fan of your reporting, but this is getting out of hand. If you were writing for the Boulder Daily Camera, and rookie Jalil Brown from CU was starting for the Chiefs, and you wrote an article about how impressed Jalil is with with Kyle Orton, do you think it would be well received? Like it or not, Lawrence is 50 miles from Arrowhead and many (if not most) of your readers are Chiefs fans, just like most residents of Boulder are Broncos fans. This is like rubbing salt in a wound. Why couldn't this article just be about Chris Harris, and the amazing job he's done as an undrafted free agent? Isn't that a big enough story on it's own? Why water down his accomplishments by making it just another side-show to the Tebow circus?

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Mark Lindrud 2 years, 3 months ago

Living here in Denver I can say Tebow is loved by so many people. I have known about Tebow since he was a freshman at FLorida and he has been a winner where ever he has gone. I am not saying he is the next Brady, Rodgers or Brees, but he is a fighter and a leader. If Denver makes him the starter next year he will get a chance to have an off season to work on his game and he will improve. How much will he improve? Who knows, but he is improving so with time he maybe a really good quarterback, but we have to wait and see on that. For now, he leads his team to wins and for now that is what any playoff team wants.

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Ben Rothlesberger (sp) screwed us again.

More headlines to come in Matt's series on Tebow:

Tebow once drove through Kansas.

Tebow watched part of KU's win against Memphis.

Tebow believes that the Wizard of Oz is satanic.

Tebow would like to meet Dorothy. She's cute and sweet. Though she may be a little too adventurous to take home to mom.

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Kevin Studer 2 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait until te end of next season, when Tim Tebow is the starting fullback for the Miami Dolphins.

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STLJayhawk10 2 years, 3 months ago

we need more tebow articles everyday!

but yeah chris is doing a great job for the broncos. hes all over the field and im proud to have him represent the jayhawks

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Ryan Lee 2 years, 3 months ago

Now you playoff lonely Chiefs fans can see how a successful franchise is ran out here in the Mile High. I make sure when I visit my beloved Larry-town I never venture east of the Kaw river. The closer you get to KC you can feel and hear the pathetic wailing of Chief talk in the glum BBQ mist of Kansas City Missouri... So change the name of the National Anthem to "honor" your lame mascot. "And the home of the....THIEFS!" . Go Broncos, Go Jayhawks... never dem Thiefs.

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HawksWin 2 years, 3 months ago

Tait, Great article! Thanks bunch for the Harris + Tebow connection. Let Tebowing continue. Tebow got me to watch the damn playoffs!

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treed14ku 2 years, 3 months ago

Tait is a big Broncos fan so he is using this as a platform to talk about his team. This should be a site for KU news, not Tebow news. Most people who come to this site hate the Broncos so its pretty lame journalism to say the least. Tebow is already overhyped and talked about too much in the media, lets keep this as one Tebow free zone. Okay, Tait?

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Andrew Washington 2 years, 3 months ago

Can't wait till Broncos vs. Patriots round 2

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 3 months ago

Wicked brands on Harris' arm, eh?

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WhoSaidThat 2 years, 3 months ago

OKAY! We had the "Tod's thoughts on Tebow" and now this. No more talking about Tebow. Yes, I know Harris played at KU and he plays for the Broncos but really we get enough Tebow from ESPN and everywhere else. I would rather this say "Chris Harris, nice corner in the NFL going into his first playoffs", and skip the Tebow thoughts.

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