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Archive for 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.

January 10, 2012

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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

CardHawkFan 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm telling you, even if you are a Chiefs' fan, which I am not, if you get a chance to watch this former 'Hawk, take it. He is all over the field and if he hangs on long enough, he looks poised to move into the spot when Bailey decides to retire. It isn't so much that he gets on the field every now and again...they can't keep him off the field. Congrats to the former Jayhawk! Keep up the good work!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

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”

Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

Is there anybody that does not see the apparent grandstanding by this football player who claims such religiosity but ignores the admonition of Jesus himself??

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

Get a grip, Yeoman. AND learn your scripture. "Thy closet" is your own heart and mind.

I've met Tebow and he's one of the most impressive, humble, and sincere people I have ever met. I can't stand the Gators or the Broncos, but I'll be a fan of Tebow for life simply for his character. The last thing he'd ever do is grandstand.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

Simply your own take on scripture, jay. The whole affair was when Jesus saw a person loudly displaying his "religion" in public and his admonishment was exactly what he said. It is interesting just how many people can read their own perceptions into the Bible or the U.S. Constitution.

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

Like I said, learn your scripture. The Bible is all about interpretation and perception. You trying to tell me that the Bible is strictly literal? Jesus' admonishment was about talking to God with your heart and mind, not just beating people over the head with it.

"The first part, in Matthew 6:1-18 deals with the outward and inward expression of piety, referring to almsgiving, private prayer and fasting.[2] This part of the chapter goes over the three most important outward expressions of Jewish piety, alms giving, prayer, and fasting. Jesus endorses the standard teachings that these acts are important. Throughout this section he stresses that worship and piety should not be ostentatious, and ideally should be done in secret. He strongly condemns those who make public displays of their piety, stating that those who are pious to impress others will only impress people, and will do nothing to impress God."

"Private prayer". When Tebow takes a knee he's having a private prayer. He's not doing it to impress anybody.

JustNoticed 2 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, but your last paragraph simply absurd. While we can't really know his motive, there is nothing private about his behavior, his ostentatious behavior.

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

Taking a knee and saying a prayer to yourself is not private, but is ostentatious??? Now THAT's absurd. I sure hope nobody kisses near you.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your interpretations, jay. Actually, I really have a lot of problems with those who use their take on religion as an explanation of how they defeat others. Sports is a spectator event, and one team of the other uaually wins. Ties were done away with some years ago except in soccer.

But when one individual exhibits religious fervor to invoke the help of God to defeat an adversary in a sports event, I take a lot of exception. God (if he exists as we humans have designated) is not on anhyone's "side". Historically, we are all the creations of whatever name you want to give the Divine Being. To proclaim your "victory" in any sports event as the act of any devine being is bing pretty presumptious.

Very few playiers in any sport are so demonstrative about having their "religion' assist them to defeat the opponant. And although I do not have any more insight to the Divine Preence than you or anyone else, I do not think that God expresses any preference other than we exist to prosper and succeed, all of us. Not just the Denver Broncos.

domino 2 years, 11 months ago

Have to disagree with you. I listened to excerpts of a game where Tebow was miced up. He did say a pre-game prayer, but in his prayer was asking God for safety for all the players, good, hard play and IF they win that the glory should go to Him. Don't think that is at all asking for, or praying for God to help the Broncos win.

jaywalker 2 years, 11 months ago

" I really have a lot of problems with those who use their take on religion as an explanation of how they defeat others."

Now that I agree with, though I'm not sure I've heard Tebow do such. Maybe he has and I'm not a big fan of that. I thought you were referencing "Tebowing", which is a moment of thanks for something accomplished and has been going long before Tim was born.

BorderRat 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, hasn't been this much interest in a white bronco since OJ Simpson.

brewmaster 2 years, 11 months ago

It is a pleaure to finally have someone like Tim Tebow in the sports spot light.

Over the past twenty five years the ranks of college and pro sports have been increasingly invested with disgusting, in-your-face-loud-mouth, rapists, drug dealers, criminals and tattooed thugs.

Tim Tebow is a welcomed change.

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