Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr. vows Steelers’ Antonio Brown won’t have repeat big game against him
The most recent time the Broncos faced the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver had a No. 1-ranked pass defense that led a defensive unit so strong it propelled the Broncos to a Super Bowl title seven weeks later.
Antonio Brown and the Steelers, though, largely had their way with Chris Harris Jr. and the then-dubbed “No Fly Zone.” With the rematch Sunday in Denver, Harris downplays Brown’s 16-catch, 189-yard, two-touchdown outing Dec, 20, 2015.
“I didn’t have a good game that night. It was tough that game. It was pretty much on me that game,” Harris Jr. said this week.
“It won’t be anything like that again.”
Harris pointed out that starting safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart missed that frigid late afternoon at Heinz Field three years ago.
The Steelers were the only team that season that eclipsed 300 passing yards against the Broncos. And Harris Jr. is talking as if he doesn’t want to be again embarrassed by Brown.
“It’s definitely motivation,” Harris told Denver media. “I try to be consistent every week. That’s one of my main goals. This is just another game and just try to continue to be consistent.
“It’s the best versus the best. You’ve got to embrace it.”
Like Harris Jr., Brown has been named a Pro Bowl honoree each of the past three years, although Brown’s running Pro Bowl streak extends back to 2013.
Told Harris Jr. was looking forward to matching up against him, Brown said, “Everybody wants a shot at me, man. That’s my life.”
Brown said that facing top players such as Harris Jr. is “what makes the game fun.”
“He’s a guy who’s unique and highly competitive,” Brown said. “You always want to have the best guy, a corner with a lot confidence, and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of him.
“I have a lot of respect for him, a guy who’s been doing it at a high level for a long time. Any time you’re facing a guy like that, you know what type of game it’s going to be. I’m looking forward to competing.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.