In an AFC West plot twist, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has traded in his orange for powder blue.
After a storied nine-year career with the Denver Broncos that included four Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl Championship, Harris Jr. is turning the page to join his former foe in Los Angeles.
"I'm excited about my next chapter," Harris Jr. said on a conference call Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to coming to L.A. and being able to help this team win, help this organization win. Just talking to Anthony Lynn and Tom (Telesco), those guys are hungry. They want to win now."
Perhaps no other NFL team outside of Colorado knows Harris Jr. as well as the Chargers. Dating back to 2011 – Harris Jr.'s rookie season – the two have matched up 18 times, including playoffs. Current Chargers defensive backs coach Ron Milus was Harris Jr.'s first position coach in the NFL.
Harris Jr. said that Milus has been "huge" for his career and that an upcoming reunion will help him to maintain his high standards.
"I made a lot of plays when he was coaching me," Harris Jr. said.
Then there's Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen, whose battles with Harris Jr. over the years have only ratcheted up the rivalry between L.A. and Denver. Now, they're teammates with a common goal: channeling their competitiveness into wins.
"… Being able to have that competitive nature in the locker room and just on the team – just know that everyone's gonna be battling," he said. "I know that's the type of competitor he is and just to have that mutual respect out there, I know he's gonna give it his all every game.
"I'm excited to be out there and just add to him – give him any knowledge on the Denver Broncos defense that I got, or anything around the AFC West if he had any questions."
Harris Jr. will join a decorated secondary that includes First-Team All-Pros Derwin James and Desmond King, as well as two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward. Free safety Rayshawn Jenkins played 99 percent of the snaps in 2019 and second-year safety Nasir Adderley is poised to contribute in 2020. Cornerback Michael Davis had a pair of interceptions in 12 starts last season.
Harris Jr. looks at himself as another versatile piece who expects to play all over the field in 2020.
"Man, we got a lot of potential," he said. "We've got a lot of guys that have a lot of talent, now we just got to put in the work."