Shelby Harris is tired of losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. Towards the end of the Denver Broncos' 43-16 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, the big defensive lineman lost his cool and went off on the officials on the field.
Clearly, Harris believed the refs were being a little too conservative with their yellow laundry and wanted a flag thrown on the last meaningful drive of Kansas City's. His vociferous gesticulations drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following a 3rd-&-11 in which the Broncos got a stop.
The penalty gave Kansas City, who was already cruising to a multi-score victory, a fresh set of downs on the Broncos' 4-yard line. Two plays later, backup QB Chad Henne punched it in for the Chiefs' final score of the day.
After the penalty, Harris was pulled off the field where he continued his emotional outburst, tossing his helmet and hollering at the coaches. Following the game, just in case fans were a little worried about perhaps there being any issues between Harris and head coach Vic Fangio, or his position coach Bill Kollar, the veteran defensive lineman sent a message on Twitter.
"Obviously in the game of football there is a lot of emotion involved. Vic and I spoke and we are on great terms. Families argue but we work it out after. All we both want is to win," Harris tweeted Sunday evening.
For his part, Coach Fangio explained post-game why he was disappointed in Harris as he came of the field.
“I was just really disappointed that we would get an unsportsmanlike penalty there at that point in the game when the game’s out of hand," Fangio said Sunday evening. "I just don’t want us to be a team that gets those kinds of things late in games or anytime in a game, especially a game that turned out the way that one was.”
Just in case any concerns persisted in the fanbase or media, Fangio echoed Harris on Monday, with the emotion of the moment diminished by a day's rest and reflection.
“We had a great talk after the game and there’s no issues there," Fangio said.
As I wrote after the game, Harris' lapse wasn't a great look, and his sideline outburst didn't reflect well on him, especially in a season where he's played very well on a prove-it contract. But it's good to hear that he and Fangio are copacetic.
Frustrations boil over at times and emotions can get the best of a player. Hopefully, Harris can channel that energy into next week's game with the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town in Week 8.
Harris is the only remaining original starter on the Broncos' defensive line from the season-opener. Jurrell Casey was placed on injured reserve three weeks ago and on Monday, we learned that nose tackle Mike Purcell is done for the year with a lisfranc injury.
Harris is now the man upfront. He's got to act like it and lead his unit.