Former hoopster catches Reid's eye

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
6:55
PM ET
Demetrius Harris is far from a small-dunk to make the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster, but the undrafted rookie has impressed head coach Andy Reid.

Asked if any young players were standing out in organized team activities and Reid named Harris to reporters Friday.

“Harris has done a nice job,” Reid said. “He came in as a basketball player and has just gotten better and better every day. You see him out here making plays. I’m sure you guys noticed that. I’m proud of him for the way he’s worked, that’s not an easy transition.”

That is encouraging for Harris and the Chiefs. Kansas City signed the former University Milwaukee-Wisconsin basketball player after the draft as a project. Several teams looked at Harris, but he signed with the Chiefs partly because general manager John Dorsey showed early interest in him. Harris had a chance to play football at Arkansas State and he was standout in high school.

It will be a long road for the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Harris to make the transition from college hoopster to NFL tight end, but has been done before. Reid just wants to see the youngster continue to work.

“To learn, just learn,” Reid said when asked what Harris needs to do moving forward. “We saw the athleticism. John Dorsey, that was his guy and he saw the ability there. He had been a real good high school receiver so you bring him in and give him a shot. That’s what those are all about -- those tryout positions. He came in and stayed in and made the most of it so far.”

Unless he completely falls off, I bet Harris is going to be earmarked for the practice squad where he can continue to grow in the Kansas City program. He will definitely be a player to monitor during training camp.

In other AFC West notes:

New San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is excited about working with quarterback Philip Rivers.

Kansas City star running back Jamaal Charles had his toe stepped on during an OTA practice Friday. ESPN’s Ed Werder reports Charles is expected to be fine. The Kansas City Star reports X-rays came back negative.

The Denver Post reports the Broncos have hired John Spytek to their scouting department. He was the Browns’ director of college scouting under Tom Heckert, who is now in Denver’s front office.

The Patriots released guard Tyronne Green. He was a starter on the Chargers last season and had recently signed with New England. The new San Diego brass didn’t have interest in him this offseason.

Here’s a piece of history every Broncos’ fan might (or might not) want. A game-day barrel worn by the actual Barrel Man, the most famous Bronco fan of them all. It’s all yours on eBay. Go get bidding (or not).

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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