|07-07-2014, 08:26 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Training Camp Preview: Defensive Backs
No Broncos position group has undergone a more complete overhaul from its composition in Super Bowl XLVIII to now than the defensive backfield.
The contracts of half the Super Bowl starters in the secondary expired. Free safety Mike Adams is now an Indianapolis Colt, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie became a New York Giant. Another starter, longtime secondary linchpin Champ Bailey, was released before free agency after a 15th NFL season that was strangled by injury.
What emerged from the offseason is a unit that is something old and something new. Old, of course, is relative; that mantle is carried by cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and safety Rahim Moore, both of whom were left watching the Super Bowl in warm-up gear because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament and compartment syndrome, respectively. And both have less experience than the ballyhooed newcomers who hopped aboard within the first few hours of free agency: cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward.
The changes, along with the arrival of DeMarcus Ware, added a dose of what Ware dubbed "brutal nasty" to the entire defense.
"As a defense, we're hungry," Harris said. "If you add on a lot of pieces that we've brought in -- T.J. (DeMarcus) Ware and Talib -- you add those guys on to the already talented guys that we have here, we haven't really even seen the full defense.
"It's going to be pretty scary once we get back to 100 [percent]."
If it lives up to its potential, this secondary provides the Broncos more flexibility and athleticism than they possessed last season. The keystone to those attributes is Ward, who was one of the most coveted free agents this year because he is in his career prime (fifth season), he already has a Pro Bowl pedigree and he has the aggression and range to make plays in the box without sacrificing coverage ability.
That's why the notion of using Ward as an in-the-box presence was floated nearly four months ago by Executive Vice President and General Manager John Elway.
"T.J. can play in the box or in the back end, so that's his versatility," said Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio.
|07-07-2014, 08:41 AM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Does anyone else think that Andrew Mason's head shot in this article really looks like Nick Frost?
|07-07-2014, 08:43 AM||#3|
RIP Darrent Williams
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Glendale, AZ
Pending our returners from last year are healthy and Roby plays well this defense will be scary, I agree with Harris.
|07-07-2014, 09:16 AM||#4|
Tanner Mangum Destroys
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ceti Alpha V