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Old 06-08-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Apologies if this has already been posted here...Blue & Gold Report

http://www.blueandgold.com/content/?aid=7124



Bruton Adjusting To NFL Life

by JOHN HAYNSWORTH
Web Editor

It is kind of like starting all over again for David Bruton as he acclimated himself to life in the NFL.

After serving as one of the more experienced members of the Irish defense over the past two seasons with the younger players looking to him for leadership, the roles have been reversed, and he’s now the one seeking out the veterans for guidance.

Bruton figures to make his most immediate impact on special teams for the Broncos.

“Brian Dawkins,” Bruton responded when asked which of his new Denver Broncos teammates he’s leaned on for support as an up and coming defensive back. “Basically, I’m just trying to learn under all of the veteran guys, and take the lessons that they tell me and put them to practice on the field.

Also helping Bruton along the way has been a familiar face from his days with the Irish program as he’s renewed his friendship with offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who will be entering his third season in 2009.

“That was my big brother at Notre Dame as a freshman and sophomore. I always used to try to hang out with him, try to be around him. He’s just an overall good guy, just a great person in general, just a great football player.

“It’s been a fun experience, getting a chance to know all of the guys and learn how to play professional football, walk around like a professional.”

Bruton has looked the part of an NFL professional since his junior season when he recorded 85 tackles, third best on the team, with three interceptions, two passes broken up, a forced fumble and a recovery. That effort earned attention from the NFL scouts during Notre Dame’s practices last spring and fall, and he followed that up last season by increasing his tackles total to 97, second only to fellow safety Kyle McCarthy, with four interceptions, six passes broken up, two forced fumbles and two recoveries.

However, much like his freshman and sophomore seasons, as well as his junior and senior season quite frankly, Bruton figures to make his most immediate impact on special teams as a rookie with Denver.

“I think special teams plays a major part in where I was drafted as well as a major part in any football game,” he acknowledged. “I’ve played special teams throughout high school, even when I was a starter in high school, even as a starter at Notre Dame. So I’ve always taken special teams very seriously. It’s a way to get on the field and get my feet wet, and get some experience.”

Bruton was a standout as a gunner for the Irish, especially on the punt coverage team, and he looks forward to locking down that role with the Broncos during the preseason workouts.

“That’s probably my favorite position on special teams,” he said. “Just being a big guy and people not thinking you can run that fast, you basically get a free shot at the returner. That’s the fun part, just knowing that you have a chance to knock the returner out or cause a big turnover, a big play in the game.”

While Bruton hopes to take advantage of every opportunity for playing time that comes his way as a rookie, he ultimately looks forward to playing in the defensive backfield. He started at free safety at Notre Dame in each of the past two seasons, but as the consummate team player, he’ll play wherever the coaches ask him to play with the Broncos.

“I see myself as a safety,” he said when asked if he had a preference – free safety or strong safety. “Wherever they put me is what I’m going to have to learn to play. I’ll play strong willingly. I’ll play free willingly. I have no problem doing either.”

If Bruton can maintain that humble attitude throughout his professional career, he’ll have no problems, period.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good guy and a guy that we need on this team....Somebody that will do what's asked
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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Soooo hopefully Bailey won't be forced to make insane last second tackles on kick returns this year? eh eh?
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:57 PM   #4
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My pipe dream would be that Bruton and Barrett grow into the next Smith/Atwater combo.

Both guys are huge and fast. I mean 6'2" 225lbs and 220lbs respectively. Both with 4.3/4.4 speed. Youch!!!!

Now if these guys can show the insticts that are god given...look out!
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by aborquez147 View Post
Soooo hopefully Bailey won't be forced to make insane last second tackles on kick returns this year? eh eh?
i honestly think the days of us putting starters out on our coverage units are over. Bruton is an example of that. We are drafting and signing guys who are going to be primarily ST players, and learn behind starters for awhile. I truly believe Champ is done on coverage units
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Obviously guys like Andra Davis and Dawkins were brought in to set an example for the younger players and provide leadership to help fix one of the worst defenses in the past decade

It will be refreshing to see guys who actually belong on an NFL roster back there this year

I am pretty sure our coach views return coverage as the first defensive play of the series, so the emphasis in special teams is refreshing to see
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:07 PM   #7
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I am pretty sure our coach views return coverage as the first defensive play of the series, so the emphasis in special teams is refreshing to see
That makes a lot of sense, but I don't think I've ever heard it said quite that clearly. Thanks, Buster. :-)
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:10 PM   #8
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My pipe dream would be that Bruton and Barrett grow into the next Smith/Atwater combo.

Both guys are huge and fast. I mean 6'2" 225lbs and 220lbs respectively. Both with 4.3/4.4 speed. Youch!!!!

Now if these guys can show the insticts that are god given...look out!
Barrett looked decent last season, but with the suck that was ahead of him, it is hard to tell if he was actually good or if just because of comparison to the suck before him, that any decent play from the position looked good.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hamrob View Post
My pipe dream would be that Bruton and Barrett grow into the next Smith/Atwater combo.

Both guys are huge and fast. I mean 6'2" 225lbs and 220lbs respectively. Both with 4.3/4.4 speed. Youch!!!!

Now if these guys can show the insticts that are god given...look out!
I'm kind of surprised that this board hasn't been more enthusiastic about Bruton, given that of all our draft picks, he was easily the most impressive at the combine, finishing 1st or 2nd among the safeties in almost every event. Couple that with the huge need back there, the fact he's probably going to stick just on his special teams ability alone, plus the fact that he was productive in college, and he ought to be getting more pub than he is. I wasn't a fan of the McBath pick but this one seems pretty sound. Everyone is looking at Dawkins as the answer...I think he's slipped and will struggle in coverage. His best value might be in teaching these kids how to play the position. And yes...Bruton and Barrett would be two big and fast safeties, something we haven't had in a while. Maybe by 2010 they're in there.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by footstepsfrom#27 View Post
I'm kind of surprised that this board hasn't been more enthusiastic about Bruton, given that of all our draft picks, he was easily the most impressive at the combine, finishing 1st or 2nd among the safeties in almost every event. Couple that with the huge need back there, the fact he's probably going to stick just on his special teams ability alone, plus the fact that he was productive in college, and he ought to be getting more pub than he is. I wasn't a fan of the McBath pick but this one seems pretty sound. Everyone is looking at Dawkins as the answer...I think he's slipped and will struggle in coverage. His best value might be in teaching these kids how to play the position. And yes...Bruton and Barrett would be two big and fast safeties, something we haven't had in a while. Maybe by 2010 they're in there.

I really liked the Bruton pick. From scouting reports he was a hell of a special teamer, and a fairly decent safety. I was hoping we'd pick him up where we did. As far as the combine stats go, I read somewhere recently that his coverage skills were lacking for as well as he timed.

But according to this article he is right behind Dawkins which is a great sign. He was supposedly a great team player at ND. It'd be exciting if he could develop behind and eventually take over for Dawkins when he decides to retire.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_12549590


Free safety Brian Dawkins was excused from the workout Monday because of a personal matter. He was replaced on the first team Monday by rookie David Bruton. . . .

Scouting report on Bruton from http://www.draftcountdown.com/scouti...vid-Bruton.php

Strengths:
Superb natural athlete...Good size and bulk...Very physical...Active and aggressive with a non-stop motor...Great tackler...Does a fantastic job supporting the run...Plays fast and has a burst to close...Good range...Outstanding leaper...Great footwork...Will deliver the big hit...Nice instincts...Will create big plays...Very productive...A phenomenal special teamer...Smart... Mature ...Hard worker... Leader.

Weaknesses:
Timed speed is just average...Does not have very good hands and drops too many interceptions...Has a thin lower body and needs to get stronger...Is not very fluid and doesn't flip his hips well...Will struggle to match up in coverage...Can be too eager at times and will get fooled.

The timed speed is incorrect in this report, but I wouldn't doubt if he wasn't that great in coverage. He seems to have all the intangibles you look for, great instincts, hard worker team player etc. Hopefully getting better in coverage can be worked on by the coaches and in practice.


Personally I'm hoping for a McBath - Bruton combo after Dawkins decides to move on, but If Barrett turns out well I can't deny a Bruton-Barett combo could be pretty nasty.


Anyway just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Dexter; 06-09-2009 at 02:29 AM..
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:40 AM   #11
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I'm kind of surprised that this board hasn't been more enthusiastic about Bruton, given that of all our draft picks, he was easily the most impressive at the combine, finishing 1st or 2nd among the safeties in almost every event. Couple that with the huge need back there, the fact he's probably going to stick just on his special teams ability alone, plus the fact that he was productive in college, and he ought to be getting more pub than he is. I wasn't a fan of the McBath pick but this one seems pretty sound. Everyone is looking at Dawkins as the answer...I think he's slipped and will struggle in coverage. His best value might be in teaching these kids how to play the position. And yes...Bruton and Barrett would be two big and fast safeties, something we haven't had in a while. Maybe by 2010 they're in there.
i think the reason he is basically being overlooked as a viable option to be a starting safety for us in the future is due to him being known as a special teams ace. it seems like that was what we specifically drafted him for, to be a special teams standout. that was all that has been talked about with him, not much about his skills in the secondary but his skills on coverage units.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:48 AM   #12
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I still wonder where McBath is going to fit in though. I'd be fine with Bruton and Barrett growing into a star tandem, but then what do you do with McBath, who seems to be the ballhawking type that McD covets as well as Nolan. They are focused on getting turnovers and stopping the run. Pressure vs the QB does't seem to play such a large role (thus passing on Orakpo). Seems that we will use scheme to confuse our opponents and allow guys like Bailey, McBath, Alphonso Smith, Dawkins, DJ Williams, and Wesley Woodyard to make "game changing" plays on the ball. I think we'll be fine on offense... still have a lot of questions on whether this scheme can cover for an apparent lack of talent on Defense.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:41 AM   #13
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...Has a thin lower body and needs to get stronger...
Funny, I noticed this immediately in the pic in the OP. Skinny legs.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:55 AM   #14
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My pipe dream would be that Bruton and Barrett grow into the next Smith/Atwater combo.

Both guys are huge and fast. I mean 6'2" 225lbs and 220lbs respectively. Both with 4.3/4.4 speed. Youch!!!!

Now if these guys can show the insticts that are god given...look out!
AWW man that would be SWEET!!!! I would love to see those guys back there tearing up whoevers running a crossing route and cleaning up a run play. What would be nice if we use Mcbath as the big nickel (like Sam Brandon or Lenny Walls) to cover big and fast tight ends. If you look at our nickel and dime coners both of them are no bigger than 5-9 190(with a wet T-shirt on).
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #15
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Funny, I noticed this immediately in the pic in the OP. Skinny legs.
Those knees could take an eye out, but he'll add some muscle.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:04 AM   #16
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i think the reason he is basically being overlooked as a viable option to be a starting safety for us in the future is due to him being known as a special teams ace. it seems like that was what we specifically drafted him for, to be a special teams standout. that was all that has been talked about with him, not much about his skills in the secondary but his skills on coverage units.
That's probably correct, but if you look over some of his scouting reports, some people think he's a future starter at safety also. His combine numbers blew the field away, and he was productive in college so it's not like he was a workout warrior only.
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