We conclude are early look at Denver Broncos Training Camp with thoughts on the secondary. This was one of the problems areas last season, but they have made moves that should drastically improve the play on the back end of the defense. The last time Bronco fans saw this group, they were getting torched by Tom Brady in the Divisional Playoffs. Where are they now?
Cornerbacks- Champ Bailey looks 10 years younger, he’s having his best camp in years and that’s saying something.
Bailey has said how the signing of Peyton Manning has completely rejuvenated him and it shows.
He has done everything in the NFL except win a championship, so the acquisition of Manning has him excited again. Unlike past seasons, though, Bailey has help and a lot of it. The signing of Tracy Porter is huge for this team, he is not on Bailey’s level but he is just a step below. When teams throw away from Bailey, now, they will be throwing at a guy who can cover with the best of them. There might be tandems that are better than Bailey/Porter but it is a very short list.
In today’s NFL, you have to have more than 2 corners that can cover and the Broncos do. Drayton Florence comes over from Buffalo where he was a starter, and is an above average cornerback in the league. Florence as your third corner allows the defense to do so many things with the front seven. It will be much harder for opponents to spread Denver out as they did last season. In addition to Florence, the Broncos also have 2 young players that they really like. Chris Harris is coming off a solid rookie season as an undrafted free agent, and has looked even better in training camp. Rookie, Omar Bolden has also shown glimpses of the talent that the Broncos saw when they picked him in the 4th round last April. It is important to remember that Bolden did not play last year and will get better as he knocks the rust off. However, you can see why Bolden was a projected 1st round pick until he hurt his knee. In short the Broncos have five guys at cornerback who can cover and in todays pass happy NFL, that’s a must.
Safties- Along with defensive tackle, the position of safety was the biggest weakness on the defense in 2011. It was ok until Brian Dawkins was lost for the year, then teams started to exploit the middle of the field on Denver. The first free agent that Denver signed was, Mike Adams from Cleveland and he is having a very solid camp. Adams will not wow you with his ability but he’s always in the right spot, and is a great leader for Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter. The Broncos are counting on Moore and Carter to be better in their 2nd year, and early indications are good. Moore looks much more comfortable and is just playing instead of thinking. It will be fun to watch him in the preseason games to see his progress. Carter is dealing with a couple of injuries right now but should be ready to go in a few days, if not sooner. He just needs to build on his late season play from last year and he’ll be fine. Make no mistake, though, Moore and Carter are huge keys to the Denver defense for this season and beyond.
That concludes our early look at each position for the Broncos a week into camp but we are just getting started. As always, www.getrealfootball.com has you covered for training camp and beyond.