A deep bench is a necessity in the NFL these days. Just as the sky is blue and the grass is green, mid-season injuries are a sure thing. In order for teams to advance deep into the playoffs, backups need to step up and make it seem as if the regular starters were still playing.
That’s why we’ve been focusing more on the Broncos second-string players lately. Yesterday, we looked at Cassius Vaughn and his ability to fill in for Champ Bailey when the team goes into the nickel. Today, we’re going to look at safety Kyle McCarthy.
As Brian Dawkins’ backup, Kyle McCarthy could see a lot of playing time this season. Dawkins turns 38 in October and while he’s generally healthy, anything can cut his season short. Last year, he missed 5 games and in his 15 year career, he’s missed 30 regular season games.
McCarthy, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, played his first season in Denver last year recording 4 tackles in eight games. He missed the team’s final three games with a serious knee injury.
This year, however, he’s mixed in with the first team offense quite a bit. John Fox has always said that he doesn’t care where a player has come. If he can play, he will be on the field.
It’s clear that McCarthy can play. In the team’s first preseason game against Dallas, McCarthy had three solo tackles, one sack, and he made a stop on third and short. In camp, he was all over the field, and could be seen intercepting the quarterbacks.
At 6’1″ 210 lbs., McCarthy set tackling records at Notre Dame, but most importantly, he was the team’s most dependable and reliable safety.
He is very aggressive against the run, and his speed gives him good range in zone coverage. His size is very attractive since he can cover bigger receivers.
With McCarthy’s natural talent and his willingness to learn from Dawkins, he could turn out to be a very good strong safety for the Broncos which is just what the team needs as Dawkins nears the end of his career.