How Good Can the Broncos’ Defensive Backfield Become?

Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris (25) celebrates with linebacker Shaun Philips (90) after making a tackle during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

As much as people talk about the Broncos’ great group of wide receivers and deep group of tight ends, I don’t know that enough attention has been paid to the cornerback position.

That’s especially after seeing what the Broncos’ current group is capable of on Thursday night, even without Champ Bailey. The unit certainly wasn’t without flaw, but it wasn’t far off either.

When Champ Bailey returns, he will obviously start along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed with the Broncos the same night that Wes Welker agreed to come play with Peyton Manning, except not a lot of people nationally heard about it.

I remember even talking with a Broncos friend at work, noting the upgrades we made before training camp started, and I mentioned DRC and he was mouth agape, astonished we’d been able to land him.

He had absolutely no idea we made the move, which is understandable considering the attention that was paid to the Welker signing and the fact that DRC had vastly underachieved in his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In a pretty tame market, DRC signed a modest one-year deal with the Broncos to get back on the right track after Jack Del Rio was blunt with him, telling him that he wasn’t good in Philly and that he could get him back to where he wanted to be.

Rodgers-Cromartie had a great camp with the Broncos, but got a high ankle sprain and was carted off the field. Thankfully it was only a sprain, and DRC was able to play in the Broncos’ third pre-season game against the St. Louis Rams. Quietly, he had put together one of the best camps of any Broncos player, and the team was really excited to have a guy with his talent alongside the Pro Bowler Bailey and slot corner extraordinaire, Chris Harris.

DRC was absolutely dominant in the Broncos’ first game, as Flacco threw just one of his 62 passes his way. By the way, that pass was incomplete.

So, in his first game with the Broncos, DRC didn’t allow a single catch. It wasn’t against the greatest crew of receivers in the league, but he sees that at practice every day. He isn’t going to be shocked by anything he sees all year, and his great performance against the Ravens has me giddy about what the Broncos’ defensive backfield can become as the season progresses.

With Champ Bailey added to the backfield, the Broncos will have three near shut-down cornerbacks (if DRC holds up), and a couple of the top cover linebackers in the NFL in Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan.

Then you have to imagine the excitement when Von Miller returns to the lineup, which will give Denver a really tough defense to matchup with.

Then you add in the emergence of Duke Ihenacho and the improvements made by Rahim Moore, and you have a secondary that would make any defensive coach in the league absolutely giddy.

If Champ Bailey is able to return for action against the New York Giants in week two, fans will get a taste of what the Broncos look like with not only three stellar wide receivers, but three stellar cornerbacks.

The NFL is obviously a pass heavy league, and the Broncos are build for a Super Bowl on both sides of the ball in that area. I can’t wait to see what this team looks like with #24 back.

Topics: Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos, Dominique Rodgers-cromartie

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