David Bruton Ready to Step Into Defensive Role for Broncos
By Editorial Staff
David Bruton (30) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)
Safety and special teams extraordinaire David Bruton re-signed with the Denver Broncos in March, and said that he had no intentions of going anywhere else.
“I wanted to be back here,” Bruton said Tuesday. “We have huge potential as a team; we have huge expectations, huge goals. As a player, as a competitor, I want to be in a situation where I felt like I had a chance to potentially play defense and continue my role in special teams, but to hoist up the trophy at the end. That’s the ultimate goal for any NFL player.”
That’s why Bruton signed a three-year deal worth $4.5 million. The five-year veteran out of Notre Dame went on.
“Unless a team was offering three or four times as much as Denver offered, then there would be no reason to go elsewhere, especially because we had a chance last year and we just let it slip,” Bruton said. “You have that bad taste in your mouth and where else are you going to feel like you can repeat that and potentially go further than that?”
Bruton had five tackles and one interception in 2012, but really made his presence felt on special teams. He did so well on special teams that he was named a third alternate in the Pro Bowl.
Bruton’s big year began against the Oakland Raiders in September when he deflected a Shane Lechler punt, which led to a Willis McGahee touchdown four plays later. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, he tackled Adam Jones for no gain and recovered an onside kick to seal Denver’s victory.
Over the course of his career, Bruton has played in 61-of-64 possible regular season games, and he ranks second in special-teams tackles (32) during that time.
The hope is that the 6-2, 217-pound Bruton can step into his role as a safety even more, which isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
“Safety is a tough position,” Bruton said. “You have to be able to cover, whether it’s a tight end or a slot…As far as their athletic skillset, [cornerbacks] are considered the best athletes. I beg to differ (laughing). The learning curve is that, as a corner, you listen and you echo the call. As a safety, you give the call. You have to make sure that everybody is in order, linebacker to corner.”
If Bruton can compliment his special teams play with some big plays on defense, then this Broncos team got a steal in the fourth-round of the 2009 draft.
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