Broncos Film Study: Rookie Bradley Roby Coming Into His Own


Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) and cornerback Bradley Roby (29) celebrate after sacking New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) during the third quarter of their NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jets 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Watching the film from the Denver Broncos’ victory over the New York Jets, I’m loving what I’ve seen from rookie cornerback Bradley Roby. Roby had his best grade of the season from Pro Football Focus (+2.5) but I think that number doesn’t do justice the job he did against the Jets.

The Broncos are using Roby in a variety of ways, but his responsibilities are increasing weekly. Roby is being sent on blitzes, he’s playing nickel, and he’s doing a lot of making plays. One of my favorite plays from Roby was his first NFL sack, which came in the third quarter on a perfectly disguised blitz.

Roby looks like he’s playing press coverage on the slot receiver here for the Jets, and the ball is already snapped when this snapshot is taken, and Roby is still delaying. He waits maybe a count or half a count, and then takes the perfect angle to Geno Smith for the sack.

Another phenomenal play by Roby came in the third quarter when the Jets drove the ball down the field into scoring range and had a chance at a touchdown but had to settle for a field goal. The reason they had to settle was because Bradley Roby played a perfect pass by Geno Smith perfectly and prevented Jace Amaro from scoring his second touchdown of the day.

Roby is playing the nickel on this play, and Amaro puts a move on him to the middle but Roby keeps his leverage and is able to leap in front of the ball and undercut the route, preventing a score on a well-drawn up play by the Jets.

Another play that was impressive from Roby but really sloppy from the Broncos as a whole was in the fourth quarter on the Jets’ touchdown drive when Roby comes off a block downfield and makes this hit on Greg Salas, who has scampered down the field focused entirely on Rahim Moore. He has no idea Roby is coming off a block about to deliver a blow, and he’s probably got a bruise the size of Met Life Stadium on his leg this morning from this hit. Roby is the blur in the bottom left.

It’s really exciting and encouraging to see Roby making these kinds of plays. There were so many reports — premature ones — that he was mentally not in a good place at training camp, that he was pouty and couldn’t deal with getting beat repeatedly. Those reports were clearly garbage, and not to be trusted sources in the future. Roby has looked great so far this season. He’s improved every game in my opinion and has made a ton of big plays for this Broncos defense which is, like Roby, getting better every snap of every game it seems.