Broncos Safety Darian Stewart Exudes Confidence


It was a poor performance against the New Orleans Saints that got Darian Stewart benched by the Baltimore Ravens last season.

When he returned to the starting lineup, it was game over for teams that tried to throw on him.

In the second half of last season and going into the playoffs, there were only a couple handfuls of safeties in the entire league that played better than No. 24 for the Ravens.

Showing range to play the free safety position as well as the toughness and tackling ability to play the strong spot, Stewart was a pretty unheralded unrestricted free agent. That’s especially odd considering the way he played at the end of last year for Baltimore, and the way he responded to being put on the bench.

The Broncos signed him to a fairly modest deal this year — just two years, about $4 million — but he’s already staking claim to the starting free safety spot and telling everyone else on the roster to come and get it from him.

“It’s my position to lose,” Stewart said. “When I line up, man, I feel like at this level you’ve got to have that confidence. When I signed here, man, I knew it’s my job.”

John Elway decided against making the $4 million investment for one season of Rahim Moore (which is the deal he signed in Houston) and decided to invest that coin in Stewart, who will become what he believes to be a key piece of the secondary. If healthy, heck, he says he is one of the best in the NFL.

“When I’m healthy, I’m one of the best in the league, I feel like,” he said. “As long as I’m healthy and staying on the field, my play is going to speak for itself.”

It’s that kind of confidence and swagger that the Broncos need in the secondary. I don’t know that it was ‘missing’ last year, per se, but I think there was something lacking in a unit that included three Pro Bowl players. The secondary for the Broncos this year looks to be the undisputed strength of the team, and Stewart is an important part of that.

He’ll be able to rotate around with T.J Ward on the back end of the Broncos’ secondary, switching off between the free and strong safety positions in Wade Phillips’ defense.

I absolutely can’t wait to see what this guy is capable of. He did a little bit of everything in his time with Baltimore, but really came into his own at the end of last year after getting benched. His confidence has me, and probably many other fans, confident he can be a really great player for this team.

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