Denver Broncos get De’Vante Bausby back after Falcons debacle

De'Vante Bausby, CB #41 for the Denver Broncos Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
De'Vante Bausby, CB #41 for the Denver Broncos Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos get De’Vante Bausby back after the Falcons debacle.

The Denver Broncos got pretty lucky at the time of final cuts when they let go of cornerback De’Vante Bausby and were able to re-sign him to the practice squad.

No preseason games and extensive COVID protocol for roster moves certainly aided the Broncos in sneaking Bausby through the waiver wire, but he wasn’t on the practice squad for too long.

The Broncos promoted Bausby for their second and third games of the season before ultimately promoting him to the active roster on a more permanent basis ahead of a week four matchup with the New York Jets. Bausby played well after replacing Essang Bassey against the Jets, and has shown well as an outside corner when called upon dating back to the 2019 season.

The Broncos’ coaching staff has also spoken highly of Bausby, but they curiously decided to cut him on October 24, a day before their first matchup this season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bausby assessed his options for practice squad spots and ultimately decided on the Arizona Cardinals, who actually had to sign him to the 53-man roster after offers from other teams started coming Bausby’s way.

After signing onto Arizona’s active roster, Bausby was thrust into action for Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, and apparently, he didn’t impress.

Bausby was waived by the Cardinals shortly after his first game with the team, and if you were wondering whether or not the Broncos agreed with Broncos Country about whether or not cutting him was a mistake, here’s your answer:

It’s not like the Broncos just cut Champ Bailey in his prime or anything like that, but he was key depth at the outside cornerback position, and the team was simply caught with its pants down against the Atlanta Falcons in a big way.

Young Davontae Harris and Essang Bassey were thrust into the lineup with the “veteran” rookie Michael Ojemudia as the de facto CB1 for Denver’s defense.

The Broncos didn’t think there would be a game the rest of the 2020 season where they would have to play without both AJ Bouye and Bryce Callahan, but Bouye suffered a concussion against the Chargers and Callahan was a surprise inactive with an ankle injury.

Even without Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan exposed the Broncos’ youth at cornerback early and often, to the point that the Broncos had to scratch and claw just to get back into the game.

I have not watched the tape of Bausby’s debut with the Arizona Cardinals, but it’s not altogether surprising that he would have struggled in Vance Joseph’s defense compared to Vic Fangio’s.

Fangio’s defense calls for primarily zone coverage, reading the quarterback, and breaking on the ball. Joseph’s defense is the complete opposite, asking players to play press man-to-man coverage the majority of the time.

Although Bausby is not a hack in man coverage, he’s much better at reading the QB and breaking on the ball.

In four games with the Broncos, only two with snaps defensively, Bausby has three pass breakups. AJ Bouye has two pass breakups in his four appearances.

With Bausby back in the fold, it will be interesting to see how the Broncos approach the rest of the season at cornerback. Obviously, their ideal lineup right now includes Bouye, Bryce Callahan, and Ojemudia, who has done mostly well in his rookie season so far.

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Bausby was initially cut because Davontae Harris is a superior special teams player, but it’s clear that having a good scheme fit at outside cornerback is too valuable of depth to simply cut loose and hope you can stash him on the practice squad.