A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Today we take a look at special teams ace - David Bruton Jr.
Name: David Bruton Jr.
Position: Strong Safety
Height: 6-2 Weight: 217
Age: 27 Experience: 7
College: Notre Dame
David Bruton Jr. has been a Bronco his entire career. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 draft and has been wearing orange and blue on game days ever since.
Bruton is known for his skills as a special teamer but would love nothing more than to see more time on the field as a safety. Last year Bruton got more playing time as safety than he had in years past and did a fine job.
The question is - will Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips see Bruton as their answer at safety or merely as depth.
4th and 7. The Broncos are on their own 36. At Arrowhead. Bruton audibles a fake punt.
This is why Bruton has been a Broncos captain for the last several years. He's talented, smart, and is the most dependable special teams player on the Broncos roster.
Speaking with the media about setting a tone on special teams for the younger players Bruton had this to say:
"I’ve seen it all on special teams from short sets to double-teams to crack-backs to getting smoked out in the back—it doesn’t matter, I’ve seen it all. [I’m] just trying teach those guys how to play smart, play fast but overall and just play free. You’ve got to play free; you can’t let anything hold you back. Be fearless."
That's a valuable guy to have in the locker room.
There's really nothing bad to say about Bruton special teams wise. He's a great tackler that any NFL would welcome as part of their special teams unit.
Bruton will have to fight the perception that he is merely a backup at safety with the Broncos new coaches. Darien Stewart was signed after Rahim Moore left in free agency, but that doesn't leave Bruton out in the cold. He just has to shine in training camp and prove that last season's uptick in performance as a safety wasn't a fluke.
"I’ve seen it all. Heck, in my third year we drafted two safeties. I could’ve sworn I was out the door then. And then every year we’ve moved a corner to safety, whether it’s Omar [Bolden] or talks of Kayvon [Webster] or [Bradley] Roby or whomever they’re thinking about moving out there from corner to safety. I’ve seen it all. All I can do is keep my head down and keep plugging away. There’s nothing really that I can do about the coaches’ decisions as far as who’s playing which position. I’m going to just play mine and I’m going to play it the best I can. Hopefully they give me that opportunity when I show that I can play as good or better than anybody else."
Bruton will be on the 53 man roster. Even if Phillips doesn't like what Bruton has to offer the Broncos as a safety, he is just too important as a special teamer to cut.