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Corner depth is one position where Broncos have some breathing room

There are some depth concerns on this roster, no doubt, but corner is at least one position the Broncos have some talent waiting in the wings.

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Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

While there are definitely some depth concerns with this 2019 Broncos roster, i.e., linebacker, edge rusher, defensive lineman - not to mention that no one on the starting offense, especially Joe Flacco, can so much as get the flu this season - there is one position where the talent runs a little deeper.


It’s no embarrassment of riches, mind you, but two players sitting in the backup spots behind Chris Harris Jr. and Bryce Callahan have impressed the head coach as well as Harris Jr. (who just happens to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL).

Isaac Yiadom and De’Vante Bausby have continued to shine in preseason after making a strong showing every day in training camp.

“They’ve done well,” head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday, adding that Bausby has improved a lot since Fangio first worked with him at the Bears and that Yiadom has improved since his shoulder injury from last season. “I think they’ve both improved tremendously. ...I’m pleased with those guys’ progress.”

To Chris Harris Jr., Yiadom has made a big jump in his second season.

“He’s definitely getting a lot better,” the All-Pro corner said. “Like I said last week, he just needs to work on his hands, and he finally caught it. You can definitely see that he’s been working on that and making that improvement.”

Harris Jr. was referring to Yiadom’s interception Monday night off of Bradley Chubb’s pressure on 49er QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

It turns out, as Denver Post’s Kyle Fredrickson reported, the defensive backs have a little wager between each other regarding missed opportunities on interceptions - you touch it, you better catch it...or you owe your teammates some cash.

Safety Justin Simmons told the Post that he’s proud of how far Yiadom has come so far this second season.

“I know we’ve been giving him a lot of grief about his missed opportunities in practice. I told him, ‘I don’t care how many times you drop it in practice. You catch it in the game,’” he said. “I’m excited for him. He’s been working really hard.”

Harris Jr. noted that Yiadom’s best asset this season has been his no-fear approach for coverage as a corner.

“I don’t see any fear in him challenging receivers,” Harris Jr. said. “That’s one thing, I think that is the main thing as a corner, you don’t want to play with fear. He’s out there playing with confidence, and when we start going against real big time receivers and things like that, you’ve got to keep that the same.”

No. 25 had a few compliments for Bausby as well, saying the former AAF player reminded him of Dominic Rodgers Cromartie minus the “4.34, 4.32 speed.”

“He’s like DRC, so I can definitely play with him,” Harris Jr. said. “He has great ball skills and great instincts. I like how he plays.”

Wherefore art thou, Special Teams studs?

The biggest concern for the team - and its coach - remains special teams, which has looked downright pitiful in the preseason so far.

Harris Jr. might know why.

“I guess the kids don’t really understand this is how you make the team,” he said, laughing. “It’s a 53-man roster. This is how you make the team - on special teams. They might have to pull out my old clips, my old highlights from special teams my rookie year. Kind of show them how I was and then they can see. Then later on in their career they might be able to play on offense or defense.”

Fangio just wants to see better coverage, better blocking. And he’s not opposed to putting starters out there (so CHJ may not want to brag about his rookie year doing special teams)!

“Obviously, job No. 1 is we have to get the guys that have been out there doing it better,” Fangio said. “If need be, we’ll have to put some starters out there if it doesn’t improve which a lot of teams have done. When I was in San Francisco, NaVorro Bowman, who was one of the top defensive players in the league, was on our punt team for three straight years. It’s not unchartered waters.”

Horse Tracks

Roundup: Broncos' Fant (ankle) to be ready for Week 1 -
After contemplating retirement, Bengals guard Christian Westerman returned to the team Wednesday and was taken off the exempt/left squad list.

QB Drew Lock to miss 'a little bit of time' with right thumb sprain
Head Coach Vic Fangio said the team is not signing another quarterback right now.

'That wasn't Garett at all': Fangio offers insight into Bolles' holding call in #SFvsDEN
Vic Fangio also talked about Bradley Chubb and the plan for starters against the Rams.

Health of two key Broncos starters creates uncertainty; Chris Harris Jr. says his role hasn’t changed – The Athletic
Todd Davis (calf) will not return to practice this week and Ron Leary has a knee injury that has kept him out of preseason.

Denver Broncos: How the signing of Orson Charles could affect the roster
Among a wave of roster transactions on Wednesday, the Denver Broncos signed tight end/fullback Orson Charles. How will the move affect the roster?

Broncos sign TE/FB Orson Charles, claim OLB Dadi Nicolas, OL Tyler Jones
The Broncos waived/injured Aaron Wallace in a corresponding roster move.

Denver Broncos: Winners and losers from loss to San Francisco 49ers
The Broncos were defeated by the 49ers in Week 2 of NFL preseason on Monday night. Who stood out to Denver's coaching staff?

What does Drew Lock’s injury mean for him and the Broncos? Plus, a new 53-man roster projection – The Athletic
Lock's thumb injury could keep him out for a good chunk of the season, which means the Broncos' roster puzzle just became more complicated.

NFL Tracks

Melvin Gordon holdout expected to carry into season -
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon's holdout is expected to carry on into the regular season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. (let's hope it goes through Week 5!)

What to watch for in early Week 3 preseason games -
Week 3 of preseason football is upon us! Are you all caught up on what you need to know? Here are some of the biggest storylines to monitor for Thursday and Friday's contests.

Glazer’s NFL mailbag: On rookie running backs, freshman coaches and a Jay-organized prank – The Athletic
Jay is back to answer your questions on breakout running backs, plus a prank he put together with help from Michael Strahan.

Carli Lloyd drilled a 55-yard field goal. A Hall of Famer says she should get an NFL tryout. - The Washington Post
A former Dallas Cowboys executive even knows which team should give the U.S. women's soccer star a shot.

Jerry Jones says he’s ‘earned the right’ to joke with Ezekiel Elliott - The Washington Post
The Dallas Cowboys running back's holdout seems to be getting on the owner's nerves.

Fantasy Football 2019 beginner’s guide: The best draft picks for Rounds 1-3 - The Washington Post
Here’s a round-by-round road map for the three most important picks for every slot in a 12-team, point-per-reception (PPR) league.