Cornerback A.J. Bouye was introduced on Wednesday as the trade the Denver Broncos made for him became official. The trade ended up being a good one for Denver as they gave up a fourth round pick, but saved countless millions in contract dollars by avoiding the competition for the top cornerback free agents on the market.
When asked about how he expects to play outside on the Broncos defense, he minced no words. He’ll be playing outside and he’ll be a tough, physical defender against the pass and against the run.
“Of course, that’s all I’ve played ever since I got in the league was outside,” Bouye said. “I know I can hold my own out there, so I’m definitely not worried about that. I’m a physical corner. You know I’ll come up and tackle. I’m always good in the run game. I feel like what makes me my best is just my instincts. I study the game. I study all the time. It’s just a lot of concepts that fascinate me. I know I can make plays in the right situations. That’s one thing I feel like, especially on the outside, I can do.”
As a student of the game and how Bouye loves to study the nuances of defensive play, he is especially excited about how he’ll be able to exploit his opportunities under a Vic Fangio style defensive scheme.
“They’ve got a great front from what I’ve seen,” Bouye said of Fangio’s scheme. “They definitely were good in the run. I looked at the stats and everything. Also, it just gives opportunities for corners to be aggressive. Then when you have safeties like that on the backend who will make plays on the ball but also come up and be physical in the run game, it just makes everything that much better when your DBs are all moving, can be aggressive and can get their eyes to the ball and see things. Already talking with the coaches, they’ve already got things lined up talking about concepts, just talking ball. I’m definitely excited about that. Then [Bradley] Chubb coming back this year, you know it’s just going to get that more dangerous.
“I’m good at studying schemes, offensive schemes, concepts, things like that—just studying tendencies and just always be able to be aggressive on some of the plays and everything like that. I think that’s going to help a lot. Like I said, when you’re playing with some safeties on the backend like that and a front like that, it’s going to be easy. The clock in the head of that quarterback gets much faster. It’s definitely something I’m definitely looking for with that.”
That attention to detail is how Bouye rose to prominence in the NFL after going undrafted. The Broncos have handled free agency rather well this year by mostly avoiding the big contract bidding wars and looking for diamonds on the trade block. They got one in Bouye and paid even less for one in Jurrell Casey.
With the losses they had on defense with Chris Harris Jr. leaving and potentially both Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe also leaving, they did the best job possible getting in quality talent to fill those holes left by the teams departing free agents. I’m looking forward to seeing how this defense plays in 2020.