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Bruton Competes for Safety Spot

Posted Jun 6, 2013

Special teams specialist David Bruton is in the middle of the competition for a spot in the defensive backfield.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos' defensive backfield is crowded, and that's just the way Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio wants it.

"It's a competitive situation right now," Del Rio said. "Really, we try to make every position across the board as competitive as possible. Corner is not the only position that's competitive. Safety is as well."

Among those in consideration for a spot in the backfield is special teams specialist David Bruton. The 6-foot-2 safety racked up 32 special teams tackles in the past three seasons, which the second-most on the team during that stretch.

But in this offseason's voluntary workouts, he's been showing off his versatility.

"David Bruton's had a nice spring and is getting some snaps with the ones right now," Del Rio said. "He's just earned it. He's played so well and done so well in practice. He's taken charge, he's one of our better communicators and he's been a good special teams player here. He's hoping to do more on defense, so it's kind of similar to Wesley Woodyard."

Woodyard, an undrafted free agent in 2008, worked his way from special teams to key defensive contributor in 2012, when he was the only player in the NFL to record at least 100 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions.

Bruton said he feels like he can make a similar transition, and is appreciative of the opportunity to work with the first-team defense. He feels like he's earned the chance to show what he can do at safety.

He's had the opportunity to play safety in the past and has tallied a handful of starts - including two in the postseason. In 2012, he picked off the first pass of his career - thrown by his former college teammate Brady Quinn.

Still, there are several other talented athletes vying for the same spot.

"We're all family. We're close, we joke around, we'll give each other hell, this, that and the other. But we all, in the same breath, know that it's a competition," Bruton said. "We know that in the NFL you only can have 53 men on the roster - generally five, six safeties and five, six corners.

"So we know that there's competition. We know that every day we get a chance to  come on this field we have to prove our worth because the next guy could potentially do that job if he's put in that situation."

But just because his role might be changing, he hasn't neglected his role as a special-teams player.

"I don't take anything for granted," Bruton said. "I don't take special teams any less. I still take that as serious as what I once did. It's what got me here, it's what gave me a chance. I'll never look back and never take that opportunity for granted.

"So I'll put all my eggs in that basket and whatever eggs I have left, I'll put it in the defensive basket."