On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jan. 20, 2018 12:00 AM MST NFLPA Collegiate Bowl NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
  • Sat., Jan. 20, 2018 12:00 AM MST East-West Shrine Game East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Sat., Jan. 27, 2018 12:30 PM MST Senior Bowl Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
  • Tue., Feb. 27, 2018 12:00 AM MST NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Mon., Mar. 12, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Clubs may negotiate with unrestricted free agents March 12-14: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2017 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14.
  • Wed., Mar. 14, 2018 2:00 PM MDT 2018 league year and free agency period begin

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2018 on all players who have option clauses in their 2017 contracts.

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

    Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2017 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

    Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2018 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    All 2017 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The 2018 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.

    The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.

    Trading period for 2018 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2017 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 25, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meetings begin March 25-28: Annual League Meetings, Orlando, Florida.
  • Mon., Apr. 16, 2018 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs April 16: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 6:00 PM MDT 2018 NFL Draft begins April 26-28: 2018 NFL Draft, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.
Print
RSS

Confident Darian Stewart believes Broncos' FS job is 'my position to lose'

Posted May 20, 2015

Competition is afoot at free safety, but Stewart believes he will be the man atop the depth chart.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Any veteran NFL defensive back knows that confidence is essential to his job. When you get beaten on a play, you must have the resolve and belief in yourself to bounce back within 40 seconds.

So it's no surprise that Darian Stewart displays confidence that he will earn the starting free safety job, even with competition from the defense's longest-tenured active player, David Bruton, and the eventual possibility of cornerback Bradley Roby seeing some snaps at safety.

"It's my position to lose," Stewart said Wednesday. "When I line up, man, I feel like at this level you've got to have that confidence. When I signed here, man, I knew [that] it's my job."

Stewart's confidence was bolstered by a 2014 season with the Ravens in which he played all 16 regular-season games for the first time in his five-season NFL career. His play improved; he reduced his mistakes in coverage and cut his rate of missed tackles.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak, then Baltimore's offensive coordinator, took note of Stewart's play, helping bring him to Denver in March. Last year, Stewart did his part to get noticed by Kubiak and the Ravens' offensive coaches.

"There would be times at practice, I would just go down there and mess with the offense just to see what they had going on, and try to pick their brain and learn their plays," Stewart said. I tell you what, it's something I just couldn't play, offense. Their play(calls) are too long, and it's crazy. It's like learning a whole other language. But it was fun working with them."

Exposure to Baltimore's offense and good health allowed Stewart to enjoy the best season of his career.

"When I'm healthy, I'm one of the best in the league, I feel like," he said, again letting his confidence break through. "As long as I'm healthy and staying on the field, my play is going to speak for itself."

A series of hamstring problems contributed to him missing 11 games during four seasons (2010-13) with the St. Louis Rams. To remedy that issue, Stewart spends extra time stretching before practice, and gets some assistance to help him out.

"I have a stretch guy," he said. "I'm really big on stretching, no matter how bad I'm down."

That's as essential during offseason work as during the regular season, given the competition he faces and the need for repetitions so he can learn a new defensive scheme and build chemistry with T.J. Ward.

Ward and Stewart have skill sets that complement each other; Ward can be a thumper in the box and on intermediate routes, while Stewart fares better in coverage. However, Stewart said they could swap those roles from time to time.

"[Ward] plays both (safety) positions well," Stewart said. "He's able to play the ball in the air, and I'm able to play down in the box. So we just switch it up. We're interchangeable."

That's an early theme of coordinator Wade Phillips' defense: being able to move players around at any line of defense. But to enable versatility among players, the scheme must be easy to learn -- which Stewart says is the case with this "straightforward" scheme.

"I love it," he said "Not too complex, and it's player-friendly. It allows you to make plays."

Darian Stewart at a press conference; May 20, 2015