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Helmets Off: Cassius Vaughn

Posted Oct 7, 2010

Cassius Vaughn sits down with DenverBroncos.com to discuss his different roles with the team in the Week 5 edition of "Helmets Off."


Of the 17 college free agents from the class of 2010 invited to Broncos training camp, only cornerback Cassius Vaughn made it to the active roster. Vaughn played in 50 games at  Mississippi, notching 152 tackles and five interceptions in his college career and contributing to an Ole Miss team that won the past two Cotton Bowls.

Through four games, Cox has already recovered as many fumbles as he forced in college, leading all rookies with two. His takeaway on kickoff coverage at Tennessee last week sealed the Broncos' first road win of the year, and his turnover covering a punt against Seattle set up the offense for the first touchdown of the team's home opening victory.

The rookie is already a fixture on special teams and often plays a crucial role on the scout team simulating opponents' speedy players.

You're the only undrafted rookie to make the team's active roster this season. How much pride do you take in working your way onto the team?

"I took a lot of pride in it. It all came down to me being in a great situation here with the Broncos, working really hard and the coaching staff believing in me. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, too."

What do you think made it such a good situation for you?

"Just having a chance. I talked to other teammates that I had from college, and they said they didn't get certain chances. Just to have a chance and have someone believing in you is a great situation. Everybody had an equal chance to make the roster. It was just about how much you did and how hard you worked. You just had to keep pushing and keep going."

How did you react to making an NFL roster on your first try?

"I was quiet for a minute, but I was ecstatic. I was too happy. It seemed like everything came true for me. I was kind of low key at first, but then it ended up all coming together."

How would you describe your friendship with your fellow rookie corners, Perrish Cox and Syd'Quan Thompson?

"Those are my guys. We're close. We came in together and we do a lot of things together. If one of us does something, we're all going to do it together, so it's a close friendship and bond. We just keep growing and growing, and I hope we can keep growing together as the years go on."

What was it like going through training camp with two other guys in the same situation?

"It was great. It wasn't a problem. We all knew what we were here for, just to make the team and work hard together. We pushed each other in all kinds of ways to do certain things and that's what made it great. There wasn't any type of any bad vibes from anybody. We all came to work every day and helped each other out."

How important is a role on special teams to making the club?

"It's huge. As you come from college or high school, you don't know how important it is on special teams. Now that you're in the NFL, it's vital to your livelihood and to the team. It's very vital, and we take it seriously."

You've been able to recover two game changing fumbles on kickoffs. What has made you so effective on kick coverage?

"The things that they've been teaching me and doing the right thing. It's being in the right place in the right time and doing what the coaches expect you to do. They're making great schemes for me to be in position, and my teammates are doing what they have to do. Everything that I've done, it's not really just me. Everybody had a part in it."

Do you think you've always had a nose for the football?

"I think I have a pretty good nose for the ball. You've got to if you want to be around for a long time."

You played defensive end on the scout team to prepare for the Colts and suited up as Chris Johnson to prepare the team for the Titans. How important is it to you to play those roles and help out your offensive teammates?

"It's great just to go out there and go against the ones, to help them out. You know everything you do is going to be on gameday. Whatever you show them, that's how effective it's going to be on Sunday. You go out there and try to do everything you can, anything that's going to make them better. It's just a team effort."

You played all over the field on offense and defense in high school. When did you know you were going to be a cornerback?

"Actually, that moment just came in college. I was pretty much an offensive guy, but I did everything in high school. In college it ended up happening because I had a lot of speed. Whatever I do, I try to perfect it. I had chances at Ole Miss to do that, and it got me to this point."

Did playing other positions help you as cornerback because you know more about offensive players?

"It does because you know what to expect sometimes, but you've still got to go out there and do what you've got to do."

Being out here in Colorado, what's the biggest change for you going away from living in Mississippi and Tennessee for long?

"The culture of the place, and the weather will probably be a little change for me. It will be a little cold for me (laughs)."