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After maturing in offseason, Bradley Roby ready to thrive as starter

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Bradley Roby long ago proved he was capable of making the big play.

He demonstrated that ability with a game-winning touchdown against the Chiefs in 2015, a game-changing forced fumble against the Steelers in the Divisional Round of that year's playoffs and a pair of game-saving pick-sixes in 2016.

Now, as a starter opposite Chris Harris Jr., Roby must prove he can make those sorts of plays and play quality football on a consistent basis.

"It's always about being consistent," Harris said Friday. "When you haven't started all sixteen games, it's totally different than just coming in on third downs. It's totally different, so he just has to be consistent every day, continue to work hard and just play with confidence."

After the offseason Harris saw Roby have, though, he's not worried about the fifth-year player making the transition from third corner to the starting lineup.

"Roby, put in work this offseason," Chris Harris Jr. said Friday. "He grew up this offseason. He kind of took that next step. You all have to kind of take that next step, come into your own. That's what I call it. He came into his own this offseason."

The role hasn't seemed too big for him through four days of training camp, and asked Tuesday about Harris' comments, Roby agreed with the sentiment.

As he puts in the work at his fifth training camp, he said his self-discipline is "the highest probably it's ever been."

"[I] just eliminate[d] all of the distractions," Roby said. "[I'm] just staying locked in on what I need to do, the things I need to do to get better. That's really it. Football 24/7 — that's all I think about. That's all that's on my mind. That's what's been the biggest thing this offseason and all of the other ones. I'm always going to focus on football."

In his new role, Roby is starting to see offenses differently than he did when he jogged onto the field solely in passing situations. He said he made a point to watch more film in the offseason, and that has paid early dividends.

"Now when I see it in real life in person, I'm starting to dissect it faster than I would normally have," Roby said. "Just that dedication and commitment and keeping my mind on it is what's helping me."

Head Coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday he needs Roby's current discipline to continue. That — paired with him playing team football — should put the Ohio State product and the Broncos in position to succeed. 

And, to Joseph, the ability to stay within the framework of the defense and prevent lapses is more important than any pick-six.

"I told Bradley, 'I don't want to judge you on how many plays you make. You're judged on how many you give up.' That's what I want from our corners," Joseph said. "If you're in a good position, you'll make enough plays, but don't cheat. Don't gamble to make plays, because that's not what winning is about, that's about you."

Through the early stages of training camp, Joseph seems impressed with Roby's commitment to that mentality.

Joseph said Tuesday that Roby has played within the Broncos' scheme and used proper technique. Nor does Roby seem worried about trying to make the big play on every snap.

And why should he?

Roby knows those plays will come.

"I'm always going to make plays," Roby said. "That's how I've always been when I play football. I've always been out there scoring touchdowns, forcing fumbles, getting picks, stuff like that. I know that's going to come.

"I just also have to know not to try too hard or try to do things that are not in my job to get those things done. If you just do your job and stay where you're supposed to be, then they'll come."

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