ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- David Bruton has all tools it takes to play safety.
He's tall - at 6-foot-2, he's one of the tallest defensive backs on the roster. He's fast - one of the fastest guys on the team, according to Head Coach John Fox. And through his special teams performances in the last four seasons he's proven to have ball hawking ability.
Now he's putting those things to use with the first-team defense.
"He's a cerebral guy," Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said. "He's much more comfortable taking charge and being strong with the calls and making that communication back there real smooth for us. I think when you look at the guy, he's got all the measurables. He's got great size, got great speed, he's been a really terrific special teams player, and he's just playing good football right now."
Bruton knows he has the build and makeup for the position and he's using the offseason as a time to hone his technique.
"I feel like my speed would probably be the bigger advantage," Bruton said at OTAs last week. "I could potentially cheat where I get them get ahead of me and potentially undercut a run and whiff them. It just comes down to practice and getting used to what I'm able to do and what I can do on tight end and, on certain tight ends, what I can and cannot do."
Bruton has started in four regular season games as a safety and twice in the postseason. He also has one career interception. He said that he appreciated the chance to run with the first team but that he felt like he had earned that right.
Cornerback Champ Bailey agreed.
"He looks like a different player," Bailey said after the first practice of minicamp Tuesday. "He's motivated. He just looks more aware of what's in front of him. Getting that opportunity to go with the ones, it's big for him. It's a good confidence boost.
"He's always had the mind for it - it's just going out there and doing it now."
Working with the first team is the best way for Bruton to continue to prove his merit as he's getting the chance to line up across from the talented receiving corps.
"We allow our guys to compete," Del Rio said. "This is the time of the year where you have an opportunity to move up or down based on your merits, and he's moved into consideration to get time in there with the first group."