Broncos CB Bryce Callahan Breaks Silence on 2019's Disappointment & What he's Out to Prove
Cornerback Bryce Callahan had enough football wisdom to follow Head Coach Vic Fangio over from the Chicago Bears last year, landing a three-year, $21 million dollar contract with the Denver Broncos. Fangio's plan was for Callahan to be his inside man for the defensive makeover that was to ensue in Mile High City.
Alas, history was as kind to the 28-year-old slot corner, a nasty broken screw in his surgically repaired foot led to him missing his entire first season with the Broncos. Callahan’s mental strength and intelligence are the foundation he intends to build on as he restarts his NFL career in Denver.
It’s entirely understandable that some sections of Broncos Country would be skeptical about the team's once-prized free-agent acquisition, especially given the fact Callahan hasn’t played a single snap yet in the Orange and Blue.
Callahan has dedicated himself to turning that negative narrative around by working extra hard this offseason to bounce back from his injury nightmare. That has included working out with his doctor back home in Houston, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, but Callahan is still keying on the positive factors at play, as he told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle recently.
“I don’t want to say it’s a blessing because of all the bad stuff that’s going on, but, to be able to stay home and get this constant work with Dr. Luu instead of being back and forth for OTAs, has probably been the best for me,” Callahan told Wilson. “This year is the best my body has been feeling.”
Branding Callahan with the label of free-agent bust or even as the forgotten man is a harsh punishment and very hard on a player who has simply been unable to show what he can do on the field just yet do to the injury bug. That said, Callahan is fully aware that he can’t let last season’s frustrations get in the way of this coming season's preparations.
“Coming off of last year it was a big disappointment,” Callahan told Wilson. “I don’t want to say I’ve got something to prove, but I’ve got something to prove to myself. I’ve never been so excited to get back on the football field. This was my first year in 20-something odd years that I didn’t play football, so it’s a big year for me. I’ve never worked this hard in the offseason.”
Just recently, Callahan released an impressive workout video through Aaron Wilson of his comeback which has piqued the interest and enthusiasm of fans, and most likely his coaches back in Denver. Even with the NFLPA recently advising their members to cease group workouts away from team facilities, Callahan revealed that he has been planning ahead for when the players will be given the green light to resume them with teammates like Justin Simmons, A.J. Bouye, and Kareem Jackson.
“We’ve already been in talks,” the former Rice University standout admitted to Wilson. “We have groups in Houston. We’re trying to get a good day to all get together and get on the field and talk about stuff. We have to wait for Kareem to quarantine. We’re all good communicators, smart guys, no egos, no ‘me players.'"
Putting himself in position to succeed during what has been an unprecedentedly challenging offseason will be critical to not only Callahan’s personal goals but larger Broncos' objectives in 2020. The way Callahan sees it, his familiarity in the Fangio system (he played in it for all four of his years in Chicago) will provide a big edge.
“Having coach Vic and [Broncos Defensive Coordinator] Ed Donatell helps, too. It’s a blessing to be going into my sixth year in the same defensive scheme. It should be exciting,” Callahan told Wilson.
Callahan has shown enough during his previous six years in the NFL to prove it’s not the playing side of things the Broncos really need to worry about. The Broncos will come to rely on him to fill the crucial slot corner role, which means his importance to the Fangio defensive master-plan cannot be overstated.
Bottom line, after accepting a pay restructure this past spring, Callahan has to remain fit and available for all the pieces to fall into place in Denver. To that end, his bold statement about his return to action should come as a huge comfort to a Broncos front office that has chosen not to add another proven veteran corner to bolster the roster so far this offseason.
“I’m ready to get back out there. I’m a full-go with no limitations. I’m not really thinking about my foot,” Callahan told Wilson. “Everything is moving in the right direction. I just want to play all 16 games, stay healthy and ball out.”
Should Callahan live up to his own expectations for the coming season, the unfortunate tag of 'Broncos free agent bust' and 'the forgotten man' can be confined to history.