Bryce Callahan just wants to be on the field.
It doesn't matter if he starts at right corner, left corner or nickel back — where he's mostly been playing this offseason. But the 29-year-old defensive back, who was arguably the Broncos' best player in the secondary when healthy last season, is now Denver's third or fourth option at cornerback, thanks to the additions of Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby Patrick Surtain II.
That doesn't mean Callahan is any less important. Instead, he may be as crucial to the Broncos' secondary as ever, as coach Vic Fangio intends to use him as a sort of Swiss Army Knife in their base, nickel and dime defenses.
“All of the above. We’ll see how it goes," Fangio said. "In this day and age in the NFL, you’re playing a lot of nickel with five and six DBs. If that was all he did, that would get him 70-80 percent of the snaps. We know he’s very capable of playing corner. I have a lot of confidence in him to play corner. He’ll be out there somehow, someway.”
Callahan's biggest obstacle isn't finding a way onto the field — he's proven his talent, totaling two interceptions, five passes defensed and 42 tackles in only 10 games last season. It's his ability to stay on the field, having not completed a full season in his five-year NFL career.
“I'm tired of the injuries more than anybody else," Callahan said. "It's something you can kind of control and can't control. It is what it is. Getting back to trying to play how I played last year, I'm just (doing) the same thing— diving into the playbook, being relentless in the offseason and trying to take good care of my body. Hopefully, the injuries stay away. I've been trying to be more of a pro to keep the injuries down.”
If Callahan can stay healthy and Fuller, Darby and Surtain — who all three of which Fangio has said will find a way onto the field — live up to the expectations, the Broncos could have a serious case for the best secondary in the NFL.
And Callahan, wherever he plays, will be a big piece of that.
“You see the depth," Callahan said. "We have all of the guys and we have all of the pieces to have the best secondary in the league. It's up to us to execute the calls and just prove what everybody else is thinking.”