2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos rookie modeled his game after Champ Bailey

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-05-11 15:44

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Whenever cornerback Kayvon Webster arrived at practice at South Florida, he'd proclaim, ``Champ Bailey's here.''

Now he'll get to say that for real.

When the Denver Broncos selected him in the third round of the draft, Webster said he wanted a locker right next to his idol so he could pick the brain of the perennial Pro Bowler.

Instead, he got a locker right across from Bailey when he arrived at the team's Dove Valley complex for a three-day rookie camp.

``That's still a good spot,'' Webster said.

Besides, he added, ``we're going to be on the field together.''

And in meetings.

``It's just a blessing to be on the team with him,'' Webster said, ``and I'm looking forward to getting coached by him, as well as by my position coach.''

On Saturday, secondary coach Cory Undlin kept noting how pleased he was with Webster's clean technique during drills, and coordinator Jack Del Rio said after practice that he likes Webster's work ethic.

``You can see he's eager to get going and understands he's got a lot of work to do,'' Del Rio said.

The Broncos added Webster and free agent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason to a stellar group of cornerbacks that includes incumbents Bailey, who's entering his 15th season, Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Omar Bolden.

A shade under 6 feet and 200 pounds, Webster represents a new breed of cornerback coveted by NFL teams who want bigger, stronger and sometimes faster players to cover taller tight ends and beefier wide receivers that are all the rage.

A linebacker in high school, Webster was converted to cornerback at South Florida and started emulating Bailey.

He did a pretty good impression of him, too.

Webster burst onto the national scene with a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown in South Florida's season-opening win at Notre Dame his junior season, and he kept adding to his resume ever since.

``We saw a guy with great speed,'' said Matt Russell, the Broncos' director of player personnel, noting Webster ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.3 seconds. ``Great cover skills. The thing that stood out to us about Kayvon was his physicality against the run game. Very tough. We feel like we've got a safety playing corner that can also cover.''

``And I would also add, not only that, but the size,'' said Broncos front office boss John Elway. ``I think if you look at the receivers and the tight ends in the game these days, it's that size is imperative at the corner position. It's very difficult to find size as well as speed in the same guy, and we were able to find that in Kayvon.''

Webster said he's never thought of himself as this new breed of cornerback, ``but I'm willing to step up to the challenge to be able to cover tight ends as well as stepping into the box to tackle running backs.''

He said he got his physical nature from playing linebacker in high school, where he also was a wide receiver. He realized during the recruiting season that college coaches viewed him as a defensive back, however.

``It wasn't a surprise. I was undersized as a linebacker in high school; I was 180. I had the speed of a corner,'' Webster said. ``My first offer came from South Carolina; Steve Spurrier, he asked me to play corner. And then that triggered into my mind that at the next level, I would be in the secondary, whether that was at safety or corner.

``I just had my mind focused on being the best at whatever position they put me at.''

When he got to South Florida, he was moved to cornerback and that's when he really began modeling his game after Bailey.

``He's very good in the man-to-man skills. I'm not up to his level yet. But with his coaching, I will be. I'm just building my confidence as the day goes on,'' Webster said.

When the veterans return for a three-day camp with the rookies later this month, Webster will once again get to proclaim, ``Champ Bailey's here.''

Only, this time, he'll mean it.

``I love Champ,'' Webster said. ``Favorite corner.''

Notes: Webster said he picked jersey No. 36 because ``I thought of 36 as me being a third-round pick, and I wore 6 in college.'' ... The Broncos have been practicing on their turf field but hope to return to the grass for their next camp May 20-22 now that the installation of new sod and heating system is complete. ... T Vinston Painter was the first of Denver's seven draft picks to sign a contract - $2,277,000 over four years - on the eve of the rookie camp. ``I wanted to get that out of the way so I could focus more on the playing part aside from the business part,'' he said.

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LaMichael JamesJul 21 11:46a

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James could have trouble making the roster this year, according to ESPN.com's Bill Williamson. Williamson believes RB Frank Gore, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Marcus [ More ]

Ray-Ray ArmstrongJul 21 11:42a

St. Louis Rams LB Ray Ray Armstrong has impressed coaches and was already poised to push for an expanded role before LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar's arrest. Armstrong could have an [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 21 11:12a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd's (back) recovery from back surgery has gone as expected. However, it's unknown if he'll be limited at the start of training camp.

Christine MichaelJul 21 11:05a

Seattle Seahawks RB Christine Michael's work this spring has done nothing to dismiss the thought that he will receive regular carries this season. It's still not known how many [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 21 11:03a

New York Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. is viewed as an outside receiver despite standing just 5-foot-11, and he might push WR Rueben Randle for the No. 2 job opposite WR Victor Cruz.

Rashad JenningsJul 21 11:02a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings is still considered the lead running back, despite RB David Wilson's (neck) clearance for contact.

Justin HunterJul 21 11:02a

Tennessee Titans WR Justin Hunter is drawing big comparisons to retired WR Randy Moss from WR Michael Preston. 'Not only is the sky the limit, I think he's going [ More ]

Jeremy HillJul 21 10:44a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill could split carries with RB Giovani Bernard this upcoming season and receive over 200 carries, in the opinion of Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson.

Marcell DareusJul 21 10:42a

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus has drawn the ire of Bills general manager Doug Whaley after reporting to camp out of shape. 'It's cause for concern,' Whaley said. 'You [ More ]

Demetrius HarrisJul 21 10:41a

Kansas City Chiefs TE Demetrius Harris looks like a player ready to contribute this season, according to head coach Andy Reid. Meanwhile, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com believes Harris could [ More ]

Dante RosarioJul 21 10:36a

Chicago Bears TE Dante Rosario is the leading candidate to be the team's No. 2 tight end this year, according to Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com. TE Matthew Mulligan, TE [ More ]

David WilsonJul 21 10:32a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said that he has been cleared for everything.

Joseph RandleJul 21 10:30a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the inside track to win the No. 3 running back job, and would likely take over the every-down role if something were to happen to RB DeMarco Murray.

Joe McKnightJul 21 08:22a

Kansas City Chiefs RB Joe McKnight (knee) had arthroscopic knee surgery after minicamp ended last month and is close to returning to practice.

Chad HenneJul 21 03:12a

Although the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff is still high on QB Chad Henne, coach Gus Bradley said QB Blake Bortles could start a preseason game. It would be late [ More ]

Dee MillinerJul 20 11:42p

New York Jets CB Dee Milliner can become a shutdown corner in the NFL, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'I think he's got a chance to be,' Ryan [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 20 11:32p

Buffalo Bills LB Brandon Spikes started at middle linebacker Sunday, July 20, in place of LB Kiko Alonso (knee). LB Keith Rivers and LB Nigel Bradham started alongside Spikes [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 20 09:52p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (elbow) will announce his retirement Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Dan Graziano.

EJ ManuelJul 20 09:52p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel went 4-for-4 on passes to WR Sammy Watkins during team drills Sunday, July 20.

S. HendersonJul 20 09:42p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) suffered a hip injury Sunday, July 20, and his status going forward is not yet known.

Marquise GoodwinJul 20 09:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (undisclosed) missed practice Sunday, July 20, after dealing with a medical issue. He is expected to return to practice tomorrow, according to Joe Buscaglia of WGR Sports Radio 550.

Marcell DareusJul 20 06:22p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus failed his conditioning test, which is why he was put on the inactive list.

Bradie EwingJul 20 05:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars FB Bradie Ewing will battle FB Will Ta'ufo'ou for the starting fullback spot in camp.

Storm JohnsonJul 20 05:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Storm Johnson will enter camp as the fourth running back, but the team is excited about his potential. 'Storm is going to run at the same [ More ]

Jordan TodmanJul 20 05:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Jordan Todman is viewed as a change-of-pace back, along with RB Denard Robinson, according to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. 'Those two guys are truly change-of-pace backs,' [ More ]

Michael BowieJul 20 05:02p

Seattle Seahawks OT Michael Bowie has had an uneven spring with coaches saying he could have been in better shape. He'll compete with OT Justin Britt at right tackle.

Tharold SimonJul 20 04:52p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill, DT Jesse Williams and CB Tharold Simon will take on larger roles in their second season in 2014. Hill could be a potential starter in nickel packages.

Zach MillerJul 20 04:52p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson will be TE Zach Miller's backup this season, but he's likely to see increased playing time.

Jo-Lonn DunbarJul 20 03:12p

St. Louis Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and NBA free-agent Donte Greene were arrested Sunday, July 20, for fighting with each other outside the Dream Nightclub in Miami Beach, Fla. [ More ]

Tom CoughlinJul 20 10:32a

New York Giants owner John Mara said head coach Tom Coughlin is not on the hot seat, but also added that Coughlin has not earned the right to leave [ More ]

D.J. WilliamsJul 20 03:42a

The New England Patriots have signed free-agent TE Nate Byham (Buccaneers). Byham will likely compete with TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and D.J. Williams for a chance to back up Rob Gronkowski.

Winston GuyJul 19 10:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars SS Winston Guy is considered the leading candidate for the starting free safety job but will have to compete with FS Josh Evans (foot) for the job during training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group