Denver Broncos Positional Analysis: Safety

By Joe Morrone
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The safety spot for the Denver Broncos continues to be a problem area, although it was moderately better in 2012. The one area of the defense that was exploited repeatedly was over the middle and deep, as we all saw in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens,

The Broncos signed Mike Adams in free agency last year and he was solid, but is not a playmaker. Adams is always in the right position and usually does not give up big plays, but the Broncos need someone who is a game changer. Adams will probably return in 2013 to provide stability and leadership as the Broncos try to upgrade the position.

Rahim Moore is not a name that Broncos’ fans want to hear right now; he has received most of the blame for the Ravens touchdown that tied the game with 31 seconds to go. It’s a hard point to argue, although Tony Carter has some culpability too. Carter did not jam Jacoby Jones at the line of scrimmage and let him run down the sideline uncovered. That being said, Moore should have been deeper and made the play easily.

Moore had a solid season in 2012 but he still has not lived up to the expectations that the Broncos had of him when they selected him in the second round. Moore was known as a ball hawk in college but through two NFL seasons, he does not have an interception. It’s too early to give up on Moore and he will be a part of the safety rotation in 2013, but he must start making some big plays.

The wildcard is a name that a lot of fans have probably forgotten about, Quinton Carter. Carter was injured in the second practice of training camp and missed the entire season, but at the end of the 2011 season, he was the best safety on the team. He played excellent in the last four games of that season and had two interceptions in two playoff games. In fact, Carter was the only defensive player that played well in the blowout loss to the New England Patriots in 2011 playoffs. If Carter can regain his form, then the Broncos might just have that playmaker that they need at safety.

Jim Leonhard provided veteran leadership but he is a free agent, and he was a temporary fix. The Broncos may or may not re-sign him but if they do, it would only be as a backup. David Bruton is also a free agent and while he didn’t play a lot in the defensive backfield, his loss would be huge on special teams. The Broncos will make a push to re-sign Bruton but if he is offered a chance to play safety somewhere else, then it might be tough.

The safety position has to be addressed in free agency, the draft or both. The hope is that Moore and Carter are the future, but the Broncos have to cover themselves in case they are not.

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