Bly makes Broncos secondary one of league's best

DENVER (AP) - As if Champ Bailey wasn't enough, the Denver Broncos got a taste of what new cornerback Dre' Bly can bring to the table Monday.

The 5-foot-10 Bly leapt and intercepted a jump-ball intended for 6-foot-3 former first-round pick David Terrell in the end zone. He showed even more athleticism when he picked off a Patrick Ramsey pass after linebacker D.J. Williams tipped the ball.

"I'm expecting to get six or seven picks, that's been my standard every year," said Bly, who joined the Broncos in a trade with Detroit over the winter. "Champ's gotten like nine or 10 the past couple of years. That's crazy."

He doesn't think those numbers will drop given the kind of defensive system the Broncos have in place. It's a far cry from the coverage schemes he ran at Ford Field.

"Detroit was a cover-2," Bly said. "That's for corners who can't cover. I can cover."

Confidence has never been a problem for Bly.

Bly and Bailey form one of the most dynamic cover duos in the NFL. The two had a combined 13 interceptions last season. Bly had just three while playing the drop-back defense with the Lions.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Bly is eighth among active players with 44 interceptions in nine seasons. He also helped the St. Louis Rams reach the Super Bowl as a rookie out of North Carolina.

"I'm a very confident guy," Bly said. "I can make plays."

He's adjusted to Denver's scheme pretty quickly, coach Mike Shanahan said.

Shanahan grinned when asked how Bly has been coming along.

"Dre' has played very consistently since he has been here in OTA days," Shanahan said of the offseason workouts. "The last two days hasn't been any different. He is an established player that plays with a lot of confidence."

Shanahan has good reason to smile with Bly, Bailey, nickel back Domonique Foxworth and safeties John Lynch and Nick Ferguson.

"There's no rivalry, really," Bly said. "I told Foxy, as a nickel back I had a six interceptions and two touchdowns. He has a really good chance."

Bailey knows with Bly on the other side, his chances to see more passes thrown his way will go up.

"I've got to get more than last year," Bailey said. "I don't think I can get any less. Bly will make plays on the other side."

FRESH START: Patrick Ramsey isn't feeling the pressure of being a franchise-saving quarterback anymore.

The former first-round draft choice was labeled as such during his stint in Washington and felt the pressure again with the New York Jets with Chad Pennington's health uncertain.

In Denver, that pressure belongs to second-year quarterback Jay Cutler. Ramsey may not like watching, but his six years in the league make him the old man of the bunch.

Preston Parsons and Darrell Hackney are entering only their fourth and second years, respectively.

Ramsey knows his place, too.

"I think my role is to learn this offense and do my part on the field," Ramsey said. "There are a lot of things there (in the offense), but I feel like they make sense to me already."

Although Cutler's been here longer, Ramsey said he's ready to guide Cutler, the 11th pick in last year's draft.

"Jay's good," Ramsey said. "I think there are things Jay can ask me about and things I'll sometimes offer, that's part of my role here."

RB STOCKPILE: Cecil Sapp and Mike Bell are making their case for the No. 2 running back job behind starter Travis Henry.

Bell began last season as an undrafted rookie starter and rushed for 677 yards and eight touchdowns.

Sapp, who played at Colorado State, was primarily a special-teams player but saw some duties at fullback and tailback, as well. He's getting his shot at tailback this summer.

"Cecil can do about everything," coach Mike Shanahan said. "It's nice to see him carry the ball a bit. Last year he averaged over 7 yards a carry in a very limited role. He is going to help us out this year."

Bell looked sharp at times Monday but took a big hit from linebacker Nate Webster during morning drills and also dropped a pass in the open field.

EXTRA POINTS: New middle linebacker D.J. Williams, who moved over from the strong side when Al Wilson was released this offseason, had an interception return for a touchdown during team drills when he grabbed a deflected pass.


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