As a rookie, he stopped a key fourth-down play, late in the fourth quarter, that allowed the Broncos to move past Indianapolis in Week 1. The rookie had to win a one-on-one battle with one of the best receivers of his generation—Reggie Wayne—and he did—with all the chips down.
That play started Roby's career off on the right foot. Now, with two full seasons under his belt, the former Buckeye is back in the saddle with his teammates at Dove Valley.
As Denver's No. 3 cornerback, behind Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr., Roby has to stay patient, knowing that his time will come as a starter. With the Broncos running out of their nickel sub-package so often, he plays starter snaps. Nevertheless, playing behind two Pro Bowlers helps him fly under the radar.
“It matters a little bit to me [being a starter], but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because people see what I do on the field," Roby said Monday. "Of course it matters to me as a competitor. I’m someone that wants to be the top guy. I understand how the league works. It’s not a big deal.”
Roby is arguably the best No. 3 corner in the NFL. Last year, he defensed 10 passes, picked one off, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, which he returned for a game-winning touchdown in Week 2.
In the playoffs, Roby cranked it up a notch. He was instrumental in the Broncos defeating Pittsburgh in the Divisional Round, punching the ball out of Fitzgerald Toussaint's arms, allowing his team to get back into the game.
Fans can never forget his interception of Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game, on New England's two-point conversion attempt to slam the door on the Patriots. Even still, Roby sees room for improvement.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1669684-six-broncos-make-pff-s-to... “I have a lot of things that I can correct from my first two years," he said. "I can learn the game more."
Ultimately, Roby knows that greatness is in the details. Not just playing at a high level, but studying the game and knowing your opponent is key to becoming the best.
“Yeah, that’s just one thing specifically I’m working on," he said. "Just understanding how offenses like to attack. It’s just little stuff. It’s the details. The details are what make you great. I’m just trying to get all of my details down.”
As dominant as the Broncos defense was last year, there's always room for improvement. Being back at team headquarters, Roby and his unit have already begun to study where they went wrong in 2015 and what they can do to correct it.
"We’re very confident that we’ll be better this year," Roby said. "We’re going to try harder. Another year with our coaches. We know the defense a little bit better. We had a lot of mistakes. We just watched film 10 minutes ago of mistakes that we were making in games that made it closer than it should’ve been. I think we’ll be a lot better this year.”
We've heard it from other Bronco defenders—communication—is one area the defending World Champions can improve on defense. Safety T.J. Ward recently talked about cutting down on mental errors and taking the ball away more often as goals for 2016. It sounds like Roby concurs.
“You’ve just go to fix those mistakes and those communication errors," Roby said. "There were a couple of games where we gave up some big plays. Just off of simple things. Not because the team was better than us. Just because we didn’t communicate right and we weren’t on the same page adjustment-wise and things like that. When we can get on top of everything, there is definitely another level. We played well last year and definitely were one of the best ever last year, but there is definitely another level from this defense for sure.”
Another level? A scary notion for the 31 other offensive coordinators in the NFL.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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