The upgrades made in the offseason by a Broncos team that likely will be picked by many to make it to the Super Bowl include cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a first-rounder who was traded from the Cardinals to the Eagles and who never completely lived up to the potential that got him selected so high.
It was Denver’s willingness to point out the problems with Rodgers-Cromartie’s game that helped win him over.
“They told me about my flaws. Nobody had done that, and it impressed me,” Rodgers-Cromartie told the Bradenton Herald on Friday. “They told me what I needed to work and how they would get me better instead of telling me about what I could do.”
One thing helping Rodgers-Cromartie get better is the presence of Peyton Manning.
“Practice is a lot of fun because every day you are going against the best and getting thrown at by someone of Manning’s caliber,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “He interacts with everybody and doesn’t think he is bigger or better than anybody. But he is the hardest working man on the field.”
The defensive back, who currently is expected to be the other starter at corner across from Champ Bailey, says he has held his own against one of the all-time greats.
“I got him a few times, and he got me,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “But we are all getting better because of him.”
Rodgers-Cromartie spent three days this week helping make kids better — at basketball. Yep, at a time when plenty of players are hosting youth football camps, Rodgers-Cromartie returned to his hometown to help local boys and girls hone their skills on the hardwood.
Come September, we’ll see if he can display a higher level of skills at a fairly high altitude. The real question is whether he’ll be able to help shore up a secondary that failed the Broncos at the worst possible time last season.