Bradley Roby ready for more playing time, if opposing offenses will cooperate

Bradley Roby returned a fumble 21 yards for the game-winning score against the Chiefs. AP Photo/Ed Zurga

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos have tried to get cornerback Bradley Roby on the field more this season, but so far opposing offenses haven't really been on board with that idea.

Roby, who scooped up a fumble and scored to give the Broncos a win last Thursday night in Kansas City, has played 52.5 percent of the Broncos' defensive snaps this season. And that is actually a rather sharp reduction in Roby's activity from the 2014 season, when he had played 75 percent of the team's defensive snaps.

But last season, often trailing against the Broncos' high-flying offense, opposing offenses most often lined up against the Broncos' nickel package (five defensive backs) rather than the Broncos' base defense.

"I just want to be a part of a defense that makes plays to win games," Roby said. "That's always kind of been my goal here, I want to be a player they trust and I want to be a player that makes plays that help us win games. That's it."

Roby's fumble recovery -- after linebacker Brandon Marshall knocked the ball free from Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles -- certainly did that. Overall, though, the Baltimore Ravens and the Chiefs, in an effort to slow down the Broncos' pass rush, have largely elected to stay a little bigger on offense and try their luck against the Broncos' base defense.

And that leaves Roby largely out of the mix. However, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has played Roby at safety in the base defense for a handful of snaps in the Broncos' first two games, including on back-to-back plays late in the first quarter Thursday night.

Phillips and Broncos coach Gary Kubiak still have plans for Roby, though, especially after a long look in the offseason program and in training camp. With Chris Harris Jr. having been held out of some practices, Roby spent plenty of time in the offseason working with the starters.

"Bradley worked as a starter for most of the offseason," Kubiak said. " … He's reaping the rewards of his work."

Things could change this week and beyond, however. Two of the Broncos' next three opponents -- Sunday against the Lions and Oct. 11 against the Oakland Raiders -- are among the league's top seven in pass attempts after the first two weeks of the season. The Raiders are tied for third at 44.5 attempts per game while the Lions are seventh at 41.5 pass attempts per game.

The Lions also attempted 53 passes in their loss to the Vikings this past weekend. And an offense that looks to heave it around a little more in the face of the Broncos' pass rush is one Roby would face more as well. So, the opportunities for Roby could increase, especially if the Broncos' own offense can carve out some leads as well. In the win over the Chiefs, Roby's touchdown in the closing seconds was the first time the Broncos had a lead in the game.

"I'll go in when they want me to," Roby said. "I'm ready, I keep myself ready."