The goal of the drill wasn’t to follow the bouncing ball, but to catch it.
Training at Ollin Athletic and Sports Medicine in suburban Houston this offseason, Broncos cornerback Bryce Callahan was being led through a workout by Minh Luu.
Luu would release the tennis ball for an initial bounce.
“The goal is to start from a dead-stop or back-pedaling and get the ball before it bounces a second time,” he said. “Bryce was doing the drill and I was like, ‘Hey, be careful.’”
Careful because Callahan was only months removed from surgery to repair a foot injury that cost him all of last season. Luu didn’t want him to take any chances and wanted him to be cautious in his movements. Feeling he needed to move quickly, Callahan took off his shoes and started 7-8 yards ahead of Luu. He got the ball before the second bounce.
Luu: “Does it hurt?”
Luu: “OK, I guess you’re good.”
Callahan was good … and has started the season just as well, playing all but three of 291 defensive snaps entering Sunday’s game at New England. Minus A.J. Bouye (shoulder), Callahan has been the team’s No. 1 cornerback and moved to the nickel spot covering New York Jets slot receiver Jamison Crowder mid-game in Week 4, a role he will continue to play against Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.
In man coverage, according to The Denver Post’s game charting, Callahan has allowed 14 completions for only 121 yards (no touchdowns/no penalties). The frustrations of last year — gone. The work ethic to regain his form — a constant.
“He’s where he’s at because he outworked people and is talented,” said David Bailiff, his coach at Rice. “That’s just how he’s made. He’s a gritty guy who never complains and he’s going to figure out a way through his intelligence and hard work to overcome obstacles.”
And Callahan has experienced some obstacles.
”He made play after play”
Callahan, who turns 29 later this month, was born in Moscow, Idaho, which is where his stepfather worked for a company that constructed water towers.
“Anytime he finished a project, we would get in our trailer and go to the next one,” Callahan said in a phone interview with The Post last week. “We probably lived in 15, 16 states before settling in Texas.”
Callahan said his favorite stops were in California and North Carolina and the moves were so frequent that he would attend the fall semester in one state and the spring semester in another. His family moved to Texas when Bryce was in the third grade. Callahan was an all-star safety and returner for his high school in Cypress, located about 40 minutes northwest of downtown Houston.
But the college recruiters never flooded him with offers. According to 247Sports, Callahan was ranked No. 2,149 nationally and No. 323 in Texas in the Class of 2010. Callahan visited Kentucky, but committed to Rice after touring its campus. He credits high school teammate Sam McGuffie, who was transferring from Michigan to Rice, for convincing him that even a lower-profile program gets noticed.
“He told …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports