Bradley Roby on Denver's leaders on D, feeling of winning it all

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Bradley Roby

Cornerback, Denver Broncos

Born: May 1, 1992

Experience: Two NFL seasons

Interview by Tom Blair | Feb. 17, 2016

Just winning [will stick with me the most], man. Just looking around and seeing all the gold confetti drop, and just looking around, seeing people doing snow angels, people run up to you yelling. ... People just say all the things that they really mean at that moment.

It's like it's the ultra moment of just, like, truth and love and [expletive]. It's really like some deep [expletive]. It's kind of hard to explain. But when you're in it, it's just crazy. You know, you're just super happy. You're not thinking about nothing negative. You're not thinking about nothing. You're just so happy, because you completed a goal that you've worked so long for with a whole bunch of guys, and it just took so much, and it hasn't been easy. Everybody's had stuff to deal with on and off the field, and just to look in people's eyes and say, "Yeah, we did it."

Then just look at all the backdrops for us: Peyton Manning and D. Ware and all their stories. Then we got Pat Bowlen, our owner, one of the best owners in the NFL.

Super Bowl 50. There's not gonna be another big Super Bowl like that until 100 -- 50 years from now! Fifty years from now, all of us probably -- how old am I, 23? I'll probably still be alive. It's gonna be a whole different world, you know what I'm saying? 50 years. You never even know about the future. Just, that whole thing together, it was great.

Yeah, you could sense that [Cam Newton and the Panthers were frustrated]. You definitely sensed that. I mean, just, part of playing football is, like, your better and your more experienced players can tell that in an opponent. ... I think it was obvious, though. I think everybody could tell. [They have the highest-scoring offense] in the league, and to see him running around and not really having time to look through his reads and overthrowing balls and stuff like that.

[The biggest surprise of my NFL career so far was to] win a Super Bowl my second year.

We have so many [leaders on defense]. So many. D. Ware, Von [Miller], Aqib [Talib], T.J. [Ward]. And everybody's a leader in their own way. D. Ware's the ... veteran, the savvy veteran, has a great reputation to lead, but at the same time is a fierce competitor and is a dog, with the O.G. aspect to it.

Then you have Von, who leads -- Von's not really the guy who, like, goes up and talks or whatever. He's not really like that. He don't have to do that. He goes out there and makes plays like the plays he made in the Super Bowl. Just show people, like, This what we on. That's the type of plays we're making. That's our defense. He set the tone, you know what I'm saying?

And then a guy like Aqib, he's gonna take the competitiveness and the ... Basically, Aqib's not gonna be out there just [expletive]. In the biggest game of our career, believe he's not about to be out there just playing around. ... We all have that kind of mentality. But him just being the older guy in the room, it just helps. He's a leader -- every room has a leader.

T.J.'s really like the energy, he's like the soul of the defense on the field, I feel like. T.J.'s that middle piece, moving around, you don't know where he's at, coming around, smacking, hitting, making plays downfield. T.J.'s like the soul.

And then Chris [Harris Jr.], at the same time, Chris is that, I had to work hard to get everything I've had. My fundamentals are key. I know the defense in and out, so we better all know our [expletive]. Like, don't be out there on that [expletive].

That's the thing. I have never really sat down and watched the '85 Bears. I never really sat down and watched -- I watched the Ravens when I was growing up, but I wasn't grown how I am now. I didn't understand the game the way I do now. I didn't look at it the same way. So it's, like, it's kinda hard to compare that, just honestly.

It's kinda like the dilemma in basketball right now. It's like, everybody wanted to call LeBron the greatest when he was doing his thing, compared to Jordan. And people who watched Jordan were like, "How in the world? They dominated their competition ..." But we're like, "LeBron's going against newer guys and better athletes."

We have an argument, too, you know what I'm saying? 'Cause the game has evolved. There's more athletes. There are more people who have more attention to detail, more knowledge about the game being passed around. More available athletes -- just an evolution. There's kids that's 15 years old that's 7 feet now, that are athletic, can dribble. It's just, like, the gene pool's getting crazy.

You can't even compare it to '85. But in this era, I feel like, we definitely, just who we played against, how we got there ... I just want everybody to just know it's this year. We have to keep it going for it to really be like, "Dang, in that period, the Broncos owned it." But this year, we definitely were the best.

Just from the beginning, man. I kinda knew it was gonna be special because I kinda -- I'm not gonna say I saw it before, but, like, I could just see that [new defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips'] plan with us, his style of defense, fit us perfectly. I was telling all my friends stuff, like, when they were asking about Wade, like what's new about it? I'm just like, damn. He got the rushing scheme with playing man coverage. That's what we do the best. Von can rush. D. Ware can rush. We all can play DBs. All our DBs are good. Not even just 'Qib, me and Chris, you know what I'm saying? Kayvon [Webster], he could play on any team. Omar [Bolden], obviously dealt with injuries. [David] Bruton. Josh Bush. [Shiloh] Keo. Everybody that was on that team really are some good players.

And we had a great coaching staff. [Defensive backs coach] Joe Woods, he's the best coach I've ever had. Just teaching me the game. I had a great coach in Kerry Coombs in college, too ... that's my dog, too. But I learned so much.

So I was really learning. Asking all the questions. I was the guy that was sitting there, like, "Ah, Roby's asking all these questions, man! Let's go!" I was kinda that guy. But I was like, I don't care. I'm taking advantage of this. And I know it's gonna help everybody anyway, 'cause he's gonna explain just one more time ...

I just knew it was special, the group we had. We were already close last year, but we had another year to get together, and then we had to, like, bond, and, like, "Alright, let's see what these new coaches are about." And Wade found ways to motivate us at the perfect times, and we played great on defense.

And you knew you always good, you know, when you got the G.O.A.T. in Peyton Manning on the other side, as long as he's healthy. And Brock [Osweiler] had a great year. [Head coach Gary Kubiak] had a great system that fit. And we just was on a perfect wavelength, just like Kube said, like, if y'all can get on a good wave ... for one month, be the best team in the league, then that's all you gotta do. And we really locked in and did that.

I think it's happened the way it's supposed to happen. There's no way to describe it, because if I didn't have the little shenanigans that happened before [the 2014 NFL Draft], I would've got picked most likely before Denver [at 31st overall]. Just honestly, you know? I wouldn't have been on Denver, then I wouldn't have been able to contribute to that team. And I'm not gonna say, "Maybe if I'm not on the team, it doesn't happen," because we have a great team, like I said, Kayvon's great. But everything happens the way it's supposed to happen.

I definitely feel like I helped the team win a championship, and it's a blessing for me to just be able to say that I contributed to winning a world championship forever.

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