Organized team activities are often as much about experimentation as they are about preparation. The Broncos’ springtime sessions turn the two fields into football laboratories, with the development of chemistry as much a goal as timing and execution.
But a key benefit of the 14 sessions that begin Wednesday is the chance to take conference-room concepts for an on-field spin.With an influx of new coaches on defense and special teams, a few new wrinkles will likely crease their way into the next four weeks of work at Dove Valley, and one of the first to learn of a new twist to his duties was safety Steve Cargile.
“They’re thinking about trying me out at linebacker a little bit, but keeping me at safety to see what I can do there,” he said Tuesday. “But I think that it shows they have confidence in me to believe that I can play multiple positions, so I think that’s a good thing.”
Good, but also a tad jarring at first.
“I was kind of surprised, but they gave me some warning before we came back to offseason training,” Cargile said. “They gave me a call and told me that they might be open to making a switch if they felt that’s where I could best make the team.
“I’m open to it. Whatever’s going to help me make the team. I’m just going to work hard to do it.”
Cargile said that he would be in linebackers meetings when OTAs opened, but that he would “probably” see most of his action at secondary. But at whatever position he plays, he’ll have the chance to build on a year in which he was one of the Broncos’ practice-squad success stories. He was signed to the eight-man developmental unit on Nov. 13, then was promoted to the 53-man roster on Dec. 7 and to the game-day active roster on Dec. 17, notching four special-teams tackles in his NFL regular-season debut.
“This is the first time I’ve been in a situation where I felt the coaches and the general manager actually had some faith in my abilities and in what I can do,” he said. “The previous two teams (Dallas ant Tampa Bay), I didn’t feel that way.
“It’s still up to me. I’ve got to go out and perform. I can’t just say, ‘Oh, they believe in me,’ and go out there and not do anything. I still have to work just as hard as the next man — or even harder — to gain my position.”
Much of that hard work so far has been in the weight room. Cargile is listed at 210 pounds, but says that new assistant head coach Jim Bates wants him to bulk up slightly.
“Coach Bates says he wants me to get up to around 220, 225,” Cargile said, “but nothing that’s going to take away my speed because he mentioned to me that my speed would be an asset at the will (weakside) linebacker.”
Of course, another Broncos safety once moved between safety and a hybrid linebacker spot in his younger years. His name is John Lynch. Considering that Cargile hopes to model his career after the perennial Pro Bowler, it stands to reason that the young safety would be open for a little springtime experimentation.