Dbs tackle rivalry rumors


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Jan 22, 2006
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DBs tackle rivalry rumors

By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer

Domonique Foxworth knew the topic of conversation before words were spoken: the battle at right cornerback.

Darrent Williams versus Domonique Foxworth.

"Surprise, surprise," Foxworth said. "That's all anyone wants to talk about."

But to Foxworth, Williams and most of those in the Broncos' training camp, there isn't anything to chat about. Battle? Come on, there's no battle.

A sampling of the prefight hype:

"Darrent and I are buddies, we're close, we're in this together," Foxworth said.

"Who's the starter? Who cares?" Williams said.

"They're both going to play a lot," coach Mike Shanahan said.

"They're both great," left cornerback Champ Bailey said.

This thing is more "Bosom Buddies" than Ali vs. Frazier.

Williams likely will start alongside Bailey in the base defense. However, in the NFL - especially in Denver and particularly in the pass-happy AFC West - there are few times when the base defense is prevalent.

The Broncos will be in the nickel defense - with three cornerbacks - most of the season. Thus, Williams and Foxworth will play together.

Just like last year, when the steady and heady Foxworth played right cornerback and the explosive and daring Williams was the nickel.

So if you're looking for a fight, check the tailbacks or the defensive front or the backup receivers.


"Kind of a moot point," Foxworth said. "We're a team. We're a package deal. We love it."

The Broncos look at the Williams and Foxworth tandem - both standout 2005 draft picks - as a luxury. It's not a chore trying to figure who is better.

They make their presence known.

"These are two very good players who get better all the time," Shanahan said. "We love having them. We're going to use them both all the time."

Foxworth said he learned immediately last season that the NFL cornerback system is at least a three-man job. After both players had stellar preseasons, Williams (second round from Oklahoma State) and Foxworth (third round from Maryland) were thrown into the fray at the beginning of the season. Both got considerable playing time in the season-opening loss at Miami. Williams was starting by the third game and Foxworth was a major part of the defense by the end of the first month.

"We counted on those guys as a rookie, and we'll be counting on them as long as they'll both be on the team," Denver defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. "They can both be big-time players. We don't see them differently. We see them as two guys who both are going to help the cause."

In his last game, Foxworth was beaten a couple of times in critical situations in the Broncos' 34-17 loss to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game. While Coyer said game film showed the blown assignments weren't all Foxworth's responsibility, the coach said he has been pleased with Foxworth's response in the offseason. He has shown his maturity.

"There's no way I'd dwell on it," Foxworth said. "The game happened. We all move on."

Added Williams: "Domonique got a bad rap on that one. It wasn't his fault. It was everybody's fault. We're all a team. He's my guy, and I'll always back him up."

Yeah, some battle.

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