Vic Fangio has a victory before he even coaches his first game for the Denver Broncos. The former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator, hired by Denver in January, has successfully recruited one of his former players to play for the Broncos.
Cornerback Bryce Callahan, who played his first four seasons in Chicago, signed a three-year free-agent contract with Denver on Saturday. Callahan said one of his main reasons for signing was to play for Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell again.
“There were a couple of teams involved in the second wave of free agency,” Callahan said on a conference call Saturday morning. “The Broncos were always my top pick because of Fangio and Ed. I felt comfortable in this system. I’ve been playing with them for a couple of years. I feel like I won’t have to be learning a whole new system. I can just get in and go.”
Callahan went undrafted out of Rice and signed by the Bears in 2015. They cut him in September and then signed to the practice squad early in the 2015 season. He was signed to the active roster that October.
He has four interceptions in his short career but has never played more than 13 games in a season. His 2018 season ended in December with a broken foot.
At 27, he adds experience and youth to the secondary that lost cornerback Bradley Roby to free agency and parted ways with safety Darian Stewart.
While he’s changing teams he feels comfortable playing in Fangio’s schemes.
“Coach Vic just knows how to call the right plays,” Callahan said. “I don’t know what it is, he has us in the right position. He really makes it easy for the defense.”
Callahan is the second free-agent defensive back to sign with Denver. The Broncos brought 31-year-old Kareem Jackson into the fold earlier in the week. Callahan and Jackson join Chris Harris Jr. in the secondary.
“I know we’re all versatile guys and we can all play outside and inside,” Callahan said. “I feel like the coaches will work it out and feel us out. I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff on social media about that, No Fly Zone 2.0 or whatever. I feel like we can make our own thing. We’re going to see.”