Defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun was an unexpected surprise for the Browns last season; an undrafted rookie out of Minnesota, Boddy-Calhoun was picked up off waivers the last week of preseason. Normally, players of Boddy-Calhoun’s pedigree acquired in this fashion are bound to be rotational depth with intermittent visits with the practice squad throughout the season. Last year, Boddy-Calhoun started 6 games and finished with 3 interceptions - producing much more than anyone expected.
Boddy-Calhoun has attributed his experience last year as an opportunity to jump start his career with experience that most rookie defensive backs are unable to acquire:
It allowed me to have a lot of tape out there, a lot of tape to grade over the offseason, a lot of mistakes to correct coming back from a year or two. Most guys don't get to play their rookie year that much so they're making those rookie mistakes in Year 2 or Year 3 whereas I got all mine out in my first year. I've got a lot of tape to clean up, had a lot of things to look over in the offseason, which was a good thing
Jamar Taylor attributes Boddy-Calhoun’s work ethic as a key factor for his past success:
When you have somebody on your team that works just as hard as you, it's easy to just click with those guys. He's one of those guys that when he arrived here last year he was late in the film room with me every night and in the week. We put in strenuous hours.
When I see a guy like that, I say I want to work with them.
The kid is really smart. There's not too many guys that come in as rookies that are as mature as he is. He's a film junkie, he loves football. A guy like that, it's just easy to gravitate to for a guy like me. When you're the underdog, a lot of people don't want to see you succeed. He kind of has that mentality.
As the Browns enter training camp, Boddy-Calhoun has been practicing as an outside corner with the second team defense. Likely as depth behind Joe Haden, Jamar Taylor and Jason McCourty, Boddy-Calhoun will still likely see plenty of playing time with the popularity in 5-6 man defensive backfields against today’s pass-heavy offenses. Additionally, Gregg Williams has mandated defensive players learn multiple positions, so it would not be surprising to see Boddy-Calhoun spending time at nickel back or elsewhere during the regular season.
From a strategic perspective, the development of Boddy-Calhoun should be season-long priority as veterans McCourty and Haden may already be on the downhill slopes towards the end of their careers. It will be important to see if Boddy-Calhoun can develop into a consistent long term starter, and if the team needs to invest draft capital in the position.
How many starts will Boddy-Calhoun see this upcoming season?
This poll is closed
0 - He will be kept down by the veterans
3 - Intermittent injuries to Haden and McCourty will place Boddy-Calhoun in the forefront
6 - Boddy-Calhoun beats out McCourty for the outside corner role after a midseason Haden injury
16 - Haden is injured in the preseason, Boddy-Calhoun wins the job
16 - Boddy-Calhoun wins the job outright in the preaseason