By Romi Bean

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A.J. Bouye has big shoes to fill. With the departure of Chris Harris Jr. in the offseason, the Broncos hope Bouye will fill the role of the team’s #1 cornerback. It’s a challenge Bouye has readily accepted.

“It’s just always in my mind that I’m going to have to prove somebody wrong. I embrace that. I love it. That’s what helps me get up early in the morning. Even going into Year 8, acting like I’m coming into the league and just grinding. It’s what motivates me on the inside. I believe that chip on my shoulder is why I’m still here, and I’m definitely out to prove a lot of people wrong,” Bouye said.

Bouye has a relationship with Harris and says he’s studied Harris’ film for years.

“I know how Chris thinks, I know what he sees from what he studies on film. So, certain ways he plays routes, I know why he plays that. That’s what I’m really watching,”

Bouye is clearly familiar with how the former Bronco plays his game, but Bouye plans to bring his own style to Denver.

“I don’t really listen to the outside noise and comparisons because at the end of the day, it’s a new year. It’s a new football year. I have to focus on what I have to do to be the best. I can’t focus on trying to live up to someone else who’s not even here anymore.”

Bouye has yet to step foot in the team’s facility but says the virtual meetings are getting him ready, especially when it comes to learning the playbook.

“The most challenging part for me is really going to be the terminology, certain calls and coverages. Some terminology that they use in this defense has a different meaning than another defense I was in. That is the first part. Just extra studying on my end,” Bouye said.

Bouye is also leaning heavily on Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell to help him get up to speed in the early phases of OTAs.

“He [Donatell] has been studying my game. He said he’s been watching me since I was in Houston. Really, he’s just getting to know me and vice versa and seeing how I like to play things and what I see coming through my mind on certain plays. Unfortunately, we can’t see each other in person but the communication has been great and he’s somebody that I can reach out to,” Bouye said.

Romi Bean

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