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Popps
07-12-2009, 08:20 PM
http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=334&storyID=9141

By Gray Caldwell
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- "I was born abnormal, you know," Darrell Reid said with a laugh. "I'm special and I know that."

In Indianapolis, Reid displayed some of that uniqueness when he played on special teams -- as a 290-pound defensive tackle. And not just as a someone to eat up blockers -- he was a playmaker.

He led the Colts with 45 special-teams tackles in his four seasons in Indianapolis, marking the highest total on the team during that stretch. That included a stellar 2007 campaign, when he tied for second in the NFL with a career-best 21 special-teams stops.

But his impact didn't begin and end on special teams. Though he says he didn't get as much of an opportunity to produce on defense as he would have liked in Indianapolis, Reid saw time in all 16 games for the Colts during each of the last two seasons, posting 44 defensive tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries to go along with 32 special-teams stops.

Now he's about to show even more of that uniqueness as he prepares to make a leap rarely seen in the NFL.

Head Coach Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and the rest of the coaching staff saw his production in Indy and envisioned Reid -- whose playing weight with the Colts fluctuated between 280 and 290 pounds -- as a linebacker.

"When I first came out here and met with Coach McDaniels and the coaching staff here, Coach Nolan and everyone, they had a vision for me," recalled Reid, who won a Super Bowl ring in 2006. "They felt like the player they saw not only on special teams but also on defense, they felt like I could move to a different position in this system."

Reid hadn't played the linebacker position since he was a redshirt freshman at Minnesota, when fellow Bronco Ben Hamilton was a two-time first-team All-American senior for the Gophers. The position worked for Reid -- he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News in his first of four years starting for the Gophers.

Reid with a laugh that he didn't know of any other defensive tackles that have made the change.

"But when I was at defensive tackle playing special teams, they said there weren't a lot of guys in the league playing special teams that played defensive line or defensive tackle," he said. "I don't really worry about what the norm is."

Imagine if Ryan Harris changed positions to fullback. It's the same basic idea in both positions -- block for the quarterback and running backs -- but fullback requires a whole different set of skills, not to mention the work it would take to essentially change body types.

Well, that's essentially what Reid has in front of him, only on the defensive side of the ball.

Once again, defensive tackles and linebackers do some of the same things, but it's no longer plugging holes and occasionally rushing the passer. It's getting off blocks, falling back into coverage, running to the ball-carrier -- and still occasionally rushing the passer.

It's an opportunity that Reid can't wait to tackle.

"That's a vision they had for me, and we're trying to make that vision happen," he said. "I think slowly it's coming together."

It's not the first time there has been a transition involving linebackers and defensive tackles on the Broncos. Only the last time it happened, it was reversed. Keith Traylor, who Denver selected in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft, came into the league as a linebacker. After brief stints with other teams, he returned to the Broncos -- as a defensive tackle.

It's a big position switch to make, whether it's gaining weight or losing it. The transition began for Reid as soon as he arrived for offseason conditioning, from altering his weight lifting to conditioning more to dieting.

He said he has lost a lot of weight already, focusing on watching what he eats. His diet consists of low carbs, lots of protein, green vegetables, fruit, fiber and fluids. He eats plenty of salads, chicken breasts and steaks and very little braed, rice and pasta.

"It's tough, you know, as it is for anyone to diet," he said. "You're going to have times when you cheat, you're going to have bad days and you're going to have real good days. I just try to stay as consistent as I can and not drive myself crazy over it."

As far as his goal playing weight, Reid said he has in his head that he wants to get to 260 or 265 pounds. But after talking with McDaniels, strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten and nutritionist Dave Ellis, there's no exact number he has to aim for.

"I guess it's based on how I look out there," he explained. "If I look kind of sloppy or slow, then Josh is going to be like, 'You need to lose some pounds.' But at the same time I don't, and I know they don't, want me to lose any strength. That's a big part of my game, my power game and the strength that I have. So we've just got to find a happy medium."

Reid seems to be approaching the medium as training camp is just around the corner. He is already looking like a linebacker -- he lined up at outside linebacker with the first unit for the first two mini-camps and a large chunk of passing camp. And he's bonded with another defensive-line-to-linebacker prospect in Elvis Dumervil.

"Me and Doom have been talking a lot about some of the things that we might be able to do this year on defense, and we're really excited about that," Reid said. "I can almost guarantee this -- if me and Dumervil are in the game at the same time, he will have more than six sacks this year."

So while he is reslishing the opportunity to take his skills to the linebacker position, Reid is excited about the prospects for the Broncos defense in 2009.

And he's most energized about the fact that he could be a key part of it.

"The switch, that excited me, yes, but the opportunity that Josh presented to me -- the opportunity to possibly start in this defense -- that's what I'm really excited about."

Popps
07-12-2009, 08:21 PM
Well, he can run and hit... we know that...

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Popps
07-12-2009, 08:21 PM
I still expect he'll move back and forth, though... maybe as a 4th down linemen in short yardage, etc.

listopencil
07-12-2009, 08:55 PM
"Reid seems to be approaching the medium as training camp is just around the corner. He is already looking like a linebacker -- he lined up at outside linebacker with the first unit for the first two mini-camps and a large chunk of passing camp"

When I started reading I thought they meant inside Linebacker. Maybe it's just another case of me not fully understanding Linebacker roles in the 3-4?

bpc
07-13-2009, 09:19 AM
The guy looks like he can move fairly well for his size, and with the tackle he had on that kickoff was definitely explosive. Couldn't be any worse than we have now. Still, the guy thinks he has a gift from god...

God would probably expect more than 2.5 sacks over 4 years if that's the case with him playing so close to the QB. ROI.

I have never really heard of this guy before. Parts of this team and the players remind me of Major League, the movie.

Beantown Bronco
07-13-2009, 09:27 AM
I still expect he'll move back and forth, though... maybe as a 4th down linemen in short yardage, etc.

Not if he gets down to 260 like the article says.

Dudeskey
07-13-2009, 10:17 AM
Well, he can run and hit... we know that...

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I'd like to see him lay out Rivers like that...

Popps
07-13-2009, 10:21 AM
Parts of this team and the players remind me of Major League, the movie.

You have to be kidding, Chris.

This is the team that started John Engelberger and Nate Webster, and found most of our linemen on practice squads or the UPS loading dock. Talk about a comedy of errors.

NOW you're going to be offended, suddenly?

C'mon, bro. He's a special teams stand-out that may contribute in the rotation. It's nice to see this team prioritizing special teams again. But, if you want the definition of "Major League" .... it's the 2008 Broncos defense, and the plan was to bring them all back, including Slowick.

Let's keep things in perspective.

Florida_Bronco
07-13-2009, 11:57 AM
You have to be kidding, Chris.

This is the team that started John Engelberger and Nate Webster, and found most of our linemen on practice squads or the UPS loading dock. Talk about a comedy of errors.

NOW you're going to be offended, suddenly?

C'mon, bro. He's a special teams stand-out that may contribute in the rotation. It's nice to see this team prioritizing special teams again. But, if you want the definition of "Major League" .... it's the 2008 Broncos defense, and the plan was to bring them all back, including Slowick.

Let's keep things in perspective.

Great post

bpc
07-13-2009, 02:30 PM
You have to be kidding, Chris.

This is the team that started John Engelberger and Nate Webster, and found most of our linemen on practice squads or the UPS loading dock. Talk about a comedy of errors.

NOW you're going to be offended, suddenly?

C'mon, bro. He's a special teams stand-out that may contribute in the rotation. It's nice to see this team prioritizing special teams again. But, if you want the definition of "Major League" .... it's the 2008 Broncos defense, and the plan was to bring them all back, including Slowick.

Let's keep things in perspective.

I'm not defending Engelberger but he was a 2nd round pick and a 8 year vet. I hated him as much as you though.

You could make the same argument for our safeties last year. They were horrible and moved from city to city, year after year.

As for this year's team it seems like the same but i'm hopeful if nothing else. I paid Reid a compliment but one can't argue that his lack of starting production will limit whatever he is with us. Maybe he just ends up a special teams/backup player. We need those too but the upside here isn't as great as he thinks or the thread article indicates. This is just my opinion though.

Popps
07-13-2009, 02:38 PM
Maybe he just ends up a special teams/backup player. We need those too but the upside here isn't as great as he thinks or the thread article indicates. This is just my opinion though.

Well, it's an off-season fluff piece. Clearly, this guy isn't the answer to our defensive woes, but he may help. I like that he's had experience moving around, standing up.. hand on the ground, etc. I love that he's a special teams ace.

We've now got a handful of guys (FA and/or draft picks) that are known for being special teams standouts.

Just like the Quinn pick... it might not be sexy, but it's what great teams are made of. We've been so sloppy on STs for so long, it's going to be great to watch an emphasis return to productive returns/kicking game/coverage.

Cliche as it may be, turnovers and special teams a huge equalizers and we have sucked at both for the past several seasons.

broncofan2438
07-13-2009, 02:41 PM
I'd like to see him lay out Rivers like that...

Hells yes

bpc
07-13-2009, 02:45 PM
No argument here. I just want to win.

I don't really care who the QB is. We just have to win.

Go Broncos.

kappys
07-13-2009, 03:42 PM
Similar skillset/atheletism as Ayers, they'll compete for the starting SOLB/LDE hybrid job and one will back up the other.

Ambiguous
07-13-2009, 03:53 PM
You have to be kidding, Chris.

This is the team that started John Engelberger and Nate Webster, and found most of our linemen on practice squads or the UPS loading dock. Talk about a comedy of errors.

NOW you're going to be offended, suddenly?

C'mon, bro. He's a special teams stand-out that may contribute in the rotation. It's nice to see this team prioritizing special teams again. But, if you want the definition of "Major League" .... it's the 2008 Broncos defense, and the plan was to bring them all back, including Slowick.

Let's keep things in perspective.

This plus the Major League Indians won games. :-/

Gcver2ver3
07-13-2009, 03:55 PM
You have to be kidding, Chris.

This is the team that started John Engelberger and Nate Webster, and found most of our linemen on practice squads or the UPS loading dock. Talk about a comedy of errors.

NOW you're going to be offended, suddenly?

C'mon, bro. He's a special teams stand-out that may contribute in the rotation. It's nice to see this team prioritizing special teams again. But, if you want the definition of "Major League" .... it's the 2008 Broncos defense, and the plan was to bring them all back, including Slowick.

Let's keep things in perspective.


rep brotha!...