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Denver '78
08-12-2009, 01:29 AM
Hi there Guys,

I've been an expat in South Africa for the past year and have lost touch with much of the Denver Broncos lately (post-Shanny that is) relying primarily on RMN and ESPN for tidbits now and then. Can anyone bring me up to speed on this 3-4 D scheme McDaniels has introduced? Looking at the Depth Chart the other day, noticed a lot of familiar faces have left...what I can expect from the defense this year essentially? thoughts and insights very welcome!

Cheers,

Chris
Cape Town, SA

footstepsfrom#27
08-12-2009, 02:38 AM
Good question...I think we're all asking the same thing. I'll try to fill in a few gaps.

For starters they probably won't play the 3-4 all the time and maybe not even most of the time. They've hinted that they'll be switching on the fly. Robert Ayers is probably the guy they move up the DE spot when they go to a 4-3, at least they've indicated as much. The D-line is EXTREMELY young, and if you go purely on the basis of talent...IMO they'll probably wind up with both UDFA Chris Baker and last years 5th rounder Carlton Powell playing as starters before the year is up, though it might be more important to see what the depth is like since they'll be in rotation. My guess would be Marcus Thomas starting at DE, who is only in his 3rd year and Powell is a rookie for all practical purposes since he was hurt all last year, and the other guys they may rely on, for example Ryan McBean who was a late Steeler cut last year...are also very young.

The biggest surprise is probably the early emergence of Tim Crowder playing at the OLB spot but they have a couple guys with talent that may have difficulties seeing time because of the system. Dumervil is the best pass rusher but he'll have problems sealing the edge against the run so how and when do they play him? As a 3rd down pass rusher? He's penciled in at OLB but he obviously has a learning curve. The same is true with WWIII who despite reportedly adding weight, is still a long ways form a prototypical size guy for the 3-4...but he might be their best inside LB. In the secondary Dolphin castoff Andre Goodman has been having a steady camp in place of Bly and everyone is hopeful this Alphonso Smith kid is the truth, especially since they paid a kings ransom for him. Champ is Champ if he's healthy and Dawkins we HOPE still has enough left for another run. Barrett from last year is on the bubbile it appears with a couple rooks showing some promise back there. Overall the emphasis has been on adding size and strength and going to a more physical game instead of the finese game we've been seeing all these years...which would be a major plus in an off season with more questions than answers.

The biggest question IMO is whether this DL can use the improvement in size and strength to translate that into production. I think they're at least a year away from making much impact there, so I would expect only marginal improvement based on their inexperience but that being negated at least partially by them dumping Slowick if for no other reason.

Denver '78
08-12-2009, 06:07 AM
Succinctly put, thanks for the analysis. Definitely parting from being the 'fastest' LB corps in the league with Wilson, Gold, and Mobley; interested in seeing how the 3-4 and these guys develop.

cmhargrove
08-12-2009, 06:07 AM
We used to post the link to Montrose's thread on this subject. I'll see if I can find it.

Hulamau
08-12-2009, 02:48 PM
Good question...I think we're all asking the same thing. I'll try to fill in a few gaps.

For starters they probably won't play the 3-4 all the time and maybe not even most of the time. They've hinted that they'll be switching on the fly. Robert Ayers is probably the guy they move up the DE spot when they go to a 4-3, at least they've indicated as much. The D-line is EXTREMELY young, and if you go purely on the basis of talent...IMO they'll probably wind up with both UDFA Chris Baker and last years 5th rounder Carlton Powell playing as starters before the year is up, though it might be more important to see what the depth is like since they'll be in rotation. My guess would be Marcus Thomas starting at DE, who is only in his 3rd year and Powell is a rookie for all practical purposes since he was hurt all last year, and the other guys they may rely on, for example Ryan McBean who was a late Steeler cut last year...are also very young.

The biggest surprise is probably the early emergence of Tim Crowder playing at the OLB spot but they have a couple guys with talent that may have difficulties seeing time because of the system. Dumervil is the best pass rusher but he'll have problems sealing the edge against the run so how and when do they play him? As a 3rd down pass rusher? He's penciled in at OLB but he obviously has a learning curve. The same is true with WWIII who despite reportedly adding weight, is still a long ways form a prototypical size guy for the 3-4...but he might be their best inside LB. In the secondary Dolphin castoff Andre Goodman has been having a steady camp in place of Bly and everyone is hopeful this Alphonso Smith kid is the truth, especially since they paid a kings ransom for him. Champ is Champ if he's healthy and Dawkins we HOPE still has enough left for another run. Barrett from last year is on the bubbile it appears with a couple rooks showing some promise back there. Overall the emphasis has been on adding size and strength and going to a more physical game instead of the finese game we've been seeing all these years...which would be a major plus in an off season with more questions than answers.

The biggest question IMO is whether this DL can use the improvement in size and strength to translate that into production. I think they're at least a year away from making much impact there, so I would expect only marginal improvement based on their inexperience but that being negated at least partially by them dumping Slowick if for no other reason.

Good post footsteps, the only thing I think maybe you're are underestimating a bit here (at least I hope so) are the chances for more than just a small improvement along the Dline. By mid-season I would not be surprised, and am expecting, to see a DL that is workmanlike respectable at least, though not yet elite or dominating this year.

Just the size increase coupled with far better coaching and a better over all scheme than the schizoid theme of the last few years is bound to make for at least an average line performance by mid year. That improvement alone would pay HUGE dividends for the whole team.

In this case, guys like a Powell and even McBean who was all set to press for playing time with the Steeler's last year before getting hurt, not to mention having Peterson & Thomas (our only two guys who showed up at all last year) and Baker in the line rotation as well.

Anyway, I think these guys are going tot be proficient enough by mid season to help elevate our D to middle of the pack at least and could well be good enough with our offense continuing to gel as well (particularly if Marshall is able to come back and play strong this year) for a play off run... With a little injury luck thrown in.

We are a team on the rise with a lot of young guys now who are only going to be better.

Archer81
08-12-2009, 02:51 PM
RMN? I thought that paper folded in the last 4 months...and if ESPN is your source for Broncos news...no wonder you dont know whats up. Wow.


:Broncos:

Mr. Elway
08-12-2009, 02:57 PM
You might also want to start deciding if you prefer your head in the sand or feeling jilted.

The Joker
08-12-2009, 03:12 PM
The key will be the OLB's, IMO.

I expect the D-line will be below average, though not quite the farce we've seen the last couple of years. The ILB's will be a strength for us I think. Davis should be a huge upgrade over Webster last year in terms of helping against the run, and DJ Williams should be reasonably well suited to the WILB role.

The upgrades at Safety are massive, that alone will be massive for our secondary. Last year teams could throw across the middle all day long, Dawkins should help make them think twice about that this year. Hill I expect will be a solid, if unspecatacular, presence as the deep safety. At CB we're looking good. One thing that should be much improved this year is our tackling in the secondary. Outside of Champ, last year's DB's were a disgrace when it came to tackling.

But, a secondary is only really as good as its pass rush at the end of the day. That's where the OLB's come in.

Personally still think the best thing for Elvis is to be a 3rd down guy. Keep him fresh, get him in there and let him rush the passer every time he's on the field. He sucks against the run, doesn't look natural in coverage, and when he's on the field too much he loses that burst off the line that is so important to his game. Send him in on passing downs only and he'll get 10+ sacks and be a much more effective player.

But, for that to happen, we need Ayers to prove he can be the starter at WOLB. If he can step up and make an immediate impact, things could start to look up for us.

The SOLB spot is the worry though. This position needs to be more versstile than the WOLB, and I'm not sure we have anyone who can manage it. Crowder seemed to start off well in camp, but he doesn't seem to be running with the first team at the moment. Maybe Haggan is showing something as a passrusher?

DenverBrit
08-12-2009, 03:12 PM
This link will help you catch up.

http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=1096

Bigdawg26
08-12-2009, 06:00 PM
I do remember the hype of Wilson, Gold, and Mobley being the fastest LB corp in the league that year, but I have to think Wilson, Gold, and DJ Williams were a bit faster given that DJ was faster than Wilson and Mobley.

s0phr0syne
08-12-2009, 09:06 PM
the infamous montrose thread: http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=76570