Originally Posted by Bmore Manning
I think that may have been the original plan to play him at DT when he was first drafted as his plan on the long term curve. And it still may be the plan eventually.. But right now, he's our LDE on base downs. And Malik may rotate in or earn more PT, but Knighton and Vickerson are our starting DTs.
Why you and Hef don't like Wolfe at 5tech is mind boggling. Wolfe is a perfect 5tech DE.. I wouldn't want him anywhere else right now..
Its not that I don't like Wolfe as a 5-tech DE type, I just think that Del Rio and Fox are trying to evolve their scheme and that will require the ability to generate more up the middle pass rush on demand. Knighton and Vickerson aren't going to do that, and hell, Vickerson is probably only a Bronco for another couple years at best anyhow.
Del Rio made multiple references to wanting Wolfe's pass rush game on the inside more often, but that Wolfe needs to grow into that kind of body. Mat'hir's comment about Baltimore's D with Boulware is a valid model, but it isn't 100% that and Del Rio wasn't even the DC there.
I think that instead of running two hogs with two 265 pound ends that Del Rio is now shooting for one hog, one versatile DT, a LDE with some size to run interference for Miller, and a good pass rusher at RDE.
With that we can seamlessly rotate between a 4-3 base, a Steelers style 3-4 (more like a 5-2), or go nickel with a 3-3 or 4-2, depending on down and distance with minimal personnel changes. That allows them to rotate personnel based on production and fatigue.
As for Knighton and Vickerson being the starters, sure, if the opening defensive play is out of 21 or 12 personnel. But if someone opens with 11 personnel or even an empty backfield do you really think we're going to keep both Knighton and Vickerson on the field because "they're the starters"?
I'm expecting Knighton to gobble up most of Bannan's snaps from last year and Vickerson will keep the same basic role as well, but I'm also expecting Wolfe to take a nice sized bite out of the total interior DL snaps pool, both because it's where his pass rush skills are most effective and because it opens the door for Malik Jackson to get on the field more and Jackson looks like a long term piece of the DL for Denver.
In the base defense to open the game Wolfe will likely still be at LDE, but the ratio of his snaps at DT v. LDE is likely going to move in favor of DT because there he offers something no one else on the team can - interior pass rush, when his benefits as a 5-tech running interference for Miller is likely a job that Jackson can do quite well himself.