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Old 03-29-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
TonyR
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Default Krieger on defensive front seven

Krieger: Defense's woes front and center
By Dave Krieger
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/29/2009 12:30:00 AM MDT

On the bright side, no one's asking about the defense anymore.

Not saying Josh McDaniels triggered the Jay Cutler fiasco on purpose that would be like blowing up your house to avoid cleaning the bathroom but it's been a pretty effective distraction from his football team's biggest problem.

Twenty-seven days from the NFL draft, the Broncos' new coach has already turned over about a quarter of the roster, but he's done very little to improve one of the worst front sevens in football.

Whatever the young coach thinks of his incumbent Pro Bowl quarterback, his team's biggest problem, by far, is the defense, which was bad last year in pretty much every way imaginable.

Shortly after the free-agent market opened a month ago, McDaniels aggressively rebuilt the secondary. He replaced cornerback Dre Bly and safeties Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree with free agents Andre Goodman, Renaldo Hill and Brian Dawkins, leaving only Champ Bailey as a holdover from last year. This looks like a net improvement, the biggest question being how much Dawkins has left at 35.

By comparison, the front seven has gotten almost no attention. Mc-Daniels signed a few backups, including linebacker Andra Davis, lineman Darrell Reid and a couple of nose tackle suspects, but he has not signed a single new starter.

Given that a stout defense starts up front, there was reason to think this would be McDaniels' first priority in free agency. It was widely assumed that monster defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth would be too expensive for the Broncos, but defensive ends Chris Canty and Igor Olshansky looked like good fits for Mike Nolan's 3-4 defense.

Seven hours into free agency, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder signed Haynesworth to a deal that could be worth $100 million. Three days later, the Giants signed Canty to a six-year, $42 million deal, a reported $17.5 million of it guaranteed. Four days after that, the Cowboys replaced Canty with Olshansky, who got a four-year deal worth $18 million, $8 million of it guaranteed.

Even these latter deals might seem too rich for the Broncos' blood, given their multiplicity of needs and Pat Bowlen's recent aversion to large signing bonuses. But Bowlen did approve a five-year deal worth $17 million for Dawkins, a reported $7.2 million of it guaranteed.

That's pretty close to the deal Olshansky got from Dallas. Choosing a 35-year-old safety over a 26-year-old defensive end might make sense as the final piece of the puzzle, but it's a little harder to figure as part of a reconstruction project.

Barring a major draft-day deal, McDaniels now seems compelled to use the draft to restock the front seven, which casts some doubt on his pitch to the veteran defensive backs he is looking to win right away.

According to the conventional wisdom, if Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji is available at No. 12, the Broncos will take him to play the nose in their evolving 3-4. If he's gone by No. 12, the most popular alternative in early mock drafts is defensive end Tyson Jackson of LSU.

Adding intrigue, the Lions, who own the first pick and have expressed interest in Cutler, had Raji in for a workout, raising all sorts of trade possibilities.

Another massive defensive tackle Ron Brace of Boston College or Evander Hood of Missouri might be available at No. 48, the Broncos' second pick. After that, if the Broncos get anyone ready to start in the NFL right away, they will be very lucky.

The problem with going for linemen at the top of the draft is the Broncos also need major upgrades at linebacker, where D.J. Williams is the only holdover from last year's starting group. The highest-rated inside backers in the draft Rey Maualuga of USC and James Laurinaitis of Ohio State are generally projected to be taken in between the Broncos' first two picks.

In short, a month into free agency, McDaniels' reconstruction of the NFL's 30th-ranked scoring defense is only one-third done. Cutler may be his biggest public relations problem, but he's nowhere near his biggest football problem.

Dave Krieger: 303-954-5297 or dkrieger@denverpost.com


http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_12020710
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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Boy, Krieger is a real pessimist, no matter who is coaching. I don't think the front 7 is that far off. I think Andra Davis and Ron Fields will start and be effective in this defense. Also, Moss will continue to develop and make an impact this year, and Doom should be back to his old self. I'm pretty sure we'll draft T Jackson, Brace or Chris Baker, Brinkley or Beckwith, and Mcrath or Connor Barwin at OLB.

Even being young, that group of guys could really do some damage along with our productive vets and improved DBs.

Go screw Krieger.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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It's easy for guys like Krieger to sit on the sidelines and criticize, but there simply wasn't anyone of note available at a reasonable price in the front seven this free agent period. Most Chargers fans will tell you that Olshansky stunk the last couple of seasons. It tells you all you need to know that we have his former DL coach, yet didn't even bother to bring him in for a visit. Canty's deal was WAY to high for of his calibur. McDaniels played it smart: get the seconday in better shape via FA, sign some cheap, solid role players for the front seven, then concentrate on upgrading the front seven talent and youth wise in the draft.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #4
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Again, no one has pounded the table for front seven improvement more than I have. But, the talent has to be out there to actually sign. Haynesworth probably wasn't the right move for us, and there really just aren't any other world-beaters out there. Maybe at LB, we could have broken the bank on B. Scott. But, I'm not positive that was the right thing to do, either.

Beyond that, the off-season isn't over. Let's see what happens in the draft, and via FA/Trades before we jump to any conclusions.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JCMElway View Post
Boy, Krieger is a real pessimist, no matter who is coaching. I don't think the front 7 is that far off. I think Andra Davis and Ron Fields will start and be effective in this defense. Also, Moss will continue to develop and make an impact this year, and Doom should be back to his old self. I'm pretty sure we'll draft T Jackson, Brace or Chris Baker, Brinkley or Beckwith, and Mcrath or Connor Barwin at OLB.

Even being young, that group of guys could really do some damage along with our productive vets and improved DBs.

Go screw Krieger.
You're crazy. He's spot on that the front seven is still a huge mess.

Andra Davis is not a great player, he's a decent player who is a slight upgrade over Webster because of his size mostly. Fields is a pretty avg nose tackle, Doom is small, and Moss has done nothing yet.

The Broncos front 7 is going to stink this yr unless 2 rookie starters are studs.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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Again, no one has pounded the table for front seven improvement more than I have. But, the talent has to be out there to actually sign. Haynesworth probably wasn't the right move for us, and there really just aren't any other world-beaters out there. Maybe at LB, we could have broken the bank on B. Scott. But, I'm not positive that was the right thing to do, either.

Beyond that, the off-season isn't over. Let's see what happens in the draft, and via FA/Trades before we jump to any conclusions.
I agree Haynesworth might not have even been interested in Denver, plus too much money. Igor hates Denver and Denver hates Igor. Chris Canty would have been nice but like I said FA takes 2 to tango.

Broncos need to be calm and collected. Find young athletic, big, defenders in draft this yr, then again next yr, with another FA round in between and maybe if we hit on 2-3 players a draft we can be really good.

If you want to be depressed take a good defense like Ravens etc, go player by player and ask yourself if that players would start on Denver. You will probably end up with only 2 maybe 3 players on Denver that would start on a team like Ravens.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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Broncos actually have some defensive linemen that would fit into a 3-4, especially the ends. I'd prefer to wait till after the draft and we get to see a few games to see how this works. Before we start judging the defense.

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Old 03-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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...the Broncos' new coach has already turned over about a quarter of the roster, but he's done very little to improve one of the worst front sevens in football...

Really, there wasn't much out there and what was out there was vastly overpriced. Hopefully, they can make something out of Moss and Crowder.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:47 AM   #9
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But Bowlen did approve a five-year deal worth $17 million for Dawkins, a reported $7.2 million of it guaranteed.

That's pretty close to the deal Olshansky got from Dallas. Choosing a 35-year-old safety over a 26-year-old defensive end might make sense as the final piece of the puzzle, but it's a little harder to figure as part of a reconstruction project.
I think this is a fair statement.

It is easy to get caught up in the appeal of a player like Dawkins and what he brings...just like Lynch. I have no doubt I will love watching #20 in Orange.

But is it the right thing for this football team given how far it has to go?
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:35 PM   #10
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I'd still like to seem them sign Vonnie Holiday.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:04 PM   #11
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I think this is a fair statement.

It is easy to get caught up in the appeal of a player like Dawkins and what he brings...just like Lynch. I have no doubt I will love watching #20 in Orange.

But is it the right thing for this football team given how far it has to go?
Not really and I will tell you why I think that. It's easy to look at the contracts, and say well you could have had that guy because he signed for xxx amount of dollars. That is bad logic all over the place. For one you don't know if the player in question even would consider denver. Igor hates denver and he probably would not have been happily accepted by many of the Broncos players.

For all you know Canty would have wanted quite a bit more to play in Denver. If I was a player I would say, who? damn the Broncos? They aren't very good on defense right now, but, well tell them 3 million more the Giants and I will think about it. Fact is playing in NY for the Giants way more appealing to a lot of player then playing in mountain city for a weak defense.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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There wasnt much out there.
This is going to be a process, it is a mistake thinking we can fix it all in one year.
I am positive though that McDaniels values linemen very much and will represent that in the draft.

Just look at the Pats front, all three linemen are 1st rounders I think.
There are not just a ton of options this year it seems for linemen where we draft, but we just need to be patient and not panic.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:09 PM   #13
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meh............. we are doomed until we get Engleburger back
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:14 PM   #14
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No matter what...i doubt the D is any worse this year than it has been the past 2 seasons...the new coaches should help to...
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
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There wasnt much out there.
This is going to be a process, it is a mistake thinking we can fix it all in one year.
I am positive though that McDaniels values linemen very much and will represent that in the draft.

Just look at the Pats front, all three linemen are 1st rounders I think.
There are not just a ton of options this year it seems for linemen where we draft, but we just need to be patient and not panic.
You are on the wrong message board for that, buddy.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:19 PM   #16
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You're crazy. He's spot on that the front seven is still a huge mess.

Andra Davis is not a great player, he's a decent player who is a slight upgrade over Webster because of his size mostly. Fields is a pretty avg nose tackle, Doom is small, and Moss has done nothing yet.

The Broncos front 7 is going to stink this yr unless 2 rookie starters are studs.
I'm glad you're here. All your worrying and negativity is saving me the pain of an ulcer and the heartbreak of psoriasis. I can ignore the Broncos this year, I guess....... Keep up the good work.......
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:55 PM   #17
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Front seven?

Draft! It's where Denver has to go.

One FA stud DT/DE/LB isn't going to make enough of a difference to a D that took several seasons to get this awful.

Patience!.....a word rarely seen on the Mane.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #18
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I think this says alot about the young talent the Broncos already have. Carlton Powell and Larsen, Woodyard, Williams must be on McDs radar. If the Broncos are lucky enough to get Raji in the draft, thats 2 young DTs to build an already young defense around. Dawkins and Andra Davis provide leadership. I do think many are underestimating the impact a guy like Andra Davis will make.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #19
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Again, no one has pounded the table for front seven improvement more than I have. But, the talent has to be out there to actually sign. Haynesworth probably wasn't the right move for us, and there really just aren't any other world-beaters out there. Maybe at LB, we could have broken the bank on B. Scott. But, I'm not positive that was the right thing to do, either.

Beyond that, the off-season isn't over. Let's see what happens in the draft, and via FA/Trades before we jump to any conclusions.
I've been a BIG fan of Improving the D-line for years
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:22 PM   #20
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McLiar has totatlly missed the mark: the D needed upgrade; not the O.

sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you get rained out.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:31 PM   #21
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McLiar has totatlly missed the mark: the D needed upgrade; not the O.

sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you get rained out.
apparently someone didnt catch the memo, the offense was ranked #24 after week 3.....thats why mcdaniels is trying to fix that as well.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #22
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Typical.

Orangemane during the season: "Whaa! We need to draft Defensive front seven!!"

Orangemane before the draft: "Wtf? Why havent we signed every D-Lineman and linebacker out there!!!"
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:43 PM   #23
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Typical.

Orangemane during the season: "Whaa! We need to draft Defensive front seven!!"

Orangemane before the draft: "Wtf? Why havent we signed every D-Lineman and linebacker out there!!!"
have you ever seen this place more ridiculous than it is right now?
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #24
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Hopefully, they can make something out of Moss and Crowder.
There's a better chance of Bob getting laid.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #25
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I'm glad you're here. All your worrying and negativity is saving me the pain of an ulcer and the heartbreak of psoriasis. I can ignore the Broncos this year, I guess....... Keep up the good work.......
Give me a ****ing break!!!! With all the B.S going on the Mane, with all the people saying we are doomed with Mcdaniels, me pointing out that indeed the front seven is still pretty bad is what saves you from the pain of an ulcer?

go **** off and come back when you have something to add to the football discussion. You always have been a big ole p***Y.
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