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Old 05-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
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By Gray Caldwell
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With all of the changes the Broncos have undergone this offseason, much of the talk has been about the installation of a new offensive system brought by Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
But the defense is undergoing plenty of changes as well.
McDaniels confirmed before the draft that the defensive side of the ball is transitioning to a 3-4 alignment. That means right off the bat that the team will have a nose tackle position and there are going to be a group of hybrid defensive end/linebackers on the roster.
McDaniels said that first-round draft pick Robert Ayers, Tim Crowder, Elvis Dumervil, Jarvis Moss and Darrell Reid are part of that hybrid group.
Moss, for one, said he's extremely excited about the way the new position allows him to utilize his speed and athleticism.
"I think this is something I could have been -- and maybe should have been -- doing since I got into the league," he said. "But this is a whole new chapter for me. This 3-4 defense, you know a lot of teams were looking for me to be a 3-4 player when I was coming out, so I'm excited about it. It will give me a chance to show that I'm versatile, and kind of a new beginning. I get to start all over with the new staff and coach in here."
What it means for some of the bigger defensive linemen is that they will have to start transitioning from a one-gap assigment to a two-gap. Essentially that means the nose tackle, for example, can either go to the left or right of the center, rather than being assigned to one gap or the other.
"In the two-gap, you have a little bit of freedom," Marcus Thomas said, demonstrating some of his juking ability. "That's what I like -- just get up field, make plays in the backfield and create havoc."
Thomas said he has gained some weight to try to fit the mold of a nose tackle, a position where he feels he could excel because of his athleticism.
Ronald Fields is another candidate for the nose tackle position. He played under Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan at San Francisco, so he said he has a little bit of an edge because he knows how Nolan wants the defense to be played.
"It's not really the usual 3-4," Fields explained. "It's an attack 3-4, it's like an offensive mindset. Some people play the 3-4 different, they're more like sit back and wait. But as far as us, we attack. It's kind of mixed-up with a 4-3. There are a lot of good things in there for linemen instead of just sitting there and catching the blocker and being passive and waiting."
It's that attacking style that has players at all positions excited about the defensive prospects for the 2009 season.
Wesley Woodyard said it was shocking at first to see former defensive linemen like Crowder and Dumervil floating back with the linebackers, but once he saw how well they've been adapting, he realized the type of dangers they present to opposing offenses.
"It's an exciting defense -- it allows the players to run around and basically do something that was back in the day, and that's just having fun," Woodyard said. "I think that's what our defense is based on -- having fun, flying around and making plays."
So the transition to the attacking 3-4 could help breathe some life into the defense. But McDaniels was quick to point out that he and the rest of the coaching staff are always evaluating players, and they will work to put everyone in the best position possible, even if that means altering the scheme.
"If we get to any week in the season, ever, and we don't feel comfortable with the 3-4 or what we did last week on offense or what we did last week on the punt team, we're changing it," he said. "So if that means you're going to look out there and see five defensive linemen, you may see five. We're going to do whatever we feel every week is in the best interest of beating that team."
Moss said the players respect the fact that their head coach is willing to see what they do best and find ways to utilize those skills on the football field.
"I think that's awesome to coach like that," he said. "It lets your players be more comfortable with what they're doing as opposed to making a guy do something that he's not so comfortable with or used to doing, or can't get his job done as well. I think it's awesome to coach this defense the way that they coach it.
"It's pretty sweet."

http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.ph...4&storyID=9067
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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notice how mcdaniels does all the talking about the defense, where is Nolan at?
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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notice how mcdaniels does all the talking about the defense, where is Nolan at?
Posting his resume on Monster.com
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Now if only Moss could demonstrate that he belongs on an NFL team

Well I guess this kind of points to Thomas at the NT position.
Doesnt mean that is all he will play, but I highly doubt he would put on weight if was planning on playing end a lot.

So Thomas, Fields, and Powell maybe at NT
With Peterson, McBeam, Clemons, and possibly Powell at end....yeah that doesnt look too great.

I might be more concerned about our ends than our nose tackles at this point
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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This year they are turning the d-line loose!
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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notice how mcdaniels does all the talking about the defense, where is Nolan at?
Nolan was traded..
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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you can tell the players are far more excited about it this year than they were in years past...as far as utilizing all the players skills and understand how it will all get together to make a defense.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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Sounds great in theory, the question I pose is simple: do the Broncos have the talent to pull it off?
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:31 PM   #9
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Problem I see with this article is Nolan's version of the 4-3under/3-4 hybrid is it is more a read and react and doesn't involve a lot of blitzing. An attacking 3-4 is like Pittsburgh and we won't be seeing that in Denver.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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Problem I see with this article is Nolan's version of the 4-3under/3-4 hybrid is it is more a read and react and doesn't involve a lot of blitzing. An attacking 3-4 is like Pittsburgh and we won't be seeing that in Denver.
The way the article reads is that it's an attacking style of 3-4, not a read and react. And again, if that is the case, I hope we have the talent to pull it off...
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #11
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Much better attitudes this year. I hope that helps break them out of a self-fulfilling prophecy cycle of playing bad and getting worse as the negative 2nd class citizen feedback loop intensified. Hopefully, it's not really lack of talent. Anyway, I like to see these guys fired up. Marcus Thomas is a character.


"I think this is something I could have been -- and maybe should have been -- doing since I got into the league," Moss said. "But this is a whole new chapter for me. This 3-4 defense, you know a lot of teams were looking for me to be a 3-4 player when I was coming out, so I'm excited about it. It will give me a chance to show that I'm versatile, and kind of a new beginning. I get to start all over with the new staff and coach in here."


"In the two-gap, you have a little bit of freedom," Marcus Thomas said, demonstrating some of his juking ability. "That's what I like -- just get up field, make plays in the backfield and create havoc."
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:44 PM   #12
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Problem I see with this article is Nolan's version of the 4-3under/3-4 hybrid is it is more a read and react and doesn't involve a lot of blitzing. An attacking 3-4 is like Pittsburgh and we won't be seeing that in Denver.
We don't need a heavy blitzing defense. It looks real sexy on the field but when it comes right down to it we just need players who know how to play their positions. Nolan has never been a blitzing maniac and he's put some really good defenses on the field.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
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you can tell the players are far more excited about it this year than they were in years past...as far as utilizing all the players skills and understand how it will all get together to make a defense.
I'm not one of the anti-McDaniels gloomers. But this time of year, we always hear about how the D is going to attack this year. Never happens. They are always pathetic.

You also have to consider that there's some serious brown-nosing going on. Moss is on the bubble. Paens to the coaching staff are pretty routine in that situation.

So let's see how it works out. I personally think we have a rough year or two coming. But given the state the franchise was in when Shanahan left, I think that is a reasonable time to get things turned around. I think it's going to take more than enthusiasm to fix the talent deficit on D.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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I'm not one of the anti-McDaniels gloomers. But this time of year, we always hear about how the D is going to attack this year. Never happens. They are always pathetic.

You also have to consider that there's some serious brown-nosing going on. Moss is on the bubble. Paens to the coaching staff are pretty routine in that situation.

So let's see how it works out. I personally think we have a rough year or two coming. But given the state the franchise was in when Shanahan left, I think that is a reasonable time to get things turned around. I think it's going to take more than enthusiasm to fix the talent deficit on D.
yea i know, i remember them talking up bob slowik. but still, atleast they are excited about it and it seems they all understand their roles much better than they have in the past. even last year you could tell that people didnt realy know what was going on ever.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #15
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Here's hoping the ex-Steeler McBean can turn into a Bertrand Berry type street FA pick-up and shock us all.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:23 PM   #16
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The way the article reads is that it's an attacking style of 3-4, not a read and react. And again, if that is the case, I hope we have the talent to pull it off...
I hate the "vanilla" read and react crap... it just isn't that good. Nolan was more aggressive when he was in Baltimore, but in Washington there is a reason he literally had a gallon of vanilla ice cream left to melt on his desk.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #17
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yeah, attacking defense, just like sanfran played last year?
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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But McDaniels was quick to point out that he and the rest of the coaching staff are always evaluating players, and they will work to put everyone in the best position possible, even if that means altering the scheme.
"If we get to any week in the season, ever, and we don't feel comfortable with the 3-4 or what we did last week on offense or what we did last week on the punt team, we're changing it," he said. "So if that means you're going to look out there and see five defensive linemen, you may see five."
What does that mean?

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Old 05-14-2009, 07:58 PM   #19
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notice how mcdaniels does all the talking about the defense, where is Nolan at?
coaching the defense like he should be.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:00 PM   #20
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hmmm.. 2 gap is usually NOT referred to as an attack style. More read and react. i.e. NE and Clev.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #21
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What does that mean?
I guess it means Broncos could have some hybrid alignments.

I would guess maybe that would mean we could see 5 DL and only 2 linebackers. I would think maybe because Doom and Moss are smaller and quick enough to drop into coverage.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:03 PM   #22
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I guess it means Broncos could have some hybrid alignments.

I would guess maybe that would mean we could see 5 DL and only 2 linebackers. I would think maybe because Doom and Moss are smaller and quick enough to drop into coverage.
What does the bolded part mean? It makes no sense.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:07 PM   #23
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The way the article reads is that it's an attacking style of 3-4, not a read and react. And again, if that is the case, I hope we have the talent to pull it off...
That is what I said is the article acts like Denver is going to be a blitzing machine but Nolan's last two D's didn't blitz a whole lot and is more of a read and react.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #24
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We don't need a heavy blitzing defense. It looks real sexy on the field but when it comes right down to it we just need players who know how to play their positions. Nolan has never been a blitzing maniac and he's put some really good defenses on the field.
I never said I wanted a heavy blitzing defense but in Pittsburgh's defense when have they sucked past 10-15 years? I was pointing out that the article says Denver is running an attacking D when Nolan has showed he runs more of a read and react. Not counting Baltimore who already had the talent when he took over what really good D's has he put on the field?
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:12 PM   #25
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This exact article comes out every single year about this time. We'll see.
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