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Old 10-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
TonyR
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Default Legwold on Jamal Williams

Today's question about the Broncos comes from Kurt Weber. Send your question via e-mail to jlegwold@denverpost.com.

Q: What is the first-quarter grade for nose tackle Jamal Williams? It's easy to miss him while watching the Broncos, which is remarkable for someone pushing 350 pounds. But I have been trying to pay attention, and it looks like Williams is doing his job by eating double-team blocks and still pushing toward the pocket. I have noticed that he has forced offensive penalties when he has gotten 7 or 8 yards into the backfield.

A: Kurt, after charting the games thus far, I would give Williams a B-plus grade. He certainly impacts games when he's in the lineup. The only thing working against him, and it's nothing Williams can control at this point, is the fact that he is a 34-year-old player at a high-impact position.

The pounding a nose tackle takes is excruciating to watch. To have to go through that every game is another matter entirely. It's a thankless job for the most part because he isn't going to pile up sacks, tackles for a loss or plays that get on TV highlights.

His job is to eat up blockers, which Williams still does consistently well. It's why the Broncos rolled the dice to sign him to a three-year contract worth $7 million in guaranteed money.

No team — the Broncos included — can play a 3-4 defense successfully without a dominating presence in the middle of the line. Joe Collier, a former Broncos defensive coordinator and a 3-4 expert, said a quality nose tackle is the first player you acquire when you're putting a 3-4 together.

Williams isn't a full-time player now. He's had too many knee and ankle surgeries, too much wear and tear during 13 seasons in the NFL.

As their 31-17 loss at Baltimore showed, the Broncos don't have an answer for running games that pound away when Williams isn't on the field. There were long stretches during the loss to the Ravens when Williams and defensive end Justin Bannan — two of the Broncos' biggest free-agent signings in the offseason — were on the sideline, and the Ravens were keenly aware of that.

Baltimore ran into the middle of the Broncos' defense with more success when Williams was on the sideline, including the 14-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that closed out the third quarter and started the fourth. That scoring drive extended the Ravens' lead to 24-7 and lasted nearly 7-1/2 minutes.

The Ravens ran the ball 12 times on that drive, and most of those carries were into the middle of the Broncos' lighter defensive front. The same thing happened in the fourth quarter as the Broncos again tried to rotate Williams. On that 11-play, 90-yard drive, the Ravens ran the ball nine times — much of that between the tackles, including the 30-yard touchdown gallop by Willis McGahee to finish it.

Williams has been what the Broncos hoped he would be. But he just can't be in there on every defensive play at this point of his long career.

Read more: Q&A: Nose tackle Jamal Williams gets a B-plus grade so far - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci...#ixzz12GkDEsVh

Last edited by TonyR; 10-13-2010 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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We need to draft young big DT, or go into FA for a younger player. These old guys who can't play but 25-30 plays a game won't get it done.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
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I liked the free agent moves this year on the line, but I was disappointed to see Baker go and majorly disappointed we didn't grab a DT in the draft.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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I liked the free agent moves this year on the line, but I was disappointed to see Baker go and majorly disappointed we didn't grab a DT in the draft.
Beat me to it.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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To start, I am not being critical of the Broncos here, we have a ton of holes to fill so take this as it is intended.

BJ Raji has been impressive so far.

A high quality (Jamal Williams/Casey Hampton in his prime quality) NT for a 3-4 is arguably the rarest type of player in football. Massive size, quick feet, strength, stamina, and whatever ability or luck is required to stay healthy to succeed at the position for 8-10 years.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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To start, I am not being critical of the Broncos here, we have a ton of holes to fill so take this as it is intended.

BJ Raji has been impressive so far.

A high quality (Jamal Williams/Casey Hampton in his prime quality) NT for a 3-4 is arguably the rarest type of player in football. Massive size, quick feet, strength, stamina, and whatever ability or luck is required to stay healthy to succeed at the position for 8-10 years.
Two things on Raji:

1. He was long gone before the Broncos pick
2. Unless I'm mistaken, he has been playing DE in their 3-4, not NT.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:46 PM   #7
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We need to invest heavily in the front 7 this offseason
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:52 PM   #8
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To totally re-vamp the front line would mean to abandon any other focus on any other part of the team. Thsi place would blow up if McD just focused on the front 7 only in the offseason and the draft. But that is what it would take I'm afraid.

***Disclaimer, when I say focus entirely, I mean all picks in the first 3-4 rounds, and any FA signing that catches any type of news attention,,, any deal over 1.5-2 million dollar range a year.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
Two things on Raji:

1. He was long gone before the Broncos pick
2. Unless I'm mistaken, he has been playing DE in their 3-4, not NT.
correct
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #10
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It looks to be a good draft for guys who could play 3-4 DE - i.e. big college DE's or quicker DT's but not so great for NT. I could definitely see us going DE with our 1st pick or, even, CB. A NT flying under the radar is Notre Dame's Ian Williams. Not huge, but very active at 315 lbs.. And, he plays a true NT position.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:55 PM   #11
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We need to draft young big DT, or go into FA for a younger player. These old guys who can't play but 25-30 plays a game won't get it done.
Unless of course you have 3 of them to plug into the position.

What happened to Chris Baker? He was supposed to be the answer wasn't he? I thought he'd at least make the team.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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What happened to Chris Baker?
He was getting death threats from Rev and went into hiding...
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:19 PM   #13
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Who's Baker with now Dolphins practice squad last I heard and it doesn't look like anyone has even attempted to sign him given through 5 weeks teams have lost players at NT. Everyone in the league bar Nolan cant be wrong surely
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by supermanhr9 View Post
To totally re-vamp the front line would mean to abandon any other focus on any other part of the team. Thsi place would blow up if McD just focused on the front 7 only in the offseason and the draft. But that is what it would take I'm afraid.

***Disclaimer, when I say focus entirely, I mean all picks in the first 3-4 rounds, and any FA signing that catches any type of news attention,,, any deal over 1.5-2 million dollar range a year.
Wouldn't bother me one bit
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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Unless of course you have 3 of them to plug into the position.

What happened to Chris Baker? He was supposed to be the answer wasn't he? I thought he'd at least make the team.
Man I don't know. Seems like none of the dlineman we pick ever turn out. I'm no freaking expert but it sure would be nice if the Broncos front office was. I'm starting doubt the whole shabang.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #16
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If it wasn't for Mcdaniels doing wonders with the WR and Orton I would say he is an utter failure. His roster decisions are starting to look questionable. Except for the Cutler thing, I think that worked out ok. Marshall for 2 firsts also not a bad deal. It's just who he took with all those picks that may come into question.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:31 PM   #17
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never mind, not even worth it
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:53 PM   #18
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If our record continues to suffer would love to take a run at Marcell Dareus from Bama in the first round. He has looked like a beast.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthemdown View Post
If it wasn't for Mcdaniels doing wonders with the WR and Orton I would say he is an utter failure. His roster decisions are starting to look questionable. Except for the Cutler thing, I think that worked out ok. Marshall for 2 firsts also not a bad deal. It's just who he took with all those picks that may come into question.
2 seconds
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by supermanhr9 View Post
To totally re-vamp the front line would mean to abandon any other focus on any other part of the team. Thsi place would blow up if McD just focused on the front 7 only in the offseason and the draft. But that is what it would take I'm afraid.

***Disclaimer, when I say focus entirely, I mean all picks in the first 3-4 rounds, and any FA signing that catches any type of news attention,,, any deal over 1.5-2 million dollar range a year.
Need drafting like that is what gets franchises in trouble, you just don't do it. The BAP(Best Available Player) philosophy is the only way I think there is to go. If we are on the clock next year and there is a better WR, LB, OT, LB, CB, or what have you, we should take them. You don't let more talented players go just because your team "needs" a defensive end. Leaving better players on the board is giving talent to other teams, potentially conference and division rivals. You also can never predict injuries, or when a certain player will drop off, or whatever the case may be. Sure we may not "need" a left tackle, if there is a highly talented player on the board, and an end we have ranked lower on our board, take the Tackle. If your starter goes down, you have talent behind him, and if he cannot be used in a permanent capacity, you have trade bait and depth at the very worst.

Having said that, I believe there will be plenty of opportunities for the value of a DE to match our board in multiple rounds of the upcoming draft in April. If we reach(Jarvis Moss, ahem) for any position, I think it's a big disappointment.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:36 PM   #21
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I liked the free agent moves this year on the line, but I was disappointed to see Baker go and majorly disappointed we didn't grab a DT in the draft.
This year or last year?

Or like Deion?

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Old 10-13-2010, 06:53 PM   #22
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Williams has been just like every other generic pre-retirement DL we've dragged in here.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:54 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthemdown View Post
If it wasn't for Mcdaniels doing wonders with the WR and Orton I would say he is an utter failure. His roster decisions are starting to look questionable. Except for the Cutler thing, I think that worked out ok. Marshall for 2 firsts also not a bad deal. It's just who he took with all those picks that may come into question.
I don't buy into that at all. We've been hit big by injuries. Can't blame him for that personally!!

Ayers was playing well. DJ well enough. O-line is young and will come together.

Dawkins is a leader. Doom was resigned long term.

Cox was a great pick (for where he was picked)

etc.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:11 PM   #24
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Williams has been just like every other generic pre-retirement DL we've dragged in here.
Then you clearly don't agree with Legwold.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
Two things on Raji:

1. He was long gone before the Broncos pick
2. Unless I'm mistaken, he has been playing DE in their 3-4, not NT.
All I'm saying is the guy has been impressive so far. It would be nice if we could pull a talent like that in the draft in the near future. We need to hit a big D oriented draft...well, like 8 years ago but next year will have to do.
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