My thoughts on a few broncos items

hi, this is my first post.  i used to get all my broncos news through the denverpost and rockymountain, but for all the goodwill that was accumulated by schefter and company it was pissed away by big will and whoever they have now.   I found this site when i was trying to find a broncos pre-season game on the internet and i have returned here everyday since because of the communities intelligence.

anyways here it goes:


i truely hope that Shanny does not coach anywhere this season.  if he was to get a job the first thing he would do is bring over people he trusts from this staff.  Bates, Dennison and Turner come to mind....Bowlen can limit who leaves, but it would remain to be seen how well he can do that.

i do not believe there will be an offensive drop-off.   Bates was calling the plays, the key to this off-season is that he remains with the organization. 

i feel like the overall consensus is that people want SPAGS, i would prefer if the broncos took McDaniels.   my problem with SPAGS is not in what he would do to the defense but rather how he would handle the offense.   he comes from a tom coughlin system which is a power running system.   make no mistake this offense is a passing offense and will be for the next 10 years.   i understand that bringing in an offensive coach to replace the offensive genius Shanny is crazy, however i truely do believe that you hire the best candidate.   When looking closer at the patriots offense that was run the last 2 years under mcdaniels and the one run under Bates you will see enough similarities that there would be no reason to remove Bates.   McDaniels comes from a system where Belichek was the leader and he had his young masterminds run the organization, in my opinion McDaniels would come in here and recognize what he has in the offensive coaches and work with them.  
the Patriots ran a very similar spread offense, that would stay.   The patriots  starting offensive line is on average 6'3.2 and 306.2 pounds.   the broncos starting offensive line is 6'4.2 and 300.4 pounds.  Both teams like the exact same type of offensive lineman, Mcdaniels will see the pass protection and run schemes on tape and have no reason to get rid of Dennison, the guy has built what is in my opinion a top 3 NFL O-line.   Sheffler plays the same role as Watson in the patriots offense.   the Patriots always utilize a blocking TE as well, whether it was Brady during the record breaking year or Daniel Graham before him.   Another major factor is the way that Hillis will be utilized.  it should be very clear to everyone that you must have a RB committee to succeed in the NFL year in and year out.   Selvin young, Aldridge, Torrain, Bell, are not the answers.   there are alot of people who have fallen in love with Aldridge and Torrain, and i am one of them.....but the facts are simple, they do not stay healthy and noone can call them an answer to the problem until they prove otherwise.   However Hillis will be an amazing weapon in this offense, he will be a cross between kevin faulk, FB and goaline runner.    I believe he will be the tailback in short yardage and goaline.   the FB in power sets, where he can be shifted out of the backfield and if covered with a LB will torch him all game in the passing game, and if the defense defends him with a safety or corner the broncos will have the ability to power run on teams that are playing with 1 fewer LB then they would otherwise want.   Then he can also be mixed into the rotation to wear down a defense.   the need for a speed or shifty back is still there (more on that later).

now the main problem, what to do with that defense.   first of all it should be known that McDaniels would not rebuild the defense, he will bring someone in to do it, i have heard romeo crennel and dom capers.   Who in their right mind would not love romeo crennel building this defense......however the question of who you prefer at head coach is easier answered by asking yourself what system you prefer the broncos to run.  Spags would bring with him a pressure 4-3 and McDaniels would bring with him the 3-4.....

4-3 vs. 3-4

first thing is first, this defense is pathetic.   the whole thing needs to be blown up.   if you look at the playoff field, we have 1-3 players on defense that would start for what will end up being the final 4 teams.....Bailey, DJ and Dre

if we stay in the 4-3 this is what our current roster holds.

the good
We are set at corner with dre and champ and have some good young prospects in J-Will, Bell and a steady veteran in Paymah.   I absolutely hate how much people tear apart Dre bly.....please, please, please for the love of god open your eyes people.  Dre bly was in man to man with the other teams best receiver for most of the season because 1 safety was needed to stop the run and the other was needed to help out Bell, this team has no pressure at all.   i am not saying that Dre is a Pro bowl player all i am saying is that the guy is a solid starter in the NFL and if given a pass rush and safety help like other #2's in this league he will be more than serviceable.    Whether he reduces his cap number in the off-season is another matter entrirely.  

the team is also set at the Will (weakside) LB.  the question becomes is it DJ or WW....either way the team is set at the position.   one idea that will surely be floated around is whether you move DJ back to the middle.   If this team can aquire help up front then he could excel at the MLB position, but the head coach will have to sell that to him pretty hard.   at this point i don't think it is fair to speculate on a  move to MLB in the 4-3.

the last place that we are set is a couple spots along the Defensive line.   Thomas is a solid #2 DT, but there is no way he can be considered a #1.  Dumervil is a great pass rush specialist, but the man must get off the field.  The only way to use Doom is like the falcons use Abraham, don't ask him to play the run and don't ask him to play more than 35 snaps a game....get him in there fresh and rush the passer, he has no chance against the run and having him in to stop the run is a recipe for disaster.   I like Ekuban as a rotational player, but the rest of this line is horrible.

The bad

this defense requires starters at all the following positions:
RE- there is noone on the roster that has any chance of filling this spot.  note that Dumervil is not a starter, he is a situational player.
DT- with Thomas playing the one tackle position, there is noone else on this team that can play the other position.
LE- Ekuban could have a spot at this position.  however if Ekuban is the starter in this position then the defense is still rebuilding, he is better suited as a rotational end who can also line up in the tackle position to rush from the dime or nickel in a pinch.
MLB- this is where things get interesting.   i would prefer that a Stud is drafted.  however there are a couple options.  1) move DJ inside and play WW as the Will, this is the premier option for fixing the middle if the fix is to come from within the organization.  2) play Larsen.  i love Larsen, and i will admit that i would be interested to see how he performs.....but i must be honest with you guys, if the combination of Williams/Larsen is better than the combination of Woodyard/Williams i would be shocked.
SLB- i thought that winborn played excellent this season, and plugging him into the starting lineup would not bother me.  the idea of playing Larsen at SLB has been floated around, but i have not seen enough of him to formulate an opinion of my own.  IF Winborn is the starter then a stud is needed at MLB, and an every down stud to pair with williams.  this would force Winborn into base defense only, which is liveable
S- i really hope they leave Barrett at one of the safety spots.  i think he has enormous potential and based on what i saw from him on the field this year he would compare well to a third round pick with a high ceiling.....and i just don't see how we will do any better than that at one of our safety spots.   everyone else on this team that plays safety should have no chance of returning, you can't win with what is on this roster outside of J.B.


the analysis from the 4-3 that applies to safeties and corners applies just the same here.   we would be set at corner to run a 3-4, and we would have 1 safety.
this is important to note:  a shift to the 3-4 does not require any different changes to the defensive backfield then it would in rebuilding the 4-3 that we currently have.
now onto the front seven.....
The good
 there is not much good to the front seven other then this.  we have 1 stud LB in DJ, and emerging star in WW, and a player that not many people know about in Larsen. 
The bad
starters would be needed at
that is 1 additional starter than what is needed over the front seven of the 4-3

a couple things that i would like to point out here. 
1) DJ is not an outside LB in a 3-4.  he does not blitz well and is not used as a blitzer, he is a playmaker who roams from sideline to sideline.  If this D-line is built properly he could fill the role at ILB that Jerod Mayo played this year for the patriots.   also for any person who is in favor of moving DJ to MLB in the 4-3, this should not be seen as any different...just like in the 4-3 he will be useless in the middle with blockers getting to him and it starts with the D-line.
2) i believe that WW will have to move over to the LOLB postion in the 3-4 because he is not a big enough pass rushing force coming off the weakside.
3) if thomas can play DE in the 3-4 it would be an absolute gift, because he for sure can't play NT.
4) Dumervil and jarvis moss are not useless d-lineman in the 3-4....they are however situational players only in this system.  if you have ever seen the steelers play the 3-4, in pass rushing situations they bring Harrison and Woodley down to play end in obvious pass rushing situations, and bring them off the edge.  this is a role that Dumervil and Moss(hopefully) can fill.

a move to the 3-4 is what i prefer the most, but people have to be realistic about such a move.   this is what i would see happening for the defense to rebuild itself in the 3-4.
1) draft/ sign a 2 DE's,  play dumerville as an edge rusher, hope to all hell that Moss can figure out how to rush the passer, hope to all hell that Thomas can be a serviceable end, play Ekuban as depth at the end spots 
***note: this plan requires alot of wishing, but it will require that to turn this defense around in 1-year no matter what the system is. Also keep in mind that Thomas will be one of the starters, so one of two things will happen. a) Thomas along with one of the Draft/sign will form the starters as base ends with ekuban and the other Draft/sign providing the depth. b) Thomas can't make the switch and then a combination of 2 out of 3 draft/sign and Ekuban are played as the starters and year 2 of the rebuilding requires another starting end. Thus the switch to a 3-4 is easier or of the same difficulty for the line as it is to stay in the 4-3 (the 4-3 requires two starting ends, and a starting DT)
2) draft/sign a NT. probaly the most important part of the system and we currently have noone at all who can play the poistion.
***note: whether it is the 3-4 or the 4-3 an elite player is needed to play the inside of the line. Haynesworth is not going anywhere so eliminate him from all your wishlists, and you will see that the proposition of acquiring this player is of the same difficulty regardless of the system.
3) Move DJ to ILB. Move WW to lolb, where he can attack upfield and play in coverage.
***note: Woodyard would play the base defense OLB position, while the hope is that Moss can develop some pass rushing skills and play the rush portion of this position in the nickel and dime. also when the defense moves to 4 downlinemen, which it will in the 3-4 system the backers will be DJ and WW in that order depending on whether it is nickel or dime.
4) draft/sign a ILB and a ROLB
***note: if an ILB cannot be acquired, playing Larsen at the ILB position is the other option. however there is no point in saying that we would hope he can step up and prove to be an excellent player at that position in the NFL......if it happens then it is a miracle and everyone will take it, if not then an ILB will still be needed in year 2 of the rebuilding. there is noone on this team that can play the ROLB position in the 3-4....although Dumerville can play the rush portion of the position from the 3-point stance. so the idea of playing winborn outside in the base defense is not an entirely horrible idea. it is my opinion though that playing combinations of Winborn/Elivs and WW/Moss will not workout. however the idea of getting a stud ROLB and winborn-woodyard/ Elvis-Moss would work. there has to be some combination of the talent in the second grouping of the second scenario that can play at an elite level.
5) draft/sign a S
***note: needed in either scenario.

This defense is a 2-year rebuilding process, and if the switch is going to be made to a 3-4 it should be done now, while all the talent needs to be replaced.

***also a side note: I think one of the more insane things i have heard in awhile is the idea of trading Champ. the guy is the heart and soul of this team and is one of 2 leaders on the defense. What he provides to this locker room and at practice in teaching the young players how to be a professional and the immature players how to be mature is invaluable. The team would never get fair compensation for what he provides off the field. I saw someone post that he could move to safety, and i have also been thinking this for awhile. Obviously the move doesn't happen anytime soon, but maybe in 3 years from now he can become an elite safety in the exact same way that rod woodson did and play at a high level into his late 30's

unfortunetly i don't know enough yet about the players available in FA, and the positioning of the draft picks as the senior bowl and workouts have alot of say in these matters. however with the 12th pick the broncos should be able to acquire an impact ILB or Safety by potentially selecting one of: Laurinaitis, Maualuga, Mays, or William Moore. If Terrence Cody moves up on draft boards then he would be my ideal selection at #12, as i truely believe that NT would be the most important part of the 3-4. Trading down and acquiring Cody as well as an additional second or third to use on a RB would be a major major power move as well. a RB that i really like is CJ spiller, but i believe he will be gone with such an additonal pick. however acquiring Shonne Greene of Iowa, or Javon Ringer out of Michigan State would fill the 1-cut role and add some quickness and extra thump (in the case of greene) to go along with Hillis.

thank you for your time.






This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.