I think there are a few questions heading into the preseason that haven’t been answered as well as some nice surprises as well.
Top 5 Questions questions headed into preseason and how they were answered..
Q. What will the pass rush look like without Elvis Dumervil?
It is apparent that Dumervil will be missed. In the four preseason games a solid pass rush from the first team defense was not able to be generate by the base three and four man fronts. Only when Denver blitzed did they seem to get pressure. Hopefully Wink will not be to proud to blitz early and often. Robert Ayers and Jarvis Moss are supposed to be the ones to step in and pick up the slack. Right now I think that Denver hasn’t showed to generate a pass rush to the same level with Dumervil.
Q. Will Denver’s Run Defense improve from last year’s 26th ranking?
Well if the preseason is any indication Denver may have gotten worse. It is one thing to be in the middle of the preseason rankings, but Denver was dead last ranking 32nd averaging 162.5 rushing yards by the opponent. Even for preseason that is ridiculous. I don’t see how Denver skips drafting on D-Line and middle linebackers in the draft after this year. The front three aren’t that bad. I think that the linebackers will be the leaking pipes. Both interior linebackers have to show that they can get off blocks and find the correct hole the running back is coming through.
I think that Kyle isn’t that dependent on Brandon Marshall. Orton needs to do things above what he did last year regardless of who the receivers are around him. He needs to improve his accuracy over 30 yards and extend plays that breakdown. I also think in the preseason Kyle has at least shown some desire to change his game. If Tim Tebow has done anything to help Denver win this year it is to push Kyle Orton to try to become better. Orton showed a willingness to move around in the pocket to avoid the rush. Kyle seemed to want to extend plays instead of just throw it away. That said Kyle is still not very good at improve or moving around. He is still physically limited, but the thing that was so frustrating to watch last year was Orton giving up on a play if Marshall wasn’t there. Ultimately Kyle’s ability to make plays with his legs and extend plays will go a long way in the success of the Broncos.
Q. Can Denver’s new rookie offensive linemen provide holes in the running game?
Denver was long in the tooth with its interior offensive line last year. The new crop of O-linemen seem to be pretty good. However, Denver only ranked 26th in the preseason. The problem with O-line is that it takes everyone working in unison to pull off good run blocking. So the more these guys play together the better they will be. I think that JD Walton and Zane Beedles will do fine. The first team offense seemed to open up some good holes. Let’s see if that continues.
Q. Will Jamal Williams be a dominant Nose Tackle for the entire season?
Williams looked good when he was starting in the preseason. However, he has not played an entire game yet. The guy is awesome for a couple of snap, but let’s see how he looks after September. I doubt Jamal will last the entire 16 game season, but it would be nice to get him for at least 10 games.