Looking past the Orange Haze: Draft thoughts, check the Technique.



Depending on how you look at it, the Denver Broncos either have the honor or displeasure of selected second overall in this years draft.


The old adage goes something like this, "Defenses win Championships." As we all know, the Defensive side of the ball has been an after thought for far too long. With the hiring of defensive mastermind, John Fox , expect the Broncos to finally upgrade their Parvum Opus--the Defense.


Into the rabbit hole we go!


As I mentioned above, Defense wins championships. I will now take that maxim a step further by saying that great defenses, much like great offenses, are built through the trenches. Thankfully for the Broncos, this years draft is abundant with Defensive Line talent. Just who they will select is the one question everyone is wondering.

As fans we spend countless hours debating just who our beloved team will select. Well, I exist to correct problems like these. You see, I have a special pair of orange colored glasses. These allow me to see into the future. After seeing who the next player to don the sacred Orange and Blue was, I decided it to share it with you, my football brethren.


Enter if you Dareus!



What makes a 319 pound mammoth of a man smile? The answer, a cheeseburger being the second overall pick in the draft. Which is exactly what he will be come April 28th. Mark my words. If I am wrong, then I will buy you a beer. Or a soda if you are under age. (cough, Nick Cast, cough.)

Take a look at what the good folks over at had to say about Dareus:


Dareus is one of this class' finest prospects. Possesses the athleticism and explosiveness to be consistently disruptive against the run and pass. Hands that don't stop, sheds blockers quickly, and frequently uses the swim move to get to the quarterback. Also has great power to push the pocket and stand his ground adequately when run at. Blessed with great feet and outstanding lateral quickness. Comfortable playing in space and likely capable of dropping into coverage. Only question is his endurance and stamina. Played in a rotation early and dealt with injuries as a junior.



Dareus has a rare blend of size and speed. Can hold his ground at the point of attack. Gets off blocks in a hurry and shows excellent pursuit from the backside. Explodes off the ball when rushing the passer. Gets to the quarterback with power, quick moves and closing burst. Good intangibles.


Hard to find flaws in this guy's game. Some have him pegged as a 3-4 defensive end but we don't feel he's at his best as a two-gap defensive lineman. Played in a defensive line rotation for much of his college career and is still developing in-game stamina.

It is rare to find players with Dareus' blend of athleticism and strength. It is rarer still to find one that has virtually no off-field issues. This pick is a no-brainer. 

No doubt that the trio of Elway, Fox and Xanders (a.k.a. EFX) have done their due diligence in the scouting process. However, John Fox need only call on person to gain perspective on Marcell Dareus. That person is Sal Sunseri, Fox's former DL coach in Carolina and current  positional coach at Alabama. Sunseri has spent the last two seasons with Dareus.

With the selection of Dareus, Denver will now have their interior DL fortified. Look for Fox to build the Defense around him and use him in a variety of roles. Most likely the 3-technique. Which brings me to my next question. Just what in the world is all this DL technique jargon you always hear draft experts talking about? If you have ever asked that question, then I hope that this helps you.

Check the Technique!

The Defensive Line techniques are basically just a numbering system that tells the Linemen and Linebackers where to line up in relation to the opposing teams OL. It is not a step-by-step procedure on the type of blocks to use or what he should “key” off of in different downs and distances.

Here is the aforementioned numbering system:


                                                O       O       O       C       O       O       O

                                      8   9- 6- 7- 5- 4   3-2  1-0-1  2-3    4- 5 7- 6 - 9   8


This is a rough scale that I created, it is important to remember that this is just a basic  defensive alignment. As with anything, every DC will add their own tweaks. For our purposes this will work.

Now let's go over a few examples. The most basic technique is the zero technique, where the defensive tackle, or in some cases, the Mike Linebacker, lines up right over the center. Now let’s say the defensive tackle is using a one technique. Then he is lined up over either the left or right shoulder of the center. If the defensive tackle is in a two technique, rushing the right guard, then he is lined up over the guard’s left shoulder, covering the "A" gap.

What the numbering system really does is tell you if a player on the defensive front is lining up over the left shoulder, directly in front of the offensive lineman, or his right shoulder. It also tells you what gap he is covering and what his reads are.

So if you read that the defensive end is playing a seven technique on the weakside of the line, you would be incorrect if you said he was lined up to the outside of the offensive lineman’s right shoulder. The correct answer is he is lined up on the outside of his left shoulder.

The easiest way to remember all of this is to take the technique of the defensive lineman, and if that number is to the right of the offensive lineman, then switch your read to the opposite side. So you would say the defensive lineman is lined up to the offensive lineman’s left shoulder, and covering the "C" gap.

Also, don’t get confused if you see an offensive formation that doesn’t have a tight end lined up on the outside. You still use the same system.

The numbering system also tells a player how far off the line of scrimmage he is to line up. Typically, this applies more to the defensive end and outside linebackers. For example, if a defensive end is in an eight technique, he is really playing to the outside of the offensive tackle or tight end.

That is all for now. I hope that you all now have a better understanding of the DL Techniques.

Go Broncos!

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

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