I’ll start this article trying to explain how the hell I caught myself thinking about the ideal amount of beef in our interior DLine. Ok, I have the NFL Network package, so I can watch every single game at any time. Because of this, I’m used to at least take a look on the entire schedule games. Some I watch a few quarters on the middle of the week, and others I watch live. That was the case of Eagles @ Steelers yesterday night at preseason week2. Ok, said that let me start something that occurred to me.
We all know Cullen Jenkins was a wishlisted man of most of the fans here at MHR. So I started looking on him. He is a bull rusher… a disruptive guy who crosses the LOS a lot of times a game and reaches the RB for loss or the QB for a sack. I admit he was my 3rd option at the start of the Free Agency period, as I wanted Cofield to be a Bronco, then Mebane, and finally Jenkins.
So then I started to think a few points. Jenkins played NT for the Packers in a 3-4 defense. He has a lot of beef (305lb) and was used to always face a double blocking. Every single time a snap was made against the Packers, the C and one of the Guards made a double on him. That’s one of the purposes of a NT: to occupy 2 blockers of the OL. That’s why BJ Hagi was drafted there and will do this job. Ok.
That said, let’s go back to my start. I was watching the Eagles game and we all know they run a 4-3 defense. It means that this defense has 2 DTs to face the blockers in the interior of the defensive line. That’s exactly our defense, and any other 4-3 defense. The biggest point here is that I always heard people concerning about this move: "Oh, but this guy played his entire life on a 3-4. He can’t be moved to a 4-3". I heard it about Jamal Williams (348 lb) when he was signed, I heard it this year when Jenkins was an option to us, and I heard it a lot about other similar players and situation.
But now, I have another argue against those statements. A NT type of guy playing a heavy 4-3 DLine is the ideal player for us. That’s because this guy was used to face 2 blockers every time. On the snaps in a 4-3 it doesn’t happen all the times, and then he will easily get penetration. Those big beef guys plugged here in Denver could make the necessary run stuffing we struggled to do last season, and rush the passer fairly. Pressure is the key of football.
Imo, no more light guys to this job… no more sliding Ayers to fill this hole when Miller goes to DE on 3rd downs. For me what fits better in our case is a 3-4 NT type, with a lot of beef, who can penetrate the LOS. It seems that this is the way Fox runs his defenses… and now I realized why. I won’t anymore be concerned when we target a 3-4 player on the draft or FA. Let the speed to the Ends and the Linebackers… And let's put a heavy and solid wall in front of the RBs up the middle, from Jenkins weight to up! For example, our possibility of #2 overall pick Marcell Dareus is a 343lb who would fit well. That's the kind of players I'd like to see here in Denver.
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