IMO , has steadily improved under the guidance of Coach Fox and esp. with DC Jack Del Rio. I think we lost a key DLman in Ty Warren and who knows how good the Line would have been had he been able to play the entire season. We simply can't speculate much, but suffice to say that others have stepped up and I mean stepped up big time esp. Big Vick & Bannon. They can both bring pressure while stuffing the run...Wolfe adds another dimension as he is being Coached-Up to play all along the line...Props to Del Rio & DL Coach Rogers for recognizing how versatile he can be along with Ayers who can slide inside to DT , get pressure and control the run.
We have a LB group that is improving and I'm impressed with Trevathan and I think once he gets a real feel for the pace of the game, he'll be a very good player. Von Miller is being asked to do more, and he's responded...He's not just a one-trick pony, but a LB who plays the run, rushes the QB & drops into coverage. Woodyard continues to improve & I'm not nearly as nervous now as I was in the beginning of the Season with his pass coverage. Our secondary has also improved...We know from last year, that we were not very good esp. when we lost B Dawk. Giving credit where it's due, I think goes to Del Rio & his Staff and also to the Players for executing the scheme/plan.
There is this notion that game has fundamentally changed esp. with passing to TEs. I am not really sure that's true. I can remember Dave Casper, Russ Francis & Kellin Winslow ( feel free to add...) as real threats downfield as well as across the middle. We know how difficult it was to defend them... we now have Tony G, Gronk/Hernandez et.al. & it seems to me that this is really nothing new. Point being is there have always been very good-big-fast TEs in the League and they have been a problem for DCs.
There is alot of talent on the Broncos's Defense and there are extra-talented Players...How scary would the Broncos' Defense be if Steve Atwater, in his prime, was also playing? I'd put him on Gronk all game right at the LOS and knock him out of his pattern...Play man on every WR and stunt Von every which way to knock Brady on his A$$!
I know the last paragraph is just wishful thinking, but has anyone seen the next Atwater? I don't watch alot of College Football, but for those of us who saw Atwater play, he brought a unique set of skills to the field which is seldom seen.