On Irving and how comfortable Elway was with him as the Mike linebacker, Elway relented, "It is always an open competition, the Mike backer position is changing, because the game is changing. What you're looking for now is linebackers that can cover as much as they can fill holes"
That proclamation led Elway himself to directly address the age of Denver's middle linebackers during his regime:
"We're in nickle 65% of the time and we're in base defense 35% of the time. The last two years we've gotten away with two older gentleman at middle linebacker on first and second down and have done different things on third down and that's why I believe that Nate [Irving] can come in [and succeed]."
He hit something that savvy fans have been pointing out for quite some time the middle linebacker is an essential piece in the Broncos' defense, but just slightly more essential than their fullback is on offense.
In my opinion, I think that you can't ask anymore of a linebacker than what Irving did during the Super Bowl. He played lights out and probably had the best game of his career. I have felt strongly about him since his rookie season. Last season was derailed when he was forced over to take on Von Miller's role following news of Miller's suspension.
Then there is the news that came following the first night of the draft last week that Denver was trying to trade forward to draft C.J. Mosely, but the asking price was too expensive. So who knows how the team actually feels about Irving.
Elway was not finished talking about Denver's linebackers though and was asked a question that I get asked about three times a month-- the status of Von Miller's knee:
Things are going well for [Von], he's been working hard on the knee and also working hard in the offseason program. Things are progressing very well, he is on schedule if not ahead of schedule.
Elway was asked about Miller's maturity and said that although they have not interacted much thus far, that he has heard very good things.
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