Nearly all of the top stories this morning had to do with various aspects of the Denver Broncos defense. The Orange Crush 2.0 has gotten deeper in talent and tougher from the front end to the back. On paper, they should surprise all those AFC haters who think the conference is filled with a bunch of cup cakes.
Ashley Fox over at ESPN believes that with this defense and the talent already on the offensive side of the ball with Peyton Manning, the Broncos are poised to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to win a Super Bowl after losing one the year before. It would be nice to see them also become the second team to finish undefeated, but hey, that's just being greedy.
As for the Broncos 2014 NFL Draft class, Bradley Roby is already impressing, but so is Lamin Barrow who has shown excellent lateral speed and coverage skills. That bodes well for the weakness inside in obvious coverage situations. And really, that was the only real weakness at any position on the defensive side of the ball.
Honestly, I am not too excited about a rookie linebacker getting significant playing time in the middle, so it was pleasing to hear that Nate Irving has finally taken that next step in his career and has the inside bead at the top of the depth chart at the middle linebacker position. This is easily the best linebacker group the Broncos have had since the Al Wilson, D.J. Williams and Ian Gold days of old.
With two of the best defenders set to return by Week 1 in Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr., they are focused on rehabilitation. It's a good thing too, because Von Miller is the beast that forces opposing teams hands early and often, giving the rest of the defense the opportunity to exploit the hand. In case you are not sure about this defense, one of the best Bronco fans on YouTube put this bad boy out a few months ago.
- Andrew Mason profiles the Week 5 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Good for wikipedia-like information on the game.
- Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe blogged about his birthday yesterday. I'm going to miss him on the CBS crew. It was bad enough with how many blowhards they have on the panel without Sharpe keeping things authentic.
- Chad Jensen thinks Sylvester Williams could end up being a better defensive tackle than Terrance Knighton. I think so too, but it will be because of Pot Roast's tutelage and their chemistry together.
- Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has a champion's heart and this blog post did a great job cataloging her inspirational journey since that horrific accident.