While the signings of defensive end DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib, and receiver Emmanuel Sanders is getting much of the attention, the signing of T.J Ward might have the greatest impact on the 2014 Denver Broncos.
The Broncos had their first padded practice of 2014 on Saturday, and Ward's toughness, and physicality is evident,
"I do. I like what I’ve seen in the meetings. I like the way he conducts himself." said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio "He’s going to bring some toughness to our defense, and we’ve got some tough guys on our defense so he’ll fit right in with that. A welcomed addition."
It didn't take long for Ward to make his presence known in the Broncos first padded practice on Saturday. Ward's first victim of the day was wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders was upset about the hit, but this hit riled up the defense. Later in the practice Ward had another big hit on running back Ronnie Hillman. Ward flew into the offenses backfield and hit Hillman for a loss.
Those on hand have found it hard to ignore Ward in practice.
T.J. Ward with a big lick on Ronnie Hillman. What you want to see from Ward: reading the run as it develops, accelerating to ball carrier.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2014
Ward brings something the Denver Broncos haven't had in a long time. A safety who can stuff the run game, drop back in coverage, put big hits on ball carriers, and is still in his prime.
Ward isn't the only new addition impressing early in Camp. Defensive End DeMarcus Ware is looking like the DeMarcus Ware of old so far in Camp.
DeMarcus Ware with another strong day. Blew past Chris Clark on the outside for what would have been a sack in a game.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 26, 2014
As Andrew Mason noted, this was a classic DeMarcus Ware pass rush. Ware did not bite on Peyton Manning's play action fake, and continued after Manning. Ware is doing more then just rushing the passer. In one play Ware blew into the backfield blowing up a Montee Ball run.
These two guys are making an impression on their fellow teammates. Starting linebacker Danny Trevathan called both Ware and Ward "Savages".
"Those guys are savages. Anything that’s out there left to be picked up, they’re going to go out there and clean it up and they’re going to leave everything out there on that field. That’s just the type [of player] I am too. I think they did a good job of filling in guys and bringing new guys in that fit within the type of scheme that we play."
The Broncos defense as a whole has been impressing in camp, but these two guys (along with cornerback Aqib Talib) are one of the reasons this defense has the potential to be special in 2014.