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Mile High Report Mailbag: Five days out edition

The Broncos have now gone through five days of camp practices. Here are some of the questions I have received from folks about the team.

Malik Jackson and DeMarcus Ware fulfill different roles on this team.  Even last season when we had Shaun Phillips, Malik saw time mostly as a DT in our nickel, or as a DE in our 3-man front subpackages.  As the season progressed and Derek Wolfe left the field, Jackson and Ayers took over that closed end spot.

I expect Malik Jackson to see more time at the LDE or closed end spot in our base under defense and play a similar role as last season on the inside when the Broncos go to nickel/dime.  Having Ware on the team does not stunt Jackson's development at all.  If you're comparing roles and measurables, Jackson is closer to Derek Wolfe than DeMarcus Ware.  If you wanted to identify his competition for more playing time, it is Wolfe and the DT rotation in subpackages.

Fact: Malik Jackson played 55% of the defensive snaps last season.  He was rated by PFF as the 12 rated DT/NT with an overall grade of 13.0.  This puts him one spot behind Chiefs DT/NT Dontari Poe.

Nate Irving should make the final 53-man roster and be the starting MIKE in our base defense, but I don't see him being a three down player this season.

Let's throw last season out because Von missed a lot of time.  Going back to his best season in 2012, Von posted 18.5 sacks while the entire Broncos defense came up with only 16 interceptions.  Given how many times Manning has been picked in TC practices already, I'd say there is going to be one hell of a competition.  So let's dig deeper.

Aqib Talib has posted 6 INT in a season as a high

Chris Harris Jr. has posted 3 INT in a season as a high

Bradley Roby has posted 3 INT in a season as a high

Kayvon Webster has 1 as a pro

Rahim Moore has 2 for a career high, and TJ Ward has 2 for a career high

Taking into account just their career highs, that gives us a total of 17 for our starters.  Since these are career highs, lets shave a couple off the total and say we can expect about 15 from this group.  Let us add 20% for the fact that our pass rushers are killer and this defense projects to be killer, then add about 4 more for linemen, linebackers, and other rotational defensive backs.

Our final total for the defense is 22 interceptions.

In my opinion Von Miller would have to top 22 sacks in order to beat the defensive interception totals.  So I'm putting my money on the defense to intercept more balls than Von Miller sacks quarterbacks.  Prove me wrong Von!

The premise here is that the Broncos are trying to get the ball back.  Now, if we are behind with timeouts, you're going to see a lot of our under defense with the run stuffers in there.  Wolfe, Williams, Knighton, and Ware comprise your line to go along with Miller, Irving, and Trevathan at LB, and Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, Rahim Moore, and TJ Ward in your secondary.

BUT if we're talking about my choice when the defense is in ultimate killer mode, I have to of going to a true 3-4 look:

Jackson and Wolfe as your DE's, Pot Roast as your NT, Ware and Miller as your OLB, Trevathan and Shaq Barrett as your ILB, Harris Jr. and Talib on the outside with Boss Ward and Rahim Moore at safety.

With this lineup, you could blitz and scheme from any position on the field.  It also gets your very best linemen and passrushers on the field, and I am confident you could be just as stout against the run.

Last season the Broncos decided to take 11 DB's to the active roster with a breakdown of 6 corners and 5 safeties.  I will use the same configuration as a template.

DB's (6): Talib, Harris Jr., Webster, Roby, Bolden, Young

S (5): Moore, Ward, Ihenacho, Bruton, Carter

I think Young has impressed enough to make that final spot very uncomfortable for Tony Carter.  I think Omar Bolden makes it for his versatility (albeit underwhelming) and special teams play.  At safety, until further notice, I'm sticking with my original 5 to make the roster.  Haven't heard much about Carter, but also haven't heard much about anyone else.


Because this team, top to bottom, is better than any team I can remember in Broncos history. We are the favorites because no other team can field the talent we will.  We are the shining beacon that towers above all, other teams need not apply.

We are the best because we are the best;)