The Denver Broncos have generated just four turnovers on defense all season and that is a big point of concern despite the unit being one of the NFL’s best in terms of yards and points.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods is focused heavily on helping scheme players into creating more opportunities there.
“You have to keep emphasizing in practice and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Woods said of creating more turnovers. “We’ve gotten our hands one a lot of footballs so far this week in practice, and that’s what you have to do. You have to keep plugging away. It’s effort to the ball and taking advantage of your opportunities. Offensively, teams are throwing the ball quick against us. We haven’t had that many opportunities, but we definitely have to take advantage when we do.”
Back in the offseason he spoke of ‘sprinkling some sugar’ on the defense. What that amounted to was switching the No Fly Zone from a man-heavy scheme to a zone-heavy scheme, which caused many of us to freak out.
There is a method to his madness, however. The transition has been difficult at times, but the pass defense is still a Top 10 unit. The switch was intended to create more turnover opportunities. Unfortunately, that simply hasn’t been the case through six games.
“When you play man coverage, in my opinion, you create more incompletions because you’re tighter in coverage and you may force a bad throw,” Woods said. “To me, man coverage, you don’t have vision on the ball. To me it’s more about disrupting the timing and creating incompletions. Where zone, you’re more visual. If you can get the ball to come out, you have more eyes on the ball. You may create some more opportunities. Either way, we’ve turned the ball over here. Whether we’re playing man or zone, we just have to continue to work on it.”
I was an avid critic of the move away from man, but Woods is correct. The transition has just been a bit rough at times. The thing is, the guys are getting better at it and those interceptions are going to start happening...