One of the few questions on the Denver Broncos defense comes at linebacker. To get more specific, inside linebacker.
Name: Quentin Gause
Height: 6'0" Weight: 243
Age: 24 Experience: 1
One of the spots is filled by Brandon Marshall. Over the course of organized team activities and the offseason workouts, Marshall has said how great it is to finally be healthy at this point in the season. That’s not something he could say the last few years.
In terms of the other inside linebacker spot, it’s an open competition. That seems to be the phrase of the offseason at this point for the Broncos. Todd Davis may have the inside track to get the job, but there are a few players who could step in and either challenge Davis for that spot or serve as quality depth.
One of those players is Quentin Gause. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He also spent time with the New England Patriots and the Broncos. He was on the field in the final game of the season against the Oakland Raiders.
In those three games, Gause recorded two tackles, one against the Raiders. According to his bio, the 2017 season is still considered his first in the NFL.
While at Rutgers, Gause racked up more than 223 tackles, three sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss, so he knows how to play the position and have success doing so.
Gause is the type of player first-year Broncos head coach Vance Joseph loves. Athletic, physical, tough and intelligent. Based on his highlight video above, he’s a great tackler, fills his assignments well, is good in coverage and plays all over the field.
Gause also knows how to play special teams, which is his most likely role in Denver. It was on special teams that saw Gause appear in 51 straight games.
The positive for the Broncos is that Gause has a solid foundation to build on. He can take what he did at Rutgers and expand on that, through special teams play and practice reps with the defense.
As this story on Gause highlights:
The 6-foot, 232-pound Gause had consecutive 15-tackle games against Ohio State and Wisconsin last season.
Gause was a disruptive force against the run, recording 12 tackles for loss. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media last season.
Gause is pretty much a blank canvass in the NFL given he’s only played in three games. His youth isn’t a negative. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons John Elway and the organization got him.
If he has the right attitude and approaches his craft as he did at Rutgers, who knows what he can accomplish in Denver? Gause has the defense for him to thrive in, and this unit needs a dominating presence in the middle.
Can Gause become the player? It’s way too early to know but the Broncos wouldn’t turn it down if it happened. Mandatory minicamp and training camp will play a big role in Gause’s continued development as a linebacker in the NFL.
The story from NJ.com highlights more than what Gause did on the field.
Gause's intangibles are off the charts. Voted a team captain as a senior, Gause won the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2015. He overcame a learning disability to become a three-time academic all-conference selection. He earned a degree in journalism and media studies with a 3.28 GPA.
The Rochester, N.Y., native was a semifinalist in 2015 for the Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Gause was a three-star recruit out of Bishop Kearney High.
Gause’s most likely fit on the Broncos this season is special teams. As noted above, he’s experienced in that role and shined at times. If he also brings depth to the linebacker position, that’s the chocolate syrup on the vanilla ice cream.
For now, look for Gause to get his feet wet on Denver’s special teams and try to cram as much into his brain as a linebacker at practice and in the meeting room. Given his development at Rutgers, you see why the Broncos were interested. For the 2017 season, look for Gause to help take the special teams to the next level.