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Aqib Talib calls out the Denver Broncos

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It seems to me that Aqib Talib’s problem is that the Denver Broncos are letting the old “dogs” go on defense.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos defense from 2014-2016 will go down as one of the greatest defensive units of all-time. However, to build a great defense you need some good contracts and as those contracts run their course John Elway and his front office team was forced to make some tough choices.

Former Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib had some choice words for the decisions Elway and his staff made over the last few seasons.

“Maybe they should stop firing all the dogs,” Talib told Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated. “That team was full of dogs, and now they’re all gone. So, stop firing all the dogs.”

The first domino to fall was Malik Jackson. He wanted Von Miller money and got it from the Jacksonville Jaguars. That “dog” was never going to remain in Denver. The next domino was T.J. Ward who was cut prior to the 2017 regular season. He has since struggled to get playing time with his new team, so that “dog” looks like he may have moved past his prime. The last domino (for now) to fall was Aqib Talib.

He was still playing at an elite level, so the Broncos will likely miss Talib’s unique skillset. He had a knack for finding the end zone in his four seasons in Denver, scoring touchdowns six of his 11 interceptions with the team.

However, his belief that the Broncos were “firing all the dogs” on defense isn’t really true. In fact, they’re adding younger, fresher “dogs” to that side of the ball with Bradley Chubb and Josey Jewell. Even if they don’t pan out as expected, Von Miller is still the best defender in sports and Chris Harris Jr. is as good as it gets inside. Veteran “dogs” like Derek Wolfe, Brandon Marshall, and Darian Stewert will assure this defense keeps its edge heading into 2018.

One thing Talib talked about that did hit home was his critique of Joe Woods in comparison to Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator.

“It was the same defense but we called less stuff,” Talib told Klemko. “Wade really had it wide open, and it wasn’t as open in 2017. It was like the beginning stages of Wade. It was new to this coach, so things were less disguised with fewer calls. If 40 calls were available to us in a game in 2016, we had half of that last season.”

Part of what made the Broncos defense an all-time great unit in NFL history was its versatility and smarts, powered by Wade’s 40+ years of experience. Woods will need to close that gap quickly or the Broncos defense could end up in bad schemes against the more complex systems run by the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.