After a relatively slow start as a rookie, Adam Gotsis has seen a considerable uptick in playing time as a 2-down defensive lineman in the 2nd and 3rd years of his career. This offseason he’s looking forward at a contract year while adjusting to his 3rd head coach, and 3rd defensive coordinator, in 4 seasons. But Gotsis is embracing the challenge and looking forward to growth and changes in a defense that had gotten a bit stagnant over time.
“I’m loving it. We’re still basing out of the 3-4, pretty similar stuff to kind of last year, kind of the same techniques. Then we’re going to be playing a lot of subs, let us get a little more pass rush, a little more pass rush up inside, I think. I think it’s a good fit for a lot of us on the D-Line. I think we’re so versatile. You’ve got guys that can play all three positions, know both ends, and basically everyone in the room can play all of those positions. I’m feeling really comfortable. [Defensive Line Coach] Bill [Kollar] is coming back, and you know he’s one of the best D-Line coaches in the league. He’s on top of us, making sure we get it all down. Yeah, just loving it. Just loving the fit.”
A large part of loving the fit is loving his new coach’s style. The offseason is barely halfway over and a common theme has emerged from interviews with a number of current and former Broncos- a theme that reflects rather badly on the level of discipline and intensity former head coach Vance Joseph brought to the job. Vic Fangio and his hard-nosed, no-nonsense style are looking to change that. Chalk Gotsis up as another player who approves.
“Yeah, I like it. I like it. He understands right now in this phase we’re just in helmets. We’re not really in shoulder pads. It’s more guys just lending their time to techniques and a lot of that other stuff will come once we get the pads on. But just his mentality, you can really just get the vibe that it’s no playing around, no fun and games. We’re just out there. We’re here to work. We haven’t been in the playoffs in the last three years and we’re not trying to make that four. We’re trying to come in and do everything we can. So, guys are in the building. We’re locked in and we’re working hard.”
Other Broncos have mentioned that coach Fangio won’t hesitate to call out a guy who’s not getting it done in practice, and Gotsis agrees that that certainly keeps his unit on their toes a bit more- especially considering Fangio’s defensive coaching background. One thing that should help prevent is the death by inches the Broncos have suffered for the past several seasons. When asked to point out why he thinks the Broncos have missed the playoffs in recent years, Gotsis pointed the conversation in the same direction.
“I think we just need to be consistent. I think the last couple years we’ve started the season strong. We’ve been coming out with two, three wins and we’re looking really good. Then we kind of just fall into that lull of like three or four losses. Then we’re trying to gather ourselves again. So, we’ve got to come out and be consistent across all three phases: [special] teams, defense and offense. Hopefully, we can figure that out quick in this preseason and come to season time with us ready to go. There’s no looking back. It’s we win a game and, ‘Who’s next?’ We can’t be thinking five weeks down the schedule, ‘We’ve got this guy,’ or, ‘We’ve got this guy.’ It’s every week is a championship week for us.”