For a California native, Jurrell Casey had a very Southern way of describing the atmosphere and people he’s been around since coming to the Broncos via free agency this spring.
“Kind, nice and straight sweethearts,” he said about his teammates. “One, seeing that the locker room is warmhearted and they [have] open arms, and the people in the building around here is definitely buying into what we believe as players.”
It may not be the description you expect from a 305-pound defensive lineman beginning his 10th year in the league, but it’s not a bad one.
The former Tennessee Titan is loving his new home with the Broncos and everything about it - but especially the defense, a scheme Casey calls his “strong suit.”
“I’ve played in [this defense] before, and excelled in it,” he said. “The biggest thing is allowing me to use my athletic ability. I get to move around guys and use my quickness. It allows you to get centers and guards off balance when they’re doing their pull plays and reach blocks. This defense definitely is a strong suit for me. It shouldn’t be challenging at all going forward.”
We’ve got 99 problems but Jurrell Casey ain’t one pic.twitter.com/SFAVJmpEQ5— Mile High Memories (@MileHighMems) August 11, 2020
In fact, even moving between the one- and three-technique doesn’t bother Casey - though, of course, he has a preference.
“Everybody knows you love the three-technique. Being a defensive lineman, you love the three-technique. That’s where all the money is being made. That’s definitely my favorite spot, but I’d say being able to play all three positions and being able to play the end, the three and the one. When you have that capability and when guys go down, someone gets hurt and coaches can call your name to go out there and fill another position, you have to be able to do that at the highest standard. I’ll try to do as much as I can every day in practice, learning each position, getting reps at each position and making sure I’m excelling at all three.”
Having played in Dick LeBeau’s defense at Tennessee, Casey sees the Vic Fangio scheme as basically the same.
“I love it because they dial up so much stuff to get you moving, so you don’t have to take on so many double teams,” Casey said, adding however that when they do ask you to take on double teams, “you have to be able to handle them.”
Jurrell Casey.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 11, 2020
This will be important, of course, for aiding the Broncos’ superior pass-rushing duo of Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. And Casey is already very familiar with half of that duo, having come into the league the same time as Miller and been at five Pro Bowls with him.
That will be one of his greatest assets this season as Casey is already familiar with No. 58’s style of play.
“[The Pro Bowl] already showed us that we’re able to work together,” he said, noting they’ve already developed some chemistry on the field. “We just look at each other and we understand what one another needs. When you can build that type of chemistry and don’t really have to talk on the field, it makes the game move a lot faster. The biggest thing is going to be working after practice. Get the work that you need during practice as much as you can together, but it’s going to have to have time after practice. That’s when you start clicking and you start working on things that you’re not able to work on in practice.”
Today as training camp ramps it up a few notches, it will be the beginning of a developing chemistry with the dynamic duo in Miller in Chubb.
Casey is sure that will come quickly as they get the helmets on and go full speed.
“When we get out there, I’m quick on my toes. They confided and trusted in me early, knowing that I understand the concept of the schemes they’re putting out there for us,” he said. “[I’m] seeing how their mechanics are when they’re moving around. ...Right now, it’s just having the mental capacity to go out there and take this defense in and show those guys that I’m ready to go out and play with them.”
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