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September 24, 2008 9:52 PM

The Broncos' line of Defense


The Great Wide Open
It might be a little too early to hit the panic button on the Broncos' defense, especially for a team that is 3-0, but still you gotta wonder. There seems at times to be gaping holes in the coverage, and, as always, no pass rush. Hard to fathom when you have the two best corner backs in football. So what's the answer?

It ain't Madden football
Changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 isn't very easy. Moving D.J. Williams to an outside linebacker spot isn't simple. And bringing back John Lynch is not the solution. I remember spending some time one summer at training camp with former Broncos defensive coordinator, Joe Collier. Collier was the genius behind the infamous Orange Crush defense. One thing Collier talked about that afternoon was how long it takes for a defense to "gel". It doesn't happen overnight, and, in fact, can take more than a season or two for the parts to work together. Add all the personnel changes that come every down plus the use of nickel and dime packages, and you can see how it can get fairly chaotic and difficult to get everyone on the same page, on the same coverages, and on the same reads. So, the whole thing might just take more patience from everybody. In the meantime, I suggest finding a way to keep the offense on the field longer might be the best way to solve the problem. What do you think?


  • September 25, 2008

    12:22 AM

    Mike writes:

    So let's short cut the drama...

    Broncos Rule! Broncos Suck! You're an idiot! Am not! Are too!

    Rinse and Repeat.

  • September 25, 2008

    6:16 AM

    BTank writes:

    Mike, that was hysterical. Talk about the short and sweet summary of what the usual 10-20 comments add up to. Now nobody else needs to post!

  • September 25, 2008

    7:40 AM

    Jeremy writes:

    Sigh. At least there's only 3 more days left until the next game. Then people can start talking about the Defense's "amazing resurgence". Giving up lots of points to great offenses doesn't make Denver's defense terrible, and giving up few points to crappy defenses doesn't make Denver's defense great, but that seems to be what people think.

  • September 25, 2008

    9:36 AM

    Ron writes:

    The two best cornerbacks in football?

    Who? Bailey and Bly? Not even close. That's a laugh. Bailey was on that list when he was in Washington, but he's no on that list anymore.

    "Giving up lots of points to great offenses doesn't make Denver's defense terrible"

    - Actually it doesn't make it terrible, but it does make it the worst in the NFL, which means it sucks as bad as something can suck. Give me a break. The Broncos are awful. Awful. The reason they're scoring points is not because of some master plan, but because their opponents are either missing key players or because the referees are involved in making it happen.

    The Broncos are 1-2 on the field of play. They're 3-0 only on the scorecard because of luck and bad refs. The Broncos are going to be 8-8 when this is all done with.

  • September 25, 2008

    10:31 AM

    Logan writes:

    Hilarious!! The background reminds me of that old Bugs Bunny/Yosimete Sam cartoon. "I dare you to cross this line.... this line.... this line..." We just need to wait and see how the defense does, we are only 3 games into the season and are 3-0. Not bad for the "worst defense in the league". Hopefully the gel like Indy did a couple of years ago when they won the Superbowl.

  • September 25, 2008

    11:12 AM

    Ted in Vegas writes:

    Sad but true.

  • September 25, 2008

    12:07 PM

    J writes:

    Ron, Ron, Ron...

    Let's look at your argument:

    "The reason they're scoring points is not because of some master plan, but because their opponents are either missing key players or because the referees are involved in making it happen."

    We'll start with this:

    "The reason they're scoring points is not because of some master plan..."

    I think you're right. I highly doubt that Shanahan, Bates and the offense have a plan at all when they play a game. As a matter of fact I think they kind of just wing it. No plan whatsoever for protecting the QB, exploiting match ups, running the ball effectively, etc. And as far as personnel, I think Shanny just picks draft picks and free agents because their names sound cool. Trying to find actual talent to compliment the existing players and scheme would just be too much work.

    Now on to the next point:

    "...because their opponents are either missing key players..."

    In the interest of fairness, the Broncos offense would never pick on the opposing defenses backups. That would just be mean. Besides, if the Broncos won, then all of the players on offense would have to tell the the reporters, "our offense really stinks in reality, and we only won because (insert player name here) was out on defense."

    So far, I'm in total agreement. What else do we have? Ah yes, the most compelling point in the hypothesis:

    "...because the referees are involved in making it happen."

    Right again! The Broncos O line actually holds on EVERY PLAY of every game, but because the refs are HUGE Bronco fans, they never call it. And I can't tell you how many times I've seen an umpire setting a pick on a safety or a LB on passing plays. How else would that no-talent bum Marshall get so many yards after the catch? Unfortunately, somehow Hochuli screwed up and made his Bronco bias a little too obvious. He was actually supposed to be the lead blocker for Cutler on that play, but the play broke down. He did his best though.

    So all in all, the only problem I have with your point is that I didn't make it myself! I'm running a little long as it is, but I wanted to go one up on you, and present my theory as to why the Broncos were handed the Raider game as well. Instead, I'll just say this:

    In no way does the Broncos record reflect on the inability of the Chargers defense to make two critical stops, nor is it an outcome of the Saints inability to punch it in from the 1 foot line when given four opportunities. Those things have nothing to do with REAL football. Not like officials and injuries that is.

    Anyway, keep up the good work Ron. You are a beacon of reason in this crazy world we live in.

  • September 25, 2008

    12:22 PM

    Gregg writes:

    Champ Bailey is no longer an elite cover receiver. He gets beat much more often these days. He no longer strikes fear into opposing QB's like he did in Washington and maybe his first year in Denver. It happens. It happened to Deion Sanders. Champ is still a good DB, but he's no longer in the top 5 in the NFL. His INT against SD was not a legit INT either, though his stats will show it and thus make him appear as though he's doing better than he is.

  • September 25, 2008

    1:01 PM

    tyler writes:

    wow, "ron" has no idea what he's talking about! Champ Bailey clearly had his best years as a bronco and is the best corner in the league... i remember a couple seasons ago he had 10 interceptions, never seen him do that as a redskin. go do some research.

  • September 25, 2008

    1:01 PM

    Jubei writes:

    Champ and Dre aren't the best CB tandem in the league as of now, because they are asked to cover for far too long. If the D line (and not just the DE position) could generate some consistent pressure, then I do believe that they would be in the top 3, if not the best overall. When receivers have time to run their routes, and on top of that have more time to improvise and get open, good CBs get burned. Not to mention that the opposing QB has time to make all of his reads.

    Everybody wants to talk about the lack of production from the ends, but I think pressure up the middle negates the possibility of the QB stepping up and away from the outside pass rush. Of course that requires a DT along the lines of Warren Sapp in his heyday. Powell may be that guy eventually, but we won't know until next season. If we can get a stud pass rushing DT and a steady backup, I think they would make even Moss look less like a bust and help out the secondary drastically.


  • September 25, 2008

    9:37 PM

    Another Michael writes:

    The D-line has always been a problem for the Broncos.. You can only hold coverage for so long..

  • September 26, 2008

    1:55 PM

    SE7EN writes:

    Well done Drew! Your cartoon sums it up perfectly.

    As much as I love what we're seeing on offense, I have an even amount of negativity towards the defense. Props to Nate Webster for making a great recovery/run last week. Maybe we should put our entire starting defense on special teams. Maybe we'll get some good blocks for a change.

    That Defense however, is just frustrating to watch. We have NO ANSWER for the three step drop and those quick hitters for 6-7 yards. High percentage passes just eat at our Defense all game and then they're completely caught off-guard when they throw one deep. It is just bad. Run defense doesn't look as bad as last year, but that pass rush is horrific.

  • September 26, 2008

    2:02 PM

    SE7EN writes:

    I have to agree with the two posts before mine. Champ and Dre can only be as good as the D-line. We could have 4 Champ Bailey's in the Secondary. Wouldn't matter if the D-Line allows the QB to drop back, unpressured for 6-8 seconds. Doesn't matter how great your Corners and Safties are, if the D-line doesn't pressure/disrupt the timing of the throw, then the QB will always find an opening. I blame the D-line exclusively for the poor pass defense, not the secondary. They are doing their job the best they can, at some point, the D-line needs to create some consistent pressure.

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