View Full Version : Defense With a Swagger? I Hope So

05-20-2010, 06:46 PM
:cool: Just hope it translates on the field

By Gray Caldwell

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- You could almost hear the brutal sounds of shoulder pads and helmets colliding as Brian Dawkins (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=498&contentID=9682) stood at the podium Thursday, discussing the 2010 Broncos defense.

Don Martindale (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=357&contentID=9615) -- better known as "Wink" -- is the new defensive coordinator, and players have hinted at some new additions to the scheme that could wreak havoc on Sundays. But Dawkins wasn't talking.

"I can't release any secrets like that," the eight-time Pro Bowler said with a smile. "You'll have to see. It's going to be fun."

Martindale coached the linebackers last season, a group that included the NFL's sack leader -- Elvis Dumervil (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=498&contentID=5911) -- and the team's leading tackler -- D.J. Williams (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=498&contentID=2425). Dumervil, Williams and Mario Haggan (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=498&contentID=9318) all tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles, and Martindale's unit helped Denver rank seventh in the NFL in total yards per game allowed and third in the league in passing yards per game allowed.

So it should come as no surprise that a linebacker was the one who gave a glimpse into what 2010 could provide on the defensive side of the ball.

Haggan, a team captain in 2009, used a word Dawkins brought up -- "fun."
"When I say fun, not to take away from the work, but when you've got a guy that's as confident as he is and that believes in his players -- when he talks, and in his movement and the way he coaches, he lets you know he believes in you," he said of Martindale. "I think that will carry over to our team. I think you'll see a lot of swagger with this team this year."

That swagger shows itself in many forms.

Maybe it's the defense shouting, "It's time! We're coming!" as the group confronts the offense for 7-on-7 drills. Maybe it's the defense going after every loose ball with the intent to "scoop and score," regardless of if the play would have been blown dead in a game. Maybe it's how excited the team is to take an aggressive approach to the field in 2010.

"The defense as a whole should be a very stout group," Justin Bannan (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=498&contentID=10953) said. "We should be able to fly around and make a lot of plays and do the job that we're supposed to do."

Some of that comes from scheme changes Martindale and Head Coach Josh McDaniels (http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=357&contentID=9591) have worked to implement during the upcoming season. The one word that continues to pop up -- attack.

"We want to be disciplined yet attack, attack, attack -- that’s what our focus is going to be on," McDaniels said. "It’s always good to add some things that allow your players to play fast, and we think we’ve done that this offseason with what we’ve tried to add with our scheme."

McDaniels said he expects Martindale to be an aggressive play-caller, and for that to translate into an aggressive defense.

"We've certainly added a few things that Wink is fond of that I feel very good about that we will see in September and October," he said. "We may blitz a little bit more, but that's his personality and I want him to be himself."

Part of the reason players were so excited when Martindale took over the position is because he came from in-house, so there wouldn't be wholesale changes when it comes to the scheme. Much of the terminology will remain the same, making the transition to Martindale's defense all the easier, and much of what made the unit so successful in 2009 will remain in place.

But adding that "Wink" swagger is something that has the whole club chomping at the bit as the 2010 season approaches.

"Obviously there are going to be some things that remain the same, but Wink has his own ideas and his own ways of how he wants to attack and do things," Dawkins said. "And let's just say I like them."

Denver Native (Carol)
05-20-2010, 07:26 PM
Great article - thanks for posting :salute:

05-20-2010, 08:15 PM
I hope that Denver's D can stand stoic for an entire Season... Ive seen enough of Denver's D being a joke to last me another decade.