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View Full Version : In Denver, DL Stands for Dilemna



dogfish
12-25-2008, 01:16 AM
Okay, so The Problem is as glaringly obvious as a 325-pound man in tight pants, but unfortunately the answer is maddeningly elusive. It's a well-known fact that Denver has one of the sorriest defenses in the league, and it is widely believed that the trouble starts up front with the defensive line. Of course, they certainly can't shoulder the blame for all of the unit's shortcomings. Plenty of other mistakes contribute to our overall poor showing. Bad tackling by a safety in the alley leads to a big run. An OLB overpursues and loses outside contain or the MIKE can't stuff the fullback busting through the A gap, and suddenly a guy is running free in the secondary with only our laughable safeties to stop him. Help over the top is late getting there and we get burned on a go route down the sidelines. Our corners are forced to effectively play with their hands tied behind their back due to our thick-headed DC and his stupid ten-yard cushions-- and aside from Champ Bailey, our DBs ain't that strong in coverage to begin with. So don't stick the line with the entire load of responsibility for this stinking mess.

However, bottom line, I think we all know that improving our play in the trenches, where everything starts, is the surest way for us to get better on that side of the ball. Not that adding a real werewolf of a middle linebacker, a nasty freak that moves in fast forward and likes to take people's heads off, wouldn't help. It certainly would. That kind of MIKE could potentially change the whole LB corps and really shore up the "D" up the middle. Better run fits, tackling and take-on ability at the point of attack from the 'backers would be a huge step in patching up the run defense, and putting a true stud at MIKE could bring things together nicely.

And finding some safety help is clearly another priority. With the possible exception of Barrett, none of the guys we've run out there this year could cover a bed with a quilt, or tackle a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the open field. They're worse than just liabilities, they're bums, plain and simple, and not one of them should be back next year. Even as backups, let alone in a starting role! Maybe Barrett can harness his physical gifts and play at a high level, and maybe Woodyard can make a successful conversion. It's possible. But that's a best-case scenario, and regardless we at the very least need to infuse some more young talent into the position-- preferably with at least one player with quality starting potential. You'd need an enormous spreadsheet to tally all the plays our backliners have failed to make this year, and filling those spots just with competent players would clearly result in significantly fewer breakdowns leading to explosive plays going against us.

We won't even get into the issues of defensive play-calling or all the injuries we've suffered this season. Anyone who thinks Bob Slowick or Rich Tuten have done a good job, raise your hands! Yea, that's what I thought. So once again, don't try to pin it all on the line. I'm the kind of person that likes to look at things from as many angles as possible, to take all available facts into account. In football in particular, I'm really not a believer in hard and fast answers. The truth is, there are a number of different models of success-- if there were only one, everyone would be trying to emulate it, and that's not the case. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to land a Lombardi.

With that said, I still think most of us will agree that we're likely not going anywhere until we fix the D-line. At least, not where we ultimately want to go. This is the five yard chuck rule era, the age of multiple receiver sets and spread offenses. First down is as often as not a passing down-- so is third-and-one. If you can't rush the passer you probably can't win, or at the least you leave yourself just about no margin for error. Not the position that a team with Super Bowl aspirations wants to find itself in.

So at the end of the day you can make all the improvements you want to the back seven. It should help in the run game, and better safeties should certainly improve our coverage as well, but we know that even good coverage can get dissected by NFL passing games given enough time. Only two out of eight Super Bowl winners in this decade have finished the regular season with less than 40 sacks. Surprisingly, one of those was the 2000 Ravens, but we all know that they could pressure the QB and were overall one of the best defenses of all time; and the other was the 2006 Colts, who had Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to bring pressure off the edges and notched eight sacks in four playoff games.

And that, my friends, is the 300-pound gorilla sitting in the room. He's mean, he's ugly, and he stinks, but we can't seem to find a way to get rid of him despite all our efforts in that direction. It's like Morpheus said about the agents, "They are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later someone is going to have to fight them."

Unfortunately for us, that battle always seems to look like Custer's last stand. This is where it gets really sticky. Everything we've tried in recent years has failed. Stock the line with solid run-stuffers and rely on heavy blitzes to generate pressure? That was great until somebody designed a max-protect scheme that shut it down, and then our defense got systematically picked apart while we watched helplessly. Bring in older vets with big reputations? You quickly find out why they were available on the cheap. Load up with high draft picks? Two years later they haven't made a peep.

So what's the problem? Our inability to evaluate talent? Our defensive schemes? A failure of our coaching staff to develop young players, and motivate old ones? Quite possibly all of the above? Okay, problem identified-- now all we have to do is solve it. That's easier said than done, though. A likely starting point would be to can the D-line coach who's presided over one garbage season after another, but high quality replacements aren't exactly lining up on the sidewalk outside Dove Valley. Still, it's time to give somebody else a shot-- it's not like the results can get much worse! As they say, the only way to go from here is up. But even if we find a quality D-line coach he's going to need something to work with. Of course we do still have the young players from our 2007 draft, but can we afford to count on them again in hopes that better coaching can get noticeably different results?

Diving into the free agent pool seems like an easy and obvious answer. . . until you take a closer look. Impact pass rushers are very valuable commodities and tend to bring a premium price, if they make it to free agency at all. Julius Peppers is getting the franchise tag, guaranteed, and Terrell Suggs could also. Albert Haynseworth won't, but he comes with his own issues, not the least of which is the enormous bidding war that's likely to take place for his services. People can dream all they want (like Blondie said back in the eighties, it's free), but with Denver's own core of impact youngsters approaching free agency over the next few years the chances of the team splurging on an elite free agent are about as slim as Callista Flockhart on a crash diet. Don't get your hopes up.

Unless Mike Shanahan wants to go to the well yet again for more retreads, that leaves the draft. The place where we've thrown good picks after bad trying to fix the problem over the years. Further complicating the issue is the fact that this doesn't exactly look like a bumper crop of defensive linemen. And don't forget that even if you do get a good one, they often take years to develop into real contributors. So, do we cross our fingers and throw more high picks at the issue while ignoring our other needs? Bring in some mid-level free agents and hope it's enough? Hold a séance and try to channel the spirit of Reggie White? Or do we simply throw up our hands, admit defeat and devote our energies to building a team that can win in other ways?

I hope not. If we ever want to be the type of elite team that can contend for the Super Bowl on a regular basis, at some point we’re going to have to figure this out. These are the problems facing us. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later someone is going to have to fight them. So, anybody got any bright ideas?

dogfish
12-25-2008, 01:19 AM
i apologize for the maximum verbosity, but once i get going sometimes it's hard to stop. . . :laugh:

i know a lot of this has already been discussed, but it's such an important and long-standing issue that i thought we could use a thread with all the ideas and info in one place. . . now that we've found a quality starting QB and left tackle, i think this is clearly our biggest challenge going forward, one that can effect the fortunes of the franchise for years-- it really is a dilemna. . . let's hear your ideas-- i have a few of my own that i'll post sometime later. . .

King87
12-25-2008, 01:27 AM
Fantastic article.

In your opinion, do the Broncos need a defensive end or NT more?

Ziggy
12-25-2008, 08:04 AM
Good stuff, dog. It will be interesting to see which way the Broncos go. High draft picks haven't worked, and free agents have been ineffective here also. D-lineman just seem to be the Broncos achilles heel in the draft. In the 90's, it was cornerbacks, so Shanny went out and traded for the best one in the NFL. I wonder if he makes a similar move at Dline.

Nature Boy
12-25-2008, 01:40 PM
The Broncos need to bring in two 350lb guys to anchor that line shoulder to shoulder. I'm not talking about over the hill 350lb Sam Adams. I'm talking about a 350lb Pat Williams or a 350lb Jamal Williams of 3 years ago.

spikerman
12-25-2008, 07:22 PM
I've read a couple of articles lately that said the Broncos should be one of the teams trying to get Haynesworth in the offseason.

dogfish
12-27-2008, 12:05 AM
Fantastic article.

In your opinion, do the Broncos need a defensive end or NT more?


Thanks.

Really, we need both, although at this point I'd settle for either. Adding talent at either spot would be a move in the right direction, and hopefully improve our overall results. If somebody held a gun to my head and made me choose I'd probably say DE. I think our DTs are at least adequate against the run most of the time, but our DEs really don't do anything particularly well.

atwater27
12-27-2008, 12:23 AM
We've needed a DT badly for several years now. San Diego will finally show Shanahan that he needs to get serious about our D-line when a beatdown will Make Pat Bowlen feel like interviewing potential head coaches this offseason.

dogfish
12-27-2008, 02:05 AM
Okay, not seeing a ton of ideas here, so this is the way I'd approach it if Bowlen handed me the checkbook at the end of the season. I think you need to have a long-term plan as well as one for the short term, especially when you're a young team that should still have its best football ahead of it-- I might feel differently if we were a veteran-laden team that dominated all year and lost a close one deep in the playoffs.

With that in mind, I want to do my best to fix the entire defense, not just one aspect of it. Of course I want to see some immediate results on my investment, but if it has to be a multi-year project I'd rather do that and do it right than try to patch things on the fly and have to blow it all up a few years down the road when it fails. I think you mostly tear the whole thing down now, salvage the few solid building blocks that are actually worth keeping, and other than that you pretty much start from scratch.

First things first-- you need an architect with an intelligent plan. I'm not trusting my multi-million dollar construction job to the bums that burned the old place down. Bob Slowick is getting ridden out of town on a rail, or on the first available flight-- whichever is quicker. He can take his son with him, and Bill Johnson and Jacob Burney. Throw in Rich Tuten and Scott O'Brien, too-- maybe they can get a group discount on tickets or something. I'll even foot the bill if they want to go to San Diego, Kansas City or Oakland.

Now we need to find that architect. The guy I want is Eagles assistant Sean McDermott. We need somebody aggressive, somebody that wants to bring pressure, and he's been around Jim Johnson long enought that some of Jim's attack-dog mentality must have worn off on him. That, and he's already seen just about every blitz that you can conceivably run out of the 4-3 alignment. After watching Johnson disciple Steve Spagnuolo take the same approach to New York, I want another guy from that coaching tree. If I absolutely can't get McDermott, Greg Williams is my next choice.

The next order of business is finding someone to lay down a strong foundation, and I think I know just the guy-- Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn (http://www.titansonline.com/team/coaches/staff.php?PRKey=7). He's a top notch teacher who has helped mold a number of raw talents into productive NFL players, and he's an intense motivator that isn't afraid to give a guy a kick in the ass when necessary. Plus, he kinda looks like Clint Eastwood. Did anybody see that Monday Night Football pre-game segment on him? He had his linemen carrying around this big-ass chain-- it was meant as a symbol of unity, but you also got the impression that he wouldn't hesitate to beat somebody with it if the need arose.

Of course, he might not want to leave Tennessee for Colorado. He's sixty, so he may be content to just finish out his career where he's had plenty of success. But if he does want to move up any further, now's the time. I'd offer him the position of assistant head coach/defense, with the understanding that he splits the responsibilities with my new DC, and that if he wants to leave for a job as a DC somewhere else in a year or two we won't stand in his way as long as he's trained a capable assistant that can take his place. If the formal title is a big deal, maybe I make McDermott the assistant HC/defense, and let Wash be the DC. Either way, the young guy will know that he's my long-term boss on that side of the ball. If we can't get Washburn I guess we have to look elsewhere, and if the cowardly Lions can Rod Marinelli he's my next choice. Hopefully I can get one of those two, if not I guess we keep on looking until we find a veteran D-line coach with some proven success who's willing to come here.

The next step is hauling away the debris so we have clean ground to work on. Marlon McCree and Nate Webster are both free agents-- neither is getting an offer to come back. Nor is Karl Paymah, unless we can't find anyone we like better. I might give Kenny Peterson a chance to come back and compete for a rotational/utility role in camp, but only if he's willing to sign a short deal on the cheap cheap. With that out of way, it's time to really get down to business and give my new brain trust some pieces to work with.

Obviously I want their input, but my general plan is this. No big spending in free agency because I know I'm soon going to need all the cap room I can get to re-sign guys like Cutler, Marshall and Kuper. We'll probably bring in a few veterans at the least, but no elite players. I'm certainly going to look at all available options, but my immediate plan of attack is to start by making moves that I feel confident I can get right. Combine the cost of free agent DLs, the learning curve of rookies at the position and the presence of several talented youngsters that have underachieved to this point, and I think I'm going to throw one more patch on the tire to give my new coaches a year to see what they can do with what we already have before mortgaging the farm to get shiny new toys.

So, what I'm looking at is probably spending my top three picks on a safety, a middle linebacker and a running back, in no particular order. If a DL that I can't resist happens to fall in one of those spots I'm certainly willing to reconsider, but I don't want to pass on a less risky prospect to take a chance on another high-upside project like Michael Johnson or George Selvie. Traditionally linebacker, safety and running back are three of the positions that make the quickest and easiest transitions to the NFL. Plus, we've had an excellent history of success at RB and LB. Given that those positions all appear to be relatively solid at the top of this year's draft class, while D-line isn't especially strong, I'm probably going to feel more comfortable going in that direction. Obviously this is just pure projection at this point (it's too tough to project rankings before the all-star games, combine, etc), but let's say our first three rounds look something like Brandon Spikes or James Laurinaitis in the first, Patrick Chung in the second and Shonn Greene in the third. Or Taylor Mays or William Moore in the first, James Davis or Javon Ringer in the second and Darry Beckwith in the third (I know some will argue this, but I don't see him going higher than Dan Conner). In any case, don't worry about the specific names-- those are just for the sake of discussion. If B.J. Raji's on the board when we pick, I'd probably scuttle the whole plan and take him.

Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy to play it "safe" (as much as is possible in the very inexact science of the draft) and bring in guys that I believe will be able to contribute this year as well as giving us more talent to work with in the future. Improve the running game, improve the run defense and coverage by pumping up the back seven, and let my defensive coaching staff earn those fat new contracts by seeing if they can generate some pass rush through a combination of scheme and coaching up the guys we already have. Once we get into the later rounds of the daft, I'm going to allot at least two picks to my defensive coaches to see if they can unearth a diamond in the rough-- or even just a competent wave rusher that can give us some sacks in a rotational role.

But to hedge my bets, I also want to bring in a few vets to give them more to work with. As long as we aren't spending big bank to do it, I'm fine with a one-year approach of throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks-- especially because I've brought in a coaching staff that I actually believe is capable of making some solid assessments in that area.

I'm going to kick the tires of a number of older vets that have shown some ability to get after the passer in previous stops, or maybe even some young talents that busted out elsewhere and are looking for a second chance. Basically, whoever my guys want to bring in as long as the price is right. Bert Berry left here on good terms and may well be willing to come back on a prove-it deal after he got the big payday in Arizona. I think Chike Okeafor should be available as well, and probably Bryce Fischer. I might even give Patrick Chukuwarah a try-out. Victor Adeyanju might be worth a look if the Rams don't give him a tender offer, although I assume they will. Jonathan Babineaux might be out of my price range, but I'd at least make a phone call and find out. Mike Montgomery in Green Bay has flashed some ability as a situational rusher lately. Kevin Carter is probably too old, but he's at least on my radar. So is CFL sack-monster Cam Wake. And of course, there will most likely be some cuts around the league that add to this list by March, or a few older vets available for trade at a reasonable price.

My guiding principle is going to be whoever I can get on the cheap. No way I'm going to invest any serious cash for re-treads. If I can find a couple of guys with some ability that are willing to come in and prove that they still deserve a chance to play, I'm happy with that. We already have Moss, Crowder and Ekuban, and I plan on adding a few rooks-- let me bring some additional competition into camp, and let our new defensive "God" sort 'em out. Plus, I'm counting on Elvis Dumervil to rebound and get back to his double-digit sack form of a year ago. I sometimes think I'm the only one around here that retains any confidence in him, but I just don't believe that he forgot how to play this year. The beginning of his season was ruined by the hand injury, and although he has made some plays over the past six weeks or so, I think the effect of playing too many snaps and not having any help has caused his down year to continue. But used correctly, I still think he's a weapon.

I know full well that the stopgap approach has failed badly here in the past, so don't think I'm advocating it as a long term strategy. What I am advocating is spending our resources (both money and draft picks) as wisely as possible rather than screwing things up with a reactionary approach the way we have in the past. Any talent added to the defense is going to help at this point, and I want to make smart decisions and do my best to get good value from my draft picks rather than reaching to fill holes when there are plenty of areas that need help. Having a number of spots that need shoring up really does afford you the flexibility to go in a number of directions and actually take a "best player available" approach-- within reason, obviously.

Bring in some competent defensive minds for a change, and let them see what they can do. If we find that we can't fix the problem on the cheap, then at least we've addressed some of our other most pressing needs. That leaves us free to throw one if not several high picks at the D-line next year, or even attack it aggressively in free agency if need be.

Jaded
12-27-2008, 02:20 AM
http://www.giants.com/team/coach.asp?coach_id=14

Mike Waufle, Steve Spagnuolo's DL coach and the guy that's kept the Giants DL going strong even after the losses of a Future Hall of Famer and their best DE.

Like I said, he's worked under a Jimmy Johnson disciple in a proven sound/SuperBowl winning system and his 30+year coaching resume is impressive.......

dogfish
12-27-2008, 02:28 AM
http://www.giants.com/team/coach.asp?coach_id=14

Mike Waufle, Steve Spagnuolo's DL coach and the guy that's kept the Giants DL going strong even after the losses of a Future Hall of Famer and their best DE.

Like I said, he's worked under a Jimmy Johnson disciple in a proven sound/SuperBowl winning system and his 30+year coaching resume is impressive.......


works for me. . . i'd also be more than willing to try to pry carl hairston (http://www.packers.com/team/coaches/hairston_carl/) out of green bay. . . obviously you're going to have to offer them a promotion as long as they're under contract with their current team, which would make marinelli an attractive option assuming the lions give him the axe (which is no certainty given their history). . . wave enoug cash and a flashy title around, and i'd like to think that we could get SOMEBODY qualified that would be willing to come here and work on a reclamation project with some young talent and the promise of a quick-strike offense that should give them plenty of opportunities to get ahead early and then rush the passer. . . .

right? :noidea:

Jaded
12-27-2008, 02:36 AM
works for me. . . i'd also be more than willing to try to pry carl hairston (http://www.packers.com/team/coaches/hairston_carl/) out of green bay. . . obviously you're going to have to offer them a promotion as long as they're under contract with their current team, which would make marinelli an attractive option assuming the lions give him the axe (which is no certainty given their history). . . wave enoug cash and a flashy title around, and i'd like to think that we could get SOMEBODY qualified that would be willing to come here and work on a reclamation project with some young talent and the promise of a quick-strike offense that should give them plenty of opportunities to get ahead early and then rush the passer. . . .

right? :noidea:

I would think that Marinelli would be the leading candidate to replace Monte Kiffin in TB, if he's fired. I'm thinking the New Lions GM will want to do just that.

Whomever the Broncos would hire, one thing is for certain, they need to allow him to assemble his own staff, choose his own players and bud the F out of the process.

What they've been doing clearly is not working.......

dogfish
12-27-2008, 03:38 AM
I would think that Marinelli would be the leading candidate to replace Monte Kiffin in TB, if he's fired. I'm thinking the New Lions GM will want to do just that.

Whomever the Broncos would hire, one thing is for certain, they need to allow him to assemble his own staff, choose his own players and bud the F out of the process.

What they've been doing clearly is not working.......


the bucs just announced that they're going to promote assistant raheem morris-- marinelli could still go back there as DL coach, but he won't be their DC. . . .

muse
12-27-2008, 09:10 AM
Couple of great posts there Dogfish, and remember, your verbosity is what sets you apart from the rabble (aka Chargers/Raiders fans ;) )

My take on the situation is that our DL should be better than it has been this year and that, based on talent, it has underperformed. Next season we need a dominant player either at DE or DT but I'm not exactly sure which one would produce the best results. On one hand, a dominant DT can really make the whole team better. However, the chances of getting a dominator in the draft straight off the bat are as good as getting a blow job from the Pope. And then to get a proven one in FA or a trade will come at a price that only a senile GM will want to pay. On the DE front, we could do with a freak, every down DE. I think we drafted Crowder with the intention of being that guy, but considering he's been a healthy scratch every week, is he being brought on by the coaches or is he busting? Moss was drafted to be an every down player and whilst I've been impressed with him at times, he needs to get stronger and become more consistent. So that requires good coaching. Doom has been stuck in a rut this year...a fair few near-sacks, but a disappointment.

What's puzzled me is that the DL this season is more talented than last year but has been so average. It's clear that it's not talented enough to generate a lot of pressure on its own, but not many lines in the league are. I think the lack of blitzing this year has really hurt the front 4. With no extra pressure up the middle or off the edges, the OLs don't have to make many blocking adjustments and aren't on their toes wondering which of those show blitzing LBs are going to bust through the gap. We've not seen a single safety blitz this year either (and considering we've had 8 men in the box for most of it...you would've thought the idea would've crossed Slowik's mind especially after we had used it effectively with Lynch). As a result, the OLs (especially the OTs) know what's coming and can play our DL on their terms which is exactly not what you want to do on D.

So I believe it's predominantly a coaching problem. It's strange because Bill Johnson has a pretty good resumé and has coached Patrick Kerney and Rod Coleman during some of their best years. So to see our guys very rarely doing anything than bull rush (only Ekuban seems to be using rips and swim moves) as well as not doing stunts etc. is pretty strange. Also, Uncle Bob's EZ 3-4 experiment cannot have helped the line in any way.

So, what do we do? Well, it has to start with the DC...we need to replace Slowik or at least get someone in to help him out because he evidently can't oversee the whole D on his own. Then there's the DL coach. I don't know if Johnson's the problem, but looking at our DL play this year, he may be. So I'm not all for firing him, but I'd consider it.

Of our current players, Robertson and Thomas should be locks at DT. Next year should be Thomas' breakout year and he's looked like he's right on track at the moment, so he should break through. Hopefully Robertson can settle down and start performing at a higher level (although he's been a bit better than average this year). Peterson's a solid rotational guy although he's been less noticeable down the stretch. And then there's Powell...who knows what he'll be like, but judging by the rest of this year's draft class, I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out solid. Clemons and Shaw are scrubs.

At DE, Moss, Doom and Crowder should all be in...and they'd better step up next year because we need them. Then there's a choice between Engelberger and Ekuban. I like them both, but there's not much justification for keeping two over-30 stopgaps. They've been excellent servants for the club, but one's going to have to go I'm afraid.

We should pick up someone in the draft, and hopefully in FA. But like I said, this line has underperformed this year and I really want to know why.

bcbronc
12-28-2008, 01:34 AM
Great posts dog. I agree with what you and muse are saying.

give this DL another year to develop before deciding to go in another direction. we have too many other holes behind them. add pieces to the line if they're there to add, but prioritize MLB and a playmaking safety (PMS). we need to get stronger down the middle. you can't win a fight if you can't take a shot to the gut.

It's tough to generate much pressure when every down's a running down against a defense. our rush defense has played a bit better, but we're still giving up the 4th worst ypc in the league. it would be great to have a 330lb DT that consistantly blows up running plays two yards behind the line of scrimmage, but it's easier to find a MLB and PMS that can consistantly make tackles at or near the LOS on running plays.

It's a lot easier to generate pressure on 3 and 7 than it is on 3rd and 3. we've had a few games where we're getting pressure, but it's always a half a step too late. plus better players down the middle in the back 7 means a 3 yard pass on 3rd and 7 doesn't turn into a first down nearly as often. that right there can get the dline that extra half step they need.

if we are going to change DCs again, let's freakin get it right this time. at some point the players need to get some continuity with a system. I don't think many coordinators implement their entire system in their first year at the helm. I don't know, Slowik has been, at best, uninspiring, but he's also had crappy players fail to make plays on plays they were in position to make. any coordinator can only do so much. In the long term picture, I okay with giving Slowik another year. adding a MLB and S should be done this season whether it's Slowik or someone else, and those players will still be on the roster next season if Slowik craps the bed. on the other hand, young players are starting to work their way into the starting line-up, and them not having to learn another new system could actually be a plus. like I said, if we're going to do it--again--it has to be right this time.

:beer:

muse
12-28-2008, 06:36 AM
In the end, I think whilst having a truly dominant DT is the way to improve your D overall, I've come around to the idea that a dominant MLB is the next best thing and it really makes me miss Al Wilson. Having an MLB with his intelligence and gap control would remove the need for us to keep 8 in the box. We really need a field general at that spot...and our starter right now (going on military analogies) is a kamikaze pilot.

elsid13
12-28-2008, 07:59 AM
Whatever Denver does, FIRST it needs to figure out what kind of defense it wants and stick to that system. The reason teams like TB, Tenn, BALT are good defense teams is because the have scheme in place that they draft and sign FA for. It is no different then what Denver does for running backs and offensive linemen. It's not about DC or position coaches, it about finding the right players to fit system. Once Denver has system in place then an identity can be formed (something Denver hasn't had since Robinson left) and players will understand what they need to do on the field.

Right now we have mish-mash of systems and players that don't completement each other on the field. Example we have two DT that are great penetrators (UT) in Tampa 2style defense, ask to hold up the offensive linemen in whatever style of D, Denver is playing this week.

CoachChaz
12-28-2008, 11:27 AM
I have a proposal for a trade. Carolina will undoubtedly franchise Peppers, which will keep him around for one more year. It would be in their best interest to deal him and get something for him before he bolts in FA. Denver needs a DE more than a DT. I am personally much happier with Thomas and Robertson than I am with Doom, Moss and the gang of retreads at DE.

So, give up our 1st, 3rd and Moss for Peppers and see if Carolina bites. If we are happy with Larsen at MLB and Barrett and perhaps Woodyard at the safety spots, then adding the best DE in the world would go a long way to improving our defense.

We could use our 2nd rounder on a solid back that doesnt have an arm length list of injuries. After that, we draft for depth and see if we find a few more gems in the late rounds.

The addition of a bona fide pass rusher would immediately improve our cornerback play and take pressure off of our DT's. I know one player doesnt make a team, but with this addition and consistent production from Larsen, Barrett and Woodyard, I believe our defense would improve drastically. It may not be all the way there, but you cant always take a defense from worst to first in one season and the improvement would be significant.

atwater27
12-28-2008, 12:15 PM
I have a proposal for a trade. Carolina will undoubtedly franchise Peppers, which will keep him around for one more year. It would be in their best interest to deal him and get something for him before he bolts in FA. Denver needs a DE more than a DT. I am personally much happier with Thomas and Robertson than I am with Doom, Moss and the gang of retreads at DE.

So, give up our 1st, 3rd and Moss for Peppers and see if Carolina bites. If we are happy with Larsen at MLB and Barrett and perhaps Woodyard at the safety spots, then adding the best DE in the world would go a long way to improving our defense.

We could use our 2nd rounder on a solid back that doesnt have an arm length list of injuries. After that, we draft for depth and see if we find a few more gems in the late rounds.

The addition of a bona fide pass rusher would immediately improve our cornerback play and take pressure off of our DT's. I know one player doesnt make a team, but with this addition and consistent production from Larsen, Barrett and Woodyard, I believe our defense would improve drastically. It may not be all the way there, but you cant always take a defense from worst to first in one season and the improvement would be significant.

I agree we need a DE, but not at that price. If we were going to give away the farm for one guy, I would want it to be a pocket collapsing force in the middle that could also control the run. They are far more rare than star defensive ends.

CoachChaz
12-28-2008, 10:43 PM
I agree we need a DE, but not at that price. If we were going to give away the farm for one guy, I would want it to be a pocket collapsing force in the middle that could also control the run. They are far more rare than star defensive ends.

I agree...which makes it far less likely that we find one...or a team willing to trade one to us.

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