New Denver Broncos defense aims to break (foes) more than it bends – The Denver Post
The Broncos finished with the NFL’s third-ranked defense in total yards allowed a season ago. Yet they ranked 16th in points allowed. They intercepted 18 passes but recovered only seven fumbles, tied for 22nd overall in that category.
For all the contradictions swirling around the Broncos’ defense, there remains an unassailable truth: Denver needs more break than bend and needs to create more havoc.
“You won’t see a square stance from a defensive lineman, so to speak, where he’s reading the play,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “This is an attack defense. I think people will be excited about this defense and how aggressive they play.”
Phillips brings a 3-4 alignment designed to exploit matchups. It starts on the defensive line. He inherits talent, not a reclamation project. The Broncos tied for ninth with 41 sacks, including a combined 24 from linebacker Von Miller and defensive end DeMarcus Ware. But they combined for only two sacks over the final five games, both by Miller.
For raw ability, Miller has few peers. He can elude offensive tackles, overpower them and trick them. However, he becomes less dangerous against double teams. Therein lies the rub with Broncos fans. Under former coordinator Jack Del Rio, the Broncos remained reluctant to blitz even when unable to pressure quarterbacks in their base defense, a fact amplified in a humiliating home playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Denver finished 21st in sack percentage last season. Translation: The Broncos had home-run sluggers but let them get pitched around.
There was no consistent fear.
“The next level is where we all want to be,” Ware said. “And to be viewed that way, we can only do that by producing more turnovers, fumbles, sacks, the big plays. We have experience together now, and it will only make us better.”
Adding defensive line coach Bill Kollar, who played the position in the NFL, could help. He replaces Jay Rodgers, who gave players desired freedom but lacked Kollar’s background.
Rushing outside linebackers form the cornerstones of the 3-4 defense. In Miller and Ware, Phillips has two players with success in the scheme (Ware posted 20 … – Click Here To Visit Article Source