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Biggest Need in the offseason - Defensive Line or Offensive Line?

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  • #16
    All I have to say is that Denver's OT suck and on defense they're soft in the middle due to their poor DT.

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    • #17
      My answer is two part:

      Part 1: Free Agency - priority would be OL (and LB). The Broncos don't play young OL very often so it is far more likely any new starters would be veterans. Plus, we need some proven OL that will make a difference. Whether a fan of them or not, Lepsis is no Zimmerman, Kuper/Meyers/Hamilton no Schlereth, and Pears no Tony Jones. That's why the Broncos used to be able to tell a defense no matter where on the field nor down/distance, "We're going to run...try and stop us." (That, and a guy with the inits TD - but you get my point.)

      Part 2: Draft - DL.

      Of course, you could pick up some depth from either FA or Draft and/or get some future prospects on OL from the draft if they are there.

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      • #18
        Really not even a question, the offensive line is playing great in both run and pass. The only thing I would change there would be Holland, but he is playing alright. The defensive line needs major improvements. Engleberger will probably leave the team and I'm guessing Ekuban also. There will be needed depth at end and besides Marcus Thomas, the DT position will be completely overhauled and hopefully so.

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        • #19
          If we're going to fix anything, it should be the guts of the defense: DT-LB-S. Weaknesses here have been killing us on defense. A big, strong DT to anchor the line is a requirement IMO.

          That being said, it is important to groom a replacement for Lepsis. His play has been shaky. Is Ryan Harris the guy? I don't know. I'd feel a lot better about the situation if they picked up a solid OT in the draft or FA.

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          • #20
            Another thing to consider, DT's have the most difficult time adjusting to the NFL out of college- do we draft and try to develop one knowing he won't make a huge impact next year possibly even the year after that or do we meet this need through FA with an immediately impacting player?

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            • #21
              I voted for O-line.
              Its been ages since we've had a top 10 or so O-line man drafted by us.
              Last one was... to long ago for me to remember.

              Jay needs the protection as others have pointed out. If we have a stud, who can go always take out his man, that allows other O-line men to double team or pick up a blitzer.
              This will FIX the redzone problems a lot. Add about 10 points to each game roughly this year and that would be the results of having a dominant O-line man. A lot of the FG attempts would have been touchdowns.

              While we do have a need for a DT, we can address this with the second round & free agency.

              Bottom line is this: We might almost have equal needs on both sides, but the tipping factor is protecting Jay. He gets put on IR, you can kiss a season good bye. Worse, if it was carear ending. Do you want to keep taking MORE chances with that?
              I dont.

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              • #22
                ^^^ George Foster.

                If you look at our future HOF linemen they were all taken in later rounds. One could argue finding O linemen for our scheme on the 2nd day is what we do best in the draft....

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                • #23
                  Tough one to decide. I think the Broncos will address both needs in the off-season.

                  However, I would love to see more done on the defensive side of the ball. The big thing is getting good, consitant pressure on the QB from the front 4. The pressure needs to come from all sides.

                  The only game I can recall that getting significant pressure on the QB was the Pittsburgh game. Letting a QB get in his rythem is very dangerous-especially when playing guys like Brady and Manning.

                  The past couple of weeks teams have managed to get consistant pressure on Tom Brady. The result? Points have been down...24 and 27 points, as opposed to the 40+ being put up. Brady has all day to throw the ball to an open WR down field.

                  And that comes down to O-line. I agree that Cutler needs protection. At times this year, he's gotten a lot of protection. His stats partially show that he does have time to throw the ball...but they also show the pressure he is getting.

                  Denver last year spent a 2nd rounder on a OL...the rest going to defense. I wouldnt mind seeing the same thing again this year. Getting a Safety and decent LB's will also help in stopping the run.


                  Good discussion, mojo!
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                  "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to lose...it's not just dumb luck."
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                  • #24
                    We need both but since I can only pick one, I went with O line.

                    Why?

                    Well it seems like our D line is a loss cause.

                    Championships start with a foundation (the oline) Look at the pats, steelers, and colts. Look how mauch time their QBs had/have time to throw. With a QB that has a rocket arm and is only getting better, in addition to 4 deadly recivers, a great back field and a prettygood over paid TE.

                    Our O can and will do wonders very soon.

                    As for our D... I am just lost...

                    We also can use some help on our special teams............................
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 91bronco View Post
                      ^^^ George Foster.

                      If you look at our future HOF linemen they were all taken in later rounds. One could argue finding O linemen for our scheme on the 2nd day is what we do best in the draft....
                      Foster was not a top ten. Besides he's about the only OL drafted in the first round in about 15 years I believe. Like all positions, it can be hit or miss with them.
                      Most of our good O linemen were not drafted (Nalen excluded), they were free agent pick ups. Zimmerman, Mark Slerith (sp?), Habib, Tony Jones, etc..

                      The problem is, it's harder than ever to get a good OL man in free agency now. Once teams develop them, they don't let them go! Not too mention it takes time for an OL to develop rapport with his team.
                      --
                      We dont need a dominant DT or two. Just one who can tackle and provide some penetration. Our DE's should be able to provide ample pressure in the future as they grow.
                      Besides we need a veteran DT in there now. You can't have an entire section of a team, being wet behind the ears.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 91bronco View Post
                        ^^^ George Foster.

                        If you look at our future HOF linemen they were all taken in later rounds. One could argue finding O linemen for our scheme on the 2nd day is what we do best in the draft....
                        I was curious who you were referring to? If Zimmerman, Schlereth, Jones, etc. then these guys were not draft pickups by the Broncos. They were trades and/or free agents.

                        The only *possible* HOF lineman that was drafted was Nalen (if Zimmerman isn't HOF, Nalen isn't) - and he was drafted prior to Shanahan arriving.

                        Lepsis, Hamilton, etc. are not HOF players. They aren't even Pro Bowlers...

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                        • #27
                          ^^^ My fault, I thought we picked those guys (Schlereth, Zimmerman, etc.) up in the later rounds of the draft. I thought Nalen was drafted by Shannahan too but I guess not .

                          Anyway, the type of linemen we typically draft are smaller which means they fall in the draft. Isn't this the case with pretty much all of our current line up?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                            In your opinions, what will be our biggest need/area to improve in in our offseason? The offensive line or the defensive line?

                            For me, I think it's definitely the offensive line. Although the D-line lacks a game breaker (Dumervil is great but is weak against the run), I think there's a foundation there with Dumervil, Moss, Crowder, and Thomas that will get better over time.

                            Our offensive line, on the other hand, has been breaking down for the past two seasons now, and with injuries to Nalen and Hamilton, and the lackluster play of Lepsis this season, it's clear we need better depth and/or a new blocking scheme.

                            Anyway, what are some of your thoughts?
                            There's nothing wrong with the offensive line! They're doing a pretty good job overall. They struggle in the red-zone, but Broncos teams always struggle in the red-zone and have ever since the SB years. In those days they had players like Hall of Famer LT Gary Zimmerman. Right now, their top 2 OL Tom Nalen and Ben Hamilton are both on IR.

                            Further, it takes years for an O-lineman to work his way into the lineup and become a star. They have to learn the technique first and that takes a long time.

                            But, the way the NFL draft salary structure is these days, you can't just draft a player in the first or second round and then wait three years for him to become a proficient starter! You have to get immediate results from him, at least by year 2 he should be starting and playing well, or he's really not worth the money you have to pay such high draft picks.

                            Plus, the kinds of O-linemen who are normally chosen in the first round are big, beefy road-graders who don't necessarily have the speed and agility to play in Denver's system. Remember that the last 1st round O-lineman Shanahan picked was George Foster!

                            That didn't work out too well.

                            Denver should continue to draft a lineman every year in the 5-7th round and groom them for a season or two, and also look for promising undrafted players who might have slipped by other teams because of their smaller size.

                            But, you can't get DTs in the 4th-7th rounds very often! DT is the Broncos chief need.

                            The Broncos have Dumervil, Moss, Crowder and Ekuban at the DE position. They should be able to find enough starters from among those players!

                            But, at DT they have NOBODY! It's Marcus Thomas and pray for rain!

                            They've CUT or TRADED 5 proposed starting DTs so far this season!

                            1. Jimmy Kennedy: Was traded from the Rams where he was a #1 draft pick a few years ago. Supposed to rotate with Gerrard Warren, he sucked so badly he was cut in the pre-season.

                            2. Gerrard Warren: Starting RDT in 2006, at 6'4", 325 lbs. he has the size and strength to excel in Bates' defense. Only problem, he hated it and wanted to "rush the passer." His refusal to learn forced a trade with the Raiders where he is now sitting on the bench.

                            3. Amon Gordon. Inexplicably promoted to starting RDT after the Warren trade. He immediately sucked and kept on sucking. Cut after 8 games.

                            4. Antwon Burton. Supposedly backing up Gordon. He sucked and was cut. Now on the practice squad.

                            5. Sam Adams. At 350++ he was supposed to be the huge run-stuffing DT who would anchor the D-line and stiffen the entire defense against the run. The only thing he stuffed was his mouth at the buffet table!
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