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  • Koutouvides shoulders setbacks

    Niko Koutouvides might have run out of chances to play defense this season.

    But the Broncos linebacker remains a fixture on special teams and is doing his best to try and remain upbeat through his disappointment.

    "Playing football is always a positive," he said.

    Koutouvides, a top special-teams performer with Seattle who was stuck behind Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu on defense before departing for Denver, was in the mix as a starter at middle linebacker from the moment he signed a three- year, $7.5 million contract in March.

    He rotated every two days with Nate Webster at middle linebacker in training camp with the first team. The two split time in preseason games, too, before Webster won out after the third exhibition contest.

    Webster sprained a medial collateral ligament in his knee Nov. 6 and Koutouvides replaced him. But after getting credited with one tackle and one assist in that game, Koutouvides was back to reserve duties.

    "I took a shot early on a crack block right in the temple and kind of got a little out of it," said Koutouvides, adding he felt "rusty" that night. "Still, it doesn't matter, you've got to play at a high level, and I didn't get it done. I was disappointed in my play also, and they just felt they wanted to see a couple other guys in there."

    Rookie Spencer Larsen got the call at middle linebacker in Atlanta. Newcomer Mario Haggan also has since played some there, while Koutouvides has since taken practice snaps at weak-side linebacker behind Wesley Woodyard, the replacement for injured D.J. Williams.

    With Webster and Williams getting healthier, Koutouvides figures to be pushed lower down the depth chart in the near term.

    Still, Koutouvides managed to have his best special-teams effort his season against the Jets on Sunday, with three tackles.

    The performance pulled him into a tie with Larsen for the team lead in special-teams stops (nine).

    "Just because I'm not a starter, I'm not going to let it ruin my year," he said.

    "I'm not going to throw people under the bus and say, 'I should be starting. What's going on?' That's not how I roll."

    By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
    .................................................. .................................................. ....

    Pretty much sums it up. Big mistake bringing him in. He's tied with Spencer Larsen for the team lead in special teams tackles. Spencer who not only plays ST but FB and starting MLB as well. What a waste of cash. Oh well... He won't be here next year at that price.
    Only a fool allows another's opinion to anger him to the point of hurling insults.

  • #2
    I know I bring this up every time we talk about Niko, but where are those fans from last spring who were saying Niko was, in fact, better than DJ Williams? HAHAAHAH!

    I say move DJ to the middle this week--he wasn't bad at all and really came on late last year, leave Woodyard and Winborn around him, and you have a formidable crew of LBs.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SimonSteele View Post
      I know I bring this up every time we talk about Niko, but where are those fans from last spring who were saying Niko was, in fact, better than DJ Williams? HAHAAHAH!

      I say move DJ to the middle this week--he wasn't bad at all and really came on late last year, leave Woodyard and Winborn around him, and you have a formidable crew of LBs.
      I agree. With all the needs we have on defense, Denver should consider moving DJ back to the middle, WW to WLB, and Boss at SLB in the 2009 season. That would mean we could focus the draft on getting a SS, FS, DE, DT, and Cornerback.

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      • #4
        Its a little expensive but our defense needed that boost of special teams.Weve been so bad the last few years its nice to have a few ST studs out there.

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        • #5
          Yeah, we needed help on Special Teams. I understand Koutouvides is a bit overpaid for a specialist, but until we find another good Special Teams Linebacker, I'm fine with us overpaying Koutouvides. We are still going to have lots of cap space next year, and overpaying for a guy like him in that situation is better than not having a guy at all. I would love it if we could find another Linebacker late in the draft who could be a standout on Special Teams(and also better on defense than Koutouvides), and also brought back Haggan. If that happens, we should drop Niko.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wenchang View Post
            Yeah, we needed help on Special Teams. I understand Koutouvides is a bit overpaid for a specialist, but until we find another good Special Teams Linebacker, I'm fine with us overpaying Koutouvides. We are still going to have lots of cap space next year, and overpaying for a guy like him in that situation is better than not having a guy at all. I would love it if we could find another Linebacker late in the draft who could be a standout on Special Teams(and also better on defense than Koutouvides), and also brought back Haggan. If that happens, we should drop Niko.
            Jordan Beck. Who was here and we dropped for some inexplicable reason. Thing is that Josh actually liked his role as a gunner on the ST unit. Plus he's ALOT cheaper.
            Only a fool allows another's opinion to anger him to the point of hurling insults.

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            • #7
              I think DJ would be a great MLB after getting a little more experience. He has good size for MLB and his speed only helps. Or anybody here thinks Patrick Willis is slow? With Woodyard at WLB and Winborn at SLB, we would not need to draft a MLB early. But that's just my opinion and it will not happen, DJ wants to stay at WLB and Shanahan won't move him back to MLB. I like DJ's brother, Worrell Williams. Maybe he could be our 2nd/3rd round pick.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                I wonder what ever happened to the niko bandwagon???

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AznBroncoFan View Post
                  I wonder what ever happened to the niko bandwagon???
                  Crashed and burned.
                  Only a fool allows another's opinion to anger him to the point of hurling insults.

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                  • #10
                    I don't know if I can be classified as being on the "Niko bandwagon", but I did feel that Koutovides was marginally better than Webster and might be a better option for this season, at the end of which we ought to draft a good MLB. Neither of them are anything more than average, but Webster isn't going to get any better and Koutovides might with more experience.

                    I think it's unfortunate that Koutovides was judged on the basis of a couple of missed plays in a game where Webster missed far more before being injured. He definitely looked rusty coming in in place of Webster and would have benefitted from a week of getting all the reps in practice with the first-string defense.

                    However, I'm guessing Larsen impressed the coaches enough to start him the following week against Atlanta. IMO he is easily the best MLB we have and I'm surprised he is the one losing his job with Webster's return. One can only hope Webster plays better than he did prior to his injury.

                    I'm guessing we renegotiate Niko's contract next offseason. He's still valuable as a special-teams player and can be the new Keith Burns.

                    As for Woodyard, I think he's the second best linebacker we have after DJ and we need to find a way to get both on the field at the same time. I would support moving DJ back to MLB, where he said he enjoyed playing last year. I thought DJ was very impressive at MLB towards the end of the season, and for someone who had never played the position ever (not even in college), I thought he took to it really well, despite playing behind average DTs (Thomas wasn't playing as well last year as he is this year).
                    Hoping for a defensive-minded head coach and a return to the ZBS on offense. At the very least, no more cheaters for head coach.

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                    • #11
                      I still don't think DJ should be our MLB. His speed is best suited for the outside, and he's more effective and comfortable there. Let's stop moving him around and let him play ball the best way he knows.

                      I was behind Koutovides all off-season, after talking to several Seahawks fans who really thought he was something special. After seeing him for myself, he's clearly not special. Unfortunately, neither is Webster.

                      Leave DJ. Leave Boss. Draft a MLB. Draft a Safety.
                      In Manning I trust.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheRealMoose View Post
                        I still don't think DJ should be our MLB. His speed is best suited for the outside, and he's more effective and comfortable there. Let's stop moving him around and let him play ball the best way he knows.

                        I was behind Koutovides all off-season, after talking to several Seahawks fans who really thought he was something special. After seeing him for myself, he's clearly not special. Unfortunately, neither is Webster.

                        Leave DJ. Leave Boss. Draft a MLB. Draft a Safety.
                        I would agree with you but I wouldnt count on Boss being able to come back.I love the way the guy plays but micro fracture surgery is very tough to come back from.He basically has no cartilage left in his knee.I hope he can come back strong but hes injury prone to begain with.Seems like the guy couldnt stay on the field for a whole game which is just to bad.If we could find a MLB wed be alright with Winborn at SAM for a year or two.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AznBroncoFan View Post
                          I wonder what ever happened to the niko bandwagon???
                          Still here and still rooting for Niko instead of Webster. With as good as Larsen has played, I think he should be our starter and have Niko as back-up. Both these guys play better then Webster at MLB and football in general.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aija View Post
                            Crashed and burned.
                            Yeah... crashed and burned so long ago that the fire is already out and layer moss has grown over it. One has trouble even finding it amidst the field of green.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by UberBroncoMan View Post
                              Yeah... crashed and burned so long ago that the fire is already out and layer moss has grown over it. One has trouble even finding it amidst the field of green.
                              This guy was a bust from teh get go. He plays like he does not seem to care. Special teams stud but only last week was able to cath up to SPencer Larsen and tie for the lead because Spencer was playing primarily on deffense. He should be ashamed of collecting a paycheck. After his performance here it should be hard for him to find another job. Maybe he and Marquand Manuel can start a business together.
                              Only a fool allows another's opinion to anger him to the point of hurling insults.

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