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  • Darrell Reid Article (DB.com)


    Darrell Reid has relished the chance to switch positions and battle for a starting spot. PHOTO: GRAY CALDWELL / DENVERBRONCOS.COM


    By Gray Caldwell
    DenverBroncos.com

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- "I was born abnormal, you know," Darrell Reid said with a laugh. "I'm special and I know that."

    In Indianapolis, Reid displayed some of that uniqueness when he played on special teams -- as a 290-pound defensive tackle. And not just as a someone to eat up blockers -- he was a playmaker.

    He led the Colts with 45 special-teams tackles in his four seasons in Indianapolis, marking the highest total on the team during that stretch. That included a stellar 2007 campaign, when he tied for second in the NFL with a career-best 21 special-teams stops.

    But his impact didn't begin and end on special teams. Though he says he didn't get as much of an opportunity to produce on defense as he would have liked in Indianapolis, Reid saw time in all 16 games for the Colts during each of the last two seasons, posting 44 defensive tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries to go along with 32 special-teams stops.

    Now he's about to show even more of that uniqueness as he prepares to make a leap rarely seen in the NFL.

    Head Coach Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and the rest of the coaching staff saw his production in Indy and envisioned Reid -- whose playing weight with the Colts fluctuated between 280 and 290 pounds -- as a linebacker.

    "When I first came out here and met with Coach McDaniels and the coaching staff here, Coach Nolan and everyone, they had a vision for me," recalled Reid, who won a Super Bowl ring in 2006. "They felt like the player they saw not only on special teams but also on defense, they felt like I could move to a different position in this system."

    Reid hadn't played the linebacker position since he was a redshirt freshman at Minnesota, when fellow Bronco Ben Hamilton was a two-time first-team All-American senior for the Gophers. The position worked for Reid -- he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News in his first of four years starting for the Gophers.

    Reid with a laugh that he didn't know of any other defensive tackles that have made the change.

    "But when I was at defensive tackle playing special teams, they said there weren't a lot of guys in the league playing special teams that played defensive line or defensive tackle," he said. "I don't really worry about what the norm is."

    Imagine if Ryan Harris changed positions to fullback. It's the same basic idea in both positions -- block for the quarterback and running backs -- but fullback requires a whole different set of skills, not to mention the work it would take to essentially change body types.

    Well, that's essentially what Reid has in front of him, only on the defensive side of the ball.

    Once again, defensive tackles and linebackers do some of the same things, but it's no longer plugging holes and occasionally rushing the passer. It's getting off blocks, falling back into coverage, running to the ball-carrier -- and still occasionally rushing the passer.

    It's an opportunity that Reid can't wait to tackle.

    "That's a vision they had for me, and we're trying to make that vision happen," he said. "I think slowly it's coming together."

    It's not the first time there has been a transition involving linebackers and defensive tackles on the Broncos. Only the last time it happened, it was reversed. Keith Traylor, who Denver selected in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft, came into the league as a linebacker. After brief stints with other teams, he returned to the Broncos -- as a defensive tackle.

    It's a big position switch to make, whether it's gaining weight or losing it. The transition began for Reid as soon as he arrived for offseason conditioning, from altering his weight lifting to conditioning more to dieting.

    He said he has lost a lot of weight already, focusing on watching what he eats. His diet consists of low carbs, lots of protein, green vegetables, fruit, fiber and fluids. He eats plenty of salads, chicken breasts and steaks and very little braed, rice and pasta.

    "It's tough, you know, as it is for anyone to diet," he said. "You're going to have times when you cheat, you're going to have bad days and you're going to have real good days. I just try to stay as consistent as I can and not drive myself crazy over it."

    As far as his goal playing weight, Reid said he has in his head that he wants to get to 260 or 265 pounds. But after talking with McDaniels, strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten and nutritionist Dave Ellis, there's no exact number he has to aim for.

    "I guess it's based on how I look out there," he explained. "If I look kind of sloppy or slow, then Josh is going to be like, 'You need to lose some pounds.' But at the same time I don't, and I know they don't, want me to lose any strength. That's a big part of my game, my power game and the strength that I have. So we've just got to find a happy medium."

    Reid seems to be approaching the medium as training camp is just around the corner. He is already looking like a linebacker -- he lined up at outside linebacker with the first unit for the first two mini-camps and a large chunk of passing camp. And he's bonded with another defensive-line-to-linebacker prospect in Elvis Dumervil.

    "Me and Doom have been talking a lot about some of the things that we might be able to do this year on defense, and we're really excited about that," Reid said. "I can almost guarantee this -- if me and Dumervil are in the game at the same time, he will have more than six sacks this year."

    So while he is reslishing the opportunity to take his skills to the linebacker position, Reid is excited about the prospects for the Broncos defense in 2009.

    And he's most energized about the fact that he could be a key part of it.

    "The switch, that excited me, yes, but the opportunity that Josh presented to me -- the opportunity to possibly start in this defense -- that's what I'm really excited about."
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  • #2
    It's not the first time there has been a transition involving linebackers and defensive tackles on the Broncos. Only the last time it happened, it was reversed. Keith Traylor, who Denver selected in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft, came into the league as a linebacker. After brief stints with other teams, he returned to the Broncos -- as a defensive tackle.


    I never knew that. He was a HUGE DT for us, heck he could have played nose tackle.
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    • #3
      I find this move very creative, really interesting. If he is around 280 by now and might still drop to 270-275, he can definetely make the transition. He might not need to reach 260 at all. Just the thought of having a bigger, stronger defense is something very positive to me.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Roddoliver View Post
        I find this move very creative, really interesting. If he is around 280 by now and might still drop to 270-275, he can definetely make the transition. He might not need to reach 260 at all. Just the thought of having a bigger, stronger defense is something very positive to me.

        I agree, however, I think he will have a hard time beating out Crowder for the SOLB spot. He may good as a backup though. No matter who gets what position it looks like the D will be much bigger and stronger than the past couple years no matter what. That's something I'm looking forward to as well.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Roddoliver View Post
          I find this move very creative, really interesting. If he is around 280 by now and might still drop to 270-275, he can definetely make the transition. He might not need to reach 260 at all. Just the thought of having a bigger, stronger defense is something very positive to me.
          Sounds like McDaniels and Nolan like their OLBs big.

          That's probably good since the 50/3-4 D is supposed to be very difficult to run outide of.

          Big OLBs will be hard to reach (nearly impossible for an OT to do that with a 5 tech. on top of him), kick out (very hard for a FB or H-Back to kick out a big OLB) and hook (see reach).

          All five guys at that spot (Ayers, Crowder, Dumervil, Reid and Moss) are well over 250 w/several in the 275-280 range.
          "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by samparnell View Post
            Sounds like McDaniels and Nolan like their OLBs big.

            That's probably good since the 50/3-4 D is supposed to be very difficult to run outide of.

            Big OLBs will be hard to reach (nearly impossible for an OT to do that with a 5 tech. on top of him), kick out (very hard for a FB or H-Back to kick out a big OLB) and hook (see reach).

            All five guys at that spot (Ayers, Crowder, Dumervil, Reid and Moss) are well over 250 w/several in the 275-280 range.

            I find it interesting too because in San Francisco, Nolan did not have huge OLBs, he had relatively small ones in Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson. He drafted Jay Moore and originally signed Justin Smith to play LOLB, but Moore was injured annually, and Smith showed he was more effective as a 3-4 RDE. So, it seems that he definitely prefers the size, he just could never get it in San Fran to work out that way. He also signed Tully Banta Cain to play OLB as well, but he busted as a Free Agent. It was just one thing after another it seems. Hopefully, that bad luck doesn't follow him to Denver.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like could be also be another factor on ST with Spencer Larsen, David Bruton, and some of the excess WRs.

              He led the Colts with 45 special-teams tackles in his four seasons in Indianapolis, marking the highest total on the team during that stretch. That included a stellar 2007 campaign, when he tied for second in the NFL with a career-best 21 special-teams stops.
              This really caught my eye, especially as he was mostly playing in the 280-290 range, which is insane if you've ever seen the speed it takes for a first wave of the coverage team to make it down to the return man.
              "I will pray for you. I will pray for you. I will sell my soul for something pure and true... someone like you." - Garbage #1 Crush

              Comment


              • #8
                Switch Hitter( Article on D Reid)

                By Gray Caldwell
                DenverBroncos.com

                ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- "I was born abnormal, you know," Darrell Reid said with a laugh. "I'm special and I know that."

                In Indianapolis, Reid displayed some of that uniqueness when he played on special teams -- as a 290-pound defensive tackle. And not just as a someone to eat up blockers -- he was a playmaker.

                He led the Colts with 45 special-teams tackles in his four seasons in Indianapolis, marking the highest total on the team during that stretch. That included a stellar 2007 campaign, when he tied for second in the NFL with a career-best 21 special-teams stops.

                But his impact didn't begin and end on special teams. Though he says he didn't get as much of an opportunity to produce on defense as he would have liked in Indianapolis, Reid saw time in all 16 games for the Colts during each of the last two seasons, posting 44 defensive tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries to go along with 32 special-teams stops.

                Now he's about to show even more of that uniqueness as he prepares to make a leap rarely seen in the NFL.

                Head Coach Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and the rest of the coaching staff saw his production in Indy and envisioned Reid -- whose playing weight with the Colts fluctuated between 280 and 290 pounds -- as a linebacker.

                "When I first came out here and met with Coach McDaniels and the coaching staff here, Coach Nolan and everyone, they had a vision for me," recalled Reid, who won a Super Bowl ring in 2006. "They felt like the player they saw not only on special teams but also on defense, they felt like I could move to a different position in this system."

                Reid hadn't played the linebacker position since he was a redshirt freshman at Minnesota, when fellow Bronco Ben Hamilton was a two-time first-team All-American senior for the Gophers. The position worked for Reid -- he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News in his first of four years starting for the Gophers.

                Reid with a laugh that he didn't know of any other defensive tackles that have made the change.

                "But when I was at defensive tackle playing special teams, they said there weren't a lot of guys in the league playing special teams that played defensive line or defensive tackle," he said. "I don't really worry about what the norm is."

                Imagine if Ryan Harris changed positions to fullback. It's the same basic idea in both positions -- block for the quarterback and running backs -- but fullback requires a whole different set of skills, not to mention the work it would take to essentially change body types.

                Well, that's essentially what Reid has in front of him, only on the defensive side of the ball.

                Once again, defensive tackles and linebackers do some of the same things, but it's no longer plugging holes and occasionally rushing the passer. It's getting off blocks, falling back into coverage, running to the ball-carrier -- and still occasionally rushing the passer.

                It's an opportunity that Reid can't wait to tackle.

                "That's a vision they had for me, and we're trying to make that vision happen," he said. "I think slowly it's coming together."

                It's not the first time there has been a transition involving linebackers and defensive tackles on the Broncos. Only the last time it happened, it was reversed. Keith Traylor, who Denver selected in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft, came into the league as a linebacker. After brief stints with other teams, he returned to the Broncos -- as a defensive tackle.

                It's a big position switch to make, whether it's gaining weight or losing it. The transition began for Reid as soon as he arrived for offseason conditioning, from altering his weight lifting to conditioning more to dieting.

                He said he has lost a lot of weight already, focusing on watching what he eats. His diet consists of low carbs, lots of protein, green vegetables, fruit, fiber and fluids. He eats plenty of salads, chicken breasts and steaks and very little braed, rice and pasta.

                "It's tough, you know, as it is for anyone to diet," he said. "You're going to have times when you cheat, you're going to have bad days and you're going to have real good days. I just try to stay as consistent as I can and not drive myself crazy over it."

                As far as his goal playing weight, Reid said he has in his head that he wants to get to 260 or 265 pounds. But after talking with McDaniels, strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten and nutritionist Dave Ellis, there's no exact number he has to aim for.

                "I guess it's based on how I look out there," he explained. "If I look kind of sloppy or slow, then Josh is going to be like, 'You need to lose some pounds.' But at the same time I don't, and I know they don't, want me to lose any strength. That's a big part of my game, my power game and the strength that I have. So we've just got to find a happy medium."

                Reid seems to be approaching the medium as training camp is just around the corner. He is already looking like a linebacker -- he lined up at outside linebacker with the first unit for the first two mini-camps and a large chunk of passing camp. And he's bonded with another defensive-line-to-linebacker prospect in Elvis Dumervil.

                "Me and Doom have been talking a lot about some of the things that we might be able to do this year on defense, and we're really excited about that," Reid said. "I can almost guarantee this -- if me and Dumervil are in the game at the same time, he will have more than six sacks this year."

                So while he is reslishing the opportunity to take his skills to the linebacker position, Reid is excited about the prospects for the Broncos defense in 2009.

                And he's most energized about the fact that he could be a key part of it.

                "The switch, that excited me, yes, but the opportunity that Josh presented to me -- the opportunity to possibly start in this defense -- that's what I'm really excited about."


                The Highlighted statement is what excites me. Welcome pass rush, meet Denver's defense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Has he been practicing with the 1st team defense?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am just noy buying this change!

                    We have the perfect LB's so why are we trying to covert really good DL's into something they are not and not giving the chance and opportunity to those who have showed us last year they are good like LB Woodyard and LB Larsen??? I am just as confused ??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Who knows what the defense will bring this year. All i can say is I look forward to seeing it. Heck we can't do any worse so lets see how the players respond. They all seem to be excited and that's good...should fire them up come sundays.
                      :go:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a question ? ....... is Reid the guy who laced Chris Johnson ?? Also i have not read this hole thing yet but if he was a standout on the Colts Special Teams do you guys feel like he could take over at the other outside LB spot ? Being the size that he is and he must have some speed to be a standout on Special Teams. I think he would be great to have him start with Rob at the OLB spot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can't wait to see how our 275lb DLmen Crowder, Reid and Ayers play OLB.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NILAFIED View Post
                            We have the perfect LB's so why are we trying to covert really good DL's into something they are not and not giving the chance and opportunity to those who have showed us last year they are good like LB Woodyard and LB Larsen??? I am just as confused ??
                            It has to do with the switch from a split-front/4-3 D to an odd-front 50/3-4 D.

                            The OLBs need to contain the outside running game and provide pass rush.

                            Larsen's and Woodyard's talents will be needed inside where they will be the tackling machines they are. They may not start right away, but are valued members of the team ready to step in at any moment just as they did in '08.

                            The DEs the Broncos previously used in the split-front/4-3 are actually more suited to the 50/3-4 D. Add in Reid and Ayers and there you go - OLBs.
                            "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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