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Broncos' defense doing fine while Brown, Warren are on the mend

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  • Broncos' defense doing fine while Brown, Warren are on the mend

    Just passing along another Bronco article for my fellow Broncomaniacs:

    DENVER -- The Denver Broncos are getting more pressure from their front four just as they had hoped. Only, it's coming with starters Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown on the sideline.

    Warren (toe) and Brown (knee) are out until the regular season, and the silver lining is the play of newcomer Kenard Lang and up-and-comer Demetrin Veal.

    Against Tennessee last week, Veal, subbing for Warren at right tackle, registered two sacks, and Lang had a couple of key pressures from Brown's spot at left end.

    After ranking 28th in the league with just 28 sacks last season, the Broncos set out to generate more pass rush from their front four so that the linebackers and secondary wouldn't have to blitz so much.

    The key to that plan is a rotation of big bodies, and that's where Lang and Veal come in. Both have been getting plenty of snaps alongside starters Michael Myers and Ebenezer Ekuban, experience that should come in handy when Warren and Brown return to the lineup.

    Coach Mike Shanahan said he believes both Warren and Brown will be ready for the Sept. 10 opener at St. Louis, but "we're getting some good experience for some younger players in the defensive line that normally wouldn't have gotten as much experience as they have because those two guys have been out throughout preseason."

    The Broncos are hoping this will be a replay of last season, when All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey missed training camp with a hamstring injury but returned to post a career-high eight interceptions, while newcomers Domonique Foxworth and Darrent Williams parlayed their preseason playing time into terrific rookie seasons.

    If Warren and Brown return to health, their injuries might just prove another blessing to the Broncos because of all the work their backups are getting.

    "I think there's something to that," safety John Lynch said Thursday. "Because they're both pros that are going to be ready. I think we saw that last year with Champ. Champ missed the preseason. You know Champ's going to be ready, but it gave Darrent Williams and Domonique Foxworth an opportunity to work with the ones. Sometimes that can improve your depth.

    "I don't think it's ever a situation that you'd want," Lynch said. "But you look for the positives."

    Veal is a fourth-year pro who was a solid sub in his first full season with the Broncos last season. This summer, he's proving he's worthy of still more playing time.

    "Yeah, just letting them know I can handle the pressure and do the job that they want me to do and make the plays that I'm supposed to make and make a few plays that are not even there," Veal said. "So, I think it's big for me to go out there and show that to the coaches."

    Lang was signed as a free agent this offseason after Cleveland cut him in a salary cap purge. He became the fifth member of the "Browncos," joining Brown, Warren, Ekuban and Myers as former Browns in Denver.

    He's moved back to his natural position after switching from defensive end to linebacker last season.

    Now, he's glad Cleveland's in his rearview mirror and he's eager to put Denver's D-line on the map.

    "Every team that I've been on, the defensive line has been the dominant group," said Lang, a 10th-year pro out of the University of Miami. "When you take pride in your group, you want your group to be the best. That's what our D-line is trying to do. Everybody talks about how good the linebackers are and the secondary, but you all rarely talk about the D-line here, right?"

    He's out to change that.
    "You can't take the sky from me..."
    ------
    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

  • #2
    No surprise to me....

    To quote the UPS commercial, "what can Brown do for you?"

    Nothing, since he spends most of his time injured, and the rest of his time playing at 75% healthy (ie. always on the mend).

    And "Big Money?" Well, he's "Big" alright, as in a BIG BUST (and I don't just mean his man boobs). It's beyond me where the front office thought this guy was worth what he was paid last year, let alone giving him more money this year.

    If the D-line got no pressure from the front four last season, and these two Browncos were a part of that line, then why should we be surprised that new players are doing what they couldn't?

    It's not just the scheme. It's the players. :brick:

    These two should be shown the door... IMO
    sigpic

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    • #3
      I've been very happy with Veal in the preseason so far. Good work!
      sigpic

      Thank you for everything Darrent. I'll never forget #27.

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      • #4
        Thanks Javalon. Good information. Hopefully we can expect some good things from our line this year, but I know I'm not gonna get my hopes up. Quentin Moses needs to be a Denver Bronco.

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        • #5
          What has Lang really done so far? Get a few backside pressures? Stay at home on a few counter plays?

          He's shown energy...something he's always done.

          Veal, however, has looked very impressive. Sacks and playmaking on the line. He's proven to be a very nice PS pickup.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by broncos_mtnman
            No surprise to me....

            To quote the UPS commercial, "what can Brown do for you?"

            Nothing, since he spends most of his time injured, and the rest of his time playing at 75% healthy (ie. always on the mend).

            And "Big Money?" Well, he's "Big" alright, as in a BIG BUST (and I don't just mean his man boobs). It's beyond me where the front office thought this guy was worth what he was paid last year, let alone giving him more money this year.

            If the D-line got no pressure from the front four last season, and these two Browncos were a part of that line, then why should we be surprised that new players are doing what they couldn't?

            It's not just the scheme. It's the players. :brick:

            These two should be shown the door... IMO
            I don't know, Mtnman. I think Warren did what was asked of him last season and did it well. It just happened to be more of the dirty work and not the glamour jobs.

            Brown did take a paycut to stick around, which I appreciate. He has flashed great play when close to healthy, but you're right that his constant injury struggles have been frustrating. But I'll continue to hold out hope that one day he'll get and stay healthy for an extended stretch. We'll see.
            "You can't take the sky from me..."
            ------
            "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Javalon
              I don't know, Mtnman. I think Warren did what was asked of him last season and did it well. It just happened to be more of the dirty work and not the glamour jobs.

              Brown did take a paycut to stick around, which I appreciate. He has flashed great play when close to healthy, but you're right that his constant injury struggles have been frustrating. But I'll continue to hold out hope that one day he'll get and stay healthy for an extended stretch. We'll see.
              OK, maybe I came down a little hard on Warren, but I'm still skeptical (big surprise, huh?)

              However, Brown is just taking up a needed roster spot (IMO).
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by broncos_mtnman
                OK, maybe I came down a little hard on Warren, but I'm still skeptical (big surprise, huh?)

                However, Brown is just taking up a needed roster spot (IMO).
                Brown's presence as a power-end and run defender is irreplaceable (given this current roster). Who's spot is he taking BTW? John Engelberger's?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WABronco
                  What has Lang really done so far? Get a few backside pressures? Stay at home on a few counter plays?

                  He's shown energy...something he's always done.

                  Veal, however, has looked very impressive. Sacks and playmaking on the line. He's proven to be a very nice PS pickup.
                  Lang has been all over the place. If you notice he was around the ball a lot. Even if he doesn't make a lot of the tackles, just being there helps others to make tackles because he eats up some of the few blockers out in the open field. He gets to the outside faster than anyone we have on the d-line and shows excellent range. This guy is a stud and I agree with MtnMan that Brown shouldn't be the starter and I think Lang unquestionable should be.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhns
                    Lang has been all over the place.
                    That is what he has always done...throughout his entire NFL career. He's a high-energy player.

                    He will undoubtedly see plenty of PT because of the rotational scheme. That's how he should be used.

                    He is not nearly the run defender that either Ebenezer Ekuban or Courtney Brown are, however. He makes backside pursuit tackles...great. Ekuban and Brown both bring more size, power, and block-eating/defeating capabilities.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WABronco
                      Brown's presence as a power-end and run defender is irreplaceable (given this current roster). Who's spot is he taking BTW? John Engelberger's?
                      Lang is backing up Brown on the current Depth Chart LE.

                      Engelberger is backing up Ekuban on the current Depth chart at RE.

                      I assume Mtnman is referring to Lang doing well in the preseason by providing significant pressure (or more than we had) and Brown (who did not do that and acted more as a run stopper) is taking up that pass rushing spot. I'm assuming he believes Lang should be fulltime LE and Ekuban at RE.
                      sigpic

                      :cool: 150 lbs of pure steel and sex appeal. :cool:

                      D.J. 55's Mock Draft:

                      :logo:
                      Denver Broncos General Manager

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WABronco
                        That is what he has always done...throughout his entire NFL career. He's a high-energy player.

                        He will undoubtedly see plenty of PT because of the rotational scheme. That's how he should be used.

                        He is not nearly the run defender that either Ebenezer Ekuban or Courtney Brown are, however. He makes backside pursuit tackles...great. Ekuban and Brown both bring more size, power, and block-eating/defeating capabilities.
                        Lang would really help them start playing the type of defense they have been talking about for the past few years. Brown is better at the run support by a little. That being said, it is the only thing he is good at. Lang is good at run support and good at everything else an end should do. He has speed, range, and can pressure a QB. Brown also did not eat up a lot of blockers last season. Most of the time 1 blocker was able to keep Brown from the QB. The only time more blockers where put on Brown is if the play(mostly runs) went to his side.

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                        • #13
                          I think the benefits of Warren and Brown are primarily felt in the run defense. Warren almost always occupies two blockers and usually does a good job of clogging the middle. Not glamorous at all, but I think he’s doing what he’s supposed to. We all had high hopes for Brown helping us with the pass rush, but it didn’t pan out last year. Actually, I think we had some misguided wishes with that. I read somewhere that Brown and Pryce were two of the best run stuffing DE’s in the game. Well, that makes sense looking at what the run defense did compared to what the pass defense didn’t do. I’ll try to stay positive about him, but Brown’s injury bugs aren’t helping.

                          Veal has been impressive, no doubt. He seems to be one that gets better with the more big plays he makes. Dumervil too. After watching the Titans game again (and again and again) I was really impressed with him. Quick, agile, tenacious, and surprisingly powerful. He speed rushes one play beating the tackle to the outside, and then bull rushes the guy the next time driving him back so fast and hard that the tackle had no choice but to fall to his knees. Good stuff. Lang too, has been rushing the passer quite well.

                          I’m kind of wondering/worrying that when we do get a good pass rush if our run defense might suffer a little.

                          ???
                          Winter is Coming!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lorcust
                            Lang is backing up Brown on the current Depth Chart LE.

                            Engelberger is backing up Ekuban on the current Depth chart at RE.

                            I assume Mtnman is referring to Lang doing well in the preseason by providing significant pressure (or more than we had) and Brown (who did not do that and acted more as a run stopper) is taking up that pass rushing spot. I'm assuming he believes Lang should be fulltime LE and Ekuban at RE.
                            Yeah, what he said!!

                            I also think Veal should be starting (based on what we've seen in preseason).

                            :thumb:
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lorcust
                              I assume Mtnman is referring to Lang doing well in the preseason by providing significant pressure (or more than we had) and Brown (who did not do that and acted more as a run stopper) is taking up that pass rushing spot. I'm assuming he believes Lang should be fulltime LE and Ekuban at RE.
                              Well, obviously Lorcust :clap: (Yeaaa) . He seemed to imply that Brown should be cut however, which I do not agree with.

                              If Lang is going to be a fulltime starter (which is somewhat of a loose-term to be using here in Denver), I'd imagine it would be on the right side of the DL. I doubt that the coaching staff would sacrifice the run-defense of Ekuban and Brown, as well as the pass rushing of Lang, by playing them out of position.

                              Now, I'm sure that Charlie Brown will be reading this thread (since our DL is comprised of 5 former Cleveland Browns). I'm wondering...I don't think Lang played much LE when he was a DE in Cleveland either. Orpheus Roye and Mark Word were the LE's...bigger, more powerful players.

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