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Mark Kiszla: Broncos can fix dents in their defense with 3-4 alignment

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  • Mark Kiszla: Broncos can fix dents in their defense with 3-4 alignment

    Here is the link: http://www.denverpost.com/kiszla/ci_...-their-defense

    Per: Mark Kiszla

    Mark Kiszla: Broncos can fix dents in their defense with 3-4 alignment

    The Denver Post

    The Broncos' defense is fundamentally and fatally flawed. The good news: It can be fixed, if coach John Fox is willing to think outside the box.

    To play to the strength of Denver's personnel, the base defense for the Broncos should be a three-man front with four linebackers, allowing Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller room to operate and create chaos from the perimeter.

    What has Denver got to lose?

    In a sorry exhibition of defense, the Broncos surrendered 228 yards on the ground during a 30-10 preseason loss to Seattle. Asked to evaluate the performance, Denver linebacker Joe Mays bluntly said, "It was terrible."

    Thanks for the honesty.

    Now let's tackle the problem and make a change.

    This won't be easy. Fox has a long love affair with a 4-3 defensive alignment. But it doesn't fit Denver's personnel, especially with linebacker D.J. Williams suspended for six games and possibly longer against a nightmarish schedule that includes six playoff teams among the first eight foes.

    While the honeymoon with Peyton Manning is cute, all the swooning over the new quarterback ignores the real issue. At age 36, Manning has the skill to win a Super Bowl. The Broncos, however, won't get anywhere near the championship game unless the front seven of their defense improves.

    My suggestion is based on the most intriguing aspects about Denver playing more 3-4 defense.

    Let's start with the playmakers.

    The reason Dumervil is a $60 million man was his league-leading 17 sacks in 2009. His position at the time? Outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

    While Miller richly deserved to be named the NFL's defensive rookie of the year in 2011, he gets bullied too often on running plays in Denver's current defensive scheme. Scouts projected him as a terror in the 3-4 before being drafted by the Broncos. There's one easy way to find out if Miller can be even more dominant as a second-year pro.

    While Williams sits in the corner for a timeout, Keith Brooking could prove to be a savvy acquisition. The 36-year-old linebacker, however, no longer possesses the quickness to cover space sideline to sideline in a 4-3 alignment. Allow Brooking to play inside next to Mays in a 3-4 defense, and the Broncos might make more tackles before short gains turn into big plays.

    The grunts in the trenches always receive too little attention. Ty Warren, however, made a name for himself in New England, where Bill Belichick is the master of the 3-4 defense. Add promising rookie Derek Wolfe and former University of Colorado standout Justin Bannan, and the Broncos could bring more than 900 pounds of nastiness with a three-man defensive line.

    Of course, every defense in the NFL is subject to alteration depending on down, distance and score. All the bodies scurrying between the bench and the huddle between snaps can make for a crazier, mad dash than the mass of humanity bolting from a DIA train to the escalator on Concourse B.
    The point? Everything's flexible. More emphasis on a 3-4 formation wouldn't preclude Dumervil from unleashing his inner bull by planting a hand in the dirt as a defensive end in passing situations.

    Fox doesn't need my prodding to bring innovative thinking to a football problem. His decision to go more 1950s retro than a bouffant hairdo when Tim Tebow became the starting quarterback last season was gutsy and inspired.

    I asked Mays point blank: How important is it for the Broncos to establish they can stop the run before the season opener against Pittsburgh?

    "It's very important," Mays replied, "not only for the rest of the NFL to see (the improvement), but for us to come out here and know that we can stop the run on any given day."

    The Broncos can do tackling drills until everybody goes home with a headache.

    Or Denver can put its defenders in the best position to succeed.

    What's the more intelligent choice?
    Thought it was an Interesting read, I've also thought of the same thing myself. In a way I agree with it, but unlikely to happen.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Im sure the players would like it if they just left the system alone haha. They changed it every year for a while now, revolving door with d cordinators smh

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GettinBuck90 View Post
      Im sure the players would like it if they just left the system alone haha. They changed it every year for a while now, revolving door with d cordinators smh
      I would hate for another system change I agree, but our playmakers are just far more suitable for a 3-4. I just want Foxy to change his mind!

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      • #4
        I was watching the game, and we run a lot closer to a 3-4 than you'd probably think.

        To start, the first team ran a lot of 4-3 under, sliding the d-line to the right and lining up Miller in the 7 or 9 gap, and 2 linebackers behind the line. The only difference between the formation we ran and a 3-4 is that Dumervil's hand is in the ground, which he did most of that 17 sacks.
        Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o '16

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        • #5
          I remember for the longest time I wanted the 3-4 defense, I also remember being very happy when we decided that run that defense. That year was such a bad year, you can say that we didn't have the people for it. You can say that the team wasn't used to it. What ever the case I rather not see it this year.

          Yes our run stop was poor but think about this ... it is preseason! Not all but a lot of players that know they are going to start when game day comes around they are not going to put their body at risk. Plus we was winning at haft time and we had 3 turnovers! If it was a real game, we would have killed their time. Most of the yards that got on the game was against players that are rarely going to be on the field or might be cut. There is no reason to make such a big change.

          All and all, I rather just stay with the 4-3 this year and do whatever next year.
          I will always be a Bronco fan--->

          But my Heart is with the UK Wildcats-->

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          • #6
            Kisla is a genius, I mean we are just loaded with linemen who can play a 3-4 nose :eyeroll:

            The Broncos' woes against the run have nothing to do with scheme.

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            • #7
              Grass is always greener...



              The second we had a bad game in the 3-4 you would hear about how we should be in the 4-3...




              Here is an idea... Lets let our players learn the system and actually spend some time playing it as opposed to changing it.. annually... sigh

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              • #8
                sigpic
                - ★ -
                2012 Adopt a Bronco : Joe Mays

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                • #9
                  I agree, leave it be. I am still impressed by our first team and their run D, much improved.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    The Denver media is full of spastics and this article is a great piece of evidence to support Klis joining, or staying in that group. Denver does not have the players up front to be a consistantly good 3-4 defense. Who would play nose tackle? Seriously we have no one at all who could play nose tackle. Let alone have a group of them to consistanly rotate. And that is all that needs to be said to be against it.

                    Mike Klis offered nothing more then Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller as reasons to why the Broncos should switch to a 3-4. Elvis Dumervil has been near impossble to block in this pre season so far and after the initial injury troubles in 2011 he was great. And does Mike Klis think that by majically switching to a 3-4 and having Miller standing up on the strongside he wont have to play the run. Of course he will. As he will have to now as the SAM.

                    Some players would be better suited like Joe Mays but for the most part this defense has been great with the first string. And it is early on in a new scheme so there is room for great growth in the near future. And it doesn't matter what this idiot thinks because it wont happen regardless. Thats not to say that we wont see it at times but it wont be the base defense.
                    Last edited by johnlimburg; 08-21-2012, 02:49 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I been thinking this and I don't care what you guys say, it should have been what we did prior to the training camp starting.. We should have been going all out and trying to get a NT(in the Draft or FA) that can back up Warren or Anchor the D as insurrance if he gets hurt, instead we brought back Bannan... The Personnel we have are better suited for the 3-4 expecially a undersized DE in Doom and Von... I would love to see Danny and Mays in the middle and Doom and Von on the outside. The way Warren is playing he would have been a terror like he was in NE. We also could have had a nice rotation at DE with Urein, Wofle, Vick, Jackson and and someone else we got in Free Agency.

                      If I'm Von Miller when my contract is up Im trying my best to get to a team that will put him in a 3-4. He will be pretty much unstopable.

                      I know I will get flamed and I don't really care. IMO we should have never switched out of the 3-4, exp after we got Von Miller.. We should have just drafted and got guys in FA that were a better fit for it...

                      While im at it if we only could have gotten Harbaugh instead of average Fox...blah...

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                      • #12
                        Ty Warren was never a nose tackle in New England. And building an entire scheme around a guy who has missed two straight seasons and is on the wrong side of the 30 would not be a very smart idea. Not that you care. You like to sound silly and don't want to listen to the logic of others.

                        But the fact is this roster as a whole is not suited to playing a 3-4. And making a change in the off season would not have been very smart anyway. Which nose tackle out there would have been able to play nose tackle and be that guy for us who is the center piece of the defense. Paul Soliai is all I can think of and we spoke with him. He chose to stay where he was though. And he is hardly a center piece of a defense. He is solid.

                        Quality nose tackles, who are required for great 3-4 defenses do not grow on trees. They are not players that come around very often and the best ones now are getting old in this league. And they are so hard to find they get drafted year after year. Last year it was Phil Taylor and this year it was Dontari Poe.

                        John Fox is a very good coach. It doesn't matter if you don't like him because it doesn't mean he is bad. Since he has been a Bronco he has been great. The players love him, he has been a key in the culture change, he has instilled confidence in his players, put his players in the best spots to succeed and let his coaches coach. He is the right fit for this team and it was great hire by John Elway.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SammyWinder View Post
                          I been thinking this and I don't care what you guys say, it should have been what we did prior to the training camp starting.. We should have been going all out and trying to get a NT(in the Draft or FA) that can back up Warren or Anchor the D as insurrance if he gets hurt, instead we brought back Bannan... The Personnel we have are better suited for the 3-4 expecially a undersized DE in Doom and Von... I would love to see Danny and Mays in the middle and Doom and Von on the outside. The way Warren is playing he would have been a terror like he was in NE. We also could have had a nice rotation at DE with Urein, Wofle, Vick, Jackson and and someone else we got in Free Agency.

                          If I'm Von Miller when my contract is up Im trying my best to get to a team that will put him in a 3-4. He will be pretty much unstopable.

                          I know I will get flamed and I don't really care. IMO we should have never switched out of the 3-4, exp after we got Von Miller.. We should have just drafted and got guys in FA that were a better fit for it...

                          While im at it if we only could have gotten Harbaugh instead of average Fox...blah...
                          as has already been stated we are basically running a 3-4 already with doom putting his hand in the dirt, and klizsla isn't very educated in the world of football if he is watching the preseason games and thinks this is all we are bringing to the table. The only thing you can take out of these games right now is we got guys that can get after the passer and our man coverage is suffocating. Were not game planning for opponents, they don't have a set play call or anything, I mean miller is barely rushing the passer, do you think he wont be rushing the passer in the season? Heck no!!
                          A healthy Kenneth Dixon is a top 5 NFL RB.

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                          • #14
                            When Kevin Vickerson comes back, our run defense will improve. Also if Irving was starting at MLB, he wouldn't over run as many plays as Mays will. Woodyard is going to have to focus and stay disciplined and not over run plays either. Quinton Carter playing SS would help as well, honestly I'd rather have Moore and Carter back there instead of Adams and Carter/Moore.

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                            • #15
                              I say stick with the 4-3 base and just mix it up just like everyone else pending on down and distance! We are one off season and draft from becoming a top ten D year in and year out! Right now I see us between 15 and 20ish but improved from last year! We just need a few more guys on D then we will be set for a long time barring major injuries of course. Stick with what we got JDR and Fox know how to build great front seven's in a 4-3 let's give them just a little more time I think we will all be very happy with what they will accomplish in a short period of time!

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