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T.J. Ward creates danger from safety in Broncos' 3-4 defense

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  • T.J. Ward creates danger from safety in Broncos' 3-4 defense

    By Troy E. Renck
    The Denver Post

    Safety seems incongruous. When T.J. Ward blitzes, he should come with a warning label. He morphs into a hybrid: part linebacker, part defensive back, full on rage.

    Facing a potential upset, clock ticking toward its death, Ward bolted from the left side Sunday, sacking Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater, stripping the ball and protecting the Broncos' undefeated record.

    Ward celebrated with his right hand in the air followed by a mudwalk celebration toward the sideline. For the second consecutive week, the coaches voted Ward the Broncos' defensive player of the game. He leads NFL defensive backs with two sacks. He has made three tackles for losses...


    Source: The Denver Post
    The most danming two sentences:

    When the Broncos signed Ward to a four-year, $22.5-million contract, this is the player they sought. A thumper, a playmaker.

    "I wasn't allowed to be that guy last year," Ward said Monday.
    Holy smokes. For all the good JDR did with our defense (don't kid yourself, he did do a lot of good) this is one of those head scratching decisions that I never understood last year with Ward (not forgetting Harris not covering Hilton vs the Colts).

    Yes, players should be talented enough (there are NFL players for a reason) to work in different systems and with different strategies, but coaches should also recognize what a player does well and coax more of it out of them.

    This is the biggest difference we've seen between this year's defense and last year's defense. Both are comprised with much the same personnel yet the contrast could not be more clear. Philips: agressive, pursuit, attack, and put players where they can identify and make plays; JDR: game plan, no adjustment, players only do what fits the plan.

    Look no further than the re-emergence of Ward as proof that this defense has become unleashed.

  • #2
    2014 season: 2 sacks, 0 FF
    3 games of 2015 season: 2 sacks, 1 FF

    It feels as if Ward has blitzed more frequently and played closer to the LOS more often in the 3 games thus far than he did in the entire 2014 season. Props to Wade Phillips for playing to the strengths of his personnel.

    Comment


    • #3
      T.J. WARD, BRONCOS S

      On how much he’s enjoying the aggressive play calling of Wade Phillips:
      “I love it. It allows me to make a lot of plays at a lot of different positions and it allows everybody else to make plays. I think there was about six guys that made huge plays today and that’s kudos to coach Wade’s defense.”

      On how many times he was called on a blitz today:
      “I was called on it about three times and I think I blitzed on my own once.”
      Philips was the best thing to happen to this defense in the off season.

      Comment


      • #4
        The difference is "bend, but don't break" 4-3 hybrid vs attacking 3-4 hybrid. Wade lays it all out there. He puts the pressure on the opposing offense to make a play, not our defense. JDR was the complete opposite. Our defense under JDR was good because we had great players. But his play calling had many faults. Phillips has our great talent playing at a great level, because of great calls. He knows situational football and he's a master at identifying offensive tendencies. Which is why we always seem to have the right blitz dialed up at the right time. Or like this past week when he switched to a zone scheme due to the speed of the Vikes WR's. That's a great DC.

        So take a player like Ward who's better at aggressive LOS play, versus falling back in coverage. Wade and staff are exploiting that feature and rolling various personnel packages to accommodate having the best 11 on the field. Brilliant, is an understatement!
        #swapping

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rastic View Post
          Philips was the best thing to happen to this defense in the off season.
          Phillips is one of the best things to happen to this team since bringing in Elway

          Comment


          • #6
            Denver has eighteen sacks from eleven different defenders: 4 1/2 from the DL; 2 from the Inside Backers; 8 1/2 from the Outside Backers; and, 3 from the DBs.

            Denver has 17 TFL and 8 FF. LOOK OUT.

            Scouting report to Denver's future opponents: BLOCK EVERYBODY. Yes, in order to block eleven, your QB has to block, too. Game Plan is called: HOT POTATO.
            "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by samparnell View Post
              Denver has eighteen sacks from eleven different defenders: 4 1/2 from the DL; 2 from the Inside Backers; 8 1/2 from the Outside Backers; and, 3 from the DBs.

              Denver has 17 TFL and 8 FF. LOOK OUT.

              Scouting report to Denver's future opponents: BLOCK EVERYBODY. Yes, in order to block eleven, your QB has to block, too. Game Plan is called: HOT POTATO.
              no no no based on what the refs are calling the game plan is simple Hold onto and drag our defenders as they run past you to stop them...heck no one has been called thus far so why not just keep doing it.

              Game Plan is Called: Texas Hold'em <-- see what I did there combined Miller and Ware into one game plan name.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by samparnell View Post
                Denver has eighteen sacks from eleven different defenders: 4 1/2 from the DL; 2 from the Inside Backers; 8 1/2 from the Outside Backers; and, 3 from the DBs.

                Denver has 17 TFL and 8 FF. LOOK OUT.

                Scouting report to Denver's future opponents: BLOCK EVERYBODY. Yes, in order to block eleven, your QB has to block, too. Game Plan is called: HOT POTATO.
                No se puede escapar la Papa Caliente!!!

                Go D
                [sigpic

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                • #9
                  I know Wade is under contract for this year and next, but is there any way we can sign him to like a 5 year deal? I dont want to get rid of this defense because Elway wont bring him back after next year lol

                  Also what is up with this stigma that Wade only had good first year defenses then they sort of fall off? What that all about?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flosstein View Post
                    The difference is "bend, but don't break" 4-3 hybrid vs attacking 3-4 hybrid. Wade lays it all out there. He puts the pressure on the opposing offense to make a play, not our defense. JDR was the complete opposite. Our defense under JDR was good because we had great players. But his play calling had many faults. Phillips has our great talent playing at a great level, because of great calls. He knows situational football and he's a master at identifying offensive tendencies. Which is why we always seem to have the right blitz dialed up at the right time. Or like this past week when he switched to a zone scheme due to the speed of the Vikes WR's. That's a great DC.
                    Ya, Wade's aggressiveness reminds me of Greg Robinson's attacking/blitzing D that got us our 1st SB win. Most telling was the final defensive play of that SB. Atwater knocks himself (and another of our DB's that I don't recall) out of the game with that brutal hit. 4th and 10 with Atwater out and 2 backup DB's in the game, what did Robinson do? Dialed up another blitz of course - which lead to John Mobley knocking down that final Favre pass.

                    It's so exciting to have an attacking D back in Denver
                    "There is no plan B. Plan A is to win the Super Bowl" - John Elway
                    PLAN A ACCOMPLISHED 2/7/16!!!
                    LSU 15-0 2019 BCS Champions...Geaux Tigers :dance:

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                    • #11
                      I for one miss the 3rd and very longs where we rushed 2 and sat in a deep zone...that always worked















































                      sigpic
                      when do native Americans become human and not mascots

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Taos_Broncomaniac View Post
                        No se puede escapar la Papa Caliente!!!

                        Go D
                        !Vamos a comer papas!
                        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I looove the way wade is using ward hes definitely in a polamalu type role

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Taos_Broncomaniac View Post
                            No se puede escapar la Papa Caliente!!!

                            Go D
                            Wow, just wow.

                            I'm seeing the endorsements just flowing in from salsa companies. That'd be a great tag line to a commercial.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Denver Mike View Post
                              Phillips is one of the best things to happen to this team since bringing in Elway
                              Agreed

                              I was not a big fan of the move when I first herd it but two things swayed me before I saw any results

                              1. I really wanted to go to a 3-4 and felt we had the players to do it. Wade is a great 3-4 DC
                              2. Wade's video talking about how he coaches a defense that was posted on these forums. So many coaches try to fit players into their schemes...it is nice to see a coach who adjusts to his players.

                              As to Ward...I was pretty sure Wade would help him have a better year. Wade definately knows how to use that kind of safety talent.
                              Time to build on the win and grow the team from some solid play higher level of play

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