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  1. #1
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    FOX wants a fast/small/disruptive 4-3 Defense

    Search for quick fix on Broncos' defense starts

    INDIANAPOLIS It didn't take a rocket scientist or even a Hall of Famer to decide what would be at the top of the Broncos' to-do list this offseason.

    "It's no secret, we've got to fix the defense," said Hall of Famer John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations.

    It's just that the Broncos, coming off a 4-12 season, didn't know what type of defense they would play this year until they hired John Fox as coach and Dennis Allen as defensive coordinator.

    Elway, Fox, general manager Brian Xanders and every Denver scout and assistant coach are at Lucas Oil Stadium for the NFL scouting combine, which begins today. The Broncos have spent the past month or so reconstructing their targets as they make the switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3.

    "John Fox has run an extremely fast 4-3 defense where there is a lot of disruption, a lot of speed," Xanders said. "We're moving to that from a very traditional 3-4. That means there is a whole different set of parameters of the players we're looking for in the defense's front seven. What the linemen and the linebackers were doing before are not what they're going to do now."

    So the Broncos regraded the defensive line and linebacker prospects they scouted throughout the fall, fitting them into the new defensive scheme. They did the same thing on the pro personnel side, restacking prospective free agents.

    The Broncos also looked at video from Fox's defenses with the Carolina Panthers and from defenses Allen helped coach with the New Orleans Saints.

    Consider the search on for fast, quick defensive players who can force turnovers and get off blockers.

    "We want to be that fast, disruptive group," Xanders said.

    Denver's defensive front will be smaller and quicker overall, especially at end and linebacker. Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, at 245 and 274 pounds respectively, would play the right and left end positions.

    The Broncos also want smaller, quicker linebackers. When Ayers, Mario Haggan, D.J. Williams and Wesley Woodyard started the 2010 season finale at linebacker, Denver had three linebackers who weighed at least 240 pounds and two were more than 260.

    In the 2010 season finale for Fox's Panthers, they didn't start a linebacker weighing more than 237 pounds.

    The Broncos know what they're looking for in their defensive reconstruction.

    "We feel good about where we are," Xanders said. "We re-calibrated the depth chart, both across the positions and vertically on the depth chart. We know the specific roles of the players we're looking for and what we want them to do."

    Jeff Legwold: 303-954-2359 or jlegwold@denverpost.com

    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_17467501


    Any thoughts on how this changes our draft philosophy, or what it means when free agency finally arrives?

    OBVIOUSLY... the front-7 is a major focus (especially the DL).

    Kris Jenkins was 6"5'/316 when he was coming out of Maryland.
    Marcell Dareus is 6"4' / 305.

    Jenkins thrived under FOX (but he was drafted in the 2nd round the year before FOX arrived). I bring this up only b/c we have heard a lot of Peppers chatter, how he was FOX's 1st big draft selection.

    What does it mean?

    Well, maybe CAR just went w/ BPA at the time. Roy Williams was a big prospect, SS coming from OK... yet Fox still went with the DE.

    Maybe there was no highly-touted DT, worthy of the #2 pick. Or maybe they felt with Jenkins they felt DE was the bigger need?

    If I was going to read the tea leaves... I would think taking Peppers over Roy tells me we are probably going with the best DL option available over Patrick Peterson. Of course, PP's return ability and the fact the game has changed slightly... Of course this tilts things... But, still... I would put my money on DL.

    This brings me to 4 prospects (if we stay put):

    Nick Fairley
    Marcell Dareus
    Da'quan Bowers
    Robert Quinn

    Hey... nothing earth-shattering here, I know.

    Do we go DE or DT? I would thik since we have Elvis, yet no viable difference-maker at DT... We're taking either Fairley or Dareus.

    Anyone care to elaborate on the Jenkins-Dareus comparison.

  2. #2
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    Well paea would be a perfect fit for us then. As for the jenkins comparison is nothing but a measurable one. I can compare Danny woodhead to Doug flutie because they're both short

  3. #3
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    i think he just means at WLB we will probaly start wesley woodyard and at DE have dumervil and maybe even ayers at DT.

  4. #4
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    Of course things can change, but after reading that article, I think Von Miller is going to be on the shortlist for us at OLB at #2. If for some reason the staff doesnt like Bowers or Fairley, and the guy that they do like is taken by the Panthers, I think Miller could be an option for us.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoStampede View Post
    Of course things can change, but after reading that article, I think Von Miller is going to be on the shortlist for us at OLB at #2. If for some reason the staff doesnt like Bowers or Fairley, and the guy that they do like is taken by the Panthers, I think Miller could be an option for us.

    Interesting take. I was thinking about Miller (or even Ayers) as 2 possible targets if we trade back. Miller and Elvis would be a lethal QB-seeking combo.

    This is a deep class for DL... Still, I want a 'no-doubt-about-it' elite guy, who can steep in DAY #1. I think Fairley and Dareus are that. I know some people are down on MD, while others like him. I just think Dareus, Green & Peterson are the closest to sure things as they come in this draft. I probably throw Amukamarna in there as well.

    Miller is very good... Fast and disruptive. It appears he's good in coverage. Best pass-rushing LB in the draft. So he's definitely an option

    I heard on the radio here in DAL... talking about this draft... being a draft where teams will draft for need. If there's no free agency before the draft, then teams will have to draft based on need... more so than in a normal year.

    So, instead of banking on James Anderson or something, FOX may just take a LB in the first b/c he identifies that as a big need. Sure. Makes sense.

  6. #6
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    Maybe they'll want dontay moch, I can definately see paea and fairley as opposed to fairley and huge guy like taylor or powe or ellis

  7. #7
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    I wonder if the fans will like to see a small 4-3 defense again. I remember people going crazy with Shanahan's 4-3. Smaller players getting their butts kicked by the more physical teams.
    http://forums.denverbroncos.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=349348&dateline=13355  71607

  8. #8
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    That's the first thing I thought of... I almost cringed when I read it. I'm hoping he means the back-7 more than the front 4. I'm hoping it means gigantic DTs and strong DEs and LBs, even if slightly smaller and quicker.

    I guess it depends. Pick the right player then it wont matter. Al Wilson was small but he was GOOD.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roddoliver View Post
    I wonder if the fans will like to see a small 4-3 defense again. I remember people going crazy with Shanahan's 4-3. Smaller players getting their butts kicked by the more physical teams.
    Yeah I remember this well...we were great from sideline to sideline because of our speed. But right up the gut...we were very vulnerable. Especially late in games when our little guys started to fatigue.

    Thx,
    Joe
    To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.


    **Team Signature Compliments of Stand Ablaze**

  10. #10
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    I don't think Fox will build such a small defense like Shanahan had. There were big players for the Panthers, 320+ DTs, 280+ DEs... And the same thing can be said about the Saints, where Allen came from. Fox said today at the Combine that he sees J. Williams and Bannan as the DTs.
    http://forums.denverbroncos.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=349348&dateline=13355  71607

  11. #11
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    I think PP's ability to return kicks means nothing. We didn't learn our lesson from letting DT return kicks?

    You can get KR/PR in the 5th and 6th round.

    Hooray, beer!

  12. #12
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    FROM ROTOWORLD:

    Broncos coach John Fox confirmed Thursday that he envisions Robert Ayers as a defensive end in the team's new 4-3 defense.

    Ayers, a linebacker in the Broncos' old 3-4, is built to play strong-side end in the new 4-3 scheme at 6-foot-3 and between 270 and 280 pounds. With Elvis Dumervil locked in at weak-side defensive end, look for the Broncos to target positions other than DE with the No. 2 overall pick. Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus, both tackles in a 4-3, are very strong possibilities.

    And... http://twitter.com/JosinaAnderson/st...4822647193600#

    "Fox says he sees Robert Ayers as a 4-3 defensive end #Broncos"

    Pretty much figured that out already though. Elvis, Ayers, Hunter/Vickerson, Bannan, Thomas, J-Will plus 2 draft picks... probably make up our 2011 DL unit.

  13. #13
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    I think j will is gone I don't care what he says, when we draft 2 high DT jwill won't b worth his price tag

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roddoliver View Post
    I wonder if the fans will like to see a small 4-3 defense again. I remember people going crazy with Shanahan's 4-3. Smaller players getting their butts kicked by the more physical teams.
    What choice will we have. I see no real reason to disguise our potential picks!
    Last edited by marcus_miller; 02-24-2011 at 10:09 AM.
    I hate the Defenseless Receiver rule and the fines. Posted since '07. 2011 rule addition backhand a fool!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus_miller View Post
    What choice will we have.
    Avoid the message boards during difficult games and goal line situations.
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