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Published on 01/23/2009 at Fri Jan 23 11:18.
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So, new Denver Broncos Head Coach, Josh McDaniels, has put together much of his core assistant coach staff. He’s hired from within, hired from our rivals and even hired a former head coach. Let’s take a look at the coaching team McDaniels has assembled…

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Nolan
A former Bronco LB coach that Dan Reeve’s brought in (1987-92). After that he worked as a defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. Most recently he failed to impress as the HC of the 49ers (having his best season at 7-9 and finishing 3rd in his Division). He’s a 3-4 guy, so chances are that’s where we’re heading this year.

QUESTIONS: Will the failed Head Coach work well with the up-and-coming 32 year old McDaniels? If he was really THAT good, why couldn’t he put it together as HC in San Fran? Can we acquire all the pieces we would need in order for Nolan to take us into a 3-4 defensive for the 2009 season, or will he have to wait and slowly convert?

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR (Quarterbacks): Mike McCoy
McCoy also has Broncos experience – he was drafted out of University of Utah by Denver in 1995. After his playing days, he spent the last nine coaching with the Caroline Panthers. His claim to fame has been his work with Jake Delhomme.

QUESTIONS: How much of the offense is Mike going to run… I mean our 32 year old head coach is the offensive guru and awesome QB coach isn’t he? So, what does that leave McCoy? It will be interesting to see who’s calling plays on gameday.

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR: Mike Priefer
KC’s old ST coordinator is now our ST coordinator. Yes, yes he worked with Dante Hall, but I could care less about returners. I want somebody that can COVER kickoffs and punts. If Priefer can do that I’ll be happy as a clam.

QUESTIONS: Sure, Eddie Royal is drooling over the idea of getting to work with the guy that helped Hall become feared throughout the league, but can he fix Denver’s broken kick/pun COVERAGE units?

SECONDARY COACH: Ed Donatell
He began his NFL coaching career with the New York Jets in 1990 he joined Mike Shanahan in Denver as our Backs coach in 1995 and helped the team win back-to-back Super Bowls. For those of you that barely remember this fact, our secondary was ranked DEAD LAST in the NFL in 1994. And thanks in large part to Donatell, he kept us in the top 10 all five years he was in Denver. In the last 13 years he has coached 12 players who have earned Pro Bowl recognition.

QUESTIONS: What do you get when you match a very good position coach with an uber talent like Champ Bailey? Hopefully, very good things! :)

LINEBACKERS COACH: Don Martindale
Don has 23 years of coaching experience on the defensive side of the ball. His last five years have been with Oakland where his linebackers have excelled. His unit finishing first in the league in interceptions in 2007 and in 2006 he helped the Raiders finish first in the NFL in pass defense and third in the league in total defense. Despite these accolades, he still looks a bit like an angry Philip Seymour Hoffman to me… ok, that’s off topic. :)

QUESTIONS: We seem to have some good position guys, but they’re all new and I wonder if it will take a year for all the new coaches to gel with each other?

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH: Wayne Nunnely
I think we can agree that San Diego’s D-line was strong. Now we’ve stolen their position coach. Which might result in two positives: We get better & SD gets worse.

QUESTIONS: Although Nunnely coached a 4-3 system, it was over 7 years ago. The last six seasons he’s been running a 3-4 system. Again, the question is whether or now we can get the personnel necessary to make that work this year.

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH: Rick Dennison
Hurrah! Dennison stayed in town! I’ll saying it again for Bobby Turner, but these two guys staying in Denver speaks volumes for incoming HC McDaniels judgment. It also points to us keeping our zone blocking scheme.

QUESTIONS: Can Rick and Bobby make the transition from Shanahan to McDaniels? Will there be any tension since Dennison wanted the HC job as well?

RUNNING BACK COACH: Bobby Turner
Double Hurrah! Bobby Turner is a RB guru and it’s comforting to know he’s going to be helping the team through this coaching transition.

QUESTIONS: um… I got none. Bobby’s the best. period.

RECEIVERS COACH: Adam Gase
He’s been a QB coach for under Mike Martz… He also seems to have been on the same Michigan State coaching staff with McDaniel. I’m not sure how this makes Gase the best choice for a star wideout program, but I guess we’ll see.

QUESTIONS: Why him? Wasn’t there someone else out there that could lead Marshall and Royal along their development? And where in all this is Rod Smith? Will he be involved in the post-Shanahan era team?

TIGHT ENDS COACH: Clancy Barone
With experience that includes Pro Bowlers Alge Crumpler and Antonio Gates, I think this was a solid position coaching pick. This is another steal from the Chargers, so let’s hope it’s a double win (helps us, hurts them).

QUESTIONS: Scheffler will obviously benefit from his move. What about Graham? And with Shanahan gone, will that be the end of Nate Jackson’s career in Denver?

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH: Rich Tuten
Up until last year, I would be ‘hurrah’-ing this former Broncos coach as well as Dennison and Turner, but I have to be honest about last year… We had players go down all over the place. Now, I’m not BLAMING Tuten. I’ve always considered him ‘The Man’ when it comes to strength training. But on the CONDITIONING side, I think there remain some questions.

QUESTIONS: What can we do to avoid the string of injuries we suffered last year? Were they ALL random freak accidents, or do we need to do something differently during our ‘conditioning’ period?

*******

Over all, I’m very happy with McDaniels’ choices. They all seem strong and have good backgrounds with success at their positions. I’m looking forward to our OTA’s and before that our Draft.

Now it’s time for you all to speak up! Give us your run down on which assistant coaches you like and which ones you disagree with. What positions will be better coached this year? And where could we use some additional help? Let’s hear it BroncoNation!

  • Jordan C

    “(McCoy’s) claim to fame has been his work with Jake Delhomme.”

    Great. That’s awesome. I hope McCoy is limited to running meetings. Worst. Coach Hire. Ever.

    I’m pretty sure that Rich Tuten hasn’t heard of stretching. What percentage of the injuries were groin and hamstring pulls? 80-90%? I was calling for his head to roll after the 2007 season. The Walterfootball Senior Bowl Blog by Matt McGuire (I think Day 3) mentions an unconventional training facility that requires yoga once a week. It may sound sissy, but I really think that it’s a good idea.

    With the Rick Dennison and Bobby Turner coaching duo staying intact, one can confidently assume that while McDaniels call plays, he will let them primarily coach the running game.

    On a side note, the emergence of Smash and Dash in Carolina has got me secretly hoping that Denver can develop a two back system nicknamed Shake and Bake and that they will develop from the coaching of Ricky Bobby.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Jonathan Douglas

    Nice Will Farrell reference. :)

    I don’t know that McCoy is the ‘worst’ pick… With Josh really running things and focusing on the QB, it would have been hard to pull in a hot-shot QB coach because they all (including Bates) knew McDaniels would be running the show.

    I still want to know what our new WR coach has in his resume that impressed McDaniels so much…

  • Dakota fan

    I’ve never had to assemble an NFL staff before, so I speak only with opinion and not authority. Nonetheless, I have a good feeling about the variety on the coaching staff. A little of the good that we had with the old staff (Dennison and Bobby T), a few faces from the past who know what the Broncos mean to Denver (Nolan and Donatell), and a young head coach who has the veterans around him to keep him grounded.

    I think Nolan will be fine- a guy can be a great assistant/coordinator and then bomb as a head coach (need I mention more than Buddy Ryan???) Nolan and Priefer have an advantage- they can’t do much worse on defense or on special teams than the Broncos already did this year. Our special teams has been broken for a long time, especially the cover game. Hard to make a defensive stand when you’re starting at the 50-yard line most of the time.

    Give it three years. If we’re 24-24 with no playoff appearances, send ‘em all packing. For now, let’s see what they can do.

    EIGHT MONTHS TO TRAINING CAMP BOYS.

  • Dakota fan

    Jonathan- I’m thinking that Gase has a personal “in” with McDaniels and wants a shot at climbing the NFL coaching ladder. Fortunately, one of his old colleagues is a HC, so McD is giving him his first shot.

    Just a guess, because I’m as stumped as you are about his hiring, but maybe it will work out.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Jonathan Douglas

    If Gase’s first move is to hire Rod Smith as his assistant (or in any capacity) my opinion of him would go through the roof. :)

  • mark in Carolina

    Mike Priefer started in KC in 2006 – Dante Halls last season in red.

    KC ST resume:
    year….PR…KR….y/p
    2008…29…26…13
    2007…25…30…6
    2006…23…24…10

    color me not impressed.

  • flbronc

    like nolan a lot.

    dont really care for many of the offensive coaches. why a qb coach for our wideouts? why a guy who mentored delhome as our oc? are bowlens pockets a little too tight to hire some better offensive talent, head coach excluded?

  • http://myspace.com/paraleipsis jchase8410

    First, Jordan, shake ‘n bake may be the best nicknames ever brought by ricky bobby. Playing on the coaches names, well played!

    Second- there were a few coaches I don’t know about. McCoy is questionable, but at least he has experience. McDaniels also hired his little brother as an assistant. He was a QB coach for a high school team before being hired in the NFL. I know he isn’t going to be a position coach or anything, but come on, I want that gig…I coach my sons Pop Warner team.

  • Jordan C

    This just in (ESPN) – after waiting for way too long to decide, Pioli fired Edwards in KC. I hope, I hope, I hope Mike Shanahan does not go there.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Jonathan Douglas

    Just as a wildly off-topic question, but do you think that Pat would have considered Gruden for HC is he hadn’t made his decision prior to Tampa firing him? Just wondering….

  • LorDog

    Jonathan…nope. I think Bowlen loves McD. He’s a lot like Shanny in the early years. I don’t think Gruden is what Bowlen was looking for.

  • LorDog

    Jordan C…here’s Schefter’s latest post (I think he’s got an “in” with Shanny, too)

    Adam Schefter
    Shanahan isn’t a candidate in Kansas City
    Posted: January 23rd, 2009 | Adam Schefter | Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Mike Shanahan

    Despite rampant reports that the Chiefs are negotiating with former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan to replace Herm Edwards, they are not, sources said Friday.

    The Chiefs never have made any contact with Shanahan — never. And there have been no contract negotiations.

    So unless people I have known for years are wrong, Shanahan will not be the next coach of the Chiefs. It’s not happening. People can keep talking as if it is, but it’s not. Shanahan will not be the coach of the Chiefs in 2009.

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Jonathan Douglas

    When it comes to temperment… I agree 100%.

  • dee

    If Shanny goes there … I will smile … all the shanny haters will suddenly dissppear and become shanny admirers and McD haters …We lost the best coach that I’ve ever known … That being said it is time to move on and I look forward to Coach Mc D, however if Shanny does end up in KC they will be my 2nd favorite team instantly….

  • kerry

    its about to be a mass suicide on the Denver Post with Shanahan going to the Chiefs. but hey there are two things to consider here. one, Shanahan doesnt have the sack to take over a bottomfeeder. he is waiting to INHERIT a team that he doesnt have to put much effort into building.

    2: if he does go to KC, at least we play a team twice a year that we can score 40 points on due to Shanahan’s inability to build a defense EVER. so everybody dont worry. its a win win situation.

  • dee

    Kerry you need to relax, apparently Shanny did have the SACk to rebuild the garbage broncos team he took over … I dont have to go down the road with the past superbowl failures … 2 of which were nominated as the worst superbowls of alltime by foxsports.com… why can’t you lay off of him … when he was winning Superbowls he was a genious and now hes a moron … Bill Cowher was an idiot that yelled alot before he won , Bill Parcells hasnt done anything recently and everyone thinks hes go great(when was his last superbowl?) and everyones genius coach in NE was crap in Cleveland but now hes God. You have no perspective … Shanny will go to another team and be successful because success drives him … this year we make the playoffs if CUTLER throws 5 less intercepts , we have all our running backs … and Marshall doesn’t play with 1 hand … Shanny had the SACK not to blame the defensive for the teams failure even though Cutler (prick) decided he would for him. This team was always going to have to outscore teams .. the fact is WE COULDN’T outscore anyone except the Cleveland Browns after week 3…. So hate on Shanny, he accepted the blame and left with class… he’s not here anymore and you still hate him … theres a weird kinda of obession you have with him.

    Side Note: After the Superbowl loss to the 49ers John Elway sat in the lockerroom at the end of the game and said to a teammate “They’ll never, ever forgive me for this” (speaking about the fans in Denver) … How many of you think Cutler even THOUGHT about something similar after his team blew a 3 game lead…. Elway lost by 45 that game and did not put it on his defense it put it on himself, and as of yet Cutler has not done that.

    Shanahan took the fall for the team rightly so, however he didn’t throw anyone under the bus while doing so , unlike everyones favorite quarterback. This team will not get any better until Cutler grows up no one WHO the coach is.

    I’m done , didnt mean to ramble on…

    Go Broncos , GROW UP CUTLER , Quit Eating McDonalds BMARSH, and Good Luck Coach McD.

    PS DRAFT REY M!

  • dee

    *no matter who the coach is.

    I really need to proof read…

  • Roy

    Shanny will not coach in KC. With his house and family still in CO, I think he is a little smarter than that. I agree with kerry that he will wait until a cherry position opens up, then make his move. Everyone knows Cower will be the next Panthers coach, but if GB, MIN, BUFF, or the Jags (notice the D on these teams is largly in place) flounders next year, Shanny will be there.

    I don’t get hiring his brother or Gase, but all NFL coaches have to start somewhere, and Denver is a hell of a good somewhere. We will see how that works out.

    That said, McCoy may not be all that bad. He did coach 4 different QB’s in a season in Carolina, where they were 7th in scoring. He has also been coaching Delhomme, who is not the smartest or most accurate QB in the league, with decent results. Yes he has a star WR throw to, but the coach can’t do everything. If the only thing he does is teach Jay how to check down, I will be happy.

    Love the Nolan hire.

    Jordan C…Shake and Bake…Ricky Bobby…That made my day. BEST NICKNAME EVER!!

  • kerry

    Dee:

    you say Shanahan rebuilt the SB teams?? REBUILT?? ppfffttt!! Shanahan INHERITED a hall of fame QB, LT and TE. a possible hall of fame Safety in Atwater, good core players like Crokett and Braxton. Shanahan rebuilt?? not even close. he did put some good players around Elway ALEX GIBBS, NOT MIKE SHANAHAN invented the zone blocking scheme. but in the end Shanhan didnt rebuild anything. he INHERITED an already talented team and got them over the hump. just like Jon Gruden did in Tampa. and my whole point that Shanahan is not as great and godly as most of you think he is, is the fact after losing Sharpe, Elway, Zimmerman and Atwater, he never built another team that was a championship caliber team. one playoff win SINCE Elway speaks it all. is he a good coach? yes, offensively he is great. defensively he is one of the worst. and as a GM he is even more terrible. good coach, yes. hall of fame coach? no.

  • http://broncoszone.blogspot.com/ Jon Krause
  • dee

    Kerry:

    Well we’ll have to see what he does with his next team … hes won a superbowl with SF as a OC , hes won in Denver as a HC … I think if he wins one more he’s a lock , but even if he doesn’t I think hes in anyways …

    I’ve thought he’d end up in Dallas personally

  • dee

    Kerry:

    You didnt make any comments about Cutler? I’m assuming you’re silence on the topic affirms that I am correct in my venom towards him and his behavior lol

  • http://broncoszone.blogspot.com/ Jon Krause

    I hope Shanny ends up in Dallas, and NOT KC

  • Gymshoe

    I would welcome the opportunity to play against a Shanahan-led Chiefs team twice a year–in fact, I would consider it a form of honor. He is a good guy, and would be cheered by me at the start of both games. But after the coin flip, he is no longer on our team, and I will root as hard against him as I did Lyle Alzado. And as a kid, I loved Lyle Alzado.

    Back to the thread topic, I disagree with the premise of the author concerning Nolan and Gase–shoeboxing these coaches as a 3-4 coach or a QB coach. A person capable of coaching in the NFL inherently has been exposed to multiple concepts of football “theory” and has developed his own style with each. I would compare it to chess–while you may have a strong opening repetoire while playing white, you had better have a solid fundamental knowledge in the intricacies of black’s defenses to be successful. Or for a football example, Rick Dennison, to me, is a Linebacker. I saw him play that position for -well, a long time. But he obviously has a superior knowledge vis-a-vis offense. I am sure if Dennison were needed to coach LBs to earn a paycheck, he could do that at an NFL calibur as well.

    I like your article and the thought provoking questions, but my favorite is the Bobby Turner question. Well said, and I totally agree.

  • http://brocotalk.net dee

    so this is how you get your name to be orange …

  • kerry

    Dee:

    yeah i didnt say anything about Cutler because he needs to just shut his mouth and play football. thats why i hope McDaniels is like Belichick and isnt a players coach. i want McDaniels to be an “in your face coach” Cutler has all the talent in the world but needs to master the mental aspect of it all.

  • http://brocotalk.net dee

    agreed Kerry.

  • Dan Ellis

    I am very impressed with the coaching staff and pleased as punch that former Broncos have joined. To me, it would have been icing on the cake if Mark Schlereth could have joined the staff. This will be an exciting year. It will be nice that the ORANGE CRUSH defense will be coming back.

    GO BRONCOS 2009

  • dbroncos

    Even though he was not a great HC i think the fact that Nolan was a HC helps us with such a young HC at the head of our team. Hopefully McDaniels heeds the advice from the much more experienced coach.

  • Evan

    I was just reading something that says we have 34 million in cap room, which is third most in the league. Whats crazier is that with the expected cuts we are supposed to make, that number could jump to 50 million! We have a lot of room and there is a lot of defensive free agents. Our defense sucks, so, it looks like we have a fit.

  • kerry

    30 million in cap room can go a long way to fixing the defense. but McDaniels cant go on a spending spree either. the Jets did that last year and what did that get them?? NOTHING. a team cant be bought, it has to be built through the draft and THEN acquire a couple of the right free agent pickups. cant go spending money on Peppers and Haynesworth and Suggs and every other big name out there. hell one of those guys i mentioned would help immensely.

  • http://myspace.com/paraleipsis jchase8410

    They need to save some cap room because guys like B-Marsh and Cutler are going to need new contracts soon too.

  • Bucky

    so did anyone watch the senior bowl? I gotta tell you i was not as impressed by Raji in the game as i was in the week of practices that led up to the game, he did about as well as his counterpart, Ron Brace(6.3 329), who is actually bigger than Raji(6.1 333), and not projected until the 2-3 round. But neither of them looked awesome, I still think if Raji is there are 12 he is the guy, but if he is not i am happy with someone else and looking to get Brace in the second or third.

    A guy who really impressed me in the game was the Running back out of Virginia, Cedric Peerman, he looked like a Bronco type runner and man was he moving piles, one play in particular i watched him break a Ray Maualuga tackle followed directly by breaking a Brian Cushing tackle, and that was all in ONE PLAY! pretty impressive kid, and he is not projected to go until the 5-6 round range, that could move up some but i don’t think he will make it into day one, so he could end up being a pretty good grab for us on day two. just a thought on a guy that was pretty impressive in the Senior Bowl.

  • kerry

    after watching the senior bowl ive deemed that BJ Raji is out of reach of the Broncos. Raji was downright dominant and showed why he may not a top 10 pick, but possibly a top 5. once the combine ends he will be a top 5 pick. but because the top 5 teams arent in huge need of a DT, i predict he will go at number 6 to the Bengals who deperately need a big DT. if Raki by some miracle falls to 12 then we are gonna get the steal of the draft.

    which brings me to my prediction for the 12 pick. but this is before the combine so this may change. Maualuga wasnt very impressive in the senior bowl and may not be selected in the top 20 at all. so no Maualuga.

    William Moore did terrible at the Senior Bowl, he may fall out of the first round entirely and is definetly not worthy of the 12th pick. so that leads me to conclude the following:

    unless Maualuga has a TREMENDOUS combine then i dont see him being selected by the Broncos unless they trade down. and since there isnt an impact defensive player that is NEEDED at the 12 pick (again unless we trade down or Maualuga has a great combine) then i conclude that Knowshown Moreno will be selected at 12. yes i know its crazy. but at the same time a franchise RB is needed and McDaniels may make this selection with the mentality of best player available at the 12 pick. especially if we have a huge defensive free agency period, then Moreno would most definetly be the pick. again this is before the combine so this may change.

  • Roy

    If we have a good free agency period and aquire some impact defensive players, I could see moreno at 12. I could also see Jenkins there, if he has a decent combine. I could also see those selections at 19 or 20, where we could also pick up another draft pick. My vote is to move down and let all the feeders have their way with the OL that are projected as 1st round picks. We cold be in a very good position to leverage a trade.

    There is also the possibility (if we trade down) of Alex Mack to be our center for the next decade. If not, then they will probably select the best defensive player available, regardless of position.

  • Bucky

    Kerry- Are you talking about the actual game of the Senior Bowl, or the practices during the week? Cause in the Game, Raji was down right eliminated from effectiveness, he had one assisted tackle and one solo tackle, no qb sacks, not even a hurry, they completely neutralized him for the whole game. he did NOTHING in that game, I watched him get pushed around from the opening snap right on through the fourth quarter. His week of practice could help him, but the game he played will not, not at all, there is no way that game does anything but hurt him and drop him to us or even lower. as i said before, his counterpart, Brace was actually more effective than Raji during the game, not by much, but he was more effective none the less. down right dominant? dude Raji was downright invisible in the Senior Bowl game.

  • MIAbronco

    i thing the senior bowl game is a bad way to judge a player.

    1st off, he is playing with guys he has never played with before, and they’re playing in most likely a system they have never played in before. so its bad to judge a player by this game, all you have to do is watch film on raji from this season and see how dominant he can be.

  • Big D

    Kerry- I can’t help but disagree with you that Shanahan inherited a team. Look who he brought in TD, Schelerth, Griffith,Rod Smith, McCaffery, Rominowski, Mobley, Neil Smith, Alfred Williams. If you recall Wade Phillips last season ended much like this season. I remember fans saying we should trade Elway to the steelers so he could at least have a chance at a SB. That seems so crazy now but people were serious about that then.

    Also I watched the same game as Bucky. I was not impressed with BJ Raji during the game. I read all the hype and expected a similar performance as Ellis did a year ago but was disappointed. The only time they mentioned his name the entire game was when talked about the domination of the apposing OL. I know this is only one game and it may actually let him fall to us at 12th. It’s a catch-22 if he dominated during the game GB will definitely take him at pick 9 so I guess it helps us out that he did have a bad game. I just hope the real BJ is the one from that dominated in practice and not the one who was dominated in the game.

  • Bucky

    but thats just the problem MIAbronco, “how dominant he CAN be” Listen i am still all for drafting Raji if he is there when we pick, i just don’t want to see people getting confused thinking this guy IS the second coming of warren sapp or something, he CAN BE good, but has NEVER been consistent, the big dig on this guy is motivation, and i feel like he really showed a lack of that during the Senior Bowl game, not the week of practices, but in the actual game.

  • Roy

    In practice, Raji was taking on linemen for scouts and coaches. My impression is that he felt he had nothing to gain by going all out. It all comes down to heart. I don’t think he plays because he loves the game and thrives on compitition like many other guys. He was acedemically ineligible for his jr season, and punched a guy on the field during his sophmore season.

    I want passion, fire and commitment. 1st round picks are paid a lot of money, and personally, I want them to give everything they have for it. I want an Al Wilson.

  • jcampb72

    I do too, the closest thing to a Al wilson is Rey Mau

  • http://myspace.com/paraleipsis jchase8410

    Clayton’s new mock on sportscenter today had Raji going as the 5th pick

  • Jordan C

    If Raji is gone 12, trade down 5-10 spots and hope to get Jackson or Moreno. If not them, then trade down again and effectively get three 2nd round picks (or a late 1 and two 2′s), two 3rd round picks, and maybe a 4th or 5th. In the 2nd round, you can get a NT (Brace), a 3-4 DE (Moala), and a safety (Delmas, Chung, etc). Plus you have an extra 3 and 4 or 5 and you save a load of money.

  • flbronc

    kiepers mock has us taking raji at 12

  • kerry

    Raji was the subject of some double teams during the senior bowl game. so his effectiveness was very limited. his practice was great. but alot of people think because he didnt have a sack that he wasnt effective, when in fact the run defense was good up the middle. i dont go just by sacks for a D-linemen. when if everybody really thinks about it, how often does even the best DT really get to the QB?? not very often at all. DT’s are primarily used to stuff the run and eat up blockers. Raji was taking up alot of blockers during the game. his combine will further reinforce his top ten draft status. and withus switching to the 3-4 Raji wont be a pass rusher but a run stuffer. just as ALL NT’s are. but i dont see him falling to us at all.

    Rey Maualuga isnt gonna solve the run stuffing problem. why do most not see that a MLB isnt needed?? a LB isnt needed period! he can have all the fire and emotion you want and it STILL wont solve the run stuffing woes. emotion isnt gonna make the defense better. its like people who say they want a safety who can hit. what good is a safety who can hit if he cant cover a receiver? the draft picks have to come from positions of need.

  • http://BroncoTalk.net Mr.East

    I couldn’t put it any better Kerry.

  • Jordan C

    I agree with Mr. East (*Mr.* – awesome). So, if at least a few people agree that Raji will likely be gone, especially since it’s been established that he can play in both defensive schemes, we should probably look at other NT possibilities.

    1) Albert Haynesworth – He plays in a 4-3 defense. Does anyone know if he has experience playing nose tackle in the 3-4?

    2) Gabe Watson – Much improved for the Super Bowl Cardinals and young (25). Doubt that the Cardinals let him go, but I’d be grateful if they did.

    3) Ron Brace – Raji’s team mate. Not as athletic, but bigger. If run-stuffing is all that’s needed, then this potential second round pick might get the job done.

    4) Sammy Lee Hill – Does anyone know anything about this small school prospect. Seems to be projected to be drafted in the 4th or 5th round.

    6) Antonio Dixon – Out of U of Miami Florida. Had a season ending injury early in 2008. So obviously, durability a concern. Haven’t read any downsides to his skill, though. Could be a great depth pickup in late rounds.

    7) Terrance Cody – Huge (365 lbs) prospect, likely to declare for the 2010 draft. Should the Broncos decide to wait a year to transition, this might be the guy in the first round if he has a good year next year.

    Am I missing anyone?

  • kerry

    my point in all this is why does everybody keep wanting a position that doesnt need to be addressed. thats like taking a Kicker when a QB is needed. the LB crew is the LAST position that needs to be addressed. and with all of the great LB’s in free agency and all the LB’s we have now, a LB shouldnt even be thought of during the draft. guys like Terrell Suggs, Karlos Dansby, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Leroy Hill and if he isnt franchised, Julius Peppers who has already stated he wants to play OLB in a 3-4 system. there are tons of great LB’s to be had without wasting our first round pick on one.

    there are not any DT’s in free agency accept Haynesworth that warrent consideration. thats exactly why the D-line needs to be addressed with the first 2 picks. if Raji isnt available then go to the next position of need which is safety, being there isnt a safety worthy of the 12 pick. either take Moreno at 12 or trade down a bit and take Moreno or safety William Moore. second round take DT Ron Brace or Senderick Marks to play 3-4 DE. in free agency a guy like Terrell Suggs needs to be signed. and another guy like Leroy Hill. then have a huge defensive draft on the defensive line and the secondary and this team is set with good young players to be mixed with the veterans. but by no means whatsoever should a LB be taken.

  • Jordan C

    kerry –

    Did you see the Rocky Mountain News article interviewing Collier about the 3-4 defense? Collier’s quotes weren’t exactly steller, but it provided some insight into what a 3-4 DE looks like – info that I was not familiar with.

    I liked the idea of Marks until I read this article and realized that Marks is more of an agile pass rusher, not the really strong giant that can hold the point of attack that is reportedly necessary.

    I don’t like drafting USC players, but I think that Fili Moala may fit the bill. People are really down on him because he was project as a top 5 pick at the beginning of the season. I think that he’s underrated now because he didn’t put up big numbers, but there aren’t a lot of number so to gauge holding the point of attack except the linebackers numbers. I would say that the USC linebackers numbers were probably fine last season. People are also down on him because he’d be switching positions, but moving from a 4-3 DT to a 3-4 DE isn’t a big move as you’d agree since you like Marks so much.

    I would also look at Kyle Moore from USC. Projected to got in the later rounds, he didn’t put up big numbers, but is very big and is supposed to be very strong. Could be a good reserve at the very least.

  • kerry

    jordan C:

    yeah but there are knocks on alot of players. not just marks. no player is perfect. Marks could be a good 3-4 OLB but he is 291 pounds. too big for that. he is a tweener 3-4 hybrid. and really i dont care for USC players myself. some are great, some are great only because ofd the USC hype machine. what the USC lovers wont tell you is that Maualuga is a younger Nate Webster. all heart and fire and emotion, but whiffs on tackles and is bad in pass coverage. Maualuga is more of a hype LB then a hard nosed gritty LB. thats why i was hoping for Brandon Spikes to declare because he has all the intangibles that Maualuga doesnt. really the best linebacker on the USC team ISNT Maualuga at all. its Brian Cushing. Fili Maola may be a good one but he lost the defensive end who was drafted in the first round by the Seahawks. (taylor Lawrence or something like that) and more attention was put on him so his numbers fell. Maola would be a good 3-4 DE. but still a NT is needed. either Ron Brace or BJ Raji.