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Published on 06/28/2012 at Thu Jun 28 10:00.
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(Jamie Squire/Getty)

This offseason, we’re going to do a Speak Up series looking at each position (o-line, d-line, etc).  Today, we’re looking at the linebackers.

We want to know who you think should be the three main linebackers in the Denver Broncos‘ 4-3 defense this season.  Who should play base, who should play nickel?

Returning:  MLB Joe Mays, OLB Wesley Woodyard, MLB Nate Irving, OLB Von Miller, LB Mike Mohamed and LB D.J. Williams.

Acquired:  OLB Danny Trevathan, LB Elliot Coffey, LB Steven Johnson and MLB Jerry Franklin.

Last season, the Broncos linebackers were Miller, Mays and Williams with Woodyard seeing time in nickel packages.  This season, the unit is expected to stay in-tact with Woodyard filling in for Williams during his six-game suspension and Trevathan playing in nickel sets.

Williams hasn’t made the greatest decisions while in Denver and there is a possibility of him being traded before or during the 2012 season.  Woodyard filled in nicely for Williams last season (recording 97 tackles) and Trevathan reportedly looked impressive in minicamp, running with the first-team nickel defense.

We want to know your take.  Should the Broncos trade Williams?  Should Woodyard see more playing time this season?

Dish out your thoughts in the comments and vote in the poll below!

Who should be the three LBs in '12?

View Results

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  • Jeffrey Koch

    Miller mays and Woodyard attempt to trade Williams, trevathan and coffee as backups

  • Jeffrey Koch

    And Irvin

  • robtink242

    DJ Williams is a certified baller and should remain with the team.. i think we should get over the trading him talk.. but i would say we are weak at MLB and I’ve see Mays and Irving play its not what i hope for.. we should have drafted Donte Hightower but i guess we’ll survive with our line up from last year.

  • AZDynamics

    I don’t believe a lot of people know just how good D.J. Williams is as a player. As popular as Woodyard is (I like him, too), there still is a significant dropoff at Will behind D.J.

    I understand they’re working Irving there. It would be nice to know if Irving’s talents will have found a home there . . .

  • Jim_Jebow

    I think the team should go back to a 3-4 and make Doom a LB again.

  • Ricky Hardesty

    Remember the whole reason he posted those plays in the first place was more or less in protest of him moving to a different position.

    Personally I’d like to see Miller, Williams, Woodyard, then woodyard and trevathan in the nickel. That gets the most talent on the field in my mind. Then you have mays and irving backing up the middle and trevathan, and johnson backing up the outsides.

    If we can somehow get good value for williams i wouldn’t mind seeing him gone as long as we get something decent in return. He was exposed in coverage last year and i think Woodyard would better serve as our Will

  • TheTroglodyte

    Miller and Woodyard for sure. The only people in the world that love Williams is Bronco fans that only know how to look at the box score stat sheet. There is a reason he has only been a pro bowl ALTERNATE just once in his 8 year career.

    MLB at the pro level is a BIG step to take. It’s not knock on Irving he struggled last year. Hopefully this year he can compete enough to knock Mays into a backup roll though because once you delete the 2 highlight hits a game, Mays is a huge liability.

  • AZDynamics

    No, the people who like Williams as a player (I don’t know about “love”) are the ones who see that he has led the Broncos in tackling and is probably the 4th best player on the squad. The fact he was a Pro Bowl ALTERNATE just last year reveals he’s pretty good.

  • TheTroglodyte

    “who see that he has led the Broncos in tackling”

    You just confirmed what I just said.

  • AZDynamics

    I’m glad you see that because you destroyed your whole argument right there . . .

  • TheTroglodyte

    No you just said that you see he led in tackling which is looking at the box score. Exactly what I said. I’m not sure how you can interpret that any other way. You just proved me right.

    All LB’s get tackles bud. Dhani Jones got 125 tackles in 2010 (More than DJ Williams had) and nobody would hire him for the veteren league minimum in 2011. Tackles mean crap at the LB position.

  • AZDynamics

    Well, let me put it this way: Fox and the Broncos FO have a very high opinion of D.J. Williams as a player. Nuff said.

    So here it is from your own keyboard: (1) D.J. has great stats and (2) he was a Pro Bowl Alternate. What you claimed was that those who “love” D.J. look ONLY at the stats. Well, that means Fox & Co. look only at the stats. I think they would find your assertion amusing.

  • TheTroglodyte

    They are going to trade him, nuff said. lol

  • Jon

    I doubt Williams is going to be traded, but we’ll see. D.J. makes plays (I’ve been noticing that a lot more lately watching videos of the defense from over the past four seasons). We’re going to do a Big Hits series actually, that’s why I’ve been watching film… and he’s definitely stuck out.

  • BRYATAN007

    I would like to see DJ Williams get moved to the middle (when he is back from his suspension) and have Woodyard on the outside.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Yeah but he is a LB he is supposed to make plays. He was 17th in tackles in 2010 and there were 40 players that had over 100 tackles, 29 of which were LB. Bascially every team has a 100 tackle LB because that’s what the scheme is designed for.

    DJ is supposed to meet the guy after he hits the hole. The only reason more LB’s didn’t break 100 tackles is because they missed a game or two that year.

    That’s why Woodyard was plugged in (2011 for DJ post injury) and averaged MORE tackles as a starter than DJ was.

    Woodyard is an ok guy but his tackles were just part of the system he was in. When Haggen was covering DJ’s spot a few games his tackles went through the roof too.
    Williams is slightly above average and has had a scheme designed around him playing cleanup his whole career, even with all the defensive coords.

    The ONLY reason he won’t be traded is because he really is of no other value to another team. At best we would pull a 5th round pick for him and even with the suspension he may be worth more than a 5th round pick to the Broncos as we are so thin at LB.

  • TheTroglodyte

    BTW he also had 0 passes defended in 2010 and he was in coverage quite a bit.

  • Jon

    So, what you are saying is he does his job, and that’s it. What’s wrong with that? Why dump an “slightly above average player” in exchange for an unproven rookie or Woodyard?

  • TheTroglodyte

    Because of his attitude and off field issues.

  • Jon

    I get it. You’re saying that the argument that the Broncos care more about his production on the field than his issues off the field is invalid because his on-the-field-production isn’t that great, correct?

    You may be right, but I still think they’ll keep him around solely because of his ability to play, whether that’s “slightly above average” or not.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Yes that’s what I’m saying. I’m 50/50 on them trading him. It will depend how Trevathan and/or Irving look in camp. If he becomes expendable due to the talent pool being able to hold their own, I think he is gone. If they don’t play much better than last year, he probably stays. He may suck in coverage too but I’d still rather see him in the middle than Mays

  • Jon

    I agree with you there, I would love to see Mays off the field. Miller/Williams/a rotation of Woodyard/Trevathan would be my ideal lineup.

  • Bo Todd

    I’d like to see Broncos back in the 3-4 and put Doomy back at OLB along with Miller and have DJ and Woodyard at MLB. I want to see the real Von Doom effect.

    4-3 = Miller, Woodyard, DJ.

  • Xiyu
  • TD30isMVP

    If I remember right, they went after Mays because Del Rio thinks he is a good fit for their scheme, don’t think he will be second string anytime soon.

  • Henry T Dobson

    hell no, 3-4 is awful

  • Bob Funck

    I am an avid NC State fan and watched Nate Irving play for his whole college career. What I noticed is that he tended to “stand up” the runner when he tackled him, and then use almost all upper body strength to pick the runner up and then body slam him. It worked in college b/c he is extremely strong and college RBs and WRs werent as strong and big as the guys he is dealing with in the NFL. So he could just sort of overpower them with his upper body, and b/c of this he developed some poor technique. But Irving has tremendous ability… strength, speed, great instincts and a nasty attitude. I think he needs to work on his tackling fundamentals, get lower when making his hits and drive more with his legs to make the tackle… If he can develop his technique, he’s gonna be a big asset for you guys…