Found August 13, 2012 on Denver Sports Chat:

Denver, CO. For a defense that finished 2011 in the botton half of the league in both rushing yards and passing yards allowed, there is actually plenty of optimism heading into 2012. The Denver Broncos won their first preseason game on Thursday night with ease, and it was the defense who shined throughout. They are led by young stars Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, as well as having a very nice cornerback combo in Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. The defensive line is already showing signs of big-time improvement, and although it was just the first exhibition game, there were not many holes for Chicago to run through. The key for the Broncos to end up in the top half of the NFL in total defense in 2012 may fall directly on the shoulders of the linebacker crew. This position is still somewhat of a question mark, and as September approaches, the linebackers need to show that they will be a reliable part of the defense.

2012 Denver Broncos Official Team Hats from New Era

The six-game suspension handed down to D.J. Williams to begin the 2012 regular season definitely puts a kink in things for the entire defense. Williams is obviously a very talented player, and knows this system well. He will be back in mid-October, and the Broncos will have to get by without him. The starters at linebacker in game one versus Pittsburgh will more than likely be Von Miller, Joe Mays, and Wesley Woodyard. It’s a solid group, as Mays and Woodyard are somehwat underrated. Miller gets all the headlines, as he should, and his speed is something that just cannot be taught. Mays and Woodyard are both gritty, hard-working guys who rarely miss their assignments. The signing of 14 year veteran Keith Brooking last week was a nice addition, as he will be brought in periodically on key downs to give the defense some overall toughness. Rookie Danny Trevathan has had a nice training camp, and could very well be someone who is counted on this year to give the linebacking crew a boost. The Broncos still have belief that Nate Irving and Mike Mohamed will be on this team. Both guys are very young, and it would be nice to see one or both rise up and elevate their games this year. With Von Miller rushing the passer on key third downs, it will be up to the other guys to cover the tight ends and backs out the backfield. Those are much less glamorous duties, however, these things will be critical for this defense to show improvements and give Denver a chance to be a top contender in the AFC.

The defense last year had their moments. They showed, at times, the ability to make some big plays and get to the QB. But it was the pass defense that had some major leaks, and got torched all too often. The cornerback play of Bailey and Porter should be one of the best in the NFL, as opposing wide receivers will have some very frustrating days this year. If the linebackers can come up big on those key third downs, this could be a championship caliber defense by years end.

Denver Sports by J Simp

2012 Denver Broncos Official Team Hats from New Era

The post Denver Broncos linebacker play will make or break 2012 defense appeared first on Denver Sports Chat.

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