Larry Coyer and Ian Gold both joined the Broncos in the 2000 offseason. Both rose as the years progressed; Gold became a starting linebacker in 2002; Coyer moved up to defensive coordinator from linebackers coach a year later.
With the exception of Gold’s one-season sojourn to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years ago, Coyer has seen every on-field moment of Gold’s career first-hand.
And in the grizzled, wise coach’s eyes, Gold has never been better than he was in his 12-tackle effort Sunday, which saw him involved in four stops on the Kansas City Chiefs’ final drive, allowing the Broncos a chance to win the game in overtime.
“He played a great football game against Kansas City,” Coyer said. “Great. Not good — great.”
Gold, though, disagreed, seeing room for improvement.
“I think (the best game) is yet to come, man,” Gold said. “I made some mistakes. I’ve got some things I’ve got to get on in the film room and get out here and correct and hopefully I can improve on that.”
His performance, though, still had his teammates buzzing Wednesday.
John Lynch: “I think the measure of a player is how they play when the game’s on the line and Ian certainly elevated his game against K.C. when that game was on the line you could see it in his eyes in that huddle. The last three or four series, he took over.”
Kenard Lang: “He’s quick as a dang hiccup, I’ll tell you that. He just hits gaps and he’s running full speed. He’s got speed like a wide receiver — real fast, which is real beneficial to this defense and how (it) goes. It’s great when you’ve got guys out there like that, so when that happens, you have to account for them, you have to start accounting for everybody, and that’s what starts to free everybody up when they’re doing their job.”
Champ Bailey: “Sometimes I feel like I’m chasing him, because I’m chasing the ball and he’s right there in front of me. The guy, he plays hard. Every play, he plays like it’s his last.”
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