The Broncos’ Monday night opener against the Raiders may be a highly anticipated meeting between two long-standing rivals, but on a conference call Wednesday, Oakland Head Coach Hue Jackson and his quarterback Jason Campbell had nothing but complimentary things to say about their opposition in Denver, particularly on defense.
Jackson was asked if he’d watched the Broncos pass-rushing duo of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller and he was quick to provide an animated response.
“Have I watched them? Are you kidding me? These guys are a highlight-reel,” Jackson said. “They are very good players — very good pass rushers. Obviously Von Miller is a rookie but he knows how to go to the quarterback and (Elvis) Dumervil has been just sensational at what he’s done over the years. It’s going to be a big task for us, but we are looking forward to it.”
The Raiders offense enjoyed a lot of success against the Broncos defense a year ago, but Campbell says he is expecting a completely different challenge from a revamped defense Monday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
“They can run, they can make plays and they added different defensive linemen to their team this year,” Campbell said. “They have their most important guys back and then you add Von Miller… You watch the Seattle film and it was hard for Seattle to even get a first down on them.
“They are playing with so much excitement and one thing I’ll say about their defense — they run to the ball very well. You’ll see one guy make a tackle and then there are six or seven blue shirts in there around the ball… It’s a tough challenge because you look at them on defense and they are totally different.”
As for the Dumervil-Miller duo specifically, Campbell believes the pair of pass-rushers set to line up against him should already be considered elite.
“They are definitely one of the top five combinations in the National Football League,” he said.