The Broncos’ edge rush — featuring 2011 Rookie of the Year Von Miller and two-time Pro Bowler Elvis Dumervil — speaks for itself.
Champ Bailey is a perennial Pro Bowler at cornerback, a position at which the Broncos added two more talented players this offseason in Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence.
In other words, offenses this season might stay away from the perimeter of Denver’s defense and try to attack the heart of it up the middle.
That’s something middle linebacker Joe Mays is aware of — and excited about.
“They’re definitely going to try to attack the middle of the defense, whether it’s running up the middle or trying to get a couple of quick passes up the middle, trying to test us linebackers,” Mays said. “We’re looking forward to it. (Defensive Coordinator Jack) Del Rio definitely has a great plan for us when it comes to playing the run and the pass. I just say bring it on. We’re definitely going to be ready.”
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard agreed with Mays’ assessment, but said it’s no different than any other year — “linebackers always have a target on their back.”
He anticipates teams trying to get two blockers on Miller, and with Mays’ hitting power, he said it wouldn’t surprise him if teams try to double-team the middle linebacker at times as well.
But one advantage the Broncos could have this year are sizable defensive tackles in the middle of the front line.
“Its going to allow our linebackers to roam free,” Woodyard said. “And Del Rio, like I said, he wants his linebackers to go downfield and make plays. I think that’s something that’s going to help us out. With the bigger bodies, the (Kevin) Vickersons, the Justin Bannans — it’s good to have him back — it’s going to be pretty exciting to see.”