Film Room: Examining Zach Kerr's Dominant Performance vs. The Denver Broncos In Week 2

Defensive lineman Zach Kerr signed a two-year deal with the Broncos over the weekend. Join Publisher Chad Jensen as he analyzes the film from Kerr's performance against the Broncos in Week 2 of the 2016 season.

The Denver Broncos got great value in the signing of defensive lineman Zach Kerr. This 6-foot-2, 334-pound behemoth is a run-stopping monster, who can chip in a few sacks each year. 

I believe Kerr will start at defensive end for the Broncos opposite of Derek Wolfe. With Domata Peko playing nose tackle, it'll be difficult for opposing teams to run the ball down Denver's throat, like they were able to in 2016. 

Kerr is a former college free agent. He didn't hear his name called on Draft Day. The three-year body of work Kerr has put on film in the NFL, while certainly not flashy, is impressive. He's the type of lunch-pail guy who gets the job done on gameday that every defensive line coach covets. 

Zach Kerr endeared himself to Denver's D-line coach Bill Kollar when he dominated the Broncos in Week 2 of the 2016 season. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Kerr saw 40 snaps that day and converted them into five tackles, a QB hit and a sack. 

That day, Kerr popped up on Denver's radar. And when the Colts chose not to tender him as a restricted free agent, it was a short matter of time before he ended up signing with the Broncos. 

I thought it would be interesting for our readers to examine the game film from that day to see what made Kollar and the Broncos want Kerr in the Orange and Blue. 

Play 1

The Colts are in their nickel sub-package. Kerr is lined up in the 3-tech on right guard's outside shoulder. At the snap, the Broncos stretch left. Kerr flows down the LOS and using his momentum against him, pushes Michael Schofield out of the way to squat on C.J. Anderson’s cut-back lane. Squashed for a one-yard gain.

Now, it must be said that right tackle Donald Stephenson had a shot to block Kerr, but instead of squaring him up, he left his feet in an attempt to cut-block him. Bad decision. We saw too much of this sloppy technique from Broncos O-linemen in 2016. Too many guys leaving their feet to take out an opponent's legs, only to miss and see the target make a play. 

Play 2

The Colts are in the nickel. Kerr is lined up as the 5-tech over the left tackle's outside shoulder. The ROLB creeps down to rush the passer, drawing the attention of Russell Okung.

Kerr pursues the B-gap and blows LG Max Garcia back on his heels. Meanwhile, the LOLB Robert Mathis has turned the corner and QB Trevor Siemian senses it. Siemian pulls the ball down and climbs the pocket where Kerr meets him for the sack.

Having won his one-on-one matchup, Kerr was on his way to Siemian anyway, but Mathis' phantom pressure helped spook Siemian into Kerr’s embrace. 

Play 3

The Colts are in the nickel again. Kerr is lined up over the center, shaded outside (1-tech). At the snap, Kerr attacks the A-gap, engaging with the RG Darrion Weems. Kerr pirouettes and sees Siemian breaking the pocket. Kerr pursues, and forces the errant throw, while laying the hit.

Kerr has a phenomenal motor, which has endeared him to his NFL coaches. He doesn’t have an aresenal of pass-rushing moves. He uses his power, athleticism and motor to impact the play and win his matchups.

Play 4

The Colts are in their base 3-4 defense. Kerr is in a 4-technique, directly over the LT’s helmet. There’s some kind of miscommunication with Denver’s LG here, as he engages in a combo-block with the center at the snap, which gives Kerr an unimpeded path to the ball-carrier for a one-yard loss.

Again, miscues and sloppy play were the norm for Denver's O-line in 2016. 

Play 5

On a 2nd-&-1, the Broncos hurry to the line in an effort to catch the Colts unawares. But big Zach Kerr crashes the party.

The Colts are in their base defense, with Kerr playing the 3-technique. This is a play similar to the first. The Broncos are trying to punch it through, running a stretch left, but Anderson glimpses daylight on the cut-back lane.

But the hole collapses with alacrity as Kerr stands up the RG Weems, sheds the block, and meets the ball-carrier in the hole for no gain.

Play 6

The Colts are in base defense, with Kerr lined up in the 3-technique. The Colts know that with the tight end lined up next the LT and a FB off-set left, the run will likely flow that direction — the strong side.

At the snap, Kerr explodes down the line of scrimmage, and frankly is simply faster than the RG Weems. It’s like Kerr knew where the ball was going. His get-off was so fast and explosive, it decided the matchup. He uses good leverage with his arms to keep Weems off his chest plate. 


This is your starting right defensive end for 2017. Zach Kerr will stuff the run for two downs, and rotate in to rush the passer on third downs and obvious passing situations. 

Again, this is a great value signing by GM John Elway. Elway has built a reputation on finding value in players in the rough, and getting diamonds in return. 

I look forward to seeing what Zach Kerr can do in the most talented defense in the league. Elway knew that Denver needed to beef up the trenches. And Zach Kerr is a giant leap in the right direction. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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