There were a lot of questions being asked at the beginning of the week. Is Champ Bailey going to miss the first game of his career? Can Darrent Williams play on his sprained ankle? Can the Broncos win an eleven o'clock game in Florida, where they have a less than impressive track record? The one question not being asked is "Can the D line carry the load?" That's because they have shown they can.
When the Broncos acquired the starting defensive line from the Cleveland Browns, most people, including the Bronco's coaching staff, were just hoping one or two of the guys would pan out. What if they all contribute? You would get a defensive line that is completely dominant. That looks like what they've got. The Broncos already have seven sacks on the season and numerous other plays that can't be measured by stat tracking.
It seems the defensive experiment has started paying off a little earlier than expected. Gerard Warren has shown that he does have a work ethic and he's not lazy. He has yet to be a distraction on or off the field. What he has been is a wrecking ball in the middle of every offensive line the Broncos have faced.
Then there's Courtney Brown. Things were looking down for Brown when he dislocated his elbow in training camp, but since his return to the lineup he has made an immediate impact on how teams game plan for the Broncos' defense. He's seen limited action and the Orange and Blue seem to be easing him back into things; but in the time he has seen, he already has a sack. There are a few more in his future as a Bronco.
The player the Cleveland acquisitions have helped the most is Trevor Pryce. Pryce has yet to be credited with a sack this year, but he has been the man that disrupts offenses. Now teams can't just double team him and feel comfortable about the rest of the defensive front, they have to game plan for the whole line now days, and these days are good!
If the guys on the defensive front can stay healthy, the Broncos might remind football fans of the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl team. If the offense can just take care of the ball and score 20 points a game, the Broncos' "D" should be able to take care of the rest.
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