Linebacker switch productive for Broncos

Moving Nate Webster and D.J. Williams back to their natural linebacker positions in the offseason has been a productive move for the Denver Broncos.

Williams has played very well at weak-side linebacker, but Webster might have had an even bigger boost. A middle linebacker most of his career, Webster started at strong-side linebacker last year and Williams started in the middle.

Back in the middle, Webster leads the Broncos with 30 tackles and has brought a lot of energy to Denver's defense. The Broncos run defense, which ranked 31st in the NFL last year, is allowing 36 fewer rushing yards per game this season.

"I feel like I'm a kid again," said the 30-year-old Webster.

Webster made two game-changing plays against New Orleans. He returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown. He also stuffed Saints running back Pierre Thomas just short of the goal line on a fourth-and-one just before the end of the first half.

Webster reported to training camp in great shape. That, and being back in a comfortable position, has helped him.

"It's a total package of knowing what you have to do out there, being in shape and just letting your ability take over," Webster said. "Once you put those three together, the game is a bunch of fun for you."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--DT Dewayne Robertson, who sat out practice on Wednesday because of his knee, returned on Thursday and should play this week.

--WR Darrell Jackson has been out with a calf injury and will probably miss his third straight game. He has started jogging and could return to practice next week.

--S Marquand Manuel is third on the Broncos with 18 tackles, although he doesn't play in passing situations. He has a key role as the safety in the box on running plays.

--RB Andre Hall is tied for the team lead with three special-teams tackles. Hall, who splits carries with Selvin Young, has the speed to be effective on special teams and the willingness to mix it up on kick coverage.

--FB Peyton Hillis has great hands, but has only one catch for four yards. Part of the reason is the Broncos are spreading the field with multiple-receiver sets, which limits Hillis' playing time.



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