Broncos Update Insider - 6/1

D.J. Williams will be the centerpiece of the Denver Broncos' new defense. He and Champ Bailey are the two most talented players, and teams can - and have - avoided Bailey's side of the field

. The Broncos just had to figure out how to best use Williams in their new 3-4 scheme, which meant yet another position change for Williams. The team decided he would be best suited to play inside on the weak side, or at the "Jack" linebacker position.

"I love my position," Williams said. "Not wanting to give away too much about my position and what I'm going to do, but I think the position highlights what type of player I am. It allows me to do what I do best."

Coming into the season in a new position is nothing new for Williams. He played at least one full season at each of the three linebacker spots in the 4-3, including two separate stints at weak-side linebacker. He is coming into his sixth season and only once has he held the same position two straight years.

"As long as I don't have to go back to 'Sam' (strong-side linebacker) they can put me anywhere," Williams said.

Williams should be able to have a big year as the inside linebacker. Patrick Willis became one of the best linebackers in the NFL playing a similar position in San Francisco under head coach Mike Nolan, who is now the defensive coordinator with the Broncos.

Williams also feels the defense as a whole can improve. He cited injury problems on the defense as a reason the unit finished near the bottom of the league in many statistical categories. But he feels there are some pieces in place.

"We feel that we knew we had talent last year, because of injuries and things like that, a play here, a play there, things didn't go too well," Williams said. "This year, we see it as a chance to make that up."

NOTES, QUOTES

--A few months after signing running back J.J. Arrington in free agency, the Broncos let him go due to a failed physical. Arrington had offseason knee surgery and hadn't responded well.

"He was great for us when he was here, had a great attitude and great approach, he's a great kid and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him as long as we did," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "Who knows, maybe we'll get another opportunity down the road."

--LB D.J. Williams returned to practice on May 27, after recovering from surgery in January to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. He said he didn't have many issues in his first day back.

"It went pretty well," Williams said. "Still a little rusty."

Williams said he blamed the players for last season's collapse more than Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan was fired after the team blew a late lead and failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season.

"In my personal opinion, I loved Coach Shanahan," Williams said. "He's a great coach. Honestly, I put that on the players more than anything. We had a three-game lead with four games to go. You can do all the coaching you want, but the players still have to play the game."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've got to do them right in practice, we've got to be able to do a lot of things right in practice in order to be able to carry those over to success in the games." - Broncos coach Josh McDaniels.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--RB Tatum Bell.
--DE Ebenezer Ekuban.
--WR Darrell Jackson.
--S Marlon McCree.
--C Tom Nalen.
--RB Michael Pittman.
--WR Edell Shepherd.
--LB Nate Webster.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

--RB Andre Hall (not tendered as ERFA) has played well at times and should get a shot to make the team in training camp.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--DL Kenny Peterson: UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--TE Jeb Putzier: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--RB Correll Buckhalter: UFA Eagles; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--LB Andra Davis: UFA Browns; $5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.
--S Brian Dawkins: UFA Eagles; $17M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed; can void to $9.5M/2 yrs.
--DT Ronald Fields: UFA 49ers; $5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--WR Jabar Gaffney: UFA Patriots; $10M/4 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
--CB Andre' Goodman: UFA Dolphins; $25M/5 yrs, $10M guaranteed.
--OT Brandon Gorin: UFA Rams; terms unknown.
--LB Nick Greisen: FA Ravens; terms unknown.
--S Renaldo Hill: UFA Dolphins; $10M/4 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
--P Dirk Johnson: FA Redskins; terms unknown.
--RB LaMont Jordan: UFA Patriots; $2.5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.
--OG Matt McChesney: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.
--QB Kyle Orton (trade Bears).
--DT J'Vonne Parker: Not tendered as ERFA by Panthers; terms unknown.
--LS Lonie Paxton: UFA Patriots; $5.38M/5 yrs, $1M SB.
--DT Darrell Reid: UFA Colts; $6.8M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--QB Chris Simms: UFA Titans; $6M/2 yrs, $1.5M SB; 2009 cap: $2.71M.
--RB Darius Walker: FA; terms unknown.
--OG Scott Young: UFA Browns; terms unknown (subsequently retired).

PLAYERS LOST
--RB Anthony Alridge (released).
--TE Adam Bergen (released).
--CB Dre' Bly (released).
--QB Jay Cutler (traded Bears).
--DE John Engelberger (released).
--QB Darrell Hackney (released).
--RB Alex Haynes (released).
--TE Nate Jackson (released).
--LB Niko Koutouvides (released).
--LS Mike Leach (released).
--S Marquand Manuel (released).
--TE Chad Mustard (released).
--CB Karl Paymah: UFA Vikings; $1.55M/1 yr.
--OT Erik Pears: Not tendered as RFA/Raiders; terms unknown.
--FB Andrew Pinnock (released).
--RB P.J. Pope (released).
--QB Patrick Ramsey: UFA Titans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DT Dewayne Robertson (released).
--WR Cliff Russell (released/failed physical).
--DT Josh Shaw (released).
--LB Jamie Winborn (released).
--RB Selvin Young (released/failed physical).





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