Orange Crush:Reloaded

Denver Broncos have one of the most prolific passing attacks in NFL history, Peyton Manning is undeniably a first ballot Hall of Famer, no question. In 2013, Peyton in his 16th season, threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns with a mere 10 ints, this is a remarkable feat considering #18 was only a year removed from potential career ending neck surgeries. Peyton’s will and drive to be a thought of as the greatest QB of all-time still eludes him, because of ill-timed interceptions in key playoff moments and mental gaffs on defense. Russell Wilson, Collin Kaepernick and Tom Brady have at various points of their careers have enjoyed top ranked defenses to balance and stabilize the offense, in stops and turnovers. Universal philosophies that have been practiced and preached in various levels of football are, ‘a running game and defense is a quarterback best friend’. To this last point, the great military war strategist Sun Tzu had said, “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.” The offensive capacity of the Broncos is not a narrative of pressing concern, moreover the defense has been the Achilles heel in recent memory.

Denver’s 2013 Statistical Rankings:

Total Defense: 19th 

Points/Game: 18th

Turnovers: 20th

Run: 8th

Pass: 25th

Vice President of Football Operations for the Broncos, John Elway, has done a masterful job of assessing free agent defensive talent for the AFC West Champions. The big 3 free agents who have been signed are T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib. The reigning factors for ultimate success in winning the elusive Super Bowl are:

1.      Quality of Play

2.      Impact in Consequential Moments

3.      Locker Room Presence

4.       Player's Upside


Ht: 5' 10"  Wt: 200  Age: 27
Born: 12/12/1986, Antioch, California
College: Oregon
NFL Experience: 5th season
Drafted: 2010 - Rd 2
Salary: $630,000

T.J. Ward a brilliantly talented safety, who brings an enforcer like mentality in patrolling middle of the field in run stoppage, ball play or eviscerating a pass receiver from the ball. The four pro was a shining star for the Cleveland Browns, whose skill set has been imported to the orange and blue for a sobering cost effective price.  

Age: 31
Born: 07/31/1982, in Auburn, AL
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 258
College: Troy
Rookie Year: 2005
NFL Experience: 9 years
Salary: 3 million

DeMarcus Ware is perhaps the crown jewel to the Broncos’ defensive ascension, paired with fellow defensive end Von Miller, instantly upgrades the pass rush, something in which Denver desperately needed. Ware brings no nonsense attitude and physical toughness, drawing double-teams away from Von Miller; opening up the middle of the field for green dog blitz packages or DT bull rushes. If DeMarcus can recapture his internal all-pro skill, #94 will be the fuel injection for the resurgent front seven.

Ht: 6' 1"  Wt: 205  Age: 28
Born: 2/13/1986, Richardson, Texas
College: Kansas
NFL Experience: 7th season
Drafted: 2008 - Rd 1
Salary: $1,575,000

Aqib Talib is a top 5 NFL corner back, who possess the physical strength and length to jam larger receivers at the line of scrimmage, upsetting the opposing quarterback’s timing. Unlike, other corners, #31 plays and follows the competition’s top down field threat on either side of the pitch. Health is the only major concern for Talib, the challenge is to play all 16 regular season games. If preservation can be achieved, the skies is not the limit for the immensely talented all-pro.

The gut wrenching loss to the eventual Super Bowl champs Seattle Seahawks, on the heels of their precipitous defense, the return of the infamous Orange Crush of the 90’s should be in good standing for the 2014 season.

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