Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
When reports broke that Danny Trevathan had suffered a leg injury that would force him to miss some games in the regular season, many wondered how the defense would fair in his absence. I say the defense did well in his absence. And Brandon Marshall can be one of the players we can thank.
While Danny Trevathan returned to practice today after the Denver Broncos bye week, it means that there is a great chance that he will suit up for this weekend’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. But let us all take a second to give props to Brandon Marshall for stepping up in Trevathan’s absence. The linebacker group was one of the more questionable positions heading into training camp, but they have excelled in more ways than one.
Brandon Marshall has the ability to become a starting linebacker and he has proven that during the three games he has started for the Broncos. The biggest thing that Marshall has benefited from starting the three games was in fact game experience. Now if something was to happen to anyone else at linebacker, (which I am hoping all the players stay healthy) Marshall would be ready to jump into any situation because he has gotten that experience that he got in the first three games of the season.
There is no doubt that Danny Trevathan will make the linebacker corps even stronger when he plays, but Marshall gives the team more options in certain situations. One area to place Marshall in the game plan would be in nickel formations. Here is an unknown stat made courtesy of this article. When the Broncos used the nickel package with Marshall and middle linebacker Nate Irving on the field, which they were on for 114 of those said plays, the opposing offense gained a first down every 3.45 plays. On the other snaps, the opposing offense gained a first down every 2.86 plays. Those numbers make a huge difference on how quickly the defense can get off the field.
The fans of Broncos Country are going to be happy to have Danny Trevathan back, but let us not forget the play of Brandon Marshall during his three game absence. With the depth of the linebackers for the defense, there is no doubt that this will be one of the greater units on the defensive side of the ball this season.
Brandon Marshall, thank you for your hard work through the first three games of the season.