Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass defended by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) and defensive end Quanterus Smith (93) during the third quarter of their NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jets 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been a long road for Denver Broncos defensive end Quanterus Smith, but the fruits of his labor are finally starting to show up on the football field.
Star pass rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware have already been stellar, combining for 10 sacks in the first five games. However, the Broncos are going to need some other players along the line to step up, and Smith has proven in the last few games that he is up to the task.
His teammates agree, and it’s certainly not bad to have an endorsement from future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware.
“We talk about that every single day in meetings,” Ware said. “Quanterus, he sits right beside me in meetings and I’m like, ‘now you want to get closer to the sack master since you’ve been closer to sacks.’ I joke with him all the time about that. He’s one of those guys, last week, he had that quarterback in his hands and I said, ‘Don’t let him go.’ Everybody’s rooting for him to make big plays. He’s that great athlete when he goes in there you have to put somebody on him. We’re ready for that breakthrough for him.”
And a breakthrough could come sooner rather than later. Smith jumped off the tape against the Jets this past Sunday, racking up three QB hurries. That’s what Ware was speaking to in terms of Smith being ‘closer’ to sacks, and those will come. He’s getting a good jump off the ball, and his ability to get to the QB is so natural and fluid, there’s no doubt in my mind his first NFL sack is on deck.
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Smith right now is using a variety of moves to get to the quarterback. In college, we saw him use a variety as well but dating back to the preseason and in his limited snaps this year as part of the rotation, you can see that he’s learned a lot more than his natural move which is to blow by tackles on the outside and bend back inside. He’s using his length to push defenders back, he’s got an inside move, and he’s also staying disciplined.
“The stuff that used to work for you in college is not going to work for you in the NFL.” Von Miller on Quanterus Smith.
Von Miller is noticing everything starting to come together for Smith, and that his sack totals are going to start to go up. He offered his opinions on how things are progressing for Smith at this point.
“The stuff that used to work for you in college is not going to work for you in the NFL. You just have to find a way to play the game that you were playing in college, but put your little tweak on it to get it done for you in the NFL. He’s close. He’s close to finding it, and when he’s finding it, the sacks they’ll just start rolling in. The first one is always the hardest one.”
Miller went on to say that everyone knows sacks come in bunches. Right now, he’s amid the longest active sack streak in the NFL, so he would know. What Smith needs to do is get that first one, the hardest one, and he’ll be off and rolling. We all saw the game tape of him at Western Kentucky absolutely abusing offensive tackles. This guy is for real.
When he gets his first sack, the rest of the NFL will know it too.