Denver Broncos may slightly alter defensive scheme for personnel
The Denver Broncos’ loss of Aqib Talib may have a more profound impact on the defense than we expect. Could the team alter its scheme?
The Denver Broncos’ loss of Aqib Talib could have a much more profound impact on the defense than anticipated.
In addition to the Broncos’ decision to go with some risky replacements in Tramaine Brock — who hasn’t played significant snaps since 2016 — along with unproven young players Brendan Langley, Isaac Yiadom, and a number of others, the team may look to some schematic changes to help ‘replace’ Talib.
This idea was brought to my attention in a training camp preview with DenverBroncos.com’s Phil Milani, Andrew Mason, and legendary safety Steve Atwater.
Atwater suggests near the end of the video that the Broncos shy away from incorporating strictly man coverage and add a little bit of zone defense into the mix.
It would certainly not be a bad idea for the Broncos, who have been able to rely on the man coverage skills of arguably three top 10 press-man cornerbacks over the past few seasons.
Though their top three corners have been able to lock things down in man coverage, the Broncos’ linebackers have sometimes struggled in that regard as well as safeties.
Perhaps the inclusion of zone, if even on a limited basis, is not without some merit.
As Mason suggests, the inclusion of some zone defense may coax quarterbacks into throwing the ball at Harris or Roby more often than they should, instead of simply picking on whoever the number three guy is.
This would be great for some of the Broncos’ new players not only in the defensive backfield but also for players like Josey Jewell who excelled in zone coverage at Iowa.
Next: What to expect from Broncos rookies in 2018
With the amount of pressure, the Broncos are capable of applying thanks to a plethora of talented pass rushers, mixing up the coverage might be exactly what this team needs to not only continue having success against the pass but to even thrive in Talib’s absence.
Last season, Talib had one interception for the Broncos, which came in a blowout victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Denver needs to find a way to create more takeaways this year and if adding a little zone coverage into the mix can get it done, Joe Woods would be wise to listen to the words of Atwater.