Denver Broncos defensive tackle DeMarcus Walker needed a clean slate, and the hiring of Vic Fangio as the team’s head coach provided it.
The Denver Broncos enter 2019 training camp with a number of players who are seemingly on borrowed time. One of those players is former second-round pick DeMarcus Walker, who couldn’t get on the good graces of Vance Joseph.
At least, not enough to warrant any significant playing time.
Walker was a stellar interior pass rusher at Florida State but has not had any impact on the Broncos since he was drafted. He’s become something of a forgotten man on that defensive front.
Can Walker make an impact on this team in 2019? The odds are seemingly against him, but he’s apparently made some progress, according to Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com. Mason wrote on a number of standouts from Broncos OTAs, and you should always check out what he has to say as he’s extremely observant, including the former Florida State star.
Here’s a bit of what he had to say.
"“Playing at the heaviest weight of his career, Walker looked more comfortable than he appeared at any point in the previous two years, generating pressure from the interior and stuffing a slew of runs behind the line of scrimmage throughout OTAs. The chance to mash the reset button in a new scheme and with a new head coach and defensive coordinator aided Walker, who finds comfort in concepts that he executed in college.”Andrew Mason"
At this point, any progress for Walker is notable progress. I find it hard to believe at this point in his career he is so incompetent that he couldn’t have played more than 21 snaps last year.
The mismanagement of Walker is one of the things I will forever hold against the previous regime. Vance Joseph initially talked about his inability to get on the field a result of his inability to play ‘teams’ meaning special teams.
Walker blocked a number of kicks in college, so his inability to play special teams was probably just a cop out.
Whatever ultimately led to Walker’s lack of contribution from 2017-18, it’s irrelevant if he can carve himself a role in 2019. He still has two years left on his rookie contract and has time to make an impression on the Broncos.
Training camp will be huge for him because the pads will be on, but Walker should factor into the Broncos 2019 plans and hopefully, the coaching staff won’t be so stingy with snaps. It seems like he makes plays every time he gets a shot.