Tag:Elvis Dumervil
Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 9:43 pm
 

Film Room: Broncos vs. Lions preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



It’s impossible to avoid the Tim Tebow coverage at this point. Since you’ll be hearing about the Broncos-Lions game all week, you might as well make the best of it and be familiar with the two teams. Here is a five-point rundown of the matchup, starting with a quick ode to You Know Who.



1. Tebow
The argument is no longer whether Tebow can become a more conventional quarterback; it’s whether the Broncos can win without him becoming a conventional quarterback. The elongated throwing motion probably isn’t going away. The flawed footwork may improve, but no guarantees. The arm strength will likely always be what it is: middling.

At this point, the Broncos coaching staff is limiting Tebow’s reads with simplified gameplans. That’s common with young quarterbacks. But usually young quarterbacks have more passing tools to work with. Tebow has running tools, which are hard to successfully incorporate into an NFL gameplan.

Tebow worshipers love to tout his “It Factor”. Twice now we’ve seen that “It Factor” late in the fourth quarter when the trailing Broncos have been compelled to cut loose Tebow’s inner sandlot soul. And it’s worked. So why doesn’t John Fox have Tebow play this way for all four quarters? Because he fears that if he did, the Broncos would trail by 30 late in the fourth instead of the usual 15 or 16.

Let’s look at the rest of this matchup.

2. Broncos offense
As we highlighted in last week’s Finer Points analysis, the Broncos have severe limitations at wide receiver. None of their targets are vertical threats. Eric Decker gets off press coverage well but is restricted to underneath stuff. Eddie Royal is an uninspiring slasher. Demaryius Thomas is solid and has upside, but only in a possession sense. And undrafted Matt Willis is untested.

Because of this, the Broncos are a throwback offense that operates out of traditional two-backs, one-tight end sets and abides largely by the laws of run-run-pass. That’s not a winning formula, but if the run game is working, it can at least be a “not losing” formula.

The run game has worked the past two weeks. Though Willis McGahee rushed for 103 yards against the Packers in Week 6, 125 yards against the Chargers in Week 5 and 76 yards against the Dolphins this past Sunday, he's out for for at least the next month with a broken hand. That means, Knowshon Moreno -- last year's first-round pick who is a mechanic, finesse-based back who has been relegated to third down duties -- will take over. Like McGahee, at least Moreno has the benefit of operating behind an offensive line that is well sized and, for the most part, athletic.

3. Lions defense
The Lions run defense is not nearly as bad as its ranking (28) indicates. A few missed tackles have led to big gains on the ground. Missed tackles are the type of mistakes that can quickly be corrected. The Lions have one of the deepest, most athletic defensive lines in football.

The line’s ability to win early in the down allows speedy linebackers DeAndre Levy, Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch to play untouched and downhill – something all three are doing extremely well. Safety Louis Delmas is also outstanding at locating and quickly filling the point of attack against the run. He’ll see plenty of time in the box given Denver’s nonexistent downfield passing game.

Denver needs to forget about running outside and instead attack Detroit right up the gut. That may seem problematic given the presence of Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams, but in the last two weeks, the Niners and Falcons, two other power-run teams, have taken a clever approach to this.

Instead of trying to stop Ndamukong Suh’s initial penetration, the Falcons, taking a page out of the 49ers’ playbook, found a way to use it against him. Right guard Garrett Reynolds let Suh get his amazing jump off the ball.



Center Todd McClure swept around to shield Suh backside, while Michael Turner carried the ball right to the spot that Suh vacated. Reynolds stepped to his right to take care of the defensive end (an easy block given the angle of the hole it was creating) and right tackle Tyson Clabo was able to immediately work up to the second level and block the linebacker (also an easy block given that the linebacker had virtually no time to diagnose and react).



The 49ers used a similar tactic the previous week (see the video here), only with different players. They let Suh get penetration and blocked him backside with motioning tight end Delanie Walker. Center Jonathan Goodwin went cleanly to the second level to block the linebacker, while right guard Adam Snyder handled the left defensive tackle that Goodwin left behind.



This concept did three things for the Falcons and 49ers:

1. Eliminated Suh from the play without costing the offense an extra blocker in a double team, and without asking the right guard to win a one-on-one matchup that few, if any, right guards could possibly win.

2. Opened a natural hole in the A-gap, which is the easiest hole for a running back to hit quickly.

3. Allowed an offensive lineman to immediately reach a linebacker without being touched (a run-blocker’s dream).

Expect the Broncos to try a similar tactic this Sunday. It will be interesting to see what adjustment the Lions will have made to combat this (it’s doubtful they’d ask Suh to NOT penetrate off the snap).

4. Lions offense
This unit has had the chinks in its armor exposed the past two weeks. At this point, Matthew Stafford and the Lions are overly dependent on Calvin Johnson. That’s fine when Jahvid Best is in the lineup. But with Best out, the Lions don’t pose much of a run threat out of shotgun (overwhelmingly their favorite formation).

They also lose Best’s outside presence on bubble screens. This allows defenses to be more aggressive near the line of scrimmage against Titus Young, Nate Burleson and tight end Brandon Pettigrew, all of whom struggled last Sunday.

This puts more pressure on Johnson. He’s an otherworldly talent, but he’s never been inspiring against intense double coverage (he was nowhere near as impactful against the Niners two weeks ago as his 113 yards suggested).

Also, as we saw against the Falcons, with the passing game’s quick-strike element suppressed, this unathletic front five gets exposed.

5. Broncos defense
The Broncos have the resources to exploit Detroit’s pass-blocking. Von Miller is the AFC’s answer to Clay Matthews. Elvis Dumervil has had a quiet season but will still a handful for Jeff Backus. And last week the safeties and linebackers timed their blitzes extremely well.

The Broncos also have the resources to keep up with Detroit’s passing attack. Champ Bailey is still a top-tier cornerback, shadowing the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver week in and week out. Bailey will need rookie free safety Quinton Carter (who has replaced Rahim Moore) to be a little more reliable in help coverage than he’s been, but with a respectable pass-rush, the Broncos shouldn’t feel too nervous about this matchup.

Nickel linebackers D.J. Williams (insane athlete) and Wesley Woodyard are both stellar pass defenders who can contain Pettigrew. The deciding factor will be whether cornerbacks Andre Goodman and Jonathan Wilhite can physically stymie Burleson and Young. Teams have targeted Wilhite, who’s been in and out of the lineup.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 8 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Offseason checkup: Denver Broncos

Posted by Will Brinson



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



Remember when the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls? Yeah, that was a long time ago. But the Broncos were relevant as recently as 2005, which is the last time they won the AFC West. Since then? Well, um, er, you see. Yeaaaaaaah, about that: one winning record (9-7 in 2006) produced a third-place finish in the division, while one losing record (7-9 in 2007) produced a second place finish. Two-straight .500 seasons followed after that and then -- BAM! -- the bottom fell out in 2010, as the Josh McDaniels train derailed en route to a 4-12 finish and his firing.

Enter John Elway, John Fox and the new, "new look" Broncos who appear to be all about transparency. They also appear about to undertake a pretty massive rebuilding project. Fortunately, Fox that's he polar opposite of Josh McDaniels -- methodical, defensive-minded, doesn't care for too much personnel control, likes to run the ball and unlikely to tape anyone else's practice.

The question for Fox is whether or not the system he wants to implement will work with the roster that McDaniels built. The immediate answer is "hell no," but it's not as far off as you think; Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd could be a poor man's Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith (a reasonable comparison, although I feel like it might insult someone, I'm just not sure who), who didn't exactly suffer through miserable seasons, statistically-speaking, their whole time in Carolina.

The defense, rather, is the bigger problem for Fox to address, because it acted like a sieve last season, and even with Elvis Dumervil returning, there's no guarantee that it will instantly become better. 




Defense, Quarterback??

The defensive line in Denver is a disaster, particularly at defensive tackle. That's why the Broncos are mentioning so many different possibilities at the No. 2 pick -- if the Panthers end up taking Marcell Dareus first overall, Denver's suddenly in a nightmare situation where they need to trade out of the second spot and try and recoup some value a few picks later. Fortunately for them, a pair of teams -- Cincinnati and Arizona -- could be interested in playing some hopscotch to try and acquire Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton should the draft unfold in such a manner.

What's even left to say about Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow? Well, actually a lot, I guess -- the two quarterbacks on the Broncos' roster are polar opposites (can you imagine Orton running a draw and/or circumcising babies in a third-world country during spring break?) but they're in similar situations, because no one can figure out whether or not the Broncos actually want  them.  

Could John Fox actually love Orton? Considering he saw -- first-hand -- how Orton can "manage" a game into right into the L-column when the Bears visited Charlotte a few years back, it's hard to believe. But surely he doesn't think the same of Tebow as Josh McDaniels did, right? Well, probably not, but there's always a chance, especially considering that Fox and Tebow got friendly during the draft ... right before Carolina took Jimmy Clausen.



1. Defensive Tackle
If the Panthers draft anyone other than Marcell Dareus with the first overall pick, it's hard to imagine the Broncos taking too much time to wait on selecting the Alabama product with the No. 2 overall pick. They'll definitely still listen to trades, because, well, who wouldn't, but Dareus is a pretty perfect fit with not only what Fox wants to do on defense, but how he wants to do it.

2. Cornerback
Patrick Peterson's there too, and could be a candidate for the No. 2 spot if Carolina goes Dareus and no one will trade up, although you have to think Denver would rather add a DB in the second round, or potentially trade back up to try and snatch a guy like Jimmy Smith if he falls. Of course, the depth at defensive line in this draft could have John Elway thinking he nabs Peterson to mentor under Champ Bailey during the legendary cornerback's home stretch, and then snag a defensive tackle with a later selection.

3. More Draft Picks
That's only a half joke -- Denver's got piles of holes to fill; they need another running back to pair with Knowshon Moreno in Fox's system, they might need a quarterback, they could use a defensive end, they need help at linebacker (making Von Miller a sneaky potential selection at No. 2 as well), they need more secondary help and they also need help across the offensive line. Moving down in the draft and accumulating potentially talented bodies to plug these holes is Elway's ideal scenario.



2011 could be another long season for Broncos' fans. It looks like the division should  improve, though in the AFC West, no one's scared to keep falling back to the pack throughout the season. But it's hard to imagine that Denver will be as successful on offense, numerically speaking, as they were in 2010, and unless the defense improves leaps and bounds, four wins might be a stretch ... again.

But there's hope, at least: Elway's immediate legacy will be somewhat determined by how he drafts this coming year, and it's going to take time to heal the wounds of the McDaniels era. Fortunately for Denver, they've got a coach who's turned around a moribund franchise before, and a front-office guy who knows a thing or two about the city and success. 

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:54 am
 

Charges dropped against Elvis Dumervil

Posted by Andy BenoitE. Dumervil

Elvis Dumervil is in the clear. The Broncos outside linebacker/defensive end had been facing an April 5 court date for assault and disturbing the peace as fallout from an Oct. 24 incident at Invesco Field. (Dumervil forgot his player credentials that day and became upset when a parking attendant did not allow him access.)

But on Thursday, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that the charges were dropped.

“He never should have been charged in the first place,” Harvey Steinberg, Dumervil’s attorney said. “And the press coverage should be the same not that his case has been dismissed as when he was charged.”

Harvey, hope this satisfies you.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 18, 2011 10:02 am
 

Fox: Broncos will go back to 4-3

John Fox said he'll switch Denver's defense to the 4-3 scheme (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Broncos coach John Fox is switching things up in Denver. Namely, his team’s defense.

In an interview with the Denver Post, Fox said he’s switching the 3-4 defense played under Josh McDaniels the past two years back into the 4-3 employed by Mike Shanahan for the 14 years he coached.

The move isn’t a big surprise, considering the Broncos were last in the league in 2010 in scoring defense and total defense and because Fox ran the 4-3 in Carolina.

"We're going to be a multiple-front defense, but I think we'll make the commitment to the 4-3,” Fox told the paper. “The transition from the 3-4 to 4-3 is much easier than going from the 4-3 to 3-4, I will say that. So we feel pretty confident about that switch."

What does the move mean for players like Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, who had established themselves as effective outside linebackers in the 3-4 scheme? Well, they both most likely would return to their original positions as defensive ends. The Broncos, who pick No. 2 in the upcoming Draft, also could select Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers to help complement Dumervil and Ayers.

The linebackers who would stay in that position – for instance, D.J. Williams, Wesley Woodyard and Mario Haggan – also would have to readjust to a scheme that doesn’t require them to rush the passer quite as much.

Said Fox: "We're working through that with our personnel people, both our pro and college.”

No word yet on what Champ Bailey thinks of this idea.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 17, 2010 11:04 pm
 

Broncos cut former first-round pick

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos finally have had enough of former-first round pick LB Jarvis Moss. As the Denver Post reported today, the organization announced it has released him.

Moss has been underwhelming since Denver chose him with the 17th pick of the 2007 Draft. In the 28 games he’s played in the past four seasons, he’s started only once (his rookie season), and he’s accumulated 3.5 sacks (none since 2008).

Moss Moss was supposed to help take over the post vacated by LB Elvis Dumervil when Dumervil tore his pectoral muscle in early August. But Moss broke his hand in training camp, and he never broke through to the starting lineup, and in the end, he only accumulated five tackles in nine games.

“He’s been a great kid for us, done everything we asked him to do. It just hasn’t been a perfect fit,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “Hopefully he can find a place that will be a better fit and suits what can do.”

LB Robert Ayers, another Broncos first-round pick, is close to returning from a broken foot, but let this be known: he hasn’t been stellar in his career so far either. In 20 games as a pro, he’s produced 1.5 sacks and 38 tackles. Still, he’s got better numbers than Moss and, since he was drafted in 2009, there’s still time to help him turn around his career.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 12, 2010 11:30 am
 

Ayers out six weeks; Dawkins 2-3 weeks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to the Denver Post, Broncos LB Robert Ayers will be out six weeks, and he could return for the final month of the season. Ayers broke his foot in Denver’s loss to the Ravens on Sunday.

It’s another blow to the Broncos LB corps, which is still trying to recover from the loss of Elvis Dumervil. While Denver finished 10th in the NFL with 39 sacks last season, the Broncos currently rank 31st with only five sacks on the year.

Also, S Brian Dawkins will miss at least the next two games with a strained right knee ligament. But the Broncos also might choose to keep him out of the Oct. 31 game vs. the 49ers in London, because Denver has a bye the next week. That obviously would give Dawkins another week to heal.

Either way, Denver's defense will suffer.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: August 17, 2010 10:12 am
 

Hot Routes 8.17.10: Empire State of Mind

Posted by Will Brinson

There's really no need to chastise me for the title. I've already hit my head on my desk 15 times since I put it in there. As always, if you've got a link for the Hot Routes, follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNFL or feel free to email links to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • It warrants mentioning what new Giant linebacker Keith Bulluck said to the New York Times before last night's contest that clearly decided who was New York's most important football team: “If you’re from New York, you know who New York’s football team is: the New York Giants,” Bulluck said. “I’m a Mets fan, but I know who New York’s baseball team is: the New York Yankees. The Jets haven’t won nothing since Broadway Joe. ” Who's excite for this "rivalry" to be as annoying as Red Sox - Yankees within the next six months? /raises hand
  • Like video highlights of football without feeling dirty for viewing them illegally? My man Brian Bassett at The Jets Blog has your one-stop spot for everything Jets and Giants related from last night.
  • Al Harris (he of the Chicago Bears in the 1980's) missed the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl run because he sat out the season with a contract dispute. Sound familiar yet? Because Gary Myers of the New York Daily News believes Darrelle Revis could also suffer the same fate. Unfortunately, the Jets ALREADY WON THE 2010 SUPER BOWL. IT'S TOO LATE, DARRELLE! MUAHAHAHA ... Er, sorry. I watched "Hard Knocks" again this morning.
  • The guys at "New Meadlowlands Stadium" (I'm waiting for their price to drop to seven figures before I cut the check and get it named "Brinsonland World Stadium") want to play the role of Switzerland , remaining neutral in the Jets-Giants semi-war. But, duh, that's just good bizness.

Posted on: August 14, 2010 9:16 am
 

Hot Routes 8.14.10: Roster Bubbles and Mannings

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to andy[dot]benoit[at]cbs[dot].com.

Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill is out a few weeks with a knee injury. Considering he could face further suspension from the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy, and considering he hasn't lived up to his big contract as of late, this injury basically solidifies his backup status.

Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley could be on the roster bubble in Denver. It's okay, though, whether he's on a team or not, we can still describe him as "scrappy" (i.e. "white").

Hard Knocks viewership is up 37 percent this year. Nearly ¼ homes with HBO in the New York area tuned in to Wednesday’s premier.

Dolphins cornerback Will Allen will miss the rest of the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Allen has been having problems with the knee he blew out last October.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post says, based on what he’s heard, Elvis Dumervil is expected to return from his torn pec sometime during the regular season.

Colts offensive coordinator Jim Christensen will be on the sideline during games, not up in the booth. Indy’s previous playcaller, Tom Moore, preferred the sideline as well.

Will Brinson apparently already posted this in yesterday's Hot Routes, but since port-a-potty is a super-hyphenated term we rarely get to use on this blog, I'm going with it again. So...Chiefs assistant coach Maurice Carthon used a port-a-potty for one of the running back drills. It was meant to develop hand-eye coordination. Click here if you can’t resist an explanation.

Colts say there’s no timetable for Manning’s contract talks.

Speaking of Mannings…if you’re interested in reading about what it’s like to be married to Eli, click here.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com