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Get to Know: Linebackers Coach Richard Smith

Posted Oct 5, 2012

Linebackers Coach Richard Smith talks about Von Miller's development from his rookie season and the linebacker's role in the success of the team's run defense thus far.


Editor’s Note: This Q&A story ran in the Sept. 30 Gameday program, when the Broncos played the Oakland Raiders.

In what ways have Von Miller improved from last season?
“Right now it’s early, he has a much better grasp of what we’re doing defensively. We’re asking him to not only just be able to rush the passer, but also be able to be a zone cover guy. Right now he’s done a great job, and I think he’s going to have a big year this year.”

How much has Miller improved against the run?
“I think he’s working at it really hard. His technique is improving and it’s nice that in the first few games he’s created some big plays at the time that we have needed it.”

Have you been pleased with Wesley Woodyard’s play thus far?
“Yes, I have. If you look back at last year when D.J. Williams got injured, the first four games of the season Woodyard was the leading tackler. I think right now he’s done a great job in the role that he’s been playing.”

Do you believe the linebackers have played a big role in the team’s early success against the run?
“I think what’s happened in this system that (Defensive Coordinator) Jack Del Rio has brought in is that it’s the whole front seven, it’s just not the linebackers. The whole front seven has done a nice job of really improving against the run. It takes not just the linebackers, it takes the whole front seven. Right now, over the first few games we’ve done a nice job in that area.”

How pleased have you been with Joe Mays’ leadership?
“Joe has really improved. I think his confidence level and his demeanor on the field has been great. Of course he is a very physical player, and right now not only is he doing a nice job in that area, but also he’s becoming a really good coverage linebacker.”

What has Keith Brooking brought to the group?
“Keith has brought a lot of maturity and experience to the group. I love his demeanor. He’s a very intense individual. Everything he does, he does with intensity. And I like that. I think that type of personality and energy level and work ethic is very contagious for your football team. I’m really, really happy that we were able to get him on our football team. He’s done a nice job and is a great addition.”