ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – There are some obvious similarities between the Raiders, the Broncos’ most recent opponent, and the Eagles, the Broncos’ upcoming foe.
They both have dangerous running games bolstered by quick and athletic quarterbacks that aren’t afraid to make plays on their feet. But Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said Thursday that the comparisons between the two quarterbacks doesn’t go much further than that.
“They’re really completely different, other than they’re both mobile (quarterbacks),” Del Rio said. “The Raiders were very methodical in their approach. They had a lot of big people and a lot more two-back stuff. This is a lot more fast-tempo, spread the field. They still have the option element in the quarterback, that is the mobile element, but vastly different systems.”
The Eagles’ system, under first year Head Coach Chip Kelly, is very fast and not just compared to the Raiders – compared to the league. The Eagles have racked up the second most yards in the NFL in the first three games and have done so while holding on to the ball for shortest time of possession in the league.
While it will be the Broncos’ first crack at a mobile quarterback in a system with speed like that – it’s not the first time the Broncos have had to deal with that tempo. They’ve worked against it all summer.
“We’ve seen the NASCAR tempo from our offense for the last—I don’t know, it’s been a long time,” Del Rio said. “We are more comfortable going fast but that doesn’t mean that everything will be beautiful on Sunday. We certainly work that tempo a lot, it’s part of what we do daily. So we should be more comfortable in our communication and the execution.”
The Broncos’ third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, cornerback Kayvon Webster, has handled the transition from the University of South Florida to the NFL well and has landed a couple of thunderous hits in the process.
He’s appeared in all three games for the Broncos so far this year and has registered four tackles and three passes defensed – some more emphatically than others. But the rookie has proven to his coaches that he can handle what they’re asking of him.
“I like that when he goes in the game he doesn’t look like it’s too big for him," Del Rio said. "He’s come in and just done his job. He’s a physical corner. He’s a bigger corner. I think he can really run. I think you saw an example of him opening up the other night to go try and chase that guy down, he can really run. And the moment doesn’t appear too big for him which is great because he’s going to be, he’s going to find himself in a lot of those moments so we want him to play well.”
His attitude has caught the eye of the most veteran member of the Broncos’ seconday –
“I’m really impressed,” Bailey said. “He’s a rookie, but he doesn’t carry himself like he’s a rookie. He definitely thinks he should be playing every snap and I like that kind of attitude.”
Bailey added that Webster has shown resiliency in the way that he has bounced back from mistakes saying that “he’s had some rough spots, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his demeanor.”
In his rookie season, defensive end Malik Jackson played in 14 games and registered five total tackles. In this, his second season, he’s already nearly matched those numbers with four tackles and a half a sack.
He picked the first half-sack of his career against Pryor Monday night.
Del Rio said that Jackson was more confident in what he was doing and compared him to fellow second-year defensive lineman
“They can play end and move inside and play tackle,” Del Rio said. “Strong. Quick. He’s a younger player that has really blossomed this year into a good football player. He made a handful of plays last year throughout but he’s playing a bigger role for us now and he’s doing a good job in that role.“So we’re happy about the way he’s working.”