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Notebook: Strong Start Key in Week 3

Posted Sep 21, 2012

The Broncos will look to get off to a strong start against the Texans, the offense prepares for Houston's imposing pass defense and Keith Brooking is playing a bigger role for Denver.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After last week's turnover-plagued start, which Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy called "as bad a start as you can possibly have," the Broncos are looking to get off on the right foot against Houston.

"(With) four turnovers early on in the game, we were very fortunate our defense kept us in the game," McCoy said. "(The defense) only gave up 13 points on those four turnovers and then we got rolling. (Starting off strong) definitely something we've discussed and just said, 'Listen, we've got to eliminate the turnovers and play our game, do the things we know we can do and do your job every play and good things will happen.'"

Bailey echoed McCoy, adding that Houston's ability to get off to a fast start on the offensive side of the ball makes it even more important for the Denver defense to be ready.

"I think they rattle teams early," Bailey said. "They're up-tempo, quick passes here, screens there, and I think they get people on their heels. Guys don't know how to stop it. If you don't take them out of their rhythm, they'll put up 40 on you easy. We saw that the first two weeks. We're aware of it, and we've just got to make sure we come out strong."

POTENT PASS DEFENSE

The Texans defense has allowed just 124 yards per game through the air in 2012, good for tops in the league. One way they've troubled quarterbacks is by batting balls down, both at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary.

"Once they see that quarterback get ready to cock the ball and throw it, they're putting their hands up," McCoy said. "It's one of those things you always tell the players to be alert to. Certain techniques they're going to use to do that and you've just got to understand, 'Hey, that's something they're going to do.'"

Cornerback Jonathan Joseph has been a leader of the Texans' stout pass defense this year. Quarterbacks have tended to stay away from him so far this year, but he's still managed to rank second on the team with eight tackles.

"He gets up there," McCoy said. "He likes to press a lot. He does a nice job on the edge. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he should. Not a lot of balls are thrown and completed his way but he's done a nice job so far this year."

BROOKING'S ROLE EXPANDING

Working linebacker Keith Brooking into the defensive rotation has been a process that began when he arrived in Denver late in the offseason.

On Monday night, Brooking saw a dramatic increase in playing time from Week 1, playing in more than half the team's snaps.

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said that he liked what he saw from Brooking against the Falcons and the 15th-year linebacker will continue to play a significant role in the middle of the defense.

"He hadn't had a lot of padded exposure," Del Rio said. "Nine plays in the previous game (against Pittsburgh). He got a lot more this week and he'll continue to get some playing time. He's doing a good job. He's a tough, smart linebacker who's been a good player for a long time in this league. I'm just glad we have him right now."

Brooking made five tackles against the Falcons and also forced a fumble from Michael Turner on the goal line, although it was recovered by Atlanta.