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Mason's Mailbag: What sprinkling "some sugar" on the defense means

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.*

"NFI" stands for "Non-Football Injury." Chad Kelly and Jake Butt are on the NFI list because they suffered their injuries away from activities organized by an NFL team (workouts or OTAs) -- Kelly while getting ready for his Pro Day workout, Butt in last year's Orange Bowl.

The NFI list functions the same as the physically-unable-to-perform list, in that the player is out for six weeks and can begin practicing at some point during the following five weeks. At the point he begins practicing, the team has three weeks to decide whether to move him to the active roster or keep him on the NFI list for the rest of the season.

Why does it seem that we're running more zone defense? We have the personnel for man and it has worked well the past two years.

-- Nick Jesteadt

Because Head Coach Vance Joseph and Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods want to incorporate some different looks and formations into the defense this year to keep opposing offenses off guard -- particularly early in games. The Broncos struggled in the first quarters last year; at the NFL Annual Meeting in March, Joseph noted that one of the causes for the issues was the team's focus on its base packages early in games, for which opponents had prepared thoroughly.

In May, Woods added that he didn't want to overhaul the defense, but he did want to "sprinkle some sugar" into its tactics.

"It’s something that will give us a little change up, make offenses work at the line of scrimmage," he said then. "That’s all we’re doing."

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I have a suggestion to make kickoffs more interesting and kickers more valuable. What if you kick it between the goal posts on kickoff, it's one point!**

-- Matthew Bullock

I've been saying this for years. Mainly because I enjoy Canadian football and this would be the closest thing to a rouge in the American game. It would also create the more realistic possibility of a final score of, say, 27-1.

This would also add another layer of strategy to kickoffs -- do you tell your kickoff specialist to try to clobber the football to get it through the uprights, knowing he might sacrifice accuracy for distance and a shot at a point? Is the potential of a point worth an errant kickoff that could sail out of bounds or low, giving the returning team a chance for excellent field position?

In general, anything that adds importance to special teams is something I support, as long as it does not have a negative effect on player safety or game pace.

What has been your favorite moment of training camp/preseason?

-- Jordan Brantley

Von Miller's inside move for a sack of Aaron Rodgers in the Packers game. Any time you get to see an all-timer make a play like that, you store it in the memory bank. Any opportunity to watch Miller at his best is one to be savored.

If you can't think of any other reason to tune into or attend a game this season, just think about the chance to watch Miller make one of his plays in which he seems to stretch the boundaries of what human beings that large can do in terms of the variety of moves and the ability to maintain their speed while being forced low to the ground while turning a corner, all while wearing a helmet and full pads.

New England Patriots vs. the New York Giants in Super Bowl LII. Do you agree?

-- Ahmed Chowdhury

No.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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