Fresh off a Super Bowl victory as the Rams' secondary coach/pass game coordinator, Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero is already turning the Broncos' defense into a dominant unit.
Through the first two games of the season, Evero's defense is third in the league in scoring and total defense, and top-five in passing and rushing defense. The unit has also had success punching the ball out, already forcing five fumbles after forcing just six all of last season.
After a slow start in the first half of the game against the Seahawks, the defense has been dominant since, with no touchdowns allowed in the last six quarters of play.
Evero received high praise from Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett after the Broncos' Week 2 win over the Texans, who raved about his former college teammate's wealth of experience working with different coaches.
"I think something great about Ejiro is that he has so many different backgrounds," Hackett said. "It's not just his time when he was with [former Broncos Head] Coach [Vic] Fangio, it's his time with [former Buccaneers defensive coordinator] Monte [Kiffin], it's his time with [Senior Defensive Assistant] Dom Capers … it's his time with [former Broncos Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator] Wade Phillips. He can throw a couple of those wrinkles in there because of his experience and all of the different people that he's worked with. I think that's what you're seeing, you're seeing some other mix-ups, not just one certain defense. I think that's where it shows up."
Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, who put consistent pressure on the Texans' backfield with two sacks, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble, said Sunday that Evero is in the upper echelon of defensive coordinators.
"I hope I don't sound too biased, but I think he is a top-three DC right now," Jones said. "His defense is a top-tier defense. From 'Dark Side' up to the back end, we can shut down through and through."
Below the Fold
Rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis is receiving national attention after his strong performance in place of Pat Surtain II against Houston. PFF’s Michael Renner ranked the top 15 rookies in Week 2, and he placed Mathis at No. 5.
"Mathis was thrust into the first action of his NFL career once Patrick Surtain II went down with an injury, and the rookie responded," Renner wrote. "Mathis finished with four defensive stops and allowed three catches on six targets for 37 yards on the day."