In each of the last two seasons, the Denver Broncos have had the best pass defense in the NFL. Now, with the team returning starters Darian Stewart, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. yet again, they are ready to three-peat.
“We’re all ready to work,” Stewart said on Wednesday. “We’re ready to be legendary, leading the league three years straight.”
Though the personnel is largely the same, there were several changes from a coaching perspective. Wade Phillips is off in La La Land. Former defensive backs coach Joe Woods is now the defensive coordinator. Still, the scheme should remain largely the same.
“We’re going to be that same style of defense,” Ward said. “We’re going to be physical, we’re going to determine how we play defense and we’re going to make offenses play based on how we feel like we should play. It hasn’t changed with Joe. It may have even got turnt up a little more, because I know Joe is real fiery.”
The team brought in former All-Pro Marcus Robertson to lead the secondary and renowned DB guru Johnnie Lynn as his assistant. The coaching tandem has the No Fly Zone excited as well.
“I really think that that group there is going to take us to the next level,” Stewart said of the staff.
Still, it will be up to the players to perform on the field. In that respect, being together for so long should help them.
“It’s so exciting just coming into this atmosphere, this situation; having the whole No Fly coming back,” Ward said.
“We’ve been together three years. We’ve worked together for three years and we just know the ins and outs of each other. We know how each other likes to play, what guys are doing in certain situations. Having a defense and knowing the small intricacies as four veterans, you can’t get that. You don’t have to have a guy out there telling this guy what to do or this guy what to do on this play or that play. Everybody’s locked in, they know what they are doing, as long as you communicate.”
Throw in Bradley Roby and the N Fly Zone has five fearsome forces.
“He’s going into his fourth year, so he’s like a vet,” Ward said. “He’s not little Roby anymore, he’s like ROBY. He’s been here, he’s done that. It’s like having three starters [at cornerback].”
Now, their goal is clear, both for the No Fly Zone and the team as a whole.
“Leading it again [the NFL in pass defense] and winning another Super Bowl,” said Ward.