It wasn’t just the Denver Broncos who got an upgrade when they signed defensive end Zach Kerr this offseason. Kerr got an upgrade, too.
Denver brought in the fourth-year player who spent his first three seasons with Indianapolis to help bolster a run defense that dropped 25 spots in rush defense ranking from 2015 to 2016. In so doing, they added 64 career tackles and 5.5 sacks to a line that is known for getting after the quarterback.
Kerr came to Denver knowing that he’s joining a defense that ranked No. 1 and No. 4 respectively over the past two years. It was an easy decision for the 6-4, 334-pound Delaware product, whose defenses ranked 26th and 30th over the past two seasons.
On Wednesday, Kerr spoke with the Denver media about his experience in Denver so far. Here are some of the top quotes, courtesy of Broncos PR.
On his decision to sign with Denver
“It was pretty much a no brainer when my team got the call from the Broncos saying they wanted to work a deal out. As soon as I had been—actually, I was in Detroit when I got the call. I actually really liked Detroit, but as soon as I got the offer from Denver, I said, ‘Yup, let’s go.’ It’s a great defense, it’s been a great defense. You would be a fool not to want to play here.”
On why he believes he was signed by Denver
“I guess they brought me here to beef up the run defense and rush the passer and make plays, use my versatility and stuff like that. I’m here to help. Whatever role they want me to play in the defense, I’m here to play. I’m not a picky guy as far as being a football player. I was blessed with versatility, so whatever they want me to be, nose, three, four-technique, five-technique, I’m here to help.”
On whether he knew Defensive Lines Coach Bill Kollar previously
“Actually, I did. Bill was one of the first guys I talked to at the Combine when I was coming out when he was back in Houston. He and I had a conversation, probably about 10-15 minutes at the Combine. It was interesting to say the least. It’s cool to get back with him now. He gets a lot out of his players, so I’m excited about that.”
On whether his conversation at the Combine showed a different side of Kollar
“You kind of get a feel for the guy’s intensity just by talking to him. To be honest with you, it wasn’t too different. You know what I’m saying? Bill Kollar is going to be Bill Kollar (laughing). It was a fun time.”
On his initial thoughts of the defensive scheme
“I like it a lot. There are a lot of playmakers around us—meaning the guys upfront; the three interior guys. I enjoy it. They allow us to be free. There is more of an up-the-field type of scheme. It fits me and some of the other guys in the room a lot better than the scheme I played with previous teams.”
On the energy in the defensive meeting room
“It’s intense. It’s kind of like a no-nonsense thing, but we have fun in there as well. We really like to hone in on what we have to do and get the job done. We make sure everybody is squared away with their assignments and we kind of go from there. It’s fun, though. We have a lot of fun in there.”
On the intensity of the defense
“It’s intense. The most intense defense that I’ve been around. I think it’s fun. I think this might be the first place—obviously, I’ve only been two places—but I’ve seen where the DBs are the nucleus of the defense. It’s exciting to see the skinny guys get after us sometimes.”
On what he likes best about this defense
“What’s there not to like about this defense? The best thing, honestly, might be the comradery that you see in the locker room and stuff like that. Everybody will probably look at the numbers and the ‘No Fly Zone’ and things like that, and all that stuff is great. But, when you come in the locker room, my first day here with all the guys, everybody said, ‘Hey, what’s up? My name is…’ or, ‘I’m Aqib [Talib],’ ‘I’m T.J. [Ward],’ or this, that and the third. Everybody is just coming together, welcoming you to the team. That was a cool thing and I enjoyed that about it the most.”