Balance has been a major theme of the Broncos’ offseason. Much has been said about a new balanced offense and how a 39-year-old quarterback can’t do it alone. Whether you believe that or not, Gray Kubiak has made it very clear that he is going to take the pressure off of the passing game and Peyton Manning by establishing the run. A great plan in theory, but I’d rather bet the farm on Manning.

The problem with Kubiak’s focus on a balanced offense isn’t that he is putting a ton of faith into a collection of average running backs; it’s that his idea of balance is focused in the wrong direction.

Kubiak and his staff shouldn’t be worried about the balance between the running game and the passing game. They should be worried about the balance between the offense and defense. Over the last three years Denver’s offense has carried the team backpack. That isn’t a winning formula; luckily for the Broncos, they now have a defense that can carry its own weight.

The 2015 Denver Broncos have a defense unlike anything this town has ever seen. John Elway has assembled a group of young players that’d make most defensive coordinators drool. Von Miller, Shane Ray, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and Company will wreak havoc on opposing offenses all season. Wade Phillips’ hardest task this season will be to create ways to get all of his playmakers on the field at the same time. That’s a good problem to have.

This defense has a chance to be one of the best defenses in Broncos history, if not the best ever. That’s not meant to slight the Orange Crush or Super Bowl defenses. The truth is, Phillips’ group isn’t like either of those squads. This defense is going to create it’s own identity.

During the Super Bowl years, Greg Robinson led a group that was best described as opportunistic. They made plays when they had to and they knew how to seize the moment. That’s because the 1997 and ‘98 Super Bowl defenses were veteran heavy. Steve Atwater, Alfred Williams, Neil Smith, Ray Crockett and Bill Romanowski were all great players, but by no means were they spring chickens. What they lacked in youth they made up for in experience. They were savvy in a way that’ll be hard for any team to match. That said, the current defensive corps at Dove Valley is twice as talented as that team.

Even with all of that defensive talent, don’t compare this team to the Orange Crush. They aren’t the Orange Crush and never will be. There’s simply a huge stylistic difference between the two teams.

Running at the front seven of the Orange Crush was like running into a brick wall. Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Lyle Alzado and Rubin Carter were physically menacing. They punished opponents on every play. This isn’t to say that this year’s group won’t be menacing; they will be, but brute force isn’t their game.

The defense that has been assembled is easily the most athletic group to ever don the orange and blue. Their talent, top to bottom, is astonishing.

Miller, Ray and DeMarcus Ware make up the best pass-rushing trio in the NFL.

Denver’s core of defensive backs – Harris, Ward, Roby, and Talib – is matched by few.

Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall are tackling machines. Sideline to sideline, nothing gets by them.

This group is going run teams into the ground. Every ball carrier is going to find himself surrounded by three or four players. Offensive tackles are going to have nightmares trying to figure who they have to block and when. When opposing quarterbacks don’t have No. 58, No. 94 or No. 56 breathing down their necks they aren’t going to find many receivers open. And, if they do, they’ll have to worry about Ward stalking the middle of the field, ready to dislodge man from ball.

These defenders are going to play every down like their hair is on fire. Their style of play will be uniquely theirs and it’ll speak for itself. Miller and Company are going to be a dominating force the likes of which this town has never seen, as well as the final push to get this team over the hump.

The 2015 version of the Broncos defense isn’t going to be an immovable force and no one is going to categorize it as just opportunistic. It’s going to be all over the field creating their opportunities, not just capitalizing on the other teams’ mistakes. Opposing teams are going to feel like Phillips is lining up 14 guys every snap.

The Broncos finally have the balance they need to win a Super Bowl. Denver doesn’t need to rely solely on Manning to make plays when they’re needed most because they finally have a defense that can carry its weight.