Derek Wolfe is just one of the many key ingredients to the Broncos’ front line on defense. In the first three games he has recorded nine total tackles with 1.5 sacks. His personality is intense and intimidating, and he is looking forward to facing the Buccaneers and Jameis Winston.
When the Broncos defense is running on all cylinders, they can shut down any offense in the NFL. The Bengals had some success running the ball last week in the first half, and Wolfe didn’t mince any words when asked about giving up yardage against the Bengals run game.
“It pissed me off because that’s not how we play,” Wolfe told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio. “We stop the run. And for them to be able to run the ball on us, it pissed me off a little bit.”
This week, Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy complemented Wolfe, describing him as a literal wolf. If McCoy’s trying to soften Wolfe up, though, he’s not falling for it.
“If he is, it’s not going to work,” Wolfe said. “I appreciate the compliments. He’s a great player himself. Anytime you get a compliment from a good player, it’s always good.”
The Buccaneers might look to run the ball against the Broncos after watching the Bengals have some success last week, and if so, Wolfe has a message for them.
“Good luck, because we fixed the problem,” Wolfe said. “We were out of position a little bit. We had some guys not setting the edge, and I was out of position a little bit. A couple of those runs were my fault. A couple of those broke off inside because I wasn’t where I needed to be. I got that nipped in the bud the second half and you saw what happened in the second half.”
Winston is a quarterback that likes to float around out of the pocket to find the open receiver. Wolfe and the Broncos defense know they need to contain him from being able to move around too much.
“Just like a Cam Newton or an Andrew Luck, anybody that can use their feet to beat you, you see what happens when you let the quarterback out of the pocket,” Wolfe said. “Our rushing total is way down if we don’t let these quarterbacks get out of the pocket. That’s something big, not letting him use his feet to beat us.”
By shutting down the run game, Winston will be forced to throw the ball, which he has no problem in doing. In just three games Winston has thrown for 929 yards on 142 passing attempts.
Nonetheless, this Denver defense is the best pass rushing team in the league, and Wolfe welcomes the idea of a pass-heavy offense
“Anytime you get to pass rush a lot, it’s a good time,” Wolfe said. “It’s gonna be nice and hot and humid and miserable, so at least we get to have a little bit of fun, right?”
To catch the whole interview with Derek Wolfe, including his thoughts on Shane Ray’s play, click the podcast below…
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro Monday-Friday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.