Karl Mecklenburg played linebacker and defensive end for the Denver Broncos from 1983-1994. During his impressive career, Mecklenberg recorded 1,118 total tackles, 79 sacks and forced 14 fumbles.
Mecklenburg joined Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson on Friday to discuss what has gone wrong for the 2018 Broncos on defense. In the interview with Mile High Sports Radio AM 1340 | FM 104.7, Mecklenburg explained that what concerns him most about the Broncos is the lack of intensity and leadership being displayed by the defense.
“What bother me most is the lack of leadership back there,” Mecklenburg said.
The 58-year old former star of the Orange Crush said that in every game this season, he has seen defensive players looking confused and out of position. Mecklenburg explained that when he was suiting up for the Broncos, every member of the defensive front seven could identify each teammate’s responsibility in a particular package.
“They don’t have anybody out there whose putting them in the right position. It’s a tough deal,” Mecklenburg said.
Mecklenburg went on to explain how in the late 1980’s, cornerback Tyrone Braxton was an important leader for the secondary because he was the kind of guy that could handle the responsibilities of making sure everyone was lined up correctly. When Braxton went to Miami in 1994, Steve Atwater had to assume those responsibilities, and despite being a phenomenal talent, the defense simply was not the same. This is why in 1995, the Broncos decided to bring Braxton back and move to him to safety.
“(Atwater) couldn’t do it,so they brought Tyrone back” Mecklenburg said. “It is a tough job, but you have to fill that role.”
Listen to Mecklenburg’s entire interview here or listen below.