If the Denver Broncos are going to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since, well, since the Denver Broncos, they will be doing it thanks to what one member of those first back-to-back teams calls the best three cover corners in football.
Mark Schlereth joined 120 Sports Wednesday morning and said the reason the Broncos are off to another hot start after winning last year’s Super Bowl is their defense.
“They are so talented at all three levels, from the back, in,” Schlereth said. They’re kind of built differently from most football teams, where historically a lot of football teams have been built from the front, in – so the front seven first.”
Denver’s front seven, headlined by Von Miller and featuring standouts like Derek Wolfe and Brandon Marshall, is nothing to be trifled with. But part of what makes them so great, according to Schlereth is the best coverage trio in football.
“They really built this team after they got beat by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 season in the Super Bowl. They kind of grabbed that kind of blueprint and built this team from the back end forward, so they’ve got great cover corners. I would say the three best cover corners in football when you put the three together in Bradley Roby, Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib.
“They’re able to play you in a lot of man coverage, in a press man coverage. They stop the run and they allow their exceptional pass rushers – like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware and now Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett – they allow them to get after your quarterback. That’s what they’ve been able to do in a consistent basis here in the last year and these three games so far.”
Denver is off to a 3-0 start in 2016, now winners of eight games in a row stretching back to last season. Denver faced a difficult opening three weeks and emerged unscathed, despite a massive overhaul on the offensive side of the ball. The departures of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler and the emergence of Trevor Siemian garnered all the headlines, but it was the changes along the offensive line that Schlereth says had the biggest impact in the early parts of the season.
“Offensively, people were really questioning the quarterback position. I knew offensively they would be at least the same or better than they were last year, simply because four-fifths of this offensive line is different. They’re a much better group up front. They’re running the ball better and Gary Kubiak has implemented his offense. It’s not a hybrid of the Peyton Manning/Gary Kubiak offense. Now it’s more the Kubiak offense, so it takes a lot of pressure off the young quarterback, Trevor Siemian.”
The Broncos can extend their league-best winning streak on Sunday against the Buccaneers in Tampa.