It has been roughly a month since Vance Joseph was hired as the Denver Broncos new head coach. Since then, Joseph has assembled a coaching staff that has most Denver fans and members of the media excited.

During an introductory press conference, Joseph introduced his staff with new/returning offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, newly-promoted defensive coordinator Joe Woods and newly-hired special teams coordinator Brock Olivo.

As excitement built around the thoughts of a much needed fresh take on offense and an extremely intense first impression from Olivo. However, it was Woods who was most up-front with his response of where the team needs to improve the most on his side of the ball.

“Improving the run defense is a priority.”

During their historic 2015 Super Bowl run, the Broncos boasted the third-best run defense in the NFL with 83.6 yards allowed per game. That number skyrocketed to 130.3 yards per game in 2016. The reasons for such a drop in success against the run can be credited to the losses of inside linebacker and second-leading tackler Danny Trevathan and star defensive lineman Malik Jackson. Combined with underachieving play from promoted starters and players who were expected to soften the loss of those two players, and Denver had a suspect front seven.

Woods’ first job will be to find a scheme that gets the most out of a younger defensive line. This includes former second-round pick Adam Gotsis and former first-round selection Sylvester Williams, should the Broncos choose to retain him. At the defensive end position, Woods already has an established star in Derek Wolfe. The rest of the defensive line will need to play better to avoid getting gashed in the run game.

Some draft experts suggest that Denver look to draft a blue-chip DE prospect, adding more talent to the defensive line. Or perhaps John Elway will make a significant splash in free agency to acquire a homegrown talent such as Arizona Cardinals DE Calais Campbell or taking a very large lineman away from the division rival Chiefs to help with stuffing the run.

Behind the defensive line, Woods will need to solidify the linebacker position to be better suited against the run. Already boasting one of the league’s best pass rushes, Woods will need to improve the play of the inside linebacker position to keep teams in second and third-and-long situations that play well into the Broncos’ great pass rush.

Inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis largely disappointed for most of the 2016 season, registering only 39 and 64 tackles, respectively. Both players also dealt with lingering injuries, as the season progressed. The 2017 draft is loaded with depth at the inside linebacker position. Perhaps Elway could use an early draft pick on a player that can contribute immediately and well into the future.

The Broncos possess an elite secondary in the “No Fly Zone,” which Joe Woods is intimately familiar with. Now, Woods will need to drastically improve the play of the front seven for Denver to play to the team’s strengths. Hopefully the corner office bodes well for what the Broncos can expect from its run defense in 2017.