In today’s NFL, the importance of the quarterback is difficult to overstate.

Denver has invested in players on the other side of the ball who impact quarterbacks and, hopefully, minimize their opponents’ success at the most important position in sports. Broncos all-time sack leader Simon Fletcher discussed the need for more attitude on the Broncos defense and their own issues at quarterback with Sean Walsh and Renaud Notaro on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7.

Fletcher called Broncos linebacker Von Miller not only the best in the league right now but noted, “I see marked improvement with him over the coming weeks.” And Fletcher should know, considering Miller (91 sacks) can possibly pass the Ring of Famer this season (97.5) as the Broncos all-the sack leader.

Miller’s strong comments before the Arizona game, saying the Broncos would kick their ass, instilled confidence in the Denver defense. It was an attitude that has been missing since the departure of Aqib Talib. Fletcher said, “When I saw that trade, I thought the ‘No Fly Zone’ is in trouble. Because of his attitude.”

Certainly, the strength of the Denver secondary has allowed Von Miller to enjoy continued success rushing the passer, and vice versa.

As for rushing the passer, Fletcher explained that being successful in that area is difficult in today’s game. “There’s hesitation across the league, guys trying to make sure I hit him in a good spot and I don’t hit him too hard,” Fletcher explained. “And it’s taking away from the defense’s ability to just be defensive NFL football players.”

With all the emphasis on safety of the quarterback, defensive players risk giving up big plays to avoid flags and fines. Fletcher thought if he played in today’s league, there might be a flag on about half of the plays he made.

“Fans love to see big runs and long passes and lots of scoring,” Fletcher said. These big plays require a skilled quarterback, and while the Broncos have done well to influence opposing quarterback play, they have had trouble finding their own consistent quarterback. The responsibility isn’t solely on that one position though.

“With inconsistent offensive line play it is tough for any quarterback in the history or present of the NFL to be as effective as he might be,” Fletcher explained. With a beat-up offensive line and no consistent set of starters, the quarterbacks Denver has given a chance to start over the last few years have struggled to be effective. Going forward, the offensive line will play a significant role in the team’s overall success.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available. below to hear Simon Fletcher’s thoughts on Case Keenum and how the game has changed over the years.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available.

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