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Broncos linebackers a bit of a mess without D.J. Williams

Denver Broncos Minicamp Getty Images

With linebacker D.J. Williams out the first six games, and possibly more, the Broncos are faced with an uncertain situation at the position.

Williams’ future is cloudy beyond the looming six-game suspension after he was accused of manipulating three urine tests, but the reality is the Broncos did little to cover themselves anyway.

As Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post notes, re-signing Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard doesn’t cover the fact the Broncos are very thin at the position going into camp.

Mays is a solid two-down middle linebacker. Woodyard has filled in for Williams before. But the Broncos were down to working sixth-round rookie Danny Trevathan with the starting nickel defense in minicamp, a clear sign they’re scrambling for answers.

That’s the first challenge for new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who might be the best linebacker not named Von Miller on the Broncos roster.

So while all eyes will be on Peyton Manning once camp starts, the questions on the other side of the ball will loom equally large.

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14 Responses to “Broncos linebackers a bit of a mess without D.J. Williams”
  1. stoogy says: Jul 13, 2012 8:46 AM

    mcfadden ganna scorch them with out dj…last year against them he had 22 carries for 150 yards.. 6.8ypc…

  2. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Jul 13, 2012 8:50 AM

    They have plenty of holes on both sides of the ball, but everyone has been too enamored with Peyton to look at anything but Peyton. The AFC West is really up for grabs. Chargers and Broncos are the sexy picks, but a healthy Raiders and Chiefs teams are better teams than most people realize.

  3. denverdave3 says: Jul 13, 2012 9:01 AM

    I say show him the door. These other players are trying to feed their families and he is constantly distracting them. At least one DUI, loss of Captain position and now multiple accusations of flawed urine samples. That’s too many to be coincidence. When you look at the entire body of misbehavior he is a distraction from a team that has enough troubles without him.

  4. rockthered1286 says: Jul 13, 2012 9:21 AM

    PM on a team with a potential explosive offense and a struggling defense? Where have I heard that one before?

  5. ebbycalvinlaloosh says: Jul 13, 2012 9:28 AM

    The reason they “did little to cover themselves” at the weakside (WILL) linebacker position is that D.J. Williams is only about this much better (I’m holding my thumb and forefinger exactly 2 mm apart) than Wesley Woodyard. They drafted Trevathan to back up Woodyard and play in the nickel, and then they signed three undrafted free agent linebackers after the draft. Woodyard himself was undrafted, and there’s a decent likelihood that one of the three (Steven Johnson, Elliot Coffey, or Jerry Franklin) will make the roster for additional depth. The simple fact of the matter is that Williams is only slightly better than average, and he had to cheat to be that. He’s simply not worth his $5M salary and the Broncos were preparing to move on from him regardless of the suspension.

  6. jlb10 says: Jul 13, 2012 9:56 AM

    hmmm i thought the broncos had already won the sb. or at least made the playoffs already

  7. ColfaxDenver says: Jul 13, 2012 9:57 AM

    I miss you Al Wilson :(

  8. len462 says: Jul 13, 2012 10:03 AM

    So when do we start talking about the Peyton Manning curse? You have him on your team and your defense goes to crap… I still don’t understand how the Dungy led defense in Indy was so bad for so many years.

  9. furious76 says: Jul 13, 2012 10:10 AM

    DJ was my favorite player on the team since Al Wilson left, but in light of recent reports I have lost much respect for him.

    Woodyard – Mays – Miller is a very good starting line up. Woodyard is a highly under-rated tackling machine and can fill in for DJ with a minimal talent drop. DJ has not been the same guy the last few years.

    Nate Irving needs to step up and be ready should Mays slow down this year or get hurt, Irving’s got to prove himself this year or risk disappearing form the game.

    While I agree the position could use more depth, I disagree with the assessment of the talent level in the article. It could also be that Trevathan is shining in camp and earning the spot, not that the team has no other options.

  10. nfloracle says: Jul 13, 2012 10:14 AM

    Play Del Rio. I bet he still has six games in him.

  11. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jul 13, 2012 1:23 PM

    Denver fans know this isn’t much of an issue. the broncos run a nickel more than anything w/ woodyard and Williams at backer spots, woodyard excelling. trevathan is an exceptionally fast type of backer that will excell as well in place of Williams. it doesn’t matter anyways, as von, Elvis, or Wolfe will be sacking the QB every drop.

  12. maximusprime107 says: Jul 13, 2012 3:37 PM

    I’ve said all along Denver’s defense has a lot of holes. Bringing in Peyton was the ultimate boom or bust scenario. If he doesn’t perform well the Broncos are screwed for some time

  13. brandeditems8 says: Jul 13, 2012 8:05 PM

    The n.f.l. needs to be tougher on this issue. If you fail “one” test you should be banned for one full year. If you fail 2 tests you should be banned for two full years. If you fail three tests at any point in your career you should be banned for life!

  14. td30 says: Jul 16, 2012 3:02 PM

    They also have nate irving. And woodyard is very capable as a short term solution

    They arent thin at the position, just a lot of uncertainties.

    After all these problems they may want to use a 1st rounder on an mlb next year though

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