Stopping Von Miller And Broncos’ Front LineDecember 2nd, 2012
The Bucs have their collective hands full today and it isn’t just a porous secondary trying to find a way to defend perhaps the game’s greatest quarterback playing at an elite level.
Easy to overlook in the hand-wringing over trying to stop Payton Manning is the Broncos defense, led by freak outside linebacker Von Miller.
The second-year stud out of Texas A&M is an absolute terror for opposing offenses as he can line up at outside linebacker in a three-man front or as a defensive end in a four-man front.
Trust Joe, Miller was a big topic in the Bucs locker room earlier this week as was Manning.
“He can do everything, man,” said offensive tackle Donald Penn. “He can play linebacker, he can [play] d-end, he could probably play safety and maybe score a touchdown at running back if he wanted to. He is a good athlete, he’s a specimen man, he’s a special player.”
“He’s just a great pass rusher,” fellow offensive tackle Demar Dotson concurred. “He’s one of the best in the league if not the best. He’s a very good speed guy. We have to get up on them and come up with a game plan to stop these guys and we’ve got to get the job done.”
So how do the Bucs stop this one-man gang? Run the ball, so says fullback D.J. Ware?
[The run game is] “very important. We try to win in all aspects of the game but time of possession is important,” Ware said. “If we get the ground game going, it will help us establish third-and-shorts and we can convert those much easier than third-and-longs and the longer we control the ball, the longer we keep Peyton Manning on the sidelines with his hat on.
“That’s a big thing for us right now. Peyton is no doubt one of the greatest to ever play this game. He can shred the defense. Keep him off the field.”
Dotson also is looking forward to getting Doug Martin into gear, because he believes it will help keep Von Miller and Company off of Josh Freeman.
“It’s going to be big time getting the run game going,” Dotson said. “They have some dynamic pass rushers so we have to slow them down. if we get the running game going, that will be big time.”
Penn, too, would love to see Martin go nuts on the Broncos just like he did against the Vikings and Raiders.
“The running game is very important when you look at it from the aspect of we took a step back last week and we want to take two steps forward this week,” Penn said. “But it is going to be tough, They have a great run a great run defense there. This is going to be a tough match-up, something we have to focus on and get back on track.”
But, like any game, breaking Martin loose means taking care of business up front.
“They are an extremely talented group,” Ware said. “They can get after you whether it is a three-down lineman or a two-down lineman. Those guys fly to the ball, including the corners and the safeties. we have to make sure we are on top of our gameplan and if show us a certain look, make sure we go to another play and make sure it is the right play and I think josh will do a good job in doing that. Coach Sullivan has a nice gameplan for these guys and we need to stay focused.”