The Broncos’ new-look defense has improved from last season, but we hear one concern remains the abilities of the linebackers and safeties in coverage, magnifying the losses of LB D.J. Williams and S Quinton Carter. Wesley Woodyard is a strong tackler, and has played well in his time in place of Williams, who had three games added to his six-game suspension and won't be back until mid-November.
The Broncos like sixth-round rookie LB Danny Trevathan, we’re told, and second-year LB Nate Irving has improved, but neither is a strong cover ‘backer, and they combined for only nine defensive snaps last week.
At safety, Rahim Moore has played better this season, and Mike Adams was a solid free-agent addition, but we hear that Carter, who has good size at 6-1, 200 pounds and started 10 games as a rookie, would have pushed to start if healthy. Instead, Carter was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 29 and will have microfracture surgery on his left knee this offseason. The Broncos would benefit if veteran FS Jim Leonhard, who has played in all five games this season but still is not 100 percent after undergoing knee surgery last December, was at a point where he could see more playing time and help the secondary.
To help Leonhard do that, the Broncos signed free agent RS Trindon Holliday to take over the punt-return duties that Leonhard had been handling.