In order for the Denver Broncos to even begin to think about winning a championship this season, the team must find consistent leadership on defense. Denver did pick up three proven defensive players during NFL free agency in DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T. J. Ward, but what people are not talking about is what the Broncos lost on defense in terms of leadership. Two prominent defensive leaders that the Broncos will not have in 2014 are Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard. Bailey started showing his age on the field, was sidelined with a foot injury most of last season and was ultimately released by Denver. Woodyard became a prominent member of the Denver defense in recent years and ended up signing a free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans. The one common in Woodyard and Bailey is that they were tremendous leaders on defense in the Denver locker room.
It is now time for other players to step up in terms of leadership on the Broncos defense. The presence of Ware, Talib and Ward will help. Ultimately, returning players are going to have to take on more prominent leadership roles in order for Denver to win a title.
It is easy to assume that Von Miller will instantly become Denver’s new leader on defense. However, Miller is coming off a season in which he was suspended and tore his ACL. The time is right for Terrance Knighton and Danny Trevathan to have louder voices in the locker room and on the field. Both Knighton and Trevathan are coming off great seasons in 2014.
The Denver defense last season had its difficulties. Now is the time to change the leadership and the attitude on the Broncos defense. John Elway has already spent the money. Now it is time for defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio to put it all together beginning with leadership.