Denver Broncos counting on young defensive linemen Sunday
The Denver Broncos will be counting on young offensive linemen Adam Gotsis and Darius Kilgo on Sunday against the Saints with Derek Wolfe out…
The Denver Broncos are in desperate need of some help on the defensive line with Derek Wolfe out at least a few weeks and Vance Walker already out for the year.
They made moves this offseason to snag Jared Crick, who has at times been a very solid player for the Broncos, but he needs to be in a rotation. Billy Winn has also made some plays when called upon, but the Broncos’ run defense — even with Derek Wolfe — has been awful of late.
They are going to rely on the young guys they have drafted in recent years to come in and make an impact, particularly this year’s second round draft pick Adam Gotsis out of Georgia Tech.
Head coach Gary Kubiak talked about Gotsis needing to step up, as well as 2015 second round pick Darius Kilgo, who was inactive in the team’s loss to Oakland:
“We’re fighting through some nicks here. [DE] Adam [Gotsis] has to step up. We thought Adam played pretty well last week. [NT Darius] Kilgo has to step up. We have our five guys that we’ll go into the game with. We’ve been suiting six in some situations. It’s just something that we have to battle through. Some younger guys have to play better and some older guys probably have to play a little more.”
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Gotsis in particular has been trying to make adjustments on the fly this year. The Broncos have been so deep on the defensive line, he wasn’t expected to be in this kind of situation but here we are. He says that the size of the players he’s going against on a weekly basis took him a little off guard.
“Just with everything, I think. Just being out there with all these guys in the NFL, you see game one and you say, ‘Damn, these guys are really big.’ Now, you’re used to seeing these guys every week, big 6’5, 6’7 offensive tackles and guys that are 350 [pounds] playing at guard. That’s probably the biggest thing. I’m just used to seeing the size now and the game is slowing down for me a bit up front. I can actually just play and not just be crazy thinking every snap and just play freely.”
This will be the biggest game of Gotsis’ young NFL career thus far, getting an opportunity possibly to even start the game or play the most extensive snaps. He knows he’s got to step up and fill the big shoes of Derek Wolfe.
“I think every time I’m out there I feel like that. Whatever reps I can get, it’s an opportunity to go out there and try to help this team. Depending on what happens with Wolfe, it takes everyone to step up, not just the front three that are going to be out there. It’s the secondary that needs to step up, the pass rushers that need to step up and the linebackers. As a defense, we just need to play better, and if we can do that, then we should be able to win some games.”