Every year injuries or some other form of attrition dwindles the number of warm bodies on the Bronco sideline. A few years back, losses like these would have seriously hampered the Broncos ability to win games, but better recruitment and better depth has allowed the Broncos to successfully weather these storms of late. After the jump, Kevan and I discuss the one guy we simply cannot lose in 2011. Everyone start knocking on wood...now.
In the last couple of seasons the Broncos have had the following players out for some or all of the season and still managed to win: DJ Harper (twice), Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Tyler Shoemaker, Michael Atkinson, Ryan Winterswyk, Byron Hout, Shea McClellin, Jarrell Root, Jason Robinson, and the list goes on. That said, the Broncos will be lacking some of the depth next season on the defensive side of the ball, losing 4-year starters SS Jeron Johnson (325 tackles, 8 INTs, 3 FF) and DE Ryan Winterswyk (167 tackles, 20+ sacks) as well as 3-year starter CB Brandyn Thompson (146 tackles, 12 INTs, 1 FF) and of course 2-year standout NB Winston Venable (116 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FF). Now, these departures will surely smart a little until the new blood gets a chance to prove their mettle...but what happens in 2011 if we do lose a key defensive player to injury or suspension? Of course, this is all a roundabout way of asking: Who can't the Bronco defense afford to lose in 2011? Kevan, since I'm a gentleman and have a very short memory, I'll let you go first this time.
Kevan's opening salvo:
Iloka making one of his patented "inverted tackles"
What say you? I know it's a morbid subject, but who do you think the defense simply cannot lose in 2011? We'll do offense next week, but we're pretty sure we already know the answer.