How much of the Denver Broncos’ top-10 defense will GM George Paton hold together? – NFL Nation

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – In the middle of the stack of questions that the Denver Broncos will have to answer in the coming weeks, somewhere down the list of the future as quarterback and coaching staff, is this: How big a role does the current defense play in what’s coming ?

The Broncos will close an extremely unfulfilling season Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs (16:30 ET, ESPN), and although changes are expected, there is still time to see how much change.

General manager George Paton, who invested heavily in players to put in this defense, both in the draft and the free agency, must decide how much of the defensive plan, how much of the defensive brain trust, including coach Vic Fangio, is part of The future of the Broncos.

Asked in recent days if he worries about his future, Fangio said: “I do not and I know you think it’s a standard answer, but for many reasons I do not worry about it. “These reasons are personal to me, but I recognize that it is certainly out there and can happen – absolutely. Am I worried about it? I am not at all worried about it for many, many reasons.”

The Broncos are despite dealings with linebacker Von Miller and a list of injuries that include linebacker Bradley Chubb missing eight games, ninth in the league in total defense, third in the league in scoring defense, seventh in passing defense and 14th in running defense. .

There will be more teams in the playoff field, with more Pro Bowl teams not having the defensive summary. Paton faces a decision: Replace Fangio and the entire coaching staff and risk taking a step back in defense, or require Fangio to replace some staff and present a plan to correct the team’s attacks and special teams.

Tennis icon Billie Jean King has long said that “pressure is a privilege.” Consider the privilege of meeting the Chiefs, who play for the AFC’s top playoff seed and the first week’s farewell that comes with it, on the final weekend of a season that has not been what so many Broncos players and coaches had said, and hoped it would be.

How much would a distracted, disinterested performance on Saturday affect any or all of Paton’s decisions? Few, if any, even in the Broncos’ complex know the answer to that at the moment.

“I love that pressure is a privilege,” said Broncos safety Justin Simmons. “In this subject, having pressure is having positive and negative expectations, and what that pressure brings out, either you lift yourself to the apartment, or you do not … it is you, or you do not. We know our situation … but for this team I think we have to end it, you can not say how much respect and whatever you have for this match if you do not end it. “

With safety Kareem Jackson out and cornerback Pat Surtain II (calf) a significant question mark – Fangio said Wednesday Surtains’ availability on Saturday was “very questionable” – Chiefs with quarterback Patrick Mahomes could be a big task.

“[In the secondary] we have [Kyle] Fully available, [Michael] Ojemudia available, [Bryce] Callahan available, [Nate] Hairston available, we have our safety, “said Fangio. We have enough to go out there and compete and play against these guys. “

Paton has been aware of not being afraid of significant changes from the moment he swapped Miller for two drafts just after Halloween. At the time, the Broncos were 4-4. For a team with far greater short- and long-term concerns about offensive and special teams where Paton fits the defense, including players he added specifically to it, the upcoming changes will also soon become apparent.

On Wednesday, when Fangio was asked to outline some of the reasons why he should be on the sidelines of a fourth season with the Broncos, he simply said, “I’m not one to campaign publicly. … I really would rather have these discussions with George and [team CEO] Joe [Ellis]. “


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