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Von Miller on Raiders’ O-line: Best in the NFL

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Assuming the offense does it thing again - extending drives , scoring points but this time avoiding turnovers - the key to beating the Raiders will be stopping Derek Carr and his handful of offensive weapons.Carr, who passed for more than 300 yards but threw three interceptions against the Rams, is no slouch. But he’s also easily rattled. With Carr’s ability to get the ball out quickly, sacking him isn’t always easy - but it’s not necessarily the end goal. Just “hurrying” Carr is often enough to play to the Broncos’ strengths.Defensive coordinator Joe Woods pointed out that while it’s frustrating to the pass rushers that Carr can get rid of the ball, it’s not bad for the defense overall.“It is [frustrating] those guys, but for me, as long as the coverage is tight, it can be an advantage for us, too,” he said. “We’re a more aggressive coverage team. We play more man than a lot of teams, so if they want to get rid of the ball quick, we want to be tight in coverage. If they hold on to it, then our rushers have got to get home. So, a little bit of both.”Von Miller said the key is getting your hands up to combat the quick release.“Hands up, get your hands up,” he said. “Try to get them third and long. I mean, at third and long you’ve got to take your time and throw the ball anyways. If you’re throwing the ball quick on third and long, we’ve got great corners. We’ve just got to let those guys spread. Three-and-outs happen when you throw the ball quick and don’t just want an incomplete ball. Yeah, we’ve just got to get our hands up and hopefully he’ll hold it. Rush like he’s going to hold the ball.”After Miller’s monster day against the Seahawks, no team will sleep on him. But with a strong defensive line pushing up the middle and talented edge rushers opposite Miller, it’s going to be hard for any offense to account for all the variables.“Von, we all know, is just a different type of player. Athletically, he’s gifted. He can do it all,” Woods added. “The thing we want to do is we wanted to create more balance in terms of what we were doing this year—in terms of our pass rush. With [Bradley] Chubb, Shane [Ray],Shaq [Barrett], they give us the ability to do that. So , if teams want to slide a protection his way, put chippers his way, then we’ve got to win on the other side to make them play honest. I think the plan that we had worked out for us.”Indeed it did with six total sacks on Russell Wilson, three from Miller but three from four other players - Chris Harris Jr, Barrett, Darian Stewart and Chubb.But Miller believes the Raiders’ offensive line is the best in the NFL with Donald Penn and first-round rookie talent Kolton Miller, so it won’t be an easy day for this defense.“It’s a huge challenge. [Penn] is a strong guy, a big guy and one of the better tackles in the league for I don’t know how long,” Miller said. “The Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football, in my opinion. I’m sure you all would say Dallas Cowboys, this team or that team, but to me the Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football. And they made it a whole lot better with the Kolton Miller pick and moving Donald Penn to the right side. Really all five guys are really Pro-Bowl solid, offensive linemen.”And between Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook and even Amari Cooper, there are plenty of variables the defense will have to account for too. For all the jokes about the aging team, allowing Khalil Mack to be traded and Jon Gruden’s $100 million contract, Miller knows better than to discount an AFC West rivalry.“People don’t really want to play Derek either. He’s not going to give you a chance to rush the passer,” Miller laughed, noting that the average time for QBs to get rid of the ball is 2.5 seconds, and Carr was getting rid of it in 2.2 on Monday night. “He’s going to get the ball out very quick and he’s very accurate with his throws. They have a great offensive line, a great running back and great coaches over there. Pretty tough team that we’re going up against.” The crew at 1st & 10 @ 10 on Orange and Blue Radio had an intriguing discussion about the Broncos problems during the first 15 minutes of their broadcast today that is well worth the listen.Ryan Edwards, Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater were just as frustrated as the rest of Broncos Country over the loss to the Jets and had some interesting things to say about it, beginning with the fact that if the Broncos were going to guess how the Jets could beat them on Sunday it would have been exactly as it happened - with a couple of deep passes to Robby Anderson and some “big gash plays” from Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.Bingo.Listen to "Podcast 1st and 10 10-8-18 HOUR 1" on Spreaker.“The Jets had three plays of 50 yards or more from scrimmage - the most the Broncos have allowed in any game since Week 17 of 2009,” Mason noted, pointing out it was the last game of the 2009 season against the Chiefs when Jamaal Charles “went off against the Broncos.”So basically, Mase added, it’s been 127 games since the Broncos defense allowed that many 50+ plays. Atwater was frustrated over the lack of contain that seems to be happening week after week with the defense.“We’ve got to get that contain together ,” he said, adding that most of the time if the defenders stayed where they lined up, they’d be in right place for where the play develops. “If they just stood there, kept that position, they’d have great contain. But because they run up the field, they run themselves out of the play.”Mase also voiced his frustration over a familiar topic - the lack of running plays for the Broncos’ offense. Noting that the Broncos rushed 15 times in the first three quarters out of 47 plays despite being Top 3 in the league at rushing, Mase was less than happy.“You’re running less than one-third of the time when either you’re leading or tied or the game is still within reach,” he said. “The thing you have to understand is that effective running means you’re going to have some ‘no gains,’ some ‘runs for losses.’”And a little “fun fact” about Sunday that many Broncos fans probably overlooked or didn’t know, former Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who is the “running game coordinator” for the Jets, has now been responsible for engineering two wins against the Broncos (including the Bills’ win last year over the Broncos when Dennison was their OC).Not only that, but Dennison is the “run-game coordinator of record” for Isaiah Crowell setting a league record of 14.6 yards per carry in a game with at least 15 attempts.But regardless of all the shortcomings, none of the 1st & 10 crew buys into the noise that the players quit on Sunday.“They lost, but I don’t think they quit,” Mason said, adding that the ‘Oh they quit; they have no heart’ comments are one of things “that is easy for fans to say, but rarely if ever is that true. You got beat for different reasons, but I don’t think they quit.”Atwater agreed. And while he doesn’t think the players “quit,” he does believe they got embarrassed for poor play.“Guys went out and played hard and got their butts whooped. They’ve got to tip their hat to the Jets because Jets came out ready to play ball right from the jump,” said a guy who knows a thing or two about how to play defense. “I know one thing - we did not execute the way you are supposed execute, and when that happens, [this kind of game] is what happens - 300 yards rushing and you’re one of the top rushing defenses in the league? That’s unacceptable, and I ‘m sure their pride is hurt. Hopefully they go back to the board and fight and make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.”But then Mase finished the segment with a dagger.“The thing is, we’re talking about some ridiculous number every few weeks. Whether it’s Derek Carr going 29 of 32 against your pass defense or it’s giving up 51 to Philadelphia last year,” Mason pointed out. “This team is 8-17 dating back to late 2016. Maybe it’s just not that good?”

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