Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is confident Wesley Woodyard can handle the move from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker.
“Wesley can play multiple spots. He’s done that for us here,” said Del Rio, via the team’s website. “Wesley showed last year he’s a good football player. (He) played a lot of snaps for us and (was) very productive for us. We’re going to get the best combinations of people on the field when we can and put a plan together to utilize them to the best of their abilities and go from there.”
With Von Miller set to serve his six game suspension and Stewart Bradley out from this week’s wrist surgery, the Broncos were forced to move Woodyard to the middle, Danny Trevathan to first-team weakside linebacker and Nate Irving to first-team strongside, as well as sign Paris Lenon, whose role is still to be determined.
“If more teams try to scheme around me, all I can do is do my job,” said Woodyard, who had 5.5 sacks last season. “Make the plays inside the scheme of the defense. If somebody is doubling on me, it means that somebody else is free to make a play.”
Trevathan says he’s just happy to get on the field.
“I’m happy whenever I get on the field. I’m just ready to go out there and make plays, as Wesley is,” Trevathan said. “We’re both (University of Kentucky) guys and we know what our motto is. Just fly to the ball and make plays.”
Shaun Phillips could also be used as an outside-linebacker, which he played in a 3-4 defense in San Diego. Most of his work will be as a pass-rushing defensive end, part of the replacement plan for Miller.
“It doesn’t matter to me. Football is football,” Phillips said. “Whether I’m standing up in the two-point or I’ve got my hand in the three-point, go hit the guy with the football.”