INDIANAPOLIS –There will be alterations made to the Broncos’ defense this year, but those changes aren’t solely a function of the change in defensive coordinators from Dennis Allen to Jack Del Rio.
“Whether Dennis [Allen] was here or not, we were still going to adjust,” Fox said at the Scouting Combine here Thursday. “You have to remember that we were a new staff. We switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I don’t think we got to all parts of our (play)book.”
Specifically, Fox said the Broncos plan to tweak their pass-rush packages.
“Some of the pressures and the styles of pressures will be a little bit different,” Fox said.
“We’ve just got to improve both scheme- and player-wise.”
How that happens is to be seen. Four first-team defenders are set to become unrestricted free agents — linebacker Joe Mays, defensive tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas and safety Brian Dawkins. Backup linebacker Wesley Woodyard — who played extensively as a second linebacker in the nickel package — and veteran reserves Mario Haggan and Jason Hunter also have expiring contracts.
“A lot of guys want to test the market, so it’s hard to predict,” Fox said. “We’d like to have all them back, according to budget, and we’ll try to do that before March 13.”
The defense will receive a boost if defensive tackle Ty Warren can make a full recovery from the torn triceps muscle he suffered last August. Warren recently began working in the weight room with the Broncos’ new strength coaches, Fox said.
Warren was expected to be an integral part of the defensive-tackle rotation before suffering the injury. He hasn’t played in the regular season since 2009.