Broncos will first look within to replace Dumervil

With the likelihood that OLB Elvis Dumervil is lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, the Broncos are forced to find a replacement, and a source of a pass rush, in their 3-4 defense. Easier said than done.

The first and mostly likely route for the Broncos is to fill from within, a course of direction I found out is prefered by NFL Network analysts Matt Millen and Jim Mora. That plan would start with former first-round picks Jarvis Moss and Robert Ayers, who worked with the first-team defense during afternoon practice on Thursday.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels told reporters he’s not planning (right now) on adding outside help, and hinted the team might give the 4-3 a longer look as one possible solution.

“We’ve talked about being versatile, and versatility adds value to your football team. I tell our players that all the time,” McDaniels said. “Whether that being Mario Haggan adding to the mix with Jarvis … Jarvis has certainly done some good things in camp. Jarvis Moss has an opportunity in front of him to do some things.

“We’ve practiced in the 4-3 already, multiple days in camp. Like I said, there’s no way we’re going to replace him in terms of his production as just a single pass-rusher. I don’t think that’s fair to anybody. But, the way we’re going to go about trying to replace him as a player how is on the field a lot, it may take a few different people, and it may take some creativity from us.”

A few names outside of the organization are already being linked to the Broncos. One is former Bills rusher Aaron Schobel, primarily a 4-3 defensive end who it is believed exited, in part, because of a switch to the 3-4 scheme.  It’s still not out of the question opportunities would exist in certain packages for Schobel in a 3-4 defense. There is also veteran DE Leonard Little, who reportedly continues to ponder retirement. NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora also threw out Adalius Thomas as a possibility.

Although it falls far short of a silver-lining, the Broncos have several weeks of camp to figure out their solution.

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