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Robert Ayers looks to future and brighter days to come
When the Denver Broncos selected Robert Ayers with the 18th overall selection in the 2009 draft, it is no secret they were expecting big things from the former Tennessee stand-out. When the level of expectation did not meet the level of output fans and coaches alike began to question if the 6 foot 272 pounder was going to cut it as a pro.
After the 2009 season came to a close Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan, much to the surprise of the fans, was let go. This opened the door for new D-Coordinator and former linebackers coach Don "Wink" Martindale to take control and attempt a resurrection of sorts
This left the Broncos faithful with hope that Ayers second season would yield better results under the tutelage of coach Martindale. Then the un-thinkable happened Elvis Dumervil the 2009 sack leader and star linebacker was placed on injured reserve after tearing a pectoral muscle after a one on one passing drill in Aug. 2010. This came just days after losing starting running back Knowshon Moreno to a hamstring injury. This was to become a trend for the Denver Broncos.
As expected this placed a huge amount of pressure on Ayers who among other things was still adjusting to the change in position from DE which he played in college to playing OLB in the pros. This also brought adjustment from the hybrid 3-4 of the 2009 campaign as it transitioned from the Shanahan era to the full 3-4 installed by head coach Josh Mcdaniels. Unfortunately, after blossoming as the leading pass rusher for Denver, Ayers too fell to injury in early October with a broken foot.
So, while the jury may still be out, as long as he and Dumervile come back in 2011 healthy I think all can agree, the future is very bright for this young man.