2011 Denver Broncos DT Breakdown: How Much Improvement Can Fans Expect?

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2011 Denver Broncos DT Breakdown: How Much Improvement Can Fans Expect?
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
New Head Coach John Fox and GM Brian Xanders have done a lot to bolster the Broncos DT position in recent days.

When John Fox came to Denver, he knew exactly what he was getting.

He was getting a headache in the ongoing quarterback controversy between Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

He was getting an inexperienced EVP of Football Operations in John Elway.

But most importantly, he was inheriting the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL last year.

With that in mind, GM Brian Xanders, along with Elway and Fox, have done a lot of work to bolster the defense since the offseason began, but none of those moves may have as big an affect as the Broncos' decisions at Defensive Tackle.

With a porous defensive line in a 3-4 defensive alignment, the 2010 Broncos defenders couldn't stop the run at all. Ballcarriers averaged 4.7 yards per carry against the Broncos last year, and only the Buffalo Bills, at 4.8 yards per carry, gave up more on average. So a major overhaul was a crucial step for Denver in 2011.

Gone is Jamal Williams, the San Diego Chargers' legend that Denver picked up last offseason, as is Justin Bannan, who didn't make enough of an impact last year to justify his roster position. In fact, the only defensive line starter returning from last year is Kevin Vickerson, who started 12 games at DE last year. Vickerson will have to battle the Broncos' latest free agent DT acquisitions to even ensure a spot on the Broncos roster this year.

So with a new cast of characters at DT, and the Broncos reverting to the 4-3 alignment, how much improvement can Broncos fans expect this season? We'll break down each DT to find out.

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