When Peyton Manning phoned Denver executive vice president of football operations John Elway on Monday to say that he was ready to become a Bronco, the news didn't just signal drastic changes to the team's offensive system, it meant a new world order for the Broncos defenders.
"It impacts me, having a guy like Peyton makes everybody better," Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil told The Denver Post on Monday. "He makes me want to work that much better. To have that type of leader in the locker, to have that type of talent on the field, weâre all ready to share. Heâll have to share with Batman and Robin, baby!"
With Tim Tebow under center last season, Dumervil and his fellow pass rushers rarely were in a situation in which they were playing with the lead and could solely focus on rushing the passer. That should change with Manning. The Colts built their defense around Manning's ability to build early leads, allowing rushers like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to wreak havoc off the edge.
"We have some premier pass rushers on the edge, and now we have a chance to pass rush that much more," Dumervil said. "It affects everyone. It changes the whole scheme of things. When you play the Broncos you really have to come ready now. I think it's exciting to have that no-huddle type offense in the altitude of Mile High, it's going to be crazy."
Linebacker Von Miller expressed a similar view as his defensive teammate during an interview with NFL Network.
"I just probably will ask (Manning) about situations they were put in when he was back with the Colts -- with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis -- because I think that we can provide that second type of aspect to the game that he had with Freeney and Mathis," Miller said, adding that he and Dumervil can provide Manning the same kind of pass rushing tag-team as he had with the Colts.
"More of the offense will be in Peyton's hands," Decker said.
Veteran running back Willis McGahee didn't make an attempt to hide his excitement that Manning chose the Broncos, telling Sirius XM radio that the news was "music to my ears, baby ... music to my ears."
"He has the potential (to take us to the promised land)," McGahee told NFL Network. "He should. I'm hoping."
McGahee's comments echoed what he said about Manning during his earlier radio interview.
"We were young and I think those guys got the jitters out of them last year, even though we did go to the playoffs and represented the AFC West. It was a certain something that we were missing. We were missing that general to take charge in tough situations and I think he brings that to the table. And once those guys see him out there I think they're going to rise to the occasion and just have a breakout year."
And though Dumervil said he didn't want to put too much pressure on someone who's been the Broncos signal-caller for less than a day, he already seems to be eyeing a postseason run in 2012.
âSomething like this is a historic move," Dumervil said. "I donât want to put too much pressure on one guy, but what heâs accomplished, if heâs healthy, I think he can bring us to one of the dominant organizations.
" ... He's a great character person. And he's a true leader who's done it. Shoot, sky's the limit."