So how will they do it?
Thin pass rush
Denver already looked thin on the defensive line after being forced to release Elvis Dumervil following a contractual mishap. The team needs up-and-down fourth-year pro Robert Ayers to be a quality starter rather than a nice option on passing downs. Free-agent pickup Shaun Phillips was signed for insurance; now the injury-prone former San Diego Charger will have to provide consistent edge pressure.
More pressure on the secondary
No. 1 cornerback Champ Bailey had some struggles early in the preseason and then hurt his foot. His status for Week 1 is uncertain. Free-agent pickup Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also is coming off an injury. The Broncos' defense overachieved last year, but they are changing a lot of pieces this offseason (including a new starter at middle linebacker).
Harrison: Picking the All-Pros
Elliot Harrison looks into his crystal ball to fill out an All-Pro roster for the season to come -- and some names might surprise. More ...