- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Denver Broncos have had to go away from their preferred 3-4 defensive front the past few games because of injuries at linebacker.
Denver coach Josh McDaniels made it clear Tuesday he wants his unit to show a 3-4 look rather than be a 4-3 defense. Still, McDaniels isn’t sure when that will be a possibility. Linebacker Robert Ayers is still coming back from a broken foot.
“When we have played our 3-4 (defensive) front, we have played it pretty effectively,” McDaniels told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s what we spent all training camp doing, that’s what we spent the preseason doing, that’s what we spent the first month and week or two of the season doing. So, we certainly are eager to have an opportunity to get back to that and feel like we can play that at the level we were playing it at early times in the season. We have to do what we have to do based on some of the situations we have had considering our personnel, but I think that if we can get back to playing the 3-4, our odd front, and those kinds of things have certainly been more productive for us over the course of the long haul than the 4-3 front or 4-3 personnel grouping. We did some decent things from that grouping, particularly in the (New York) Jets’ game, but I don’t think that’s what we -- we didn’t put the roster together, we didn’t try to do what we did with our front and our linebacker corps to play that front.
“We are going to practice both because we have to I think, understanding that we would love to be back in that 3-4 mold as much as we could.”
Meanwhile, the Denver Post is reporting right tackle Ryan Harris could regain his starting job as soon as Sunday against visiting Kansas City. Rookie Zane Beadles has replaced Harris in the past three games. The offensive line has not performed well. Harris was playing at a high level last year before he suffered a toe injury that ended his season. He was dealing with an ankle injury earlier this season.
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