DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Shaun Phillips #90 of the Denver Broncos reacts to a defensive stop on LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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A player's technique and ability to recognize tendencies is nearly as important as their natural ability. Everyone in the NFL is talented. Not all of them put in the work to achieve greatness.
The Denver Broncos are on the precipice of greatness. Super Bowl XLVIII is six days away, and the Broncos are attempting to identify every weakness in the Seattle Seahawks roster.
It starts with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. Broncos DT Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton told reporters Monday he's already spotted tendencies in Wilson's game Denver can exploit.
"You've just got to watch a lot of film. Quarterbacks have tendencies. His tendency is that he is a right-handed quarterback; he wants to get out to his right and throw. He's more successful that way. So we've got to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket and force him out of his comfort zone. When he's moving left he'll tend to run it more and when he's moving right he wants to pass it more. We just have to do a good job of containing him. He'll get out and he'll make his plays during the game, but we'll just have to limit them."
The Broncos' finished 13th in the NFL with 41 sacks. Denver can apply pressure, but they may slow-play their pass rush, keep contain and force Wilson to beat the defense with his arm.
Wilson struggled to find any rhythm as a passer the past six weeks. Since playing his best game of the season Dec. 2 against the Saints, Wilson is 84-of-145 passing (57.9 percent) with five touchdowns and three interceptions.
If Wilson is able to complete a few early passes and starts to beat the Broncos offense, Denver and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio can then bring blitzes from the edge to prevent Wilson from rolling to a particular side.
Wilson may be athletic, but Seahawks' offensive line play has been poor throughout the season. The pressure will eventually get to Wilson.
The biggest concern for the Broncos is what happens when Wilson finally gets out in space. He is always looking down-field to complete a pass. The coverage has to stay with their receivers. The Seahawks generally do more damage when Wilson throws on the run than when he simply takes off with the football.
Wilson has made enough plays for the Seahawks to advance to the Super Bowl. It may not prove to be enough against a Broncos' defense which believes it has the quarterback's number.
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