For those of you who don't live in the Denver area, Vonnie Holliday gave one hell of an interview today on 104.3 The Fan. You can access it here.
The interview has the normal junk questions like "How does it feel to be 5-0?" However, Holliday also gives some very insightful answers about the game and how the Broncos make adjustments at halftime. Again, it's not your normal "We just decided to play harder and make more plays" answer that most players give.
There were several highlights in the interview worth mentioning:
* At halftime of the Patriots game, Mike Nolan scrapped half of his defensive game plan and made adjustments with the input of the players. As Holliday points out in the interview, he has been around for awhile, and it's pretty rare for a defensive coordinator to do this. Apparently, Nolan does this a lot at halftime. He finds out what the players are seeing out on the field, he gets their input, and he is flexible enough to throw out anything that isn't working, without attachment to the ego of his "game plan."
* While Dawkins is clearly the emotional leader of the secondary, it's clear that Renaldo Hill is a much bigger part of the Broncos success than many realize. Holliday acknowledges Hill's role in fixing the broken coverages in the 2nd half and how he communicates with the defensive backfield.
* Holliday gives insight as to what goes on at the line of scrimmage when facing the Patriots (which is exactly what McDaniels wants to see from Orton). Brady breaks the huddle quickly and wants to force the defense to show its look very early pre-snap. Holliday indicated that one of the things the Broncos fixed at half time was not showing their formation too early pre-snap. Thus, it appears in the second half Brady was having a harder time making his reads. Go figure.
* Apparently, the Patroits were taking away Dumvervil and the edge rush schematically, so at halftime, the players went to Nolan and asked for more 4 man rushes and more inside stunts and twists, which Nolan gladly gave them. This allowed more one on one match ups on the inside of the line.
* Holliday walks through the play in which he strip-sacked Brady. Amazing piece of description by Holliday. In a nutshell, he knew from the Center and Brady's line call that he would be getting one on one coverage with Logan Mankins. It was Darrel Reid's job to also pull the double team away from Holliday so he could continue with this one on one move. Holliday had been saving a specific move that had been effective against Mankins earlier in his career for a moment like that play. And then he simply executed. After looking at the tape several times, I believe this move was a power/bull rush to the right to get Mankins off balance and then simply stopping and turning left, giving him the space to take two steps towards Brady. This is the sort of thing only a veteran can do and only a veteran could have pulled off.
* Holliday essentially confirmed what we all knew. McDaniels was helping the defense all week to learn the tendencies of the New England offense. Specifically, Holliday said that McDaniels told them that New England would rather pass for 2 to 3 yards than run for that distance and if Denver stopped the running game earlier, New England would abandon the run.
* Holliday even goes on to give some offensive insight, pointing out that NE ran 4-3 this game, when they had been running 3-4 for most of the year.
Holliday goes into other subjects like what he thought about the uniform, Knowshon Moreno, TarHeel basketball, and the usual "we are gonna take it one game at a time" answers, but you can hear the rest for yourself. However, his insight into the adjustments the Broncos made in the 2nd half and his description of what went on at the line of scrimmage on the strip-sack makes this interview a must listen for any Bronco Fan.
Vonnie Holliday, welcome to Denver, man! Awesome stuff! And thanks for saving your best move for crunch time.