For a few years now, the Denver Broncos have had their fair share of issues when it comes to covering tight ends and running backs. A large portion of this blame falls on the linebackers, but also on the feeble attempts the Broncos have made to improve in that area.
If Denver wants to compete, and I mean really compete, for the division title and the Super Bowl, it must find a solution to this problem. There are a lot of good tight ends in the NFL and that is especially true in the AFC West.
With the Raiders boasting Darren Waller, the Chargers having Hunter Henry, and the Chiefs having Travis Kelce, the Broncos face three of the best tight ends on the NFL in six of their 16 games each year.
This is a problem that the Broncos have at times flirted with solving, but it's always temporary and problem rears its ugly head in-game. Not since Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan were the Broncos' starting linebacker duo has the team had an answer to their coverage woes.
Denver does currently have the potential to improve in this area, but that potential also does come with questions. One option has a medical history and got injured in training camp, going on injured reserve for the year. But even once Justin Strnad gets healthy, he still has to show development as a coverage linebacker just as every other player at the position.
The Vic Fangio defensive scheme is most effective when the linebackers can be relied upon in coverage and until that happens, the defens will never be fully unleashed. There is a lot more to this issue for the Broncos and the titular question (are the the concerns in the Broncos' linebackers justified?) gets answered in-depth in the video above.