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LB Josey Jewell Speaks to the Impact of Todd Davis' Release

Josey Jewell was as surprised as anybody when Todd Davis was pulled out of a meeting and never seen again in the locker room.

Many folks in Broncos Country were not pleased with the news that Todd Davis had been released on Friday. The move has been criticized by Mile High Huddle

That shock to the system will now give way to the realization that Josey Jewell will be Davis' immediate replacement as the Denver Broncos' starter at linebacker.

Not only is the 25-year-old from Iowa being thrown into gameday action, chances are, he will also be called upon to help Alexander Johnson get the calls and checks right. It’s quite a promotion for a player who was expected to make the team to provide depth at linebacker and some pop on special teams. 

On Friday, the reflective Jewell explained how the Davis release went down and what it means for his Broncos career. 

“We were going to meetings and he got the call,” Jewell said. “We got the news later in the meetings that he was gone." 

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One second, they're all headed to a meeting and the next — poof — one of the team leaders is plucked out of the building and handed his walking papers. That's how quickly the ground can shift under the feet of an NFL linebacker. 

Next man up? Again, for now, that's Jewell and he knows that even though we're not talking about the loss of a perennial All-Pro, Davis is an accomplished linebacker and was a big-time leader in the locker room. 

"Just take it by committee, keep it up and the next guy try to come up with the leadership," Jewell said. "I know we’ll be good. I know AJ has quite a bit of leadership. I can do it, too, and I think we’re all good leaders and we’re all good listeners when we need to be. We’ll just kind of weed it out as it comes.”

While the aftershock of Davis' departure will be felt deeply in the locker room, it also left fans somewhat bewildered as to how the Broncos' Plan B will shake out. To some, it feels like the risk outweighs the reward of putting all the chips on Jewell performing to a high level, but he is ready to rise to the challenge.

“It’s a big amount of leadership, I think.” Jewell confessed. “You’re just trying to decipher through all the crowd noise. This year, we’ll see how much that is. Just being able to be out front and maybe if a call comes in late or if you can’t hear quite right, you have to be able to get that call out to everybody."

When you're the guy 10 other players are looking to for the play call and it's up to you to make sure everyone is lined up correctly, while also trying to decipher the pre-snap looks the offense is giving you, it takes a PhD in multi-tasking. Fortunately, with his prolific experience at Iowa and now having a full year in Vic Fangio's scheme under his belt, it's nothing new for Jewell. 

"I think that shows leadership and they think you’re responsible out there," Jewell said. "Whatever happens, whoever wears the headset, I’m sure will do just fine. It does come with a lot of responsibility when you wear it.”

Despite Jewell’s commitment to mastering the starting role, nothing immediately jumps out from his young pro career that implies he will be able to become a consistent force next to Johnson. His previous struggles to date in holding up in pass coverage are particularly worrisome in a division that contains Patrick Mahomes and offensive minds like Andy Reid.

Simply trusting that Fangio has sprinkled his magic defensive dust on Jewell will have to provide fans with the confidence that the Davis cut was wise. Considering the struggles the Broncos had defensively last year when Davis wasn't in the lineup to open the season, the 'trust in Fangio' refrain might come as cold comfort as Week 1 looms. 

It also calls GM John Elway’s front office maneuvers into question as the move to cut Davis comes with all the classic hallmarks of the 11th-hour penny-pinching that characterized the T.J. Ward cut a couple years back and others. 

Currently, the Broncos sit with just over $30 million in available salary-cap space, so if a linebacker becomes available that Elway likes, the GM's the wheeling and dealing might not be over yet at Dove Valley. 

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL and @MileHighHuddle.