Jurrell Casey Reveals How he & Von Miller Developed Instant Chemistry
The Denver Broncos offseason acquisition of perennial Pro Bowl DL Jurrell Casey, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick from the Tennessee Titans, has rightly been labeled as a trade steal. As NFL teams tighten the purse strings with revenues expected to drop due to the pandemic, in hindsight, the Titans might have held onto their stud lineman considering the new market conditions.
However, the Titans loss is the Broncos gain. Denver got great value given Casey's proven track record and flexibility to play all three positions upfront. Vic Fangio’s defensive plan to unleash his two-headed pass-rushing attack of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb now has the perfect foil to give opposing OC’s sleepless nights.
As the Broncos reassemble on the training camp fields once again, Casey was made available to the media and he talked about how Denver's new trio is working hard to establish the essential chemistry required to succeed.
“When we get out there, I’m quick on my toes," Casey said on Tuesday. "They confided and trusted in me early, knowing that I understand the concept of the schemes they’re putting out there for us. [I’m] seeing how their mechanics are when they’re moving around."
Just like the majority of Broncos players who have spoken with the media recently, Casey also stressed the sheer importance of the Broncos throwing themselves into the training camp process. The lack of preseason games in 2020 means all the hard work, and perhaps most crucially, the team's chemistry will boil down to what the players manage to achieve during training camp.
“I’m sure it’s going to develop a whole lot more in the next couple of days when we are out there with helmets on and actually running around full speed,” Casey said. “Right now, it’s just having the mental capacity to go out there and take this defense and show those guys that I’m ready to go out and play with them.”
While finding elite talent to play upfront was the primary motivator to acquire Casey, it’s his knack for picking up the system up that could matter most. Having spent the last five Pro Bowl weeks with Von Miler, Casey believes it’s a another potent ingredient to throw into the mix.
“I think the biggest thing that’s helped us a lot is being at the Pro Bowl for multiple years together,” Casey said, echoing something Von Miller said last week. “That already showed us that we’re able to work together. Coming here, like I said before, when things have been called out; we don’t have to say that much. We just look at each other and we understand what one another needs.”
Miller said something similar last week.
"Some of the games we talked about, some of the drills that we worked on at the Pro Bowl, we talk about the same stuff here," Miller said last week. "He just gets it. It’s just instant. When you’ve played as long as Jurrell and you’ve played as long as me, it’s just instant. We don’t have to work on stuff. I can say something and he’ll pick it up instantly. He’ll say something to me, and I’ll pick it up instantly. It’s great to have a guy like that.”
During a tumultuous offseason, an exciting youth movement has quickly emerged around Broncos QB Drew Lock. To pave the way for the young offense to flourish, much of the heavy lifting early on in the 2020 season will have to be undertaken by the team's more experienced defense.
The added bonus of Casey wreaking havoc inside, freeing up Chubb and Miller to unleash their fury on opposing quarterbacks off the edge, could well be the X-factor that makes the Broncos defense finally reach the heights fans expected when Fangio was hired as head coach.
"The biggest thing is going to be working after practice," Casey said. "Get the work that you need during practice as much as you can together, but it’s going to have to have time after practice. That’s when you start clicking and you start working on things that you’re not able to work on in practice. As long as we both buy into that type of work ethic, we’re definitely going to excel.”