The Denver Broncos improved their defensive line depth last week when they signed ex-Minnesota Vikings defender Shamar Stephen.
Stephen (6-5, 309 pounds) has started 65 games in his career, totaling 173 tackles and 4.5 sacks since entering the NFL as a seventh-round pick in 2014. He was a defensive end in Minnesota’s 4-3 lineup but Stephen might play primarily as a nose tackle in Denver’s base 3-4 defense.
He should be a good fit in Vic Fangio’s rotation this fall.
“The first thing about his defense — it’s multifaceted so you’re able to do a lot of things out of that defense,” Stephen said during an introductory Zoom press conference last Wednesday. “[He’s] able to bring a lot of pressure and determine where you want to get the ball on a second-and-long and third-and-long. He does a lot of good things with the pressure and he’s able to force people to do what he wants them to do.
“I played a lot last year and I played a lot throughout my career. Just being able to rotate because they love to rotate their guys so they can be fresh and be able to have consistent downs every down.”
Having a player with Stephen’s experience available to come off the bench and keep players fresh should make the Broncos’ front seven even more formidable in 2021. Stephen expects Denver’s defense to rank among the NFL’s best.
“We have a real good chance to be dominant defense,” Stephen said. “There’s a lot of talent to go around and the draft hasn’t come yet. The depth looks very good, the players look very good. I’m excited to be in this defense just to aid [with] anything I can do to help win games.”