By Justin Adams
(CBS4) - When Broncos fans think of a player who gets after the quarterback, Von Miller is the first name that comes to mind. The veteran has led the team in sacks in every season since 2013. But this season, a player other than Miller has a decent shot at claiming that honor: Bradley Chubb.
Chubb had 12 sacks during his rookie campaign, just 2.5 behind Von Miller's total from a year ago. Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio had the Broncos linebacker high on his draft wish list last season as the defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears. Now that Fangio is in Denver, he's excited to see how Chubb will blossom in his defensive system.
"He's tailor-made for us," Head Coach Vic Fangio said. "I think he'll take the next step just because he's a pro ... already. He's a very smart football player, very coachable, very intense. I see nothing but bright days ahead for him."
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell sees a great uptick in Chubb's play as well. He believes that the second-year product will become one of the league's premiere edge rushers in the 3-4 defense.
"The edge players are very important in this 3-4 defense Vic and I have been running these for the last eight years," Donatell said. "You need guys that can compress the edge and then you need somebody who can rush the passer. He can do both of those and he's very forceful in doing that. We're happy to have him. We think he can be very productive in that role."
If Chubb can make a leap in Year 2, then he will follow the pattern set by other great NFL pass rushers. Pro Football Hall of Famer lineman Bruce Smith upped his total from six sacks to 15.5 his second season. Reggie White went from 13 to 18 in year two. Houston Texans lineman J.J. Watt had 5.5 sacks before he exploded for 20.5 and Von Miller had 11.5 sacks his first year and ended with 18.5 his second season. The Broncos believe that Chubb has the makeup to become the next great pass rusher.
"I know that guys like him, with his character and his work ethic, they usually spike in year two," Donatell said. "He's just a heck of a talent and he works hard every day. You should see really great play from him."
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