Broncos want to toe the line on penalties instead of crossing it

Von Miller was flagged for roughing the passer on Sunday. AP Photo/David Zalubowski

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Certainly Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak likes the get-after-it nature of his defense, a unit currently ranked No. 1 in total defense after three games.

What he could do without is the suddenly more-than-occasional step over the line some of the Broncos defenders have taken in the last two games. In the last two games, the Broncos have been flagged for unnecessary roughness four times and roughing the passer twice.

That total includes linebacker Von Miller's roughing the passer penalty and Sylvester Williams' unnecessary roughness penalty -- both for hits on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford -- in Sunday night's win in Detroit.

So, while the Broncos don't necessary agree all of those flags should have been thrown, they do acknowledge they will have to find a way to avoid those kinds of penalties moving forward and maintain their fervor to get to opposing quarterbacks.

"I don't ever want to take away a team's aggression," Kubiak said. "I want us to be aggressive, but we have to be smart, too. I think that we have too many. ... We need to be aggressive and I think as a team that you need to talk about overcoming penalties. If you don't ever do that, if all you do is harp on the penalty and what happened, you don't ever talk about being good enough to overcome penalties. We have too many and that starts with me and the coaches. We have to get rid of some of those."

Miller avoided a fine for his unnecessary roughness penalty for a hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in Week 2, but given he was flagged again against the Lions, the league may look at him differently as far as assessing a fine this time around.

Jackson was fined $8,681 for his penalty in Week 2 -- he has appealed -- while DeMarcus Ware was fined $17,363 for a low hit on Smith as well.

"I think that it's just one of those things where you can't take away aggressiveness," Jackson said Monday. "With those things, the refs are going to draw the line in the sand to where they want it. Sometimes they give a little leeway and sometimes they don't. It's just up to us to go out there and not test the boundary, but just play hard. If we get called for something, we know where they stand."