Australia’s Adam Gotsis starting for Denver Broncos

Austrialian Adam Gotsis has battled through a torn anterior cruciate ligament, rookie mistakes and a tortuous offseason weight program and has now been named the starting defensive end for the Denver Broncos.

The  6-foot-4½-inch, 307-pound defensive lineman from Melbourne, Australia was weaned on Australian Rules Football but after playing for Georgia Tech and getting drafted 63rd overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos he has definitely picked up the game.

His development can best be described in a six second sequence against the Dallas Cowboys a couple of weeks ago as written by Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post:

“Tyron Smith put his massive hands on Adam Gotsis‘ shoulders and attempted to march the Broncos defensive end toward the sideline.

Discarding defensive linemen with ease was how Smith, the 320-pound left tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, earned all-pro honors last season. And being too easily shoved to the side in 2016 was how his rookie season became an exercise in frustration for Gotsis.

But as the clouds hovered above Sports Authority Field at Mile High last Sunday, Gotsis closed the daylight. On the second play of the game, Gotsis absorbed a chip block from Cowboys guard Chaz Green and then, with a violent swing of his arms, shook free from Smith. In a blink, Gotsis balanced himself and torpedoed back toward the line of scrimmage, helping teammate Derek Wolfe level all-pro running back Ezekiel Elliot before he could gain a yard.

The play was a six-second show of strength Gotsis may have not been able to display one year ago. Back then, he was 20 pounds lighter, still recovering from an ACL injury and generally overmatched.”

Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods is pleased with the progress:

“The first two games, he’s looked like a different guy. He’s looking like the guy we drafted. He has to continue to play at that level. He’s a big piece to our defense in terms of having big success.”

Gotsis has been on the field progressively longer in each game the Broncos have played so far this year. In the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers he was in for 52.5% of the defensive plays and 19.2% of the special teams plays. By the third game against the Buffalo Bills, his playing time had increased to 69.2% of the snaps and 18.8% on special teams.  He registered five tackles in the Chargers game  and then added four tackles against the Dallas Cowboys. Each of those  tackles was against Cowboys running back Eksel Elliott (three rushes, one reception) on plays that totaled just 7 yards for the running back.

It is clear that his time in the weight room has definitely paid dividends for Gotsis. He added 20 pounds of muscle bulking up from 287 to 306 pounds after being challenged at the end of last season by defensive line coach Bill Kollar.



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