Woodyard Has Sights Set On Starting For Broncos

December 31, 1969 12:00 AM

Woodyard Has Sights Set On Starting For Broncos
" ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Wesley Woodyard is gearing up for a bigger role than ever with the Denver Broncos.

The fifth-year pro is coming off a year in which he piled up career highs in tackles (97), starts (seven) and forced fumbles (two) while replacing middle linebacker Joe Mays on passing downs and making spot starts at weakside linebacker for D.J. Williams.

Williams, who led the team in tackles after missing the first three games with an elbow injury, is facing a six-game drug suspension to start the 2012 season. He also has an Aug. 15 trial on misdemeanor driving under the influence and traffic charges.

Williams’ troubles might give Woodyard the chance to have much more than a rotational role in Denver’s 4-3 scheme next season, especially early on.

Woodyard, whose role has increased every year in Denver since the Broncos signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky in 2008, parlayed his outstanding 2011 season into a two-year, $3.5 million contract over the winter "

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