There were several brilliant performances by the Denver Broncos on Sunday night - from Peyton Manning, the defensive line, Von Miller, and Wesley Woodyard, among others. But despite the abundance of bright spots, the play of Tracy Porter still stands out.
I watched film of Porter from 2010 and 2011 and understood the one-year contract Denver gave him. He was very slender - skinny, really. He didn’t have the power or form to tackle right - often as not, he threw himself at opponents' ankles and hoped for the best. He struggled with run support and had to battle in press coverage.
This year, he looks like a different player physically. His positives from earlier were that he has a textbook backpedal, was and is cheetah fast, flips his hips beautifully, and takes smart gambles. Those attributes are still present, and Jack Del Rio and defensive backs coach Ron Milus have him wrapping up, driving upward, and tackling hard. They haven’t tried to pull him back when it’s time to gamble, either.
Like other quarterbacks will do, Ben Roethlisberger appeared to make a concerted effort to throw against Porter in man coverage, and only threw to Champ Bailey's side when the Broncos used a zone defense. It’s exactly what Denver brought Porter in to do. They needed an experienced NFL cornerback with an aggressive attitude and a short memory - every CB gets beaten. You can’t let it affect you.
According to Mike Klis, the Broncos worked out three veteran defensive tackles on Tuesday.
Brian Price was a 2010 second-round pick of the Bucs, who traded him to the Bears in July for a seventh-rounder. Price had 24 tackles and three sacks in 15 games (14 starts) for Tampa bay last season. He was cut by Chicago when they signed Amobi Okoye, who himself had left Chicago for Tampa Bay as a free agent in April.
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Updated 2:10pm ET
We interrupt your regularly-scheduled programming for some frightening news from SAF@MH:
How many times over the years have you heard about how classy the Chiefs organization is?
Tradition, blah blah, great fans, blah blah, first-class owners, blah blah...
You know what all that has gotten them?
Zero playoff wins in 18 years. No SB appearances since their victory following the 1969 season.
A 25-34 record against the Broncos since the arrival of John Elway in 1983.
Raiders eyeing long-snapper
Travis Tripucka just Tweeted that he is headed to Oakland, presumably for a workout as a potential replacement for injured long-snapper Jon Condo.
“Oakland California, here I come!” Tripucka said in a Tweet. “Another opportunity. Couldn’t be happier! Raider Nation better be ready for the lunchmeat.”
Frank Tripucka's number 18 was one of only three retired by the Broncos (along with John Elway's 7 and Floyd Little's 44), before he graciously allowed the team to unretire it for Peyton Manning's use in March. Surely this was accompanied by a promise to re-retire the number whenever Peyton's time in Denver is up.
But the Broncos may want to consider not giving it back.
After all, Oakland's new long snapper is Frank's grandson, Travis. Imagine if the kid ends up snapping the kick that...never mind. This is just wrong on so many levels.
A new way of playing offense has come to Denver, one that’s new to us, anyway. When they went without a huddle Sunday night, the Broncos became unstoppable.
When you combine the brilliance of Peyton Manning with the altitude of Denver, you’re cooking with gas when you can sustain no-huddle drives. I’m not in complete agreement with Doug’s article from Monday, and I want to give you a slightly different take. First, I want to clarify the no-huddle, and second, I want to touch on some strategic offensive thinking.
I want everybody to understand the no-huddle better than it’s presented to them by the average talking head on TV. There’s a significant amount of misunderstanding about the no-huddle, so let’s start with three key points, to level-set the discussion:
1. The no-huddle offense is not the same thing as the hurry-up offense. Going without a huddle allows an offense to snap the ball quickly, but it doesn’t require it to do so. When an offense plays hurry-up, it will usually go without a huddle, but going without a huddle gives the QB wide latitude on when to snap the ball. Peyton Manning often waits until the play clock runs down, and I’ll explain why shortly.
Broncos corner Tracy Porter was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his season-opening performance against the Steelers.
The fifth-year player was credited with eight tackles (one for loss), five passes defensed, and his late interception of Ben Roethlisberger and subsequent TD return sealed the 31-19 victory for Denver.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! DP colleagues Lindsay Jones and Jeff Legwold agree that Denver going no-huddle has to include a dose of runs, but of course, the decision of whether to huddle up has nothing to do with the choice of passing or running.
It's all about substitutions, for both the Denver offense and opposing defense.
There's nothing wrong with Peyton Manning audibling to a run play (or changing the type of run), as he often does at the line of scrimmage. If opponents want to invite Peyton to run the ball, guess what? He's not Dan Marino; he'll run the ball 50 times and throw 20 times, if that's what makes sense.
Tracy Porter's interception of Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1 reminiscent of his Super Bowl pick
In camp, I asked Porter if he’d had a moment yet to talk to Manning about Memory Lane, about that night in South Florida when Manning, on his way to becoming a two-time Super Bowl champ, threw a pass that will live in Colts infamy.
“No,’’ he said. “I mean, we’re both professionals. It’d be sort of rookie-ish to mention it. If he wants to talk about it one day, we will, but that’s not the kind of thing I’d ever bring up to him.’‘
On Sunday night, I asked if it had come up yet with Manning.
“No,” he said.
You do not talk about your SB 44-clinching pick-six.
The second rule of playing with Peyton Manning is: You do not talk about your SB 44-clinching pick-six.
Of course, Manning's Colts were already down by a touchdown at the time of Porter's game-ender, but don't let that get in the way of a good narrative, Peter.