Former Broncos T Mike Current was found dead this morning at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, killed by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Denver selected Current in the third round (58th overall) of the 1967 Draft out of Ohio State; he went on to play in 169 NFL games in 13 seasons, spending nine of those years with the Broncos. He made the Pro Bowl as a Bronco in 1969, and he also played for the Dolphins and Buccaneers.
Current, who was 66, had become an author in his post-playing days, and he wrote a memoir of his career titled Rememberin'...Life in the Trenches. Our thoughts at IAOFM go out to Current's family and friends. (via DP)
Update 7:26am ET 1/18/12: It appears society will not be missing Current - he had been accused recently of sexually assaulting several children.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! By now, everyone knows John Elway stated yesterday that Tim Tebow will be the Broncos starting QB entering training camp; the Worldwide Leader probably still has this breaking "news" in its crawl right now. Of course, they won't mention that it was a choice between Tebow and Adam Weber, who spent the season off the 53-man roster (instead on the practice squad, where any team could have nabbed him) and was signed to a future contract yesterday.
Dave Krieger agrees that John Elway struck the proper tone with his lukewarm endorsement of Tebow, and he sees a man in Elway who's the right man for the job of running the Broncos. Les Carpenter thought Elway was praising Tebow through huge, clenched teeth, while Doug Farrar oddly accepted it all at face value and thinks Elway has found a kindred spirit in Tebow.
But Will Brinson has it right: who on Earth will choose to sign with Denver with the intention of winning a QB competition, especially since he'd be shackled with "the most unfriendly homefield circumstances in NFL history" were he to win the job? After all, the drumbeat in Denver for Jay Cutler and Tebow reduced Jake Plummer and Kyle Orton to mistake-prone klutzes, respectively. What, Matt Flynn or Jason Campbell is going to hold up better? About the only guy who might be available and could withstand Tebowmania is Peyton Manning.
And so it ends.
Everyone has hopes, and Broncos fans had seen some fairly remarkable things this year, but there are truths in life. One is that trying to stop Tom Brady in Foxborough in the playoffs is nearly impossible. The other is that Denver hasn’t gotten quite as far as the Patriots have as a team yet, and they got to find that out pretty quickly. They managed three points not related to an early Brady turnover. Brady tied the all-time NFL record for TD passes in a playoff game (with Daryle Lamonica and Steve Young, five of them coming in the first half).
Let’s face facts, though - Every team but one ends with a loss. Late in the year, with the secondary playing rookies and practice squad guys, the team still made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. I had a great time for at least part of nearly every game. I had a great time for all of some of them. And if anyone says that this season doesn’t improve on 4-12, they’re lying.
Today's press conference was pretty much what we expected--full of positive energy and questions about the future of Tim Tebow.
Elway made about as much of a commitment to Tebow as he probably could. Getting right to the heart of the issue, Elway said: "Tim's earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into camp next year."
Elway later say he "hoped" Tebow was going to be the franchise guy. He also said the Broncos would bring in other quarterbacks (he implied through free agency) to compete for the job. I liked his answer to the question about whether free agents would come here with Tebowmania: "If he's afraid to come in and compete for that job, maybe he's not the right guy."
I wish the beat writers had asked specific questions about the style of offense the Broncos would be running in the future, but the Broncos' draft and free-agent pickups will speak louder than anything they could have said today.
Elway probably did what any of us would have done in the same situation--dip your toe into the Tebow waters as far as you can while keeping your options open as you try to improve at every position. It sure makes for an interesting offseason of speculation.
Raiders will interview both Broncos coordinators
The Oakland Raiders want to talk to both of the coordinators on the team that won their division.
The Raiders have received permission to interview Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting.
It’s an interesting strategy from Raiders owner Mark Davis and G.M. Reggie McKenzie. It makes sense from a competitive standpoint to consider bringing in coaches from the team ahead of them in the standings, but it may also be a tactic designed at gathering intelligence on a division rival.
If that’s what it is, it sounds like a strategy that Al Davis would love.
Mark Davis, your haircut still sucks, no matter how many of our coordinators you interview.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Mortensen is reporting that with Jeff Fisher having chosen St. Louis over Miami, the Dolphins today will interview Denver OC Mike McCoy, who joins Miami interim HC Todd Bowles, Packers OC Joe Philbin, Bengals DC Mike Zimmer, and Bears ST coach Dave Toub on their list of candidates. Cue the "we need a better play caller who understands Tim Tebow anyway" music...
Meanwhile, it's expected that in a news conference today John Elway, Brian Xanders and John Fox will declare that Tebow is their starting QB for 2012. But considering that Brady Quinn is an unrestricted free agent and Adam Weber is on the practice squad, there's not really anything else they can say, no matter their intentions - Tebow is the only quarterback under contract for next season. Even if they do plan to build around Tebow and are fond of Weber, the team has to acquire two quarterbacks between now and the beginning of training camp, whether via free agency or the draft. And anything but outwardly unequivocal organizational support for Tebow for at least the next six months would be shock-inducing foolishness on the FO's part - so expect plenty of Tebow certainty out of EFX until camp begins. It's their only option.
Worship more like hardship
A certain sports columnist from Chicago — we’ll call him “Rick Morrissey” — writes that Tim Tebow isn’t a good quarterback and that God doesn’t care whether the Broncos win a football game…The columnist then gets inundated with emails from Broncos fans, Tebow fans and, for some reason, what seems to be most of the white population of Oklahoma…
...I don’t think I’ve seen a bigger emotional investment in whether one player wins a football game. People see a Tebow victory as proof of all sorts of things, mostly that God is squarely on his side…
...There was an assumption in many of the emails I received that if you’re not on board with the Tebow movement, you must be anti-religion, pro-abortion, anti-gun rights, Obama-loving and in all likelihood attracted to farm animals. And you know this about me because I don’t think Tebow is a particularly good quarterback? I also got the sense that being a practicing Catholic is not quite Christian enough for some of you. I’ll have to work on that.
I can’t tell you how many emails I received that included the terms “Michael Vick,’’ “thugs” and “end zone celebrations.’’ As in, would you rather have that than Tebow’s overt religious enthusiasm? If I recall, Vick served prison time for his dog-fighting cruelty. And if I’m not mistaken, we’re called to forgive one another. Apparently, there’s something in the fine print about Vick that excludes forgiveness.
That sliver-sized space for absolution is what worries me about Tebow’s future. People have constructed a world for him in which there is no room for mistakes, only perfection. And if he should stumble? What then? It’s frightening how much belief followers have put in a 24-year-old. I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the woman who marries him. I can’t imagine the glare of the spotlight and the pressure to be sinless. Tebow seems like a very nice guy with a very big heart. It’s the people who worship him, rather than just admire him, who make my skin crawl.
Patriots Stop Tim Tebow: Why He Will Be Missed
Denver’s defense lost this game, but Tebow was still pretty terrible: he completed just 9 of 26 passes, for 136 yards. (John 1:36 – “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’”) One 3rd-and-19 pass late in the third quarter was so wobbly and off the mark that Denver chose to kick a field goal rather than go for it on fourth down, trailing 42-7. The message was clear: Denver coach John Fox had no faith that Tebow could convert.
After the game, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey was asked if Tebow should be the starter next season. Bailey looked the other way, providing no answer.
Champ has hedged his QB bet several times this year. First he was in the Orton camp. Then he switched to Tebow's. After the KC loss, he was neutral. With the win against Pittsburgh, it was safe to leave the house again.
Now, mum's the word. Can't say I blame him. It's best to declare after the fact so you're on the right side of history.
Tom Kensler had a different version of events, though.
Tebow Performs Better in Sideshow
Soon they were all praying together, while a protective cocoon of Tebow’s people formed around the pair, getting huffy when a couple of reporters stopped to observe. “Private family time,” one said, which was strange, since the scene was a hard-to-miss public spectacle, like so much of the Tebowing phenomenon, and it lasted considerably longer than any Denver drive.
He comes off as exceedingly earnest and sincere, though his religious invocations can have the same repetitive effect of those uttered during a Miss America pageant. Being uncomfortable with them doesn’t make one a hater or a heathen, just one of many who wonder if there is an appropriate time and place and if the football environment doesn’t always have to be one of them. Maybe as part of the growth process Tebow will figure that out.
As he always does, he thanked his teammates for their support and effort immediately after praising God. But one was left to surmise that he, the Broncos’ purported leader, should have been with them late Saturday night instead of in the corridor tending to his own personal business, no matter how giving it was. There are times when duty to team has to come first. Surely one of them is in the wake of lopsided and season-ending defeat.
Whoops, forgot to post this earlier. Enjoy the games, everyone!