The 2011 Denver Broncos were really bad at protecting the Quarterback, whether it was Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow. Part of that was on the QBs themselves – Orton lacks escapability, and Tebow was extremely conservative about throwing against tight coverage, and often held the ball too long. But most of the issue was the play of the individual protection players, and some questionable scheming.
LT Ryan Clady had a down year, which still put him in the top 10 or so of players at his position. His foot quickness has never gotten back to what he showed in his first two seasons, and sometimes he gets beat with quickness. LG Zane Beadles and C J.D. Walton don’t anchor well enough, and both need to get significantly stronger as their careers progress. RG Chris Kuper was the best of the bunch, but he’s coming off of a broken leg, which is a significant injury. Finally, RT Orlando Franklin buried guys in the run game, but his foot quickness needs a lot of improvement if he’s going to play outside.
The good news is that this is a group of five players who are all still in their 20s and showed a high degree of durability. I’ve said this before, but for an offensive lineman, durability is a skill. Teams tend to carry only eight of them, so if a player gets hurt a lot, he’s a liability. Linemen get hit a lot, but they tend to be lower-impact close area hits, where the guy they’re colliding with doesn’t have much of a running start. You have to be able to take 1,000 or so of those hits and play every snap while managing some aches and pains and avoiding ankle sprains and the like.
BRADY QUINN (backup QB, Denver Broncos): Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out. So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just ‘cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn’t have any billboards. That would have been nice….
...We’ve had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply…
...If you look at it as a whole, there’s a lot of things that just don’t seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I’ll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?
Just in case you wanted confirmation that Brady Quinn won't be returning to the Denver Broncos, you've got it now. Quinn's comments aren't just a criticism of Tebow, but the entire process by which the organization operated last year.
And for the record, Brady, I did have some Quinn billboards ready the week after the loss against the Lions. I just didn't run them because of the death threats.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis had a sitdown at Dove Valley yesterday with John Fox, who had the following to say:
Nothing particularly new or surprising, but we'll take what we can get for the middle of February.
Could Brandon Carr stay in the AFC West?
I thought Denver would be the favorite in the division to land Routt, but the Broncos reportedly never had any interest. Carr could pair nicely with the aging Champ Bailey for the short term. The Broncos could then have Carr take over as the No.1 cornerback if Bailey is eventually moved to safety. The Broncos have cap room and I could see them looking at Carr.
Williamson is just trying to fill space (so am I) with this post tonight, but it does beg the question as to whether the Broncos would cease drafting a cornerback with their first pick and just go after a known quantity like Carr instead. A combination of Champ Bailey and Brandon Carr would make Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil downright smitten.
The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind - and he was devastated when he realized his mistake.
“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News.
“I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”
The headline - “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets” - appeared on ESPN’s mobile website at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and was removed by 3:05 a.m.
Federico, 28, said he understands why he was axed. “ESPN did what they had to do,” he said.
He said he has used the phrase “at least 100 times” in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story.
Context is everything. As a guy who writes several thousand words a week, and further, as a guy who is always looking to turn a phrase into a headline, I can tell you that sometimes you simply don't catch everything. This is especially true when you are trying to generate content as fast as possible.
Only the patently idiotic would purposely write what Frederico wrote as a joke or a pun. It's clear from this interview he simply pulled a trite phrase from the index in his head of trite phrases.
Certainly there are better candidates to fire at ESPN, aren't there? Let's start with Chris Berman and end with Stuart Scott. Berman's powder-blue act is as stale as week-old cornflakes. Scott's is hardly more interesting, unless you think torturing two-year-old slang into a Tim Tebow highlight is gold.
(Note: This is the fourth part in
an Epic a mini ten-part series on the Worst Moves of 2011; we'll also be doing a ten-part mini on the Ten Best Moves of 2011. If you want to see #10: Trading Jabar Gaffney, click here; #9: The Duke Takes on Twitter, click here; #8: Fox "screws" Tebow, click here.)
It's hard to fault the Broncos for the way they handled their tight ends in 2011. In theory, the plan they had was sound enough. First, they avoided paying a $1 million roster bonus by letting hometown favorite Daniel Graham go before the season began. Then they signed serviceable veterans Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario to one-year deals. This would allow the Broncos a year to bring along and develop the raw but deadly pass-catching talents of Julius Thomas and Virgil Green.
It's this context in which the Broncos should be judged. Obviously, the Broncos made the playoffs. So the natural instinct is to say "scoreboard" and be done with it. When you're conducting a year-end review, however, you've got to apply a different standard--a standard that draws heavily from the reality of what actually happened. Call it hindsight bias (which it is); call it unfair (certainly); call it impatient (yeah, I want my sugar now). Just recognize that the Broncos didn't get what they wanted from the tight end position last year.
That makes it our seventh-worst move of 2011.
Report: Stanford Routt signs with Chiefs
According to those same multiple reports, Routt’s deal is for three years and worth $19.6 million.
Oakland’s not off the hook, though. Multiple reports indicate that Routt’s new deal will not offset the $5 million Routt was scheduled to receive from the Raiders in 2012, so the cornerback will be getting two paychecks.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the addition of Routt to the Chiefs is what it means for would-be free-agent cornerback Brandon Carr. Carr was a strong possibility to get the franchise tag, but the Chiefs signing Routt means that wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is a much more likely target now.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! As we learn more about the effects of head injuries on football players during and after their playing careers, the future of the sport itself continues to come into question.
First there was Malcolm Gladwell's article in the New Yorker which likened football to dogfighting, Jeanne Marie Laskas's GQ piece focusing on the NFL's blackballing of CTE researchers, and her subsequent story on former Vikings star Fred McNeill. More recently we heard from Tony Dorsett about the ghastly treatment of his head injuries by the Cowboys medical staff, and a pair of economists writing for Grantland laid out their vision of how football will someday lose its standing as America's favorite sport.
Fans and even ex-players have begun to question whether they'd allow their own children to play the sport they spend so many hours watching on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays, not to mention reading and writing about it on blogs like this one. Countless NFL retirees have filed suit against the league for having turned a blind eye to their concussions and resultant health and cognitive problems.
Now add to the mix a Hall of Famer and three-time SB champion who is one of the faces of the league - FOX's current lead football analyst Troy Aikman, whose own playing career was shortened by the effects of the head injuries he suffered.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei examines the trend around the league of teams blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions elsewhere. Not that long ago, coaches were allowed to speak with other teams as long as they were being considered for promotions.
But prior to the 2000 season, the NFL did away with a rule that had allowed teams to protect only one defensive coach and one offensive assistant from departing. As Pompei tells it, thinking was that too many coaches were changing jobs, and that teams would not stand in the way of their assistants landing big promotions and the chance to double or quadruple their salaries.
Unfortunately it hasn't worked out that way, as new Bucs coach Greg Schiano was denied the chance to interview at least six assistants, including former Denver secondary coach Ed Donatell, who was blocked from pursuing multiple gigs.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We're just days away from the 2012
Cattle Call Combine, which means we're in for a deluge of meaningless quotes from EFX™ courtesy of NFLN. Well, meaningless except for the unintentional comedy they will surely provide. Chris Farley Brian Xanders is already obliging us:
We plan to be aggressive and smart at the same time and try to get some good signings in here, some valued signings that help contribute to wins. We also have to address signing our own unrestricted free agents, and we also have the free agency market. So we will have a plan for that. We have a long term vision, too.
Of course, as long as he keeps drafting guys like Von Miller and uncovering gems like Chris Harris, we'll happily take the X-Man's malapropisms.
* EFX is the intellectual property of Woody Paige, who also happens to have been a co-inventor of the internet along with Al Gore