Hello, friends, and welcome to Part 3 of our series about the Manning offense that we can expect to see in Denver. Today, we’ll focus on the running game, which I think will schematically have a lot of similarity to the base running game we’ve seen in Denver the past three seasons. The philosophy will be very different, though, and it’s on that aspect which I will dedicate most of my focus.
If you missed Parts 1 or 2, and want to catch up, please see these links:
Let’s begin by asking a simple question – why do football teams run the ball? The main answer that I would give is that it’s tradition. American football was invented in 1869, and the forward pass wasn’t introduced to the game until 1906. It actually was introduced as a safety measure, because a bunch of people got killed or seriously hurt playing the game in 1905, and President Teddy Roosevelt demanded rules changes. (The horror of government overreach!) The rules committee that was formed was the precursor of today’s NCAA.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! There's been a lot of mystery surround Denver's cap space this offseason, with wide assumptions that the team was running low on cap space after having added Peyton Manning, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, Andre Caldwell, Tracy Porter, Mike Adams, and Caleb Hanie, plus having re-signed Wesley Woodyard, Joe Mays, Jason Hunter, and Manny Ramirez.
But thanks to the team's whopping $26M cap carryover from 2011 - second only to Jacksonville's $31M - Denver still has a very comfortable $13.8M in current available cap room. Only nine teams - Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, KC, Minnesota, Philly, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee - have more space left.
There will be draft picks to sign, the team reportedly still has interest in bringing back Marcus Thomas, and there remain some viable free agency options - including tackles Derek Landri and Amobi Okoye. So while there's no way for us to know whether the team plans to make any more splashes in free agency, it's great to know they have the flexibility to do so.
Peyton Manning vs. Philip Rivers fits right in with top QB
4. Peyton Manning vs. Rivers. Rivers once had a heated division rivalry with Cutler, when the latter was the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Rivers didn’t like Cutler, so it will be refreshing that his battle with Manning will be one of mutual respect. When Manning and Rivers aren’t sounding like the Southern gentlemen they are, their relentless desire should make for a wild, wild West showdown.
Rivers will no longer have his top wide receiver Vincent Jackson, and Manning needs to get used to throwing to unfamiliar young targets such as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. That should make Manning and Rivers’ upcoming matchups more unpredictable than Chargers vs. Colts, but you can bet both games will be decided by who’s the better quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Bring out the light sabers.
New Denver Bronco talks with Times
“I chose the Broncos to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to take a risk,” he explained about selecting Denver over five-year employer Houston Texans. “I want to take my game to another level…”
“...It’s not about stats, though. It’s about being out there more plays and making a bigger impact,” he proclaimed. “If it’s special teams or blocking my tail off for a big-time rusher, that’s what I want to do.”
Expect big things from Dreessen this year on the stretch play. And then notice how surprised you are when he ends up with 10--12 touchdowns off of play fakes at the end of the season.
Check out Marcus Thomas' twitter feed lately?
If not, you should consider it.
Not only is Thomas openly tweeting about his desire to re-sign with the Broncos, he's re-tweeting fan tweets about him re-signing with Denver.
So far, nothing has been inked, but (it appears) not for a lack of desire from Thomas.
Here are a few of his recent re-tweets:
Count this writer as an ex-Broncos fan
How do I tell my grandchildren that I am no longer a Denver Bronco fan? They are five years old and have a “jump up and down on the couch” excitement for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. I helped make them that way. I was that loyal fan for 30 years through thick and through thin.
Now, my trust and belief in the organization is gone. It’s become apparent that the “head office” wanted to throw Tebow under the bus when they got the chance. Never mind that he rallied the Broncos to inspiring wins that revived the Bronco nation. The Pittsburgh overtime playoff (11 seconds — count them) is one of the best moments in NFL history. And Peyton Manning — he never would have signed with a losing Denver team.
So leaving the Broncos is an easy move for me. What’s not easy is trying to explain to my grandkids that football is not just a game. It’s much more. Elvis has left the building.
Poor Sonja. I'm not sure if I feel more sorry for her or for her grandchildren, since they probably need some ritalin for that jumping-up-and-down-on-the-couch issue.
I've heard different versions of this country song, but they always sing the same chorus: I've been such a loyal subject through the toughest of times, but now, I can't take it any more and I'm going home!
Give me a freakin' break, Sonja Black. The Denver Broncos are bigger than you. They're bigger than me. They're bigger than the whole of Wyoming, Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains for that matter. And yes, they are bigger than Tim Tebow (they might not be bigger than John Elway, though, after that sweet-ass Peyton Manning trade, you know what I'm sayin'?). The good news is with the NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, you can watch your precious each and every week in New York City.
Now, get the hell out of Dodge.
One final question. Is Sonja comparing herself to Elvis or is she saying that Tim Tebow is Elvis? Either way, we're going to need to bring in some fried peanut-butter and banana sandwiches pronto. Oh, and bring a shotgun. There's some TVs that need shot up--in Powell, Wyoming.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Jeff Legwold spoke with Jeff Fisher, Leslie Frazier and Mike Shanahan about the problems Peyton Manning creates for defenses. The best quotes come via Fisher, whose Titans played Manning twice yearly for nine years, plus once in the 1999 playoffs (a Tennessee victory that included a !15-yard! rushing TD by Peyton). Said Fisher:
He'll raise the offense to a level where they are consistent week after week after week. He eliminates a lot of mistakes, and they'll score a lot of points week after week after week. He kind of changes the defensive philosophy (the Broncos) will face because all of a sudden (defenses) aren't rushing the passer against Denver or protecting a lead.
We've always said it's like preparing for one of those quarterbacks in a video game. You just can't fool him. He'll move fast and get the ball to the right people.
He's going to get up under center, scan the field and he knows what you're doing," Fisher said. "It may look like you're doing something else, but he knows what you're doing. It goes beyond staring into the eyes of the safeties. He understands presnap looks, the signals, the communication. He just knows all that.
Sound good to you?
Tim Tebow has fallen into sin, Tiger Woods is adequate again, and the Mets are questionable for opening day, but Doc Brooks and Kenny Kennedy still hate each other. It’s GOOMF!
The Onion: taking the craziest conversations we've ever had, adding crack, and making it a positive for Tim Tebow's game.
If you're not familiar with The Onion (really?): NSFW language, if the title hasn't hinted enough at that. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably shouldn't bother watching either.
If we did pretend to take this seriously for a moment: given the Mark Sanchez-Kate Upton rumors, I'm not sure how he could up his game, but to each his own.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland joined the Browns and 21 teams to watch Tannehill perform. Mayock believes Tannehill will not escape the top 10.
“If he doesn’t go at four,” Mayock said, “Miami has to take him at eight, and don’t be surprised if somebody trades up to three, where Minnesota is, or seven, where Jacksonville is, to get a chance at this kid.”
Has the world gone mad? Ryan Tannehill at #3?
Only Jeff (F)Ireland.
Peyton Manning good to go for Broncos, says QB coach David Cutcliffe
“He could play a game. We’ve done it, we’ve simulated games, and he’s done well. He’s going to do nothing but get stronger and going to play up to his standards,” Cutcliffe said Thursday in a phone interview with The Denver Post. “I know that’s his goal, and there isn’t any reason, there is no indicator otherwise…”
“...He can make all the throws, his release times are perfect, and we pay a lot of attention to that. It’s arm speed and getting rid of it. His velocity is good. It’s just a matter of, like any other NFL football player, you’ve got to feel good,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s in great shape. Not good shape, great shape, and that’s part of what we did here as well.”
Add Cutcliffe to the list of people who think Manning is ready to lace them up this second. That list also includes Manning himself.
A list of two? Good enough for me.