Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! If you happened to watch last night's 30-10 loss to the Seahawks (BTV, NFLN) in its entirety, or if you saw none of it and instead just checked the box score, it would be quite easy to be discouraged by Denver's performance.
The closing half was so boring and lopsided that it made the fine play of Peyton Manning and the Broncos defense in the first 30 minutes almost fade from memory, and, well, there's that score.
Yet in the same way that last week's 31-3 win over the Bears didn't engender Super Bowl predictions, last night should be no cause for great concern.
Indeed, there were the three turnovers - each a terrible mistake by Zane Beadles, Manning, and Lance Ball - while purported PMFM security blanket Jacob Tamme dropped a pair of passes, including an easy would-be touchdown pass. Brock Osweiler and the second-team offense failed to move the ball (37 net yards and a lonely one first down), and the second- and third-team defenses gave up big play after big play to Russell Wilson and Co.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was a great first half, it was a second half I can't remember.
Week 2 of the preseason is officially in the can. And what have we learned?
Depth could be an issue with the Broncos in 2012. Injuries have already taken their toll.
It seems it's the scoreboard's turn now.
Enjoy the game, and Go Broncos!
John Fox says Porter and Ronnie Hillman will be gametime decisions for tonight's preseason home game against the Seahawks, but neither is likely to play. The corner missed most of the week's practices due to illness, but says he's feeling better.
Contrary to Gray Caldwell's report from a day earlier which said the Broncos' starters would play the entire first half, they are expected to instead play just two or three series. Brock Osweiler and the second-team offense should take over for Peyton Manning & Co. from there, with Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber playing in the second half. Manning is apparently not pushing the coaching staff to let him play more.
Post-Camp Stock Watch: Irving Up; Ayers Down
DE Robert Ayers: That Derek Wolfe — and not Ayers — replaced Jason Hunter this week speaks volumes about where Ayers stands in the defense. He now fills the “experienced depth” role that Brooking and Leonhard were signed to handle at their positions. That’s good for a roster spot, and likely to get him some decent playing time at some point in the season, but is nevertheless a long fall considering that he was an every-down player last year.
Raise your hand if you think defensive coordinator Jack Of The River isn't enamorado with Robert Ayers.
Obviously, Del Rio hasn't been exposed to the genius of Mike Mayock. If he had been, he would have remembered Mayock saying: "Robert Ayers is the best defensive player coming out of this draft. You can get creative with Ayers. He brings your scheme versatility on defense. I think he's a special player."
Blame McDaniels? Hell, why not.
Peyton Manning Feels He Took a Step Forward in the Process of His Return
Your first touchdown pass in your career came against Seattle in a preseason game. What do you remember about it?:
“It was a funny series because the first play we ran the ball. I remember the coach had told me … if the headphones ever go out, just be prepared to have your own play. The headphones go out on the second play of the game. I kind of stayed poised, didn’t call a timeout, called a little draw play and got four yards. Anyway, it was like a third-and-five or six and Seattle, being a smart defense, naturally you’re going to blitz a rookie quarterback, and they brought everybody. We called a little three-step drop, safe pass, no reads or anything. It was called Scat Right 92 and I was throwing to Marvin [Harrison] breaking the huddle. … They blitzed everybody and he just hit that seam and all I remember is running down that field and thinking, ‘This NFL is easy.’”
Do you hear that? The NFL is easy, like stealing literacy from a Raiders fan.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Yesterday morning's practice (photos, more photos) was essentially the final one of training camp, as the team will be on a schedule resembling that of the regular season going forward.
Ty Warren was back in action after missing two days for personal reasons; Tracy Porter (illness), Ronnie Hillman (hamstring), Danny Trevathan (ankle), Keith Brooking (hamstring), Jim Leonhard (knee) remained sidelined, while Kevin Vickerson (concussion) left early.
WR Matthew Willis and DE Jamie Blatnick were standouts, and Peyton Manning spent extra time working in the red zone with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Brandon Stokley.
Warren and fellow defensive tackles Justin Bannan, Derek Wolfe, and Mitch Unrein all worked with the first team, and Manny Ramirez again took a few snaps with the starting offense at center; Drayton Florence took Porter's place opposite Champ Bailey, who was back practicing after a day off.
Don't tell me how passionate you are; don't tell me how orange and blue your blood is; don't show me your faded tattoo. You want to prove once and for all you're a Broncos fan? Put out your damn eye and prove you're a real fan. Like this guy who loves the Chiefs:
Elway says Broncos' Manning throwing ball better than ever
“He’s throwing the post route and everything well,’’ Elway said. “I went back and looked at film from 2010 and 2009 to get a comparison of Peyton, and he looks to me to be the same guy throwing now that he was then.
“The ball is coming out quicker all the time the more and more time he gets with the offense and getting to know all his receivers and tight ends. ... That’s always been his style. He’s never been the Nolan Ryan of quarterbacks anyway. He’s always throwns the ball with great anticipation and touch.”
Obviously humility is the more societally acceptable choice, but don't you wish JE would have said, "That's always been his style. After all, he's not me"? He also clearly was too kind to Jay Cutler when the then-kitten claimed to have a stronger arm than the Duke.
My previous two looks at the Broncos' preseason-opening win over the Bears covered big plays from rookies Danny Trevathan and Steven Johnson. You could easily see how the design of each play facilitated their success - provided the linebackers were alert, quick, and effective enough. They were, and if those are the backups, it could be a fun year.
For our next analysis, I’d like to take on a similar play that was successful due to the pure effort of one player - defensive end Jeremy Beal.
A disappointing Combine dropped Jeremy to the seventh round of the 2011 Draft, and Denver's depth at the position relegated the former Sooner to the practice squad last year.
Of course, he's still stuck behind Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers, and Von Miller slides over to a DE function on most passing/nickel downs. Jason Hunter was threatening to think people into the corn fields until he tore his triceps, and now Derek Wolfe is at Hunter’s position - Beal’s task in making the squad isn’t easy, but just improved.