Denver had a pair of high-profile injuries two weeks ago, and confusion reigns as to what all these terms mean. I wanted to try and sort it all out for you. You might want to keep this one around - you’re likely to glance at it frequently in the coming months. I also want to sincerely thank Denny Clifford, MD (known around these parts as Ponderosa) for his help on the Western side of this piece - it’s always a pleasure for us to work and share information together, and Denny is without question one of medicine’s good eggs.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons gives these guidelines on their public site: Sprains and Strains: What's the Difference?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As Legwold points out, tonight's game against Seattle will provide the best and last preseason barometer of where the team is at, as the starters will play into the third quarter and sit out next Thursday's finale at Arizona. Tim Tebow is expected to be the second QB into the game, while the Broncos are expected to cut 10 players before Monday's practice - so tonight will be the final audition for several players.
As always, we'll have an open thread here starting an hour before kickoff, TJ's peerless Gut Reactions after the game's conclusion, and a Chewing the Fat tomorrow.
Third-year TE Richard Quinn was released by the Broncos with an injury settlement just three days after clearing waivers and being placed on IR. The former Tar Heel had been considered Denver's starting TE until the team signed veterans Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario, and he suffered a knee injury two days prior to the Broncos' preseason opener at Dallas. Quinn's brief stint in Denver was a rough one, as his most memorable moment involved getting chewed out by then-head coach Josh McDaniels in last year's regular season opener after the TE forgot his assignment and cost the team a timeout.
Happy Friday, friends. It’s that busy time of the month for me again, so my goal is to provide maximum value over minimum length today. Whenever I’m faced with that challenge, I tend to fall back to technical football, because there’s not really anything for me to research, nor is there a particularly exhaustive case to be laid out, since it’s not an opinion. Thus shall it be today.
One of Doug’s friends, a youth football coach in NJ named Rob Arciero, asked if we could write about the technical aspects of QB drops at some point. I decided to make “some point” today. We’re a customer-focused website, after all.
When I was married, I went through this period of teaching my ex-wife about football, and she taught me about her favorite thing, cosmetics. The end result is that I now know 10 times more about cosmetics than your typical heterosexual man, but I don’t know how well the football instruction took with her. I bring this up not to brag on my vast knowledge of the product lines at MAC, but because I vividly remember her asking me once how come TV guys always say that QBs always take pass drops that are an odd number of steps. That was a very good observation by her, and it lent itself to a good teaching point, which I’ll now share with you.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Pat Bowlen did his annual the team looks good the players love the coach I love the coach sitdown with the DP, although this time it's Mike Klis asking the questions (hasn't this always been Woody's gig?). In comparing Josh McDaniels and John Fox, Bowlen offers up this puzzler - "(Josh) just didn't have the level of experience that made me comfortable. John does." Okay, so why did you hire the guy in the first place, Mr. B? Honestly, there's not much in the way of substance to this one, although Klis does write that given his druthers, Bowlen would prefer an offensive-minded coach who'll lead the team to put up a ton of points. But as Klis puts it, Bowlen was nudged in the defensive direction by John Elway. BTW, someone should tell Klis that the Patriots have only won three Super Bowls under Bill Belichick, so the Shanny/Belichick/Coughlin total for SB victories should be six rather than seven. Ah, details.
(Note: This is in response to the numerous requests we've received asking us to review the basics of personnel groupings)
When considering personnel packages, it's helpful to start with the most fundamental and obvious notion in football: an offense has eleven players. From here, we note that six of these positions are almost always fixed:
This is an important--although elementary--reminder. That's because it cuts right to the heart of football strategy.
How do you employ the other five positions in order to take advantage of your own strengths and your opponent's weakness?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, go figure. It continues to be Tim Tebow Time all the time here in Broncos Land - yesterday, John Fox stepped up and said he doesn't know where Mike Silver got his quotes from the other day, suggesting even that it was perhaps the chef (did he mean chief?). Fox says the teams holds Tebow "in high regard," that he's "progressing fine," and that he'll get a bunch more chances in one of the next two preseason games. Of course, that was going to happen anyway, since the starters often don't play at all in the fourth and final preseason game - so drama or not, Tebow was going to see plenty of snaps next week.
Klis and Woody are wondering why so many writers think the Tebow Project is already over. Look, we all saw him in the final three games of last season, and there was plenty to get excited about. Plus, he looked pretty good in the preseason opener this year, and if you blinked you may have missed his appearance in last week's game. Meanwhile, if Legwold has it right, then it seems I may have been right all along about the $6.275M roster bonus Tebow was due this year - in today's article about the tradeability of the Denver QBs, Legwold says Tebow got paid right after the lockout when I said he had. Perhaps I just need to trust myself more, who knows? Anyway, this should put to rest any questions about the possibility of Tebow getting traded or cut - it's just not happening.
The Commish has reportedly hit Rahim Moore with a $20K fine for his own sideline hit on Bills WR Donald Jones from Saturday night's game (no word yet on whether he'll appeal the fine). Moore's hit was clean in the sense that he did not leave his feet, lower or lead with his head, but the NFL has made it clear they are trying to improve player safety. And while hits like Moore's may or may not be delivered with the intent to harm fellow players, and removing them may greatly alter the game as it's played, in the end the long-term health and wellbeing of the men we tune in to watch each week is far more important than our entertainment, wouldn't you say?
You guys handled this very well and deserve credit for it. The QB controversy got (rightfully) boring to many because the statements were mostly the same, with mildly reworded statements and a lot of capital letters on the side of the QB that some fans didn’t like. Many of the folks who complained that no one on the other side will admit to a middle ground won’t, under any circumstances, accept that there’s a middle ground. That’s all faded into Let’s Go Broncos and I’m proud of that. It’s nice to see folks getting past that other issue and pulling together behind the team. It says a lot of good about the Broncos Country community and it makes me proud to be part of it. Nice going, folks.
There have been several media reports in the past week, including on Twitter, that suggested Denver's players have rallied behind Orton as ‘their’ starter. Every coach knows to treat that carefully, but to listen to his players as well. I don’t know the validity of the rumor - it’s a rumor. Worth keeping an eye on, but hardly convincing by itself. When the coaches say so, that’s different. Since Denver has now designated Kyle Orton as the QB for the Sep. 12 season opener, the questions are moot for the moment, but the chances that the locker room are comfortable appear high. Comments like those made by Brandon Lloyd are worth considering - more below.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his article today, Mike Klis focuses on Dennis Allen's creative use of Champ Bailey in covering the slot on passing downs. In reading the following quote from Allen, the role Charles Woodson has played for the Packers comes to mind:
We just felt like it would be the best thing for our team to move him inside. We can use him in a role he hasn't been used in as much — pressure the quarterback, lock him down on the slot and do some different things outside. I think it gives us a lot of flexibility putting him in there.
Now, we all know that the reports of Champ having lost a step or two are greatly exaggerated, but what is true is that he hasn't been put in a position to make many game-changing plays since having amassed an eye-popping 18 picks (plus one forced fumble and that legendary INT against the Pats in the playoffs) from 2005-2006. In fact, over the four years since, Champ has only had 9 INTs and three forced fumbles - basically, opponents have been able to largely ignore him. Hopefully, this year we'll get to see more of the big plays we know Champ is still capable of, now that he'll be regularly foisted upon the hearts of opposing offenses.