The Sporting News daily recently ran a ‘Scout's Views' article that listed the top 20 running backs for 2009. For those who feel that the Broncos don't appear on the major sports media radar, it will be no surprise that Knowshon Moreno, although he will be aided by Peyton Hillis, didn't even make the list. Chris ‘Beanie' Wells managed to sneak in at #20, but no info was given as to why him rather than Moreno.
I am not a very big Sum 41 fan, but they had a great album title a few years ago, in All Killer, No Filler, which our friends at Wikipedia inform me was borrowed from Jerry Lee Lewis, who was significantly cooler than them. I always thought of it as the Sum 41 rule, until I just looked it up, so that continues, I guess.
Anyway, I have adopted it as a rule of ST&NO, in the sense that if I can't think of enough interesting topics to fill a decent column, I won't post one, because I owe it to those who read my work not to waste their time with weak stuff. I started writing some content last week, and it didn't pass the test, so I didn't post anything on Monday. Here goes 2 weeks worth of material, on a Memorial Day Monday. As a veteran myself, I would remind our American community members to take a moment to reflect on the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in the service of our nation.
I bowl. I drive around. Occasionally an acid flashback. Also, it seems, I can't stop thinking about field position. After first posting on the subject here, and then subsequently here, I wanted to explore a little further the 2008 Broncos season, and what I consider to the be Cerberus of wins and losses in the NFL.
Cerberus? What the hell is this? For those of you that never had to suffer through Latin (Spanish that semester was full, hombre) or were too stoned to care, Cerberus was the three headed monster that guarded the entrance to the underworld in Greek and Roman mythology. And when it comes to guarding the gates of hell, three heads are better than one.
This afteroon, I had the great fortune of speaking with The Beast - Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Brandon was in Boston participating in a photo shoot for Reebok and the Broncos' 50th AFL Anniversary Throwback jerseys. Turns out BMarsh is already familiar with MHR, and he was quite generous in offering his time to speak via telephone. We covered his hip injury and recovery, the new quarterbacks, and the draft, among other things. Most interestingly, I found out that Brandon gets along just fine with Philip Rivers - that may help answer some questions about who was responsible for the reported bad blood between Denver and San Diego in recent seasons. Many thanks to Brandon for taking the time to speak with me, and I hope you enjoy reading what he had to say.
When the Denver Broncos bargained with Chris Simms this offseason, they believed they were taking on a talented backup quarterback to cover for Jay Cutler if he went down to injury. Coach Josh McDaniels felt that Simms had the pedigree and the potential to be a solid backup, and the higher-than-normal contract cost backed that up. It didn't take long for Simms to receive a chance to show that he is more than a backup - he's currently competing against Kyle Orton for the starting position. In order for us to start understanding the value of this, we have to go back to where it all started.
You certainly could argue that Chris Simms has the best NFL pedigree, being the son of famous NFL QB Phil Simms. He was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey on August 29, 1980 and attended high school in nearby Franklin Lakes, NJ. A standout athlete, he played basketball as well as football. He was a two-time All-State football player and the 1998 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year. He initially committed to the University of Tennessee and then de-committed, choosing instead to attend the University of Texas, where he would major in history.
Arriving at Texas, Simms found that he was in a long conflict for the starting job with Major Applewhite. Each of them did well at various times and weakened at others. Their battle went back and forth for two full years. Over the course of Simms' tenure at the University of Texas, he set several records; their current status follows...
There's not much debate about one thing - Alphonso Smith is the second 2nd-round pick in two years to ignite an instant firestorm of controversy in Denver. Eddie Royal managed it first - think back, now, to that weekend and to the things that were said.
When that 42nd pick came in, Broncos fans were shocked, stunned and horrified. Begrudgingly, they accepted that perhaps he could be worth the pick by his prowess in the return game.
Giving up a 2nd-round pick on a scrawny kick returner with some receiving skills was a big stretch, the media agreed, but perhaps Mike Shanahan really felt that the team needed a return guy. DeSean Jackson, the consensus went, would have been a better pick. Getting a defensive tackle would have been a much better way to go all around. And so it went. This year may prove to be somewhat redundant in that respect - everything that I've been able to accumulate about Smith indicates that he, very much like Eddie Royal, may become a favorite of the Broncos' fan base in the near future.
Today I decided to give in to the weaving flow of the Web and pass on some items that should interest you. If you have children, work with children or if you're an older athlete yourself, I've gathered and included some items that matter. I also had to give a brief nod to Denver's playoff basketball team.
Every year, it seems a linebacker comes into camp that hardly anyone has heard of. Spencer Larsen was just such a player - some scouts had him as too old, too slow, not flashy enough. He just was good at one thing - playing football. A year later, every Bronco fan knows his name, and in Larsen's case, much of the nation has heard of him for either his robust special-teams tackles or his selfless three-way play.
How about Wesley Woodyard? Anyone who watched his preseason play had an inkling that there was just something special about the man. Undrafted as a safety/linebacker 'tweener', it didn't take Wesley long to prove that he had the heart, courage and skills to be what Mike Shanahan would soon say that he should be - a starting linebacker in the NFL.
This year, that player might, just might, be Lee Robinson.
Monday, MONDAY, MONNNNNNNNNNNNDAY!!!!!! Good morning, and welcome to another edition of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations. For this week's official ST&NO picture, I chose Knowshon Moreno being coached by Bobby Turner. It kind of gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, knowing Bobby is still with us, and that he's devoting his considerable coaching talents to developing a future star. It's the time of the year where football news is slow. If I were a newsman, I might have to resort to making up some trade rumors. Since I am an avowed opinion-writer, though, here comes a portion of that instead for you to chew on. Bon appetit!
Here's what you probably know about Rulon Davis. If you've been reading at all about him, you probably know that he was a Marine in the Iraqi conflict. He was in a fire zone, fought for his country, and came home.