UPDATE 9:45AM ET - In his MMQB, Peter King shares some insight into the situation in Denver and on Josh McDaniels, whom he claims to "know fairly well." King writes...
"McDaniels is adamant that he didn't trash the Patriots in his staff meeting Friday...McDaniels seems to know he's got a traitor in his midst...None of this will matter if the Broncos keep losing, like they did Sunday to St. Louis...If the Broncos lose out, McDaniels is probably done...The Broncos did him no favors by giving him an inexperienced GM, Brian Xanders, who clearly hasn't been strong enough to save him from making some bad personnel calls. The team should have invested in a savvy, veteran GM to help McDaniels navigate his way early."
As you know, we spend a good deal of time here mocking King, but there's some actual journalism in today's MMQB and it is an important read for Broncos fans. What stands out from the above snippets is the line regarding Xanders - is this McDaniels' way of laying the blame at the GM's feet, and/or a way to let us know that McDaniels did not handpick Xanders as has been previously portrayed?
Wrecks, sighs, and videotape.
The wreck: losing at home to a team who is in rebuilding mode.
The sighs: the Broncos' continued futility to convert on 3rd downs, lack of quarterback pressure, inability to tackle, and turnovers (on both sides).
The videotape: The Rams' offense seemed to confuse the Broncos after their first drive with their normal misdirection and bootlegs; their receivers and tight ends had more space than Buzz Lightyear. Their defense, as Brian Griese pointed out from the radio booth, confused the Broncos all game, blitzing eight defenders on one play, only to drop eight defenders in coverage the next.
Quick, someone call Steve Scarnecchia and get him back on the payroll (and rolling footage). The Broncos could have used six more minutes of film today.
Despite a late surge, some luck, and some conservative play calling by the Rams, the Broncos' season took another shot to the chin today.
OK, I’m not really feeling that hostile, not even after the MNF debacle. Part of that is a post-Thanksgiving somnambulance - I shopped and cooked for three days to put together a meal that was fit for the holiday, and it turned out to be worth it. I ate with as much gusto as I prepared the meal, and it’s hard to get worked up with that kind of well-sated sensation.
I was reading, this week, about some ancient Greek roots of words that we use in our own culture, and something came up that might bear on the Rams/Broncos game. There’s a couple of Greek roots to words that matter in how the Broncos are playing right now, and how the team will have to change. The task they face is not unlike breaking a code, or assembling a puzzle.
Enjoy the games, everyone - and Go Broncos!!!
Hey, folks. It’s been a very wild ride, this past day. I sincerely hope that you’re weathering it well. Keep in mind that the consciousness of others - or the lack thereof - is not your responsibility. You won’t change the mind of the more hostile members of the fanbase. Long ago, it was written that against ignorance (other sources use stupidity, and there is disagreement on who said it first), the gods themselves contend in vain. It’s as true as it was then. Don’t bother - it just gives you heartburn.
As you know, I believe that up until now there's been entirely too much rush to judgement on Coach McDaniels. From the time that he was hired, a large segment of the fan base that has tended to dump responsibility on him for the problems left by a former coach/GM: he inherited a team that lacked talent, system, attitude and any rational plans to improve it for the future. Every move that he made was somehow a violation of something - much of it I can’t even fathom, much less explain.
I have a confession to make.
I've been videotaping Peter King's picks all year.
I am cooperating with Fat Man officials. I don't think it is good. To have this kind of attention is a distraction, and I think that is how I'm treating it. I try to do the best I can to limit these distractions every week, and it will be no different here. Certainly I am never looking to do anything that is not within the rules established by Doug Lee and Emmett Smith.
Good Morning? Broncos fans. As you all know by now, the Broncos and Josh McDaniels were each fined $50K yesterday for Spygate II. Apparently McDaniels never looked at the six-minute recording video
operative director Steve Scarnecchia took of the Niners' walkthrough, and failed to report the offense - hence the fine. Certainly the incident reflects poorly on the Broncos organization as a whole, and the most obvious question is why McDaniels hired Scarnecchia in the first place. But there are several memes flying around regarding Scarnecchia's involvement in Spygate I - let's try to straighten them out a bit. When the Jets exposed the Pats in 2007, Scarnecchia was the Jets' video director - the whistleblower in fact. He had not worked for New England since 2004. The original Spygate investigation circled around whether the Patriots filmed the Lambs' walkthrough before the two were to meet in SB XXXVI. But the videographer in question was Matt Walsh - not Scarnecchia, who was a video assistant for New England from 2001 to 2004.
I'm done with Josh McDaniels.
Not because he's failed to draft any defensive linemen with the 19 picks he's had in the last two years; not because his first meaningful move as coach of the Broncos was to cut the long snapper; not because 33-year old guys throwing down f-bombs on national television fail to motivate grown men in their mid-20s and 30s. I'll even leave the record-setting blowouts aside for the moment.
I'm done with him because he apparently hasn't watched any of the Godfather movies.
Had he, he would have realized that in the Cosa Nostra of the old sicilian mafia, or, let's face it, in the coaching tree of Bill Belichick, you don't rat out anyone in the "organization." Even if takes a week or more and pressure from league officials.
The Sicilians have a term for this: Omertá, which means maintaining a code of silence.
To betray Omertá is to invite retribution of all kinds--Peyton Hillis as MVP, Jay Cutler getting into the playoffs, bloody horse heads in the bed, and more.
And you thought the Curse of Brett Kern was bad.
As Jason LaCanfora and Adam Schefter have reported within the last hour, the NFL has fined the Broncos and Josh McDaniels $50,000 apiece for illegally filming the 49ers' practice in London. The story has some wrinkles that Broncos fans will have to sort out for themselves. Apparently, McDaniels refused to view the film that was given to him. Strange days indeed.
Here was the reaction from Josh McDaniels, from the NFL.com story:
"I apologize for not promptly reporting the improper conduct of our video director before our game against the 49ers in London," McDaniel said in a statement released by the Broncos. "The actions of this individual are in no way representative of the values and integrity held by myself, our players and coaches, and the entire Denver Broncos organization.
"I understand the punishment from the National Football League and support its commitment to the integrity of the game. We have addressed the situation internally to assure that nothing like this happens again."
So, Broncos fans, the organization did the act, but Josh McDaniels refused to look at the tape? Does this make it any better in your mind?
Thanks to Fat Man Member SpaceCowboy for being so quick on the trigger on this news.
Good cover corners are worth their weight in cap space.
That's because in today's pass-happy NFL, in which cornerbacks must play a significant amount of man-to-man, you can't afford to be without one--or five.
Cover corners can make the difference between the simple incompletion you forget as part of the opponent's completion percentage and a made-for-ESPN highlight. This is especially true when facing an elite quarterback like Philip Rivers.
As we'll see in this week's version of The Playbook Abides, Rivers exposed the potential danger of playing man coverage in the Chargers' victory on Monday night.