Good Morning, Broncos fans! While you're finishing your shopping, I'm getting all worked up about stupid media narratives. The latest? That the Broncos only have six draft picks in 2011, because
Joseph Stalin Josh McDaniels is a terrible person and an even worse handler of draft choices. Plus, he wasted all those picks on the guy that everyone now thinks is going to save humanity the franchise from what was a few days ago impending doom. Let's take a quick peek at the 2010 Draft, shall we? Denver entered the selection party with 7 choices, including one 1st-rounder, two 2nd-rounders, a third and so on. Thanks to Brian Xanders and McDaniels' deft movement down and up the draft board (really, it was brilliant - don't let anyone tell you otherwise), Denver ended up with two 1st-rounders, a 2nd-rounder and two 3rd-rounders without giving up any other choices.
So, the Broncos started out with four choices in the first three rounds, and they ended up with five choices. According to the draft chart that Jimmy Johnson
pulled out of his ass everyone goes by, the Broncos went from 2,360 points down to 2,295 points, a slippage of 65 points (one mid-4th-rounder). Football Outsiders' draft chart, which uses real actual data to assign values to each pick, says the Broncos went from 6,565 points up to 7,560 points, a gain of 995 points (a high 3rd-rounder). Call me crazy, but ending up with two 1st-rounders and one 2nd-rounder is a heck of a lot better than the one 1st-rounder and two 2nd-rounders Denver had started out with. Oh, and and extra third-rounder to boot? Why yes, thank you much.
A day after Tim Tebow made his first start, heaven and earth are still divided.
Can the guy play quarterback or not?
That's a bit much, and not fair at all to real zealots like Peyton Hillis' fans.
Rather than rely on a guy who rambles (Paige), a guy with a funny haircut (Cowherd), and a guy who probably gets carded before he hits a McDonald's Playland, let's take a look for ourselves.
Tebow threw sixteen times during the game. Over the next four days, we'll be looking at each and every throw.
Let's start out today by examining the first four. I present to you Tebow(etheus) unbound, Part 1. If the literary reference of the title escapes you, you just might be a
Hillis fan redneck.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Eric Studesville announced yesterday that Tim Tebow will start again on Sunday at home against Houston. Denver also claimed CB Chevis Jackson from New England; apparently there's still a hoarder of ex-Patriots in the Broncos' midst - he must be found and fired! LB Kevin Alexander was released by the team, not long after being arrested on charges of domestic violence - according to the team, pure coincidence.
In his Monday presser (audio), Broncos interim coach Eric Studesville announced that Tim Tebow will start next Sunday at home versus Houston. According to Studesville, Kyle Orton has not progressed in recovering from the rib injury he suffered last week against Arizona. Studesville said the Broncos "have more information about Tim" and will thus be able to utilize more of the playbook against the Texans.
Studesville also announced that Denver had claimed CB Chevis Jackson off waivers from New England and released LB Kevin Alexander to make room for him. Jackson was originally a third-round choice in the 2008 Draft by Atlanta, where he spent the first two seasons of his career.
The first stage of the Tim Tebow experiment went well for the Broncos. Tebow brought much of the emotion, running and mobility that trademarked his college career and threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd that was tipped before Lloyd made a spectacular catch on it. Tebow achieved his longest run of the game by mistakenly believing that the call was a Q draw instead of a handoff to Correll Buckhalter, suggesting, between the two plays, that Denver’s best chances come when even they don’t know what they’re going to do. A second half marked by repetitive playcalling that didn’t fool anyone affirmed that to be true.
While fans and writers alike talked about the ‘bubble wrap’ approach that Denver took to using Tebow, there are good reasons for much of it. Ideally, a team wants to introduce a rookie quarterback when there is a solid offensive line, decent receivers, a working running game and a solid defense. Of them, Denver has decent receivers. Tebow has already been injured once this season (ribs, in a TD run) and exposing him to too much in his first game - especially against a team that Denver matches up poorly against - wouldn’t have been sensible. While you always hope to win the game, right now it’s equally important to protect the Broncos’ investment.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Why so happy? Yesterday went about as well as could be expected for the Broncos - Tim Tebow performed well enough to give hope that he is indeed the future, the Broncos' draft position was solidified into a likely top-3 pick, and the defense reminded us all of what the Broncos need with such a choice.
In terms of draft position, the combination of Denver's loss to Jokeland and victories by Carolina, Cincinnati, Detroit and Buffalo means that if the Broncos lose to both Houston and San Diego, they will gain either the first or second pick in April's draft. If Denver loses both games and Carolina were to win one of its last two games (unlikely), Denver would then gain the top spot overall. Then again, Atlanta would wrap up home field advantage in the NFC with a victory next week and would then not need to beat Carolina in Week 17. Should Denver go 1-1 and everyone else 0-2, the Broncos would pick 4th overall. if the Broncos were to win both games, suddenly a whole bunch of other teams enter the equation. Ideally? Denver ends up with the first overall pick, Andrew Luck declares, auction ensues, and the Broncos end up with a bounty of picks ala what the Dolts did when they gave up the right to trade Michael Vick in 2001 and swapped Eli Manning for Philip Rivers in 2004. Then, it's defense, defense, defense...
Bill Walsh, the original gangsta of QB evaluation, once wrote:
"He [the quarterback] must be courageous and intensely competitive. He will be the one on the field who is running the team. His teammates must believe in him or it may not matter how much physical ability he has. If he is courageous and intensely competitive, then other players will know and respect that. This will be a foundation for becoming a leader."
Today, Tim Tebow proved he's a leader. He made plays; he was intensely competitive; he was courageous as hell. I think most would agree that the foundation that Walsh spoke of is there in the Broncos' first-round draft pick.
But we ought not confuse intensity with the passing tree.
So yesterday, I played outside football consultant, and I remade the Broncos football organization. Today, I change gears, and become something intangible called consensus. It’s March 1, 2011, and we’re on the precipice of a talent acquisition cycle that could make this Broncos team improve very quickly. We have a new defensive scheme to work on staffing, and since it’s the Head Coach Gregg Williams’ scheme, we have some confidence that it’s there to stay for awhile, unlike the recent past. The offense will be slightly different too, under Pete Carmichael, Jr., but most of the key players are in place right now for it to be successful.
This exercise assumes that the Collective Bargaining Agreement gets figured out timely, which may or may not happen. In any case, there will eventually be a free agency period, and a Draft, and we’re going to work through all of that stuff now. Here goes.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!!!
UPDATE 3:24PM ET Kyle Orton is the 3rd QB today, while Matt Prater, Brian Dawkins, Laurence Maroney, Cassius Vaughn, Eric Olsen, Demaryius Thomas and David Veikune are all inactive for the Broncos.
Tim Tebow is starting.
Quintana just put on his #15 Jersey.
You know the drill. Peter King, a random number generator, and Tim Tebow all are stranded on a desert island. These picks and Tebow are the only survivors.
Let's see how everyone did this week: