Good Morning, Broncos fans. Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard all missed practice yesterday with injuries. Meanwhile, Ryan Harris, Chris Kuper, Laurence Maroney and Darcel McBath all returned to practice in limited fashion; all four had been out of action for some time, so this is a big development for the Broncos. Considering how important it will be to both possess the ball and put up points on Sunday versus Peyton & Company, potentially getting the starting offensive line intact couldn’t come at a better time. Plus, Denver added LB Diyral Briggs to the practice squad. Briggs was an undrafted rookie last year for the 49ers, who waived him two weeks ago. The Broncos are holding a memorial for Kenny McKinley tomorrow. He will be buried Friday in Georgia.
Note: Each Wednesday, we take a look at a critical coaching decision from the prior week’s game that had an impact in the final score—from a statistical point.
As we’ll find out throughout this year, it’s not always Josh McDaniels who has to make the tough decisions. Sometimes it’s the other team’s head coach. This was the case against Seattle last week when Pete Carroll, down 7-24, faced a 4th-and-2 late in the 3rd quarter. The Seahawks were at the Denver 20-yard line and had just moved the ball quickly down the field from their own 20. Carroll had the following options:
1) Go for the 1st-down
2) Kick the field goal
Good Morning, Broncos fans. Yesterday was another somber day for the Broncos, as the organization began its mourning process for their late teammate Kenny McKinley. Coach McDaniels and Wes Woodyard spoke about McKinley, for whom there will be a moment of silence at Sunday’s game versus the Colts. The Broncos will wear a decal of McKinley’s number 11 on their helmets and his locker will be left in tact for the season.
Here is the Broncos’ video tribute to McKinley.
Criticizing Josh McDaniels is lots of fun, and it’s not too hard to do. I mean, let’s face it. He’s young, (the same age as me, incidentally) and he thinks he knows how to build and run a winning football program. It’s the same kind of deal as with Raheem Morris, who I’ll be writing about on Tuesday evening. (I have a planned event tonight… sorry that my around the league stuff will have to wait a day.) How can it be possible that these young guys would dare to act in complete defiance to the football cognoscenti? (Think about it… it’s really funny to consider fools like Peter King, Mark Kiszla, Woody Paige, and Pete Prisco as being part of a cognoscenti, isn’t it? No? How about an intelligentsia? I didn’t see Dinner for Schmucks, but I’m picturing some distinct similarities.)
Sunday’s home-opening 31-14 win over the Seahawks was a game of many firsts, rarities and different experiences. Near the top of all of those - which included Demaryius Thomas’ first game, first reception and first TD as a Denver Bronco - was the idea, bizarre to the point of absurdity only a year ago, that one of the many key players was Jarvis Moss, last year’s scout team MVP (which was the equivalent, said one wag, of being the world’s tallest midget). But Jarvis Moss’ contribution wasn’t small in the least. Another player who once was given up as a waste of good roster space has risen from the issues that weighted him down during the first years of his NFL career. Moss’ box score showed 2 solo tackles, one assist and a sack, but his impact on the game - and of the game on his career - could not be counted solely by stats in a game book.
It is a somber morning in Broncos Land, as the team finds itself mourning the loss of its third player in less than four years. WR Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. McKinley was only 23, leaving behind a young son. Drafted 141st overall in the 2009 Draft, McKinley returned 3 punts and 7 kickoffs last season before injuring his knee during a Week 16 game at Philadelphia. McKinley was placed on IR and had knee surgery, only to recover and suffer another season-ending knee injury this August. Josh McDaniels had the following to say:
Kenny had a promising future on the football field, but more importantly, he was a great teammate whose smile and personality could light up the room. This is a tragic loss for our football team, and his family is in all of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Our thoughts here at IAOFM go out to the family, friends and teammates of Kenny McKinley. We hope he has found a better place and may he rest in peace.
Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead today. He was 23.
“Everyone with the Broncos is shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley,” team owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement. “He was part of the Broncos’ family and will be greatly missed by our organization. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny’s family and friends.”
The Denver Post is reporting that McKinley apparently took his own life:
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson confirmed McKinley’s death, and said he was waiting on a field report from investigators before releasing more information this evening. He would not elaborate on how McKinley died.
“It was apparently a suicide, but we’re still investigating,” he said.
Note: Commenting has been turned back on!
Each week we’ll bring you an extra look at a player the Broncos used in a creative or interesting way during the previous game. This week, we’re getting a 2nd plate of Demaryius Thomas.
Sometimes you have to take pleasure in your own fatuity, inanity, and outright asininity, even while trying to hide it from the world with multi-syllabic adverbs. As Grandpappy used to say to me, “Son, you’re just plumb stupid, so face up to it.”
As I admitted yesterday, I was not a fan of the Broncos drafting Demaryius Thomas in the 2010 Draft. I thought the Broncos had other more pressing needs. I had been advocating that they take Mike Iupati or Maurkice Pouncey. Even as other Broncos fans began to warm up to the 6-3, 230 lb. wideout from Georgia Tech, I sat back and proclaimed that he couldn’t run routes. Even as reports out of training camp had Thomas dominating in drills, I said he was simply a big guy who could only run fast.
Color me crazy. I was way off base.
Good Morning, Friends! The Broncos won their home opener in mostly impressive fashion yesterday over the Sea Chickens, 31-14 (box score). Denver was able to take advantage of four Seattle turnovers and an exceptional NFL debut by Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos’ “other” first-round pick. DT made ‘em count, gaining 6 first downs on 8 receptions (9 targets, 0 drops) for 97 yards and a TD. Kyle Orton was excellent, racking up 307 yards and 2 TDs on 35 attempts for a 117.2 QB rating - his protection was better and his passes sharper, and he only took one sack. Eddie Royal had another terrific game, as did the Broncos’ defensive backs (3 interceptions). Knowshon had a spectacular 45-yard catch and run in the second half. The other side of the coin is that Denver’s rushing attack is still impotent, as the O-Line could not create consistent holes for Knowshon and Buck (especially to the right side with Hochstein and Beadles). Plus, the special teams made two consecutive blunders, as KR Perrish Cox started the Broncos out at their own 5-yard line to begin the second half, and the punt unit allowed a subsequent 63-yard punt return to Golden Tate. Meanwhile, the defense gave up 7 conversions on 11 third downs. But overall, it was an impressive win and something to build on. On Sunday, the Colts come to town.
How quickly things can change. Last week, the Seahawks were the darlings of the NFL. And we were subjected to the oft-repeated opinion that Denver could very well be on its way to an 0-6 start, since they were going to have to face the mighty Colts, Titans, Ravens and Jets in the next 4 weeks.
Not only did Denver paste the Hawks 31-14, but the domination of the Broncos’ next 4 opponents is in question, and just as Denver’s offensive line is getting healthier and more cohesive. Denver’s wide receiver corps isn’t just surviving, they are thriving. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Broncos go 2-2 in the next 4 weeks. Vince Young, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez aren’t going to scare this secondary, and the Broncos are scoring points this year.
Now, let’s look at today’s game. First, the positives: