As the glow from Thursday's game starts to fade every so slightly, and the nervous anticipation of opening the 2009 season on the road in Cincinnati begins to build, it seems appropriate to take a few moments to look back at the path taken and the job done by rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater - his background, his performances and his development. I think that despite the widely differing opinions that folks have as to the path the Broncos have taken to get here, and the variance between our visions of the future, there are probably relatively few Denver fans who don't recognize that they have caught a glimpse of a team as it could be. The aggressive defense, the excellent TO ratio, the high caliber play from the first string and the third and the play of a rookie quarterback who seemed to play with ice in his veins and passion in his heart, who made passes at all levels, moved well and showed how quickly he picks up the new scheme rang in a harmonious chord.
"The true test of an organization is not how it fares one year. It's building a competitive team year after year and competing for championships. It's what Indianapolis, New England and Pittsburgh have done. It's not one year of glory. We will see how Atlanta and Miami do this year. They started fast, but can they sustain success? That is the most difficult thing to do in this business." Anonymous Head Coach, August 2009
It may surprise the folks who adamantly believe that the people on staff of MHR are a monolithic whole and that all of us are a group of choate positivists, but that's really not the case. As a single example, I don't have any sense that the Broncos will be a team to beat in 2009. I don't even worry about whether we will reach .500 this season. We might, I hope that we do, but it isn't a concern to me. I think that there is a bigger issue.
We interrupt the ongoing claims that Kyle Orton can't play football to bring you a different perspective. Sports Illustrated ran a sensible article today, courtesy of Jim Trotter. Here's a partial quote:
"Kyle Orton's biggest adjustment since his arrival in Denver five months ago in the Jay Cutler trade hasn't been to learn a playbook that's thicker than Paula Deen's Southern twang. No, the former Bear's biggest adjustment has been to ignore the stopwatch in his head each time he drops back to pass."
Happy Tuesday, friends. Welcome to the creative process for ST&NO, which I now intend to lend some insight into. If you didn't know, I am told exactly what to write by messengers of the Supreme Commander of La-La Land. It happens subliminally, in the middle of the night, by visits from Fairies, because it almost feels to me like these are my own independent thoughts. Once the season gets going, I generally wake up on Saturday, and watch some college football, and write for a while, then I watch a bunch of NFL football on Sunday (after another, longer, more intensive Fairy visit) and write a lot more. Then, on Monday, I put the finishing touches on it, and it runs Tuesday morning. Voila! From the mind of the Supreme Commander, to the voices of the Fairies, to my ears, and then my fingers, to your eyes. It's like magic.
In the spirit of demonstrating that Bronco fans are a cultured bunch, I present you a few Limericks....Raider Style.
Feel free to make up your own. I resisted the urge to do one about Jay Cutler. The Raiders just make it too easy...
The Broncos fell to 0-3 in the preseason, losing to the Chicago Bears 27-17. The starters played until midway through the third quarter, which is about what was expected. Chris Kuper left the game with a "lower extremity injury" and didn't return, and he was eventually joined in the locker room by Kyle Orton ("upper extremity injury" AKA a cut right index finger).
One concept that you hear being thrown around a lot by folks who know what they're saying, those who don't know any better or those who should is "They run a West Coast Offense, you know...", with the suggestion that this has a specific meaning that everyone should understand. My experience has been that this is only partly true. The term WCO has several meanings, depending on who is using it.
Even among those who agree on its derivation, there are extensive variations on the theme. Let's look at some uses of the term in modern times and then go over the things that Bill Walsh used to create his system. Finally, we'll talk about some modern examples that are considered WCOs and see how they match up.
So this is the first pass at the video edition of Lighting Up The Scoreboard, as promised. I've been working on it every night since ST&NO went in the can on Monday evening, and I hope you like it. If I hit the Mega tonight, I will hire voice talent, but for now, you're stuck with me and my nasal, born-and-raised-in-Connecticut sound.
(Note: This is Part 3 in a 3 - Part Series to help you Overcome your Cutler Obsession and get back to Normal Bronco Living. For Part 1, Click Here. For Part 2, Click Here. After Part 3, I will allow Jay Cutler to live in peace.)
"...when things are going good, quarterbacks get way too much of the credit, and when things aren't going good they get way too much of the blame."
-- Kyle Orton, 2009, before beginning his first season as QB with the Denver Broncos
You might think this post is about Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton. To a certain extent, it is. But probably not in the way you think. And since we are trying to cure you of your Jay Cutler obsession, it's time to bury the hatchet (and not in your assistant's jaw, raider fans). Time to let go. Jay Cutler will do what he is going to do.
(Note: This is Part 2 in a 3-Part Series to help you Overcome your Cutler Obsession and get back to Normal Bronco Living. For Part 1, Click Here. After Part 3, I will allow Jay Cutler to live in peace.)
Jay Cutler was a Pro-Bowl quarterback in 2008; Kyle Orton, well, he can grow a neckbeard.
But who are we to discrimate against facial hair? Besides, Raiderettes need love too.
And it's with that spirt that I give you 10 little-known statistics that should make you appreciate facial hair and help cure the hankerin' that you might still have for the little cuddly elf from Santa Claus, Indiana. If not, just repeat after me, "Jay Cutler, yeah, he is not my favorite person right now."
On to the list!