Happy Tuesday, friends and welcome to another edition of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations, where we're always aiming to deliver the best thing since Starks in Clark's Wallabees. It's a feel-good Tuesday, right? Our Broncos are 3-0, but it's a much more legitimate-feeling 3-0 than last season's version. The respect is still slow in coming, but it's coming bit by bit.
The most important thing I've witnessed happening is a growing confidence and self-respect among our fan base. MHR is mostly known as a positive-thinking community, so maybe a lot of us were on the feel-good train earlier than others, but I can feel it really starting to take hold. Contrast that to Cleveland (where most are aware that I reside). The feeling around here is just awful, and we can all be glad not to be feeling that way. It's on to the Cowboys game, but first let's do this thing here. Ready.... BEGIN!!!!
"They booed Russell off the field when he was intercepted on the Raiders' second drive of the game, a play where Darrius Heyward-Bey slipped and fell on his route. They booed again on the Raiders' next drive, when Russell overthrew Heyward-Bey for another interception.
They booed every time after that when Russell took the field or threw an incomplete pass. It got so bad, left tackle Mario Henderson at one point clapped for Russell and patted his helmet while the crowd chanted, "JaMarcus sucks."
What did Russell say of it all? That both interceptions should have been ruled defensive pass interference, and that other than that, "I think I did all right. ... I try to play with no regrets."
He completed two passes to a wide receiver, both on the same second-quarter drive to Louis Murphy. Eight passes were check down screens to the running backs, and two went to tight end Zach Miller."
If you did not see last night´s game between the Colts and the Cardinals, you didn´t miss much. However, if you missed Tony Dungy breaking down the Colt´s offensive pre-snap signals, you missed a thing of beauty. Dungy essentially took all of America through Petyon Manning´s pre-snap reads, what all of the hand gestures meant, the line calls and when they are made, the 3 plays that were relayed into Manning from the sideline, how Manning determined which of the 3 plays to call from his pre-snap reads, and finally, how he figures out whether he is in man or zone coverage with the most simple of moves. It was genius.
It was boys against men.
There was a lot to digest, as I watched the game again tonight. There was the problem of scoring in the red zone, the fact that the 3-TE set that has worked so well wasn't in evidence near the goal line and that the defense looks like it's played together for years. But in the final analysis, that was really the thing that stood out to me. Boys against men. It wasn't just the inability of JaMarcus Russell to find a receiver. It wasn't even his lack of accuracy in the second half. It wasn't the lousy raiders running game, the one that looked so concerning at first, the way we ran up the gut so easily or the way that our D shut them down. You can (and a lot of us will) complain that the Broncos should have scored 35, but even so - this wasn't really a game. It was more of a schoolyard whipping, a beatdown, an hour-long embarrassment that apparently left the Raiders' faithful - both of the ones who are left - complaining about the referees' calls. They didn't have anything else to do. They couldn't keep saying the same things over again. Their outcries were at first furious, then plaintive, and finally just bored. By the time Kyle Orton took that final knee, there was nothing left to say. The Broncos had dominated this game in nearly every possible phase.
Last week, I took a play by play look at Brandon Marshall and Champ Bailey. This week, I had originally intended to look at Ryan Clady on offense. However, he was so completely dominant, I thought it would be more interesting to see how Clady does in later weeks against better competition.
So this week I looked at Ron Fields and Ryan Harris, play by play. As I stated last week, it's quite interesting to watch a game and not pay attention to the ball. It allows you to see things from a much different perspective. For example, as you will see from the drive log, Ron Fields does not generally play NT on passing downs. Marcus Thomas subs for him. Simply by watching this substitution, one can see pre-snap (without straining to see the secondary coverage) whether Coach Nolan is thinking the offense is going to run or pass. It also allows you to see when he guesses wrong, which means Fields is trying to generate a pass rush (not really his strength). It also allows you to see when Nolan guesses right, which is most of the time. Rarely does Nolan have Fields on the field when the offense passes the ball.
Hello and happy Saturday, friends. I'm getting excited for the Broncos chances to start the season 3-0 on Sunday, and I hope all of you are as well. Once again, here's Lighting Up The Scoreboard. I got the production time down to about 4 hours (from 9 and then 6 1/2,) so that's moving in the right direction. I also figured out and corrected the color problem, which was due to a bad S-Video cable. I hope you enjoy the video, and I'll see you on the other side of the jump.
When it comes to making strange draft choices, Al Davis is perhaps the league's headmaster. When it comes to personnel decisions, he's often seen as a head case. The decision to draft JaMarcus Russell as the #1 pick in the 2007 draft was, at best, fraught with peril. In retrospect, the decline of the decision was easy to spot and hard to support. But it's the way that Russell has personally taken responsibility for the trashing of his own career that is really worth a second look. JaMarcus Russell is the poster child for how to not be successful in the NFL. On that basis alone, it's worthwhile to tell his story.
Many Broncos fans noted that #30, David Bruton, was escorting Eddie Royal into the end zone on both TD run-backs against the SD Chargers. As most folks expected, Bruton has quickly made a name and a place for himself on the Denver Broncos special teams.
"Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men." Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 B.C.E.-65 C.E.
The Denver Broncos are off to as fast a start as anyone could have predicted. The new management has done a remarkable job in finding players that fit the scheme, looking for leadership qualities as well as playing skill and suitability, drafting the exact players they needed and instilling both scheme and attitude to win games right away. This weekend will bring about a contest that Broncos fans everywhere look forward to - going into the Black Hole to fight the Raiders in an old grudge match that's one of the great rivalries in the NFL. It's a great weekend for football!
As promised, here is Between The Lines, featuring two games, as promised.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
a. The first thing that jumped out in re-watching the game was how excellent the Broncos line was in pass protection. I only saw two missed assignments the whole game in protection. Ryan Harris whiffed on David Bowens on 3rd-and-goal, with Tony Scheffler wide open for TD. Orton was hit as he threw, and the ball was short. Later, a blitz got to Orton from right up the middle, and Casey Wiegmann and Chris Kuper missed it, and left the hole wide open. Orton was again hit as he threw, and the ball fell incomplete. Other than that, the play of the Broncos line in protection was superb. Kamerion Wimbley had absolutely nothing for Ryan Clady, but that wasn't too surprising.