McDaniels, Tebow and the “It Factor”

I was chatting with another member this afternoon, and he mentioned his discomfort with the article in today's Denver Post on the 'It' factor. He brought up a few very legitimate concerns, too. I understand his feelings. I agree with much of it, too. I'll tell you the good side that I see, though, for whatever it's worth. Please bear with me - it covers a few different areas, but there is a point to the journey, I promise.

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The Tale of Marquez Branson

There are players who come into the NFL, seemingly immediately ready to take on the challenges of the game. You may find them in the 1st round or the 7th - you may even find them in the ranks of the undrafted college free agents. Regardless of where they are found, they all have one thing in common - they're very, very rare. Only a gifted few players are ready to contribute immediately. Most NFL teams will give even 1st round prospects 2 full training camps before even considering how well they might be working out for the team. The NFL game is bigger, faster, stronger and a lot more complex, and it takes most people time to figure it out. One of those players is Marquez Branson.

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Throwing the “challenge flag” on Broncos perceptions

In the NFL in 2009, coaches were only successful using instant replay for challenges 32% of the time.   While throwing those red (or sometimes pink) flags are good exercise for the rotator cuff, they don't often result in overturning a call on the field.  

Perhaps if they struck a Raiders fan they would be of more use.
Given the long odds of overturning a call, I thought I would throw my own challenge flag on six comments I've heard in the media over the last week.  While the odds of me changing your mind might be long, someone's got to try it.  And I've only to convince you on two of these challenges to beat the league average.
So let's hit the jump, and don't let these flags put your eye out.

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Why Draft Tebow? Lips Like Sugar? Or for the shotgun/spread?

It took a few days, but I'm done grieving.  Like a Raiders fan after another 4-12 season, I'm back for more.  

You see, I've come to accept that Tim Tebow will be the quarterback of the Denver Broncos.  

It may not be at the start of training camp.  And it may not be in 2010.  But it's coming.   And much sooner than you think.

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Predicting Tebow

I've been one of the folks who would prefer a more balanced view of the Broncos newest quarterback. He's done some great things, and he has some weaknesses that are not minor issues. In the midst of all the laudatory arguments that seem to claim that the Broncos are now Super Bowl bound, I'd like to add some centrist reasoning. I'm hearing quite a few straw men arguments, and perhaps there's a middle road to be considered on that. 

I tend to read and research quite a bit. Contrary to a recent post, I've heard very few people claim that Tebow 'wasn't accurate' in college. It's extremely important for the chances of future success that a QB making the leap from the college to the pro level to have a minimum of a 60% completion rate in college. Tebow's was well over that, and I haven't hear much in the way of comments that differ on this. College and the NFL, however, are vastly different. I have heard the criticism that he has trouble with accuracy on certain throws. That will or won't be true at the NFL level with the new throwing motion that he is trying to develop - certainly, there is a great connection between Tebow and McDaniels, and TT's in the best spot that he could be in that sense. He'll get the best help that he can to work on all throws.

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Happy Draft Day Friends

What’s up y’all?  I decided to write a FanPost today, because I’m at the office, and I have no interest in working on this federal tax package that’s due to the corporate tax weenies tomorrow.  I wanted to specifically talk some Denver Broncos today, and I decided to go away from my own site to do it, and check in where the spirit of the Broncos Nation lives.

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Draft theories and systems: a new trend?

The Option of Drafting a Later Round QB

I was wandering through the day's information, casual as you please, when this next bit from jumped up and bit me on the imagination. As most of you know, I tend to be a big Bill Walsh fan, and Mike Holmgren was his star QBs pupil. That made me think about the following blurb:

Holmgren has never spent a first-round pick on a quarterback. There's a reason for this. Like Bill Walsh, Holmgren firmly believes that he can take "inferior" quarterbacks and make them into really proficient passers. These "inferior" signal-callers don't have to possess a great or even a very good arm; they just need to make quick decisions, and be accurate in the short and the intermediate passing game. Clausen could absolutely thrive in Holmgren's offense, but I don't think Holmgren would be willing to spend the No. 7 overall pick on the Notre Dame product - even if he is the top quarterback prospect in this class.

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Draft theories and systems: general theory

About 3 months before this time of year, you start to hear terms bandied about, sometimes accurately, sometimes carelessly. The most common point of discussion is talked about as 'need' versus "BPA' or best player available. The fact is, no team drafts exclusively for one or the other. Both come into play when a team talks about any player. Let's start wth scouting and move along the path to the draft.

One of the complaints that you will hear yearly at this time comes from the scouts in the game. I'll explain in a little while. Some teams use services, like BLESTO (which was originally and acronym for the Bears, Lions, Eagles and Steelers scouting organization. National Scouting Service, knows simply as 'National' is the other larger scouting house. More and more, though, teams have their own scouts arranged usually by region or by conference. They may still subscribe to the info from the scouting services, but they do their own legwork once the early work is done.

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Karl Marx hates return specialists, so let’s draft one

If you care about god, country, and apple pie, you should care about one thing in this year's NFL draft.

You better pray the Denver Broncos draft a return specialist.
You see, the NFL, just like any profession has evolved to the point of labor specialization.   While Karl Marx wasn't a big fan of specialization (he thought it turned workers into machines), it turns out that Vince Wilfork doesn't make a very good place kicker.  And Matt Prater isn't much of a strong safety.   Different guys have different skill sets and they specialize in specific situational football.  Of course, I'm telling you what you already know.
It seems, however, when it comes to kick and punt specialists, we tend to think anyone can do it.  We throw a 3rd string running back into the mix.  If that doesn't work, let's see what happens if we throw our fullback out there.  Or if that doesn't work, we can simply take a wide receiver and have them double as a return specialist.   We saw the Broncos try this with Eddie Royal last year, and the results were rather mixed.  While he did have some electrifying returns, his overall return numbers were average. Moreover, his receiving game suffered.  Concussions and touches aside, the wear and grind of returning did not help Eddie Royal the receiver.

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The Dude’s Mail Sack: Draft Sean Weatherspoon because he likes Van Halen!

Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions about the state of the Denver Broncos. Got a titillating question? Put a dollar bill into the Dude’s G-String and he might answer it—after bowling practice.

TJ, how you like me now?  
--B Marsh, South Beach, Florida (kickin' it, I would add)
B Marsh:  Felicidades, my man.  I can't blame you for cashing in.  If any of us were in your position, we would have done the same thing.  Well, I'm not sure if I would have punted the football in practice like that.  And I'm guessing Rod Smith never tried it, but perhaps you were just showing McDaniels the "versatility" he likes by demonstrating you had a bigger leg than Mitch Berger.  
But seriously, congrats.  The common fan just doesn't have the capacity or appreciation for how you played this out.  It was clever, and I for one, love a good actor.  Bravo.  Don't let any fan tell you otherwise.  I expect--following your leadership--we'll see our fair share of preschool teachers pulling up lame with hamstring injuries next month in the hopes they can hold out for contract extensions from other preschools.  You've set the bar pretty high, though.  And I commend you for it.
I give you my word that I simply will  not stand idly by and watch Broncos fans take shots at you as you walk out the door.  If I see someone doing it, I'm going to take their arm and shove it right through a television screen in your honor. 
You are now the highest paid wide receiver in the history of the NFL.  I think you ought to treat yourself to some McDonald's.  
You are now richer than Jerry Rice.  But at least he has golf to fall back on.

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