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.
Happy Tuesday, friends. We're back with another edition of ST&NO, because this train can't be stopped. Fresh off a weekend full of football, we have a lot to discuss; so read it, ponder it, and share your thoughts.
In God we trust. All others must bring data.
—Robert W. Hayden
After the crazy Indy and Miami game, I'm out a little faster with the stats for Week 2. Thanks to everyone for reading these. For those that want to review the rational for why I keep track of these four stats, check out the Introduction (not perfect, but useful). In short, there is a very high correlation between winning the battle of turnovers, time of possession, third down efficiency, and field possession. By far, the most important battle is turnovers, followed by field position.
Jail House (Raider) Rock - Lebowskibronco
The warden threw a party in the county jail.
The Black Hole was there and they began to wail.
The Hutt was jumpin' and the joint began to swing.
You should've heard those knocked out Raider Fans sing.
Sunday's game was a coming out party of sorts for Elvis Dumervil. the 5'11", 248 lb outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos. "Doom" was an undersized defensive end for the past two seasons. While his production at that position was nothing to ignore, Dumervil wasn't able to fend off the tackles, shed the blocks and bring down the bball carrier in the running game. He was a sack master, but tended to be a one-trick pony. He has incredibly long arns, though, and Josh McDaniels and Mike Nolan decided to win the game by changing the rules. Doom was going to become an outside linebacker, dropping into coverage as needed, sealing the edge agsinst rushers and always, to his delight, getting a chance to chase down quarterbacks.
20 points to ponder...
1. They didn't do enough with the front 7
2. They've got too many running backs
3. Orton can't play this game
4. The offense will have to keep us in the games.
5. We can't score without Brandon Marshall
Last week I was guilty while watching the Broncos and Bengals. While I hadn't descended into the abyss that is being a Raider fan, I made a pair of very silly mistakes:
I made snap judgements on both Champ Bailey and Brandon Marshall.
And my evidence? A few plays. For Bailey, it was one play in which he cheated to the inside on a deep out (level 3) run by Chad Ochocinco. Yes, Ocho beat him on the play (not badly). But it happened to be the only play in the entire game that Bailey got beat. The only damn play! But, of course, when you are caught up with the emotion of the game, you tend to make snap judgements like this that are not normally in your character.