Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome back to Fat Camp. Today, as part of the ongoing series covering the Manning offense, I’ve decided to do some work on identification concepts that Peyton will use in diagnosing the defense and getting the Broncos into the right play. Most of this stuff is standard across all teams, and all offenses, but it’s so important to what we’ll see from the Broncos that it deserves a couple thousand words and prominent placement on a football Tuesday.
If you missed Part 1 from Saturday, here’s the link:
Have you ever watched a football game and wondered what the QB is doing at the line of scrimmage? He says some stuff and looks at things, and then the play happens. Today, I aim to demonstrate, through the liberal use of diagrams, what Mr. Manning will be looking at, and what it means he will/should set the play as. Exciting, huh? (Yes, I just used the word liberal – I wonder if I’ll be accused of making this a political pontification? Probably.)
Having awarded 32 compensatory picks yesterday, the NFL announced the finalized order for the 2012 Draft, which begins with the first round on Thursday, April 26 at 8 pm ET. The second and third rounds will be held the next night starting at 7 pm, while rounds four through seven will begin at noon that Saturday.
Denver currently has seven picks as follows:
|Round||Pick (Overall)||Note||Round||Pick (Overall)||Note|
|1||25 (25)||4||25 (120)|
|2||25 (57)||5||2 (137)||via STL (Brandon Lloyd)|
|3||25 (87)||6||18 (188)||via NYJ (Tebow)|
|4||13 (108)||via NYJ (Tim Tebow)|
Denver's own 5th-rounder went to Cleveland in the Peyton Hillis/Brady Quinn deal, their 6th-rounder to Philly in the J.J. Arrington/Joe Mays trade, and their 7th-rounder went to the Jets in the Tebow swap.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The NFL's annual league meetings got off to a busy start yesterday:
It appears that our suspicions were right all along--the Broncos sought a cure for Tebowmania sooner than we were told.
According to Tania Gangiuli of the Florida Times-Union, Denver started shopping Tebow during last month's pre-draft Combine:
The Broncos began quietly shopping the quarterback at the NFL scouting combine in February. When the Broncos became the frontrunners to acquire former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Tebow’s days in Denver seemed numbered.
The narrative that kept the kids nestled comfortably and sleeping peacefully in their beds all over Broncos Country--namely, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get Peyton Manning and that the Broncos were more than comfortable to go into 2012 with Tebow as their starter--was, apparently, a spoonful of sugar fed to Tebowmaniacs to help the medicine go down.
The aftertaste? Bitter.
Perhaps the best linebacker-specific quote I’ve ever heard came from Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher:
I always say this: running backs and linebackers are very easy to recruit. When you hand them the ball and watch them, and you have to tell him where to run and what's going on, he's not a running back. If he's a linebacker and he's standing around the pile, he's not a linebacker. If he's at the bottom of the pile, he's a linebacker.”
I think that pretty much covers it. I want the guys who you find at the bottom of pile after pile. They generally have that only-slightly-controlled insanity that a top LB, particularly a middle linebacker, tends to carry, and finding them at the bottom of the pile tends to mean that they either made or helped make the tackle, or they've stolen the ball.
It’s official - according to the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective, there is no correlation between Combine tests or drills and success in the NFL. This is not news to me. The drills give me a chance to look at postures - how do they set their feet? Do they drop their hips easily on the backpedal? Smoothness? Power? The tests - the 40, three-cone and so forth - can confirm what you see on film, and they can sometimes give a marginal player’s scouts a reason to review his film, but they don’t prove much about future success. I list them for what they do or do not confirm, not what they predict.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Dave Anderson finds it notable that Peyton Manning would join only Norm Van Brocklin (pre-SB era) as a great QB to win a title after a late-career team switch, if he wins one in Denver.
We're going to be subjected to a lot of this stuff going forward, for however long Peyton plays in Denver (unless, of course, he wins one).
But really, the list of championship quarterbacks is pretty short to begin with (29 different SB winners), and the tally of guys who led their team to a SB title at 36 or older is obviously shorter (John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Jim Plunkett). And as we can see from Anderson's column, the list of great QBs who switched teams during the autumn of their NFL time is quite brief to begin with. Teams tend to hang onto great QBs, unless they are the rare organization like the Niners or Packers with a great replacement on tap like Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers.
Peyton Manning's announcement that he was joining the Broncos prompted a fascinating and immediate reaction: People instantly decided that Mike McCoy was unimportant and that Manning himself would run the offense. It would be his offense, run his way, and would look as much like Indy as the Broncos could accomplish. It is an interesting theory, but Manning himself has demurred:
The offense that I ran in Indianapolis unfortunately doesn't exist anymore anywhere. Not even in Indianapolis. These other offenses, like Bill Walsh's (West Coast) offense, Don Coryell's (Air Coryell) offense, they all kind of continue. Our offense is no longer around, and it's kind of sad in some ways.
Mike McCoy's the offensive coordinator. I'm hoping to be a good teammate and quarterback for him and his staff. I have work to do on that end.
As far as his statements on the offense, he’s saying the right kinds of things, true or not, and while Denver will use his knowledge, I suspect they’ll also keep many of their own concepts. I recall watching a couple of Indy/New England games as part of a project and marveling at the specific use of routes on Indy’s part; the way they interwove them, sometimes to create rub routes, other times using one route to disguise a second or third stem in the pattern...so much creativity was there that I’m sure that the Broncos will be glad to add some of those routes into their arsenal. But that will also make a total of three schemes for McCoy to develop and teach in two seasons, so I expect some transition before Denver jumps all-in on the Indy playbook, if that’s their goal. They may prefer to keep some or many of their own approaches intact.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Although Jeff Saturday chose to go to Green Bay over joining Peyton Manning in Denver, it appears the writing was on the wall that the Broncos were less interested in adding Saturday than was the QB. Says Saturday:
Peyton is a close friend and I loved playing with him. I loved the time we spent together. It was the most difficult call I've ever made. I told him before anyone else that I was going to Green Bay.
I told him I don't think the Broncos wanted me as much as he did. They've got things going on that they're happy with and are moving forward with and I didn't think it was an exact fit. I always felt like in Green Bay I was their very first choice.
Saturday agreed to a two-year deal with the Packers; apparently the Colts had offered him a contract to play and then join the team's front office, but playing for the NFC's overdog trumped sticking around for a rebuild. We could speculate all day about the Broncos' apparently tepid interest, but it's impossible to know whether it was financially motivated, the team has a rosier opinion of J.D. Walton than we do, or they have plans to acquire another center via free agency or the draft.
A little over a month ago, John Fox said the Broncos would acquire at least two new quarterbacks to the Denver roster this offseason:
Who, what, where, when, what market — it's still way too early how we get those quarterbacks.
Of course, few could have predicted that the first two steps in Denver's QB overhaul would be the acquisition of Peyton Manning and trade of Tim Tebow for a mid-round pick. That changeover is another step closer to completion today, albeit in less dramatic fashion, and involving a far-less heralded player.
The Broncos added former CSU Ram and Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie, who agreed to a two-year deal; Hanie (6-2, 222) spent four seasons in Chicago backing up former Broncos Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler, going winless in four starts last year after Cutler broke his thumb.
Hello, friends. I know it’s been a little while, but I’ve been super-busy with work and other pursuits the last couple weeks. Today, let's explore what the Broncos offense might look like this season with the addition of Peyton Manning. Since it’s a really simple scheme, I think we can pretty easily have a really good sense of what to expect once the regular season arrives.
Since we’re the only Broncos site which possesses the capability of getting deep into the X’s and O’s, we’ll be the ones to lead the way in educating Broncos fans on what to expect. Let’s get going shall we? Ready…. BEGIN!!
Let me first start by saying that as much of a fan as I am of Tim Tebow, I'm relieved and glad that he's gone. The price of having him is just too high, with all of his yahoo bandwagon fans acting as a totally pious menace to intelligent society. It will be interesting to see whether they drown out New York, or whether New York drowns them out. Picking the Big Apple to win seems obvious, but you never know, and it will be interesting to see. When people are determined to believe what they want to believe, it does little good to apply standards of reason to it.
I'm rooting for Tim Tebow the Quarterback to succeed, steal Mark Sanchez's job and women, and maintain his relationship with the homie Jesus, if that's what he wants to do. Thanks for being a good Bronco, Tim, and good luck in Jersey. Hopefully your fans don't ruin your career by making you somebody that no team would want to sign. They're off to a pretty good start, unfortunately.