A long-time reader, Jared Still, asked me for my thoughts on Twitter a few days ago, pertaining to who the best players in the NFL are. In my 140 character limit, I gave him Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware. He asked me to blog my top 5 to 10, so I am going to. I’m actually going to do it by position grouping though, so I can turn my small amounts of available time into small bursts of football writing. (I’m still naturally oriented toward long-form writing, even though I know I need to change that up, to maximize the utility of this blog.)
I read a couple of your archived articles this morning and I liked them both very much. The article on the running game was very interesting to me, and I thought I'd bring some things to your attention. Most of it probably isn't new.
The points that were made on the comments were quite accurate. One of the things that was a very effective for Denver under Mike Shanahan was that they would use the passing attack them to get ahead, and use the running game to close out the game. This is taken directly from Bill Walsh, the inventor of the west coast offense. Although other coaches have used this same line over the years, he understood and used ( if he did not coin it) the phrase "Pass to score, run to win". At the very least, he based much of his system on it.
Hello again, friends, and Happy Friday. I’m back with some stuff about 30 fronts today, on the heels of my last post about 40 fronts.
If you didn’t catch that post, you should read it. Yes, I mean now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….
OK, welcome back. Today we’re going to delve into the two main types of 30 fronts, and as with the types of 40 fronts we looked at, one is fundamentally a one-gap scheme, and the other is fundamentally a two-gap scheme.
One of the many things that fans are talking about, complaining about, praising and espousing right now is the talk about how Tim Tebow was NOT drafted to sit on the bench. For the upcoming season, it's entirely possible that it will prove to be exactly what he was drafted to do - at least on Sundays, for the moment. During the season, he'll get to train, practice and learn, things that he adores and that will give him a chance to eventually be a a solid, perhaps even elite NFL QB. But it isn't now, and he isn't close to ready. Therefore, sitting on the bench, unless there's an injury, is exactly what he'll get to do. There are good reasons for that, too.
Yesterday, I wrote a post about terminology on defensive fronts. Today, as a follow-on, I want to talk about two of the five major base defensive fronts. These base looks have variants situationally, but they each lean on certain major concepts. As we approach more actual preseason games, I thought it would be fun if we got into some technical stuff today.
Remember, the word “technique” in this concept means nothing more than where a player is going to line up, in relation to the offensive line. The overriding idea behind all of these fronts is that the defense is seeking to dictate to the offense how they want to be blocked. That may not completely make sense at this moment, but as we go, I hope it becomes increasingly clear.
During the simultaneously boring/exciting Hall of Fame game on Sunday night, Al Michaels actually asked a good question. I was as surprised as you are; I mean this is a guy who has made a whole career off of calling the Miracle on Ice, and who usually seems not to even care, at this point.
He asked this good question of Cris Collinsworth, who knows what he’s talking about, and usually expresses himself well on television. Collinsworth, though, completely booted a chance to teach viewers something about the game.
Hello, friends. I’m back on the scene, and I know from a lot of the inquiries I received, I’ve been missed by a few of you. I kind of took an unexplained vacation from writing, and here I am again. Well, here’s the deal. When I originally decided to launch my own site, I had some grand plans. Then, some stuff in my life changed, and I didn’t have time to do all the wonderful things that I originally wanted to do.
Training camp has been nothing if not eventful. As is common at this time of year, some events are positive, some are not. First, I was asked on a thread about the injuries to Josh Barrett and Kenny McKinley. McKinley had a knee injury that is unrelated to size or power - get hit the wrong way and you've got the injury. I haven't heard anything on time frames for Kenny. Barrett hurt his shoulder, but he won't be rehabbing in Denver - New England picked him up off of waivers when we went to put him on IR. In a way, that works out very well - we have several new special teams players (like Joe 'Tyson' Mays and Kevin Alexander) who may be able to contribute more in regular game play than Barrett was able to. And, we needed room for the new ST players. I doubt that Barrett being exposed was a total accident.
Although the Broncos loss of Moreno and Buckhalter caused most of us to hold our collective breath, Denver seems to have dodged a bullet. Moreno's injury is worse and at least 3 weeks is expected, while Buckhalter might be back in a week. Tyler Polumbus has given us reasons to hope for Clady's quick return, and training camp has started off with a bang!
I thought that it might be helpful to those of us who like to prepare for games against the foes Denver will meet first to keep an eye on some of them in training camp. This isn't intended as a long diatribe on all 16 games, but it seemed reasonable to know what our first few foes are showing: are they getting their players in camp? Anyone important (like Jared Gaither, starting RT for BAL) going down? Anyone new standing out? You've got questions, the Great and Powerful INT (and the not-so-much Doc Bear) has answers. I thought that I'd just start with our first 5 opponents, plus a short note on our division rivals.
When Josh McDaniels took on the task of remaking the Denver Broncos into a perennial playoff contender, his approach to player personnel was relatively direct. He put in place manuals for each of the positions that laid out in detail the height, weight and physical characteristics of each of the players that he wanted to see on the field as well as the mental attributes. He also reworked the scouting department, getting them up to speed on the way that they wanted players scouted and the types of skillsets that were valued by the organization. Overall, his approach was simple - he wanted tough, physical, smart versatile players at every slot on the field. With the draft of 2010, one of his final selections seems to be the epitome of that concept.
While a defensive lineman in college, and one who played both the DE and DT positions, Jammie (pronounced JAY-mee) Kirlew is exactly what the coach ordered. Whether or not he has the level of skill to make the leap from college to the NFL is still to be determined. Whether or not Kirlew fits into the outline that the Broncos have drawn is not - it fits him like a glove. One credit that he's earned was putting in place a system from the regional scouts to the tense moments of the draft know, understand their roles within it, and it's producing the kind of players that McDaniels and Xanders like. The further question of whether these are the players that the team can win with is yet to be determined. Jammie Kirlew was on the Denver board as a 5th round player, as was Syd'Quan Thompson. A quick quid pro quo involving the Denver pick in the 2011 draft and both players were slated to wear orange and blue.