After nearly two years were dedicated to installing much of Josh McDaniels’ offense, one that clearly had its roots in the New England Patriots' approach, I was interested to look at how the Pats' offense has done this season. Having seen McDaniels try to get the Denver offense to play in much the same system and style, I wanted to see where he was going, and which externally visible factors might have come into play. When McDaniels was hired, Doug and I did an in-depth series on his offensive tendencies while with NE. We thought that he’d start off in much the same style of play, and that’s essentially what happened.
Last season, people complained loudly that ‘all’ Denver ran were screens and short passes, and there was a lot of truth to those claims. But what didn’t seem to reach the fans was that the team struggled to handle those aspects of the system, and adding more complex plays that take longer to unfold was simply impossible with Denver's ragtag offensive line. It was a line hurt by internal problems, a lack of depth and an attempt to get into a different blocking scheme on many of the plays. The group still ran the zone-blocking run game during much of the year, but that wasn’t effective either - too many injuries to both linemen and running backs simply took their toll. The passing game was erratic, the defense porous, and the personnel issues and deep-seated anger of the fan base made for less-than-optimal viewing and even less enjoyable reading as the year wore on.
What´s worse than getting 86´d by
Pat Bowlen Joe Ellis?
Getting caught by Peter King.
I'm sparing you the intro this week. You know the drill. A cat, A random number generator, and Peter King walk into a bar. These picks are the result.
So let's get right to it and see how everyone did.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know those awful matchups of teams like Jokeland and the Chefs of recent years, or Lions and the Niners? That's our team today, folks. Broncos versus Cardinals, a tilt between 3-9 teams for draft position in April. Denver was last 3-9 in 1990, on their way to a 6-10 record and the 4th pick overall in the 1991 Draft. Unfortunately, that draft produced very little for Denver - while #4 pick LB Mike Croel won the award for best rookie defender, it went all downhill from there for him. Only third-rounder Keith Traylor ended up with a solid career, and only Traylor was in Denver long enough to win a ring - he was a starter for both SB-winning teams, although he did take a three-year hiatus in Green Bay and Kansas City in between Denver stops.
Point is, while the Broncos will end up with a higher draft choice with a loss today, that doesn't mean the organization will know what to do with it. I know, it's been a rough week and the last thing you need is another wet towel, but that's what I do sometimes...
Due to the groin injury suffered earlier in the week by K Matt Prater, the Broncos today added Steven Hauschka, a third-year kicker who made 10 of 15 field goal attempts in 17 games for Baltimore in 2008 and 2009. Hauschka was a member of the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2010 after appearing in two preseason games for the Detroit Lions.
In order to make room for Hauschka on the roster, Denver has waived G Stanley Daniels, who started the first four games of the season at left guard for the Broncos.
When the Broncos play the Cardinals tomorrow, there's more than just the Broncos' integrity on the line.
There's the #5 draft pick.
As it stands today, the Broncos and Cardinals are tied for the 5th-worst record in all Goodell's World. The team that loses tomorrow has a leg up in the draft standings. In front of them are the storied franchises of Carolina, Cincinnatti, Buffalo, and Detroit--teams that share between them seven Super Bowl appearances.
The Broncos themselves have six. My oh my have the Broncos have stumbled since the days of saluting the Mile High air.
Good Morning, Broncos fans. More bad news from Denver, as Perrish Cox landed himself in jail and has been charged with felony sexual assault. The alleged assault occurred on October 28, the day the Broncos left for London; Cox was left behind while recovering from a concussion. Cox missed practice yesterday and his status for tomorrow's game in Arizona is unknown; he is listed as questionable on the injury report.
As announced earlier in the week, Brian Dawkins, Spencer Larsen and Demaryius Thomas are out for tomorrow's game. Andre' Goodman, Darcel McBath and Matt Prater are listed as questionable along with Cox. Meanwhile, the Cardinals finally announced that rookie John Skelton would make the start tomorrow at QB.
UPDATE 5:27PM ET: The latest story from the DP states that Cox was released from jail today at 2PM MT and that his bond had been $50,000 rather than the $15,000 reported earlier. The judge in his case has allowed Cox to leave the state for the Broncos' upcoming road games and also for a family event next month.
According to an AP report via CBS4, the next court hearing date for Cox is January 7.
UPDATE 12:52PM ET: LJ points out that the alleged assault took place on the day the Broncos left for London. Cox stayed behind after having suffered a concussion four days earlier in the 59-14 loss to Jokeland.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Matt Prater joined Andre' Goodman and Darcel McBath on the list of limited participants, due to a groin injury. Russ Hochstein and Jamal Williams returned to practice after missing Wednesday's for non-injury reasons. I'm sorry the Lard has been so sporadic in terms of timing this week; I was out of town until last night. Great time to get out of dodge, right? All will be back to normal come Monday. As always, thanks for being here and helping us make IAOFM a joy to produce. We appreciate your readership, and for "Liking" us and our posts on Facebook - every click gets the word out!
I spent part of yesterday morning going through the tweets that have come out of Dove Valley this week, and it left me with a single, concise conclusion: It may well be worse than even the most devoted of the fans thought. After listening to as much of the Ellis presser as my digestion could stand, I was starting to disbelieve what I was hearing.
I’d sent an email to Ted Bartlett regarding his (very good) column yesterday on OneManFootball.com, and I talked a bit about the history that’s led up to this week’s events. Ted had noted that Mike Shanahan started burning through defensive coordinators in 2006, which is undeniable. In my own eyes, the problem began back when Shanahan promptly made sure that Greg Robinson, the defensive coordinator of his two Super Bowl champion teams, had to go following the team's playoff loss in the 2000 season.
At the time, I was stunned. You just don’t fire the guy who ran your defense during a three-season stretch in which the team went 39-9 and won consecutive Super Bowls. In the 1998 playoffs, Robinson's defense held Miami to just a field goal in the divisional round and allowed only a single offensive touchdown each to first the Jets in the AFC title game and then the Falcons in the SB - the former after a blocked punt and the latter coming long after the outcome was decided. Getting rid of Robinson smelled of scapegoating, whether that was in intention or not. This, after it was the offense that could manage only 3 points against the eventual-champion Ravens, not to mention that Robinson was given a starting secondary of Ray Crockett, Terrell Buckley, Eric Brown and Billy Jenkins to work with.
Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Denver Broncos.
You wanna roll your way into the semis?
Drop TJ a question: email@example.com.
(NOTE: No marmots were harmed in the writing of this revue)
TJ, I'm glad the Broncos rid themselves of McDaniels. Guy had a huge Napoleon complex, and further, his hair cut was atrocious. He deserved to get canned for the hair alone. Dude could have used a short spiked look with the ends razor cut to add some texture. He could have combined this with just a little facial hair as well. I had been thinking of a slight pencil mustache. But what do I know? Let me ask you the right question. It's obvious we need a new GM before we get a coach, so who should the GM be?
--Johnny Antin, Los Angeles, California