When draft day rolled around this year, a lot of folks didn’t think that the Broncos had much of a chance. Pick #12 was a little too high for comfort, the critics said. There wouldn’t be a player there that was would be worth the high salary the pick demanded. Perhaps a running back, someone like Jonathan Stewart or even Mendenhall of Illinois, would give the Broncos that needed push, that power that Denver needed to put them back on top. More likely, it was said, they should think about trading down.
Others pointed to Chris Williams, himself of Vanderbilt, as one who could protect Cutler’s blind side. He might not be top 12 material, they admitted, but Lepsis retired because after years of hard work, finally injuries had taken their toll and he wasn’t ready to be any help. Pears wasn’t ready (if he ever would be) and Ryan Harris was too much of an unknown after two back surgeries at a young age. Yes, people generally agreed, Denver needed a LT, but Clady would be long gone and the second tier of those available might not be worth the money. So, go with a RB or improve a different category of player altogether.
It's well known (on this site at least) that the Broncos have both the most wins, and the highest degree of consistency in the last 30 years. Following them, in terms of average wins, are Pittsburgh, Miami, San Francisco, and Dallas. These teams all have a program, and it's the biggest reason for the sustained success.
I've always believed in the concept of a program, and I was reading Mike Lombardi the other day when he criticized Washington's lack of one. I liken the idea to a college football program, where a coach gets hired, and it's expected that he'll be there for a long time. He recruits and hires assistants, based upon specific overarching philosophies. If you think of a school like Penn State, they've been doing the same things for decades under Joe Paterno. When a kid commits to play there, he knows who the coaches will be, he knows how the schemes will look, and he knows Penn State will be competitive annually, and consistently bring in more good talent. The relentless consistency of the program is what breeds the consistency of the win-loss record.
Nationalfootballpost.com is a relatively new site which I really like, and find myself looking at on a daily basis now. Mike Lombardi (who also writes for SI,) Andrew Brandt, and Matt Bowen are the key players. Lombardi analyzes blurbs of beat writer articles each morning (Diner News) and talks about selected topics and mailbag inquiries at night (Tavern Talk.) Brandt deals with the business end of the NFL, and Bowen writes a weekly feature about NFL schemes, which is pretty in-depth and very worthwhile. They also have guest writers a lot, usually people you wouldn't think of, who end up adding value. A recent example was former NBA head coach Eric Musselman. There's a feature about making your woman love the NFL today.
This is a short compilation of excerpts from the current ESPN analysis of the raiders. After reading the San Fransisco Chronical’s view of the preseason, the part of me that slows to catch a glimpse of car crashes wanted to see more. I did.
I’d like to point out that I think the Raiders are a great test of our team. We will know, at the end of the game next Monday, if our changes to our run D are solid or not. The new scheme will be tested by some talented RBs. The Raiders pass D is very talented. Their run D, like ours, had been suspect (we were both awful) and they did things in the off season that, like us, they are happy with. They will be tested as well by the increasingly amazing arm of Cutler, Royal’s tremendous upside, Clady’s stoutness at LT and a solid, if not yet gifted group of RBs. We will see, of course, if Jackson and Colbert are the additions that we are looking for. Stokely is still one of the league’s best, and our TE’s are top rate. We will see if we have the pieces at the Dline, and if our safeties are up to the challenge on run D. It will be a very interesting contest.
Born in Hacienda Heights, Southern California, on January 222, 1983, the 6’4 Shaun Cody had a storied high school career at Hacienda Height HS, garnering USA Today All-USA Defensive MVP honors. He played in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl game on December 30th, 2000. Advancing to college at USC, he was a first team All-American for the USC Trojans. He was the first Trojan since Chris Claiborne in 1998 to garner Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. The USC defense went on to shut down the Oklahoma Sooners in the ’04 Orange Bowl. Cody, along with Mike Patterson and linebackers Matt Grootegoed and Lofa Tatupu put on a defensive exhibition.
It's hard to go from the enjoyable, upbeat banter of the Bronco's blogosphere to the San Francisco Chronicle's long suffering staff writer, David White, and his joyless write-ups on the state of the raiders. Actually, scratch that – he’s a bubbling cauldron of jollies compared to the podium presence of Coach Kiffin. Two days after ‘final cuts’, Kiffin is looking – wondering, hoping – for some help on the waiver wire. Right now, to hear him tell it, things are looking pretty bleak.
I thought that I'd open a thread fo rthose of us who are gluttons
My man Joe Biden shouted out his friend Floyd Little in his speech at Mile High a few minutes ago. We try to keep things apolitical here, but I love this guy, and wanted him to be the President of the United States at the beginning of all of this. He's such a true regular guy. I hope that his shout-out raises some awareness of Floyd, a day after the seniors' committee snubbed him and Randy Gradishar again.
By the way, I was unaware of much detail of Floyd's career until Firstfan sent me a copy of Floyd's book. If anybody would like to read it, I'll pass it on to you. It's very worthwhile, and informative.
Expectations in professional sports are a funny thing. People get hired by companies to know something about sports, and they form opinions, which they then share with the world. The point is, to get you or I to look at their website or watch their show on TV, so we'll be subsequently advertised to, and run and buy our women rings at Kay jewelers, and pick up a 12 pack of Budweiser on the way home.
The More the Merriman
Sun Tzu said that the first lines of attack or defense are spies, so my recent move to the climes of southern California may have multiple advantages for this Broncos fan and hopefully the members of the Mile High Report. Since along with my new location in Carlsbad I get both the Sunday LA Times and the daily San Diego Union-Tribune, I hope to provide information and occasionally perspective while deepening my knowledge of the game as provided by the local media. Thanks
I got off the plane in San Diego this week to find three things waiting for me - a great soaking tub at my new home in Carlsbad, a sea of boxes and the San Diego Union-Tribune. The first was spectacular, the second inevitable and the third was awash with the latest on Shawne Merriman.