Going into the 2009 season, the Denver Broncos are being written off by all but a very few media observers. The reasons for their disdain are not entirely specious - the Broncs have changed their head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators and schemes, replaced the defensive staff, starting quarterbacks, fired players wholesale (some of whom can't even get an audition with other teams, after a dreadful 2008), and turned over all of the position coaches save for offensive standouts Bobby Turner and Rick Dennison. The schedule, if you accept last season's rankings as valid, is nothing short of brutal. Their organization has had more drama than TNT.
Happy Tuesday, friends. As I write this, I have to tell you that I feel a little strange, because I was pretty disengaged from football this weekend, much more so than I virtually ever am, between July and February.
I mentioned last week that I'd be traveling to a pretty out-of-the-way part of New Hampshire, but it's 20 miles outside the capitol city of Concord, so it's not THAT out-of-the-way, right? Turns out, you can't get decent cell signal even on the outskirts of Concord, so in Warner, where I was, there is literally No Service. There's no cable or DirecTV where I was staying either, so by the time I got back to Cleveland around noon on Sunday, I had missed a lot of football that I normally would have seen. I did see the game, up until Tony Scheffler's unfortunate fumble, live, Saturday night, and watched the whole game on Sunday afternoon, so there will be some thoughts forthcoming. ST&NO will be a little lighter on other games than normal, but we'll have fun anyway. Ready.... BEGIN!
(NOTE: This is the first is a 3-Part Series To Cure you of your Jay Cutler Obsession)
Jay Cutler was a Pro-Bowl quarterback last year, in case you haven't heard.
And maybe you also heard that Kyle Orton, despite a winning percentage higher than Jeff Spicoli, isn't worth much more than an old Marcus Nash throwback jersey.
The evidence, if it's presented at all, usually rests on the following Cutler statistics: 4,526 yards passing, 25 touchdown passes, and 18 interceptions. With these stats, Cutler beat out quarterbacks like Philip Rivers, Matt Cassel, Tyler Thigpen, and Chad Pennington.
I opened today's mail and found that one of the Denver Broncos has been reading our work again. It was a pleasure to receive an email from David Bruton, thanking me for the recent Tales on his career and requesting that I add a bit of information. I am glad to receive word from him, and I wanted to share his request with you.
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Raider's camp. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the eye's of Tom Cable.
These are the things I learned...
In Texas, football is a religious experience. There are three states - California, Florida and Texas - that lead the country in candidates for the NFL, but Texas has an energy all its own. The fervor of their passion pounds through the veins of fans and young players like the rush of liquor: hot and furious.
High school football games are held on Friday nights. Small towns swell; big towns are flooded with pickups, station wagons and SUVs pull in, loaded with the faithful. The atmosphere is carnival-like, but the mindset of those in the experience is far more serious than that. For Stephen Darcel McBath, it carried with it an initiation into the mysteries of the game that came to McBath at a very early age. He would soon rise to the top of the Texas football pantheon.
McBath wasn't a name that many of the Broncos fans were familiar with before April's draft. Names like Louis Delmas and Patrick Chung were more commonly known and another player in the defensive secondary wasn't exactly what most of the members were looking for when his name was called. A protesting murmur rippled through the posts. What was Josh McDaniels thinking? On Friday night, with Brian Dawkins sidelined by a hand injury that required a simple surgery, we got to find out that Darcel McBath is a solid young player.
Some men, they say, are born to ramble. Ryan McBean may be one of them. His road has already taken him to Jamaica, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Denver.
Ryan McBean was born in Kingston, Jamaica as the son of Donnett McBean on April 23, 1984. He came to the United States when he was 14, moving to Brooklyn, NY for a few months. Then it was back to the road, this time wandering to Euless, TX. Texas is one of the 'Big Three' (with Florida and California) for finding talent among high school football
McBean soon found a home there; Ryan made the football team at Euless' Trinity High School and immediately found some success. He was a first-team All-District selection after his senior season as well as the district's Defensive MVP. He was also named first-team All-District by the Dallas Morning News.
The Denver Broncos are officially looking for leadership.
With the acquisition of former New England Patriot Le Kevin (pronounced leh KEE vin) Smith, the Broncos have once more gone for a player who was a leader during his collegiate career. Playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Smith teamed with Titus Adams over his last two seasons there to a top-level pair of defensive tackles on a 4-3 line. Smith himself contributed a stellar swim move and 6 sacks to a defensive line that accounted for a total of 50 sacks, the best in the USA, over Smith's senior year in college (2005). NFLDraftScout.com referred to him as the 'high energy leader' of that line. This importation continues a pattern that has carried over since the first of the Josh McDaniels/Brian Xanders free-agent signings was confirmed. Character matters. So does intellect. And, after the bend-and-break defenses of the past few seasons, physical and mental toughness are now flat-out requirements.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of ST&NO, this time with actual football to talk about. We'll start with some thoughts about Friday night's game, we'll reflect briefly on Jay Cutler's Chicago debut, and we'll move into some other topics also. Get excited, because it's going to be a lot of fun. Ready.... BEGIN!!!
I've read that it's hard to know who got better end of the deal in the Champ Bailey - Clinton Portis trade.
If you reside in Oakland and your friends know you as Raider (insert your first name here), it might indeed appear that you can't really know if the Broncos got the better end of this trade. Of course, if you live in Oakland, it's possible that you are struggling to complete the 8th grade.
The truth is that one can measure almost anything, if one establishes up front what is to be measured.