Doc's Musings

Tales from the SunnySide: Chris Simms

When the Denver Broncos bargained with Chris Simms this offseason, they believed they were taking on a talented backup quarterback to cover for Jay Cutler if he went down to injury. Coach Josh McDaniels felt that Simms had the pedigree and the potential to be a solid backup, and the higher-than-normal contract cost backed that up. It didn't take long for Simms to receive a chance to show that he is more than a backup - he's currently competing against Kyle Orton for the starting position. In order for us to start understanding the value of this, we have to go back to where it all started.

You certainly could argue that Chris Simms has the best NFL pedigree, being the son of famous NFL QB Phil Simms. He was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey on August 29, 1980 and attended high school in nearby Franklin Lakes, NJ. A standout athlete, he played basketball as well as football. He was a two-time All-State football player and the 1998 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year. He initially committed to the University of Tennessee and then de-committed, choosing instead to attend the University of Texas, where he would major in history.

Arriving at Texas, Simms found that he was in a long conflict for the starting job with Major Applewhite. Each of them did well at various times and weakened at others. Their battle went back and forth for two full years. Over the course of Simms' tenure at the University of Texas, he set several records; their current status follows...

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Tales from the SunnySide: Alphonso Smith

There's not much debate about one thing - Alphonso Smith is the second 2nd-round pick in two years to ignite an instant firestorm of controversy in Denver. Eddie Royal managed it first - think back, now, to that weekend and to the things that were said.

When that 42nd pick came in, Broncos fans were shocked, stunned and horrified. Begrudgingly, they accepted that perhaps he could be worth the pick by his prowess in the return game.

Giving up a 2nd-round pick on a scrawny kick returner with some receiving skills was a big stretch, the media agreed, but perhaps Mike Shanahan really felt that the team needed a return guy. DeSean Jackson, the consensus went, would have been a better pick. Getting a defensive tackle would have been a much better way to go all around. And so it went. This year may prove to be somewhat redundant in that respect - everything that I've been able to accumulate about Smith indicates that he, very much like Eddie Royal, may become a favorite of the Broncos' fan base in the near future.

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Broncos Dreams and Musings

Today I decided to give in to the weaving flow of the Web and pass on some items that should interest you. If you have children, work with children or if you're an older athlete yourself, I've gathered and included some items that matter. I also had to give a brief nod to Denver's playoff basketball team.

Broncos Dream 1
 

Is there a Broncos fan out there that isn't dreaming of seeing Wesley Woodyard, David Bruton and Spencer Larsen chasing down kickoff- and punt-returners together? The three of them together should go a long way to getting the Broncos past the nightmare that has been special teams of late. Bruton's obvious grasp of the special teams role and his love of doing what he's been involved with since he was young is especially laudable.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Rulon Davis

Here's what you probably know about Rulon Davis. If you've been reading at all about him, you probably know that he was a Marine in the Iraqi conflict. He was in a fire zone, fought for his country, and came home.

He went to Cal (University of California) and is a defensive lineman. He survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident when his bike was struck from behind by a car and Rulon slid under a truck, which ran over his legs. And, famously, he was named after legendary Denver Broncos football player Rulon Jones, he of the 129 games with 52.5 official sacks. It's a lot of live up to.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Everette Pedescleaux

Tyson Jackson stunned a lot of people by being the third player taken in the NFL draft. Many said that this was, in part, because of the laws of scarcity – there were few true 5-technique defensive ends in this year’s draft, making the ones that were there more valuable. The 5-technique DE lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackles, giving them a chance to stack the line, stuff the outside run or rush the passer with equal verve. It’s a staple of the modern 3-4 defense, which the Denver Broncos will be switching to from their traditional 4-3 as quickly as circumstances permit.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Chris Baker

A lie can run around the world twice while the truth is still getting its shoes on. - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Like all college players whose names weren't called on Draft Day, Chris Baker knows that he has something to prove. He's heard all the opinions - "Boom or Bust," "Must be in the right system," "Left school too early," "Character concerns abound," "Troublemaker," "Takes plays off."

Once projected as a 3rd- to 4th-round pick but left undrafted, the 6'2", 326 lb. Baker knows that he is lucky to have his first chance with the Broncos. Listening to the NFL Draft for two days without hearing your name, your heart gets weighty and your thoughts darker with each passing pick. By the time you're listening to the 7th round and knowing in your very soul that you're a better player than the ones who are being chosen, that darkness can coalesce in one of two ways - depression,or commitment. Chris Baker has chosen commitment...

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Tales from the SunnySide: 2009 Draft edition

In the wake of this year's draft, as plays out every year, we have those folks who knew, thought they knew, wished they knew and know they didn't. But on the SunnySide, I've got the advantage of knowing that my guys are probably going to be drafted, and it adds a little spice to the days as I watch them going to different teams and wishing them well. It's kind of a small rite of passage.

It didn't take long before the first Tales recipient went off the board. Knowshon Moreno (pick #12) will be happy making his home in Denver, and making his way with the help of three other Tales alumni. He'll be learning from running-back guru Bobby Turner and running behind Ryan Clady. He'll also partner with Peyton Hillis to spark a running attack as good as any in the AFC West, which is saying a lot.

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Team building and the Denver Broncos

The weekend of the draft is past, the main part of free agency as well as undrafted free agency is behind us and now we have to long opportunity to consider, in some detail just what it is that the Broncos brain trust has done in terms of making over this team.  The Broncos are a team whose record was 8-8. This was a team who made history by being three games up with three to go and dropping them all, including the tiebreaker. It was historically bad on defense and special teams, but not as much better on offense as some have held. Passing yards are a poor measure of a team - red-zone percentage, points scored and similar measures mean far more. Weaknesses abounded, as statistics and analysis made clear. It was a team whose record was mediocre, but whose framework was as flimsy as cheap wicker.

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12th pick in the NFL Draft - Denver Bronco Knowshon Moreno!

And with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos blow people away and take Knowshon Moreno!

Every season, there are certain running backs who capture the excitement of football fans all over the country. The ability to juke, the power to overrun, the soft hands receiving and the hard hits of blocking all have their proponents.
 
A very few players seem to have all four of those talents. Those players will inflame people's enthusiasm, ignite their passions and arouse in them a desire to see this guy, this one young man, as the next integral piece of their NFL team, a belief that this single cog will be the battery off of which an offense can be run. This year, hands down and without question, that player is Knowshon Moreno - and he's a Denver Bronco!

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The Denver Broncos 18th Pick in the NFL Draft - Robert Ayers!

A surprise to many fans but a common choice on the mock drafts, the Denver Broncos have taken Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers with the 18th pick in the NFL Draft. Head Coach Josh McDaniel is looking to make a statement about his defense - his players are going to be very athletic, hungry for coaching and very, very versatile.

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