The Broncos traded down for this?
That's probably the first reaction from most Broncos fans to the news Denver selected Derek Wolfe, defensive tackle from Cincinnati, with their #36 pick. Jeff Legwold didn't even have Wolfe in his top 100. Does it make you feel any better that Mel Kiper had the Broncos selecting Wolfe at pick #25 almost two weeks ago?
First, let's deal with the reality of this pick. The Broncos did not just draft the best player available (BPA). There were at least ten players on the board that were better BPA choices. What they did was draft the best player on their board at their highest position of need. After the Broncos signed Justin Bannan, their desire for a 4-3 nose tackle diminished, and so they were surely going to draft a penetrating 3-technique. Many pundits had Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, Kendall Reyes, and even Billy Winn as better 3-techs.
That's a subjective decision, though. In other words, Jeff Legwold's trash is Brian Xanders's treasure. Obviously, the Broncos had Wolfe rated as a better player. So, while it's legit to fault them for not taking the BPA, I find it difficult to fault them for not taking Worthy or one of the other tackles if they truly felt Wolfe was a better penetrating 3-tech.
When the Broncos' pick came at #25, they decided they could move back six spots, get their guy, and pick up a fourth-rounder in the process.
When pick #31 came, they decided they could still get their guy five picks later at pick #36 and gain 25 spots in round four by trading pick #126 for #101. Throw all of this out the window. In essence, the Broncos moved back 11 spots to gain a high fourth-round draft pick. The traditional draft chart says the Broncos should have ended up with a mid-3rd-round draft pick, but as we saw tonight, the traditional draft chart doesn't account for the recent rookie salary cap. Still, I think they could have done better for themselves.
I also believe that had OT Riley Reiff or G David DeCastro not been picked at #23 and #24, the Broncos would have taken either guy. Both players had tumbled down the board. I am also shocked they didn't jump on ILB Dont'a Hightower, who went to New England with that original #25 pick. I guess the $4 million they are giving Joe Mays really does mean something in 2012.
In his press conference tonight with the New York media, Tim Tebow once again took the road less traveled.
That's because no one takes the high road any longer.
He thanked his fans in Denver, spoke highly of his new coaches and teammates, and reaffirmed his commitment to being a team player--even if it meant sitting behind Mark Sanchez and playing in wildcat packages. He also reaffirmed his commitment to working hard and improving as a quarterback. Simply put, he was typically Tim Tebow.
As I listened to Tebow, I couldn't help but remember another former Broncos quarterback that left Denver after only a few seasons: Jay Cutler. Although blessed with twice the talent, Cutler was half the man on his way out of town. Pouting was his brush; sulking his paint; melancholy his work of art. Tebow would have none of this silliness. It's beneath him. He wouldn't waste his energy on such trivial things.
There's another key difference between Cutler and Tebow, and it's this: Tebow will forever be etched in Broncos lore. No matter what happens during his time in the league, he joins a list that we all hold dear. This list includes Craig Morton, John Elway, Brian Griese, and Jake Plummer. What do they have in common? All of them have taken the Denver Broncos to the playoffs.
We have Peyton Manning; y'all don't.
Suck it down, Bud Adams, and, for that matter, the rest of the league.
If only Al Davis would have been around to weep--and to trade for Tim Tebow.
Oh well, you can't always get what you want.
For John Elway, putting the Broncos in position to win the Super Bowl is enough for now. Curing Tebowmania is icing on the cake.
As always, the gut don't lie. Let's get to it.
Let me get this out of the way first: Robert Griffin III is one hell of a quarterback.
It doesn't matter. It's a bad deal for the Redskins. There are times you go all in. This is not one of those times. It strikes a desparate chord on the part of Mike Shanahan.
NFL draft picks are not created equal, but all have a significant chance of going bad: they are more like bets on a roulette wheel than they are sure-fire franchise players (or starters, for that matter). The fewer bets you have--or in Shanny's case, the more you take from yourself--the less likely you are to get lucky and hit on something.
So, you remember a few weeks ago when I wrote that the Broncos should draft Vontaze Burfict?
Forgive me for taking crazy pills; thank the football gods for creating the NFL combine.
Not only should the Broncos not draft this guy, neither should any other team.
He started the week by blaming his coaches at Arizona State for his past troubles. Then he spouted off that he was the best linebacker in the draft. When it came time to show what he could do physically, he was (thus far) the biggest disappointment of the combine.
Today's press conference was pretty much what we expected--full of positive energy and questions about the future of Tim Tebow.
Elway made about as much of a commitment to Tebow as he probably could. Getting right to the heart of the issue, Elway said: "Tim's earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into camp next year."
Elway later say he "hoped" Tebow was going to be the franchise guy. He also said the Broncos would bring in other quarterbacks (he implied through free agency) to compete for the job. I liked his answer to the question about whether free agents would come here with Tebowmania: "If he's afraid to come in and compete for that job, maybe he's not the right guy."
I wish the beat writers had asked specific questions about the style of offense the Broncos would be running in the future, but the Broncos' draft and free-agent pickups will speak louder than anything they could have said today.
Elway probably did what any of us would have done in the same situation--dip your toe into the Tebow waters as far as you can while keeping your options open as you try to improve at every position. It sure makes for an interesting offseason of speculation.
In the real world, Goliath wins--a lot.
Goliath Tom Brady tonight almost threw for as many touchdowns (6) as David Tim Tebow had completions (9).
Tebow threw for 136 yards. I guess that's 316 just written another way.
If we take 136 at face value, this from 1 Corinthians 13:6: "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth."
In today's NFL, the truth is Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots.
Many Broncos fans will rejoiceth in the fact that the Broncos even made the playoffs to begin with. If you like to think of the Broncos as a small-college football team happy enough to make a bowl game, then clap your hands. If you're into winning championships, set your sights higher and save the rah-rah chants for the tourists.
The rumors of the fall of Tim Tebow have been greatly exaggerated.
In one of the biggest upset victories in Broncos history, Tebow did exactly what John Elway would have done--he pulled the trigger.
The game was electric; the pace was deadly; the results were amazing.
1998 never looked so good.
The defense was bend but don't break. The offense was breakout.
Bring on the Patriots. Stranger things have happened.
Today, I'm only giving Postives and nothing more. It's a playoff win, man! Let it rip! This one is for the readers. Give us your thoughts on the first Broncos playoff win in six years!!!!!
John Elway said he was willing to risk his Broncos legacy with a turn on the dance floor as Executive Vice President.
His headband and leotard were predominately orange, his leg warmers and wrist bands blue; he was ready to strut his stuff.
His decision to unload his previous dance partner, Kyle Orton, after Week 7 saved the Broncos $2.6 million.
Today that decision didn't matter much. The Broncos limped into the playoffs despite Elway's move.
In the street (and on the turf) a pitiful b-boy battle ensued between Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton. It was marked by some really bad quarterback play. Kyle Orton hardly mattered. Tim Tebow mattered even less. In the end, however, it was an attempted headspin by the Oakland Raiders that won the day for the crew from Denver. As it turns out, Hue Jackson's trade for Carson Palmer was one of the worst in history, not the best. Palmer slipped badly on the linoleum.
Welcome to the real dance, Broncos fans--the NFL playoffs. I guess we should be glad the Broncos fell backwards based on the third tiebreaker. Somehow, right now, that's not comforting. Perhaps the Steelers will lose their starting running back, starting QB, and, just perhaps, their first wide receiver. Then we can get excited.