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.
The first commandment of training camp is: Thou shalt not whine in training camp.
Tim Tebow did just that.
The Denver Post tonight put up a teaser from Woody Paige's interview with Tebow that will run on Friday. It doesn't read well for Tebow. In the excerpt, Tebow says:
My dream, since I was a young boy, of being a starting quarterback in the NFL seemed to be coming true. Then I felt like it was grabbed back away.
We'll have to see this quote in complete context tomorrow. So I'm going to reserve total judgment until them. However, Tebow comes across as rather childish tonight.
There's no crying in football, at least not within the context of a quarterback competition.
Can you imagine if Kyle Orton would have said something similar last week?
He would have been burned at the stake, under any context.
There are eight rules of Fight Club.
Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith have broken all of them, except one:
"Fights will go on as long as they have to."
Although all of us out here in fanville would prefer they simply followed rule one (don't talk about Fight Club!), it's been unavoidable. For every one of Smith's biting and over-the-top punches, Goodell (and his lap dog Jeff Pash) have countered with a calculated yet Chicken Little-ish jab.
I've seen girl fights more exciting than this. At least girls pull hair.
At this point in the process, what more is there to do than sit back, relax, sip some iced tea, wait for litigation, and try out our newest random quote generator?
Give it a whirl and see what happens when DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell say ridiculous things at the same time. I've included 30 quotes from each, so have as many spins as you'd like. Don't forget to laugh. Feel free to even declare a winner if you'd like in the comments below.
He deserved it. The Broncos went into the draft with seven picks; they came out with nine.
Statistically, Xanders improved the Broncos' ability to land more starters.
You'll notice that I mentioned none of players' names to come to this conclusion. That's because I agree 100% with Kerry J. Byrne wrote last week:
You know how most analysts do it: They pretend they watched every college football game of the past three seasons, toss out clichés about various schemes, or which players "set the edge" and have "good motors" and then try to guess which will succeed or fail at the next level.
Good luck with that.
The truth is that nobody knows who's going to succeed or fail -- not us, not the draft "experts" on TV and certainly not the GMs making the decisions on draft day.
Using probability theory and 20 years of draft data, last week we calculated the odds of the Broncos nabbing four three-year starters out of this year's draft.
Our conclusion was that they had a 20.37% chance.
This calculation was based on both the total number of picks (that's seven, Jeff Legwold) and the position of each pick itself.
Brian Xanders had other ideas, however. He not only looked the part of GM (sporting a tailored navy suit in the Broncos' war room), but he parlayed seven picks into nine.
Forget the silly and meanlingless points charts that NFL teams supposedly use to evaluate trades. Let's get to the heart of the issue, and the goal the Broncos had going into this draft, shall we?
Did the X-Man improve the probability that the Broncos would get four starters out of it?
Intuitively, you probably have a sense of the answer, but let's look at the numbers once again.
Brian Xanders and John Elway have both said they want to come away with four starters from the 2011 Draft.
It's certainly an ambitious goal, and one appreciates Xanders and Elway setting the bar so high without resorting to meaningless slogans.
But is it likely?
Earlier in the week, Dave Krieger took a shot at pointing out how difficult a task Xanders and Elway have in front of them. His conclusion?
Optimism, naivete and, let's be honest, pure fantasy are always in unlimited supply around the NFL draft.
Kreiger based his conclusion on some decent evidence--namely, that Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels had limited draft success.
What do the numbers actually show us? Is Krieger correct?
Yesterday's pre-draft press conference from Brian "The Mind" Xanders and John "The Collar" Elway was better than nothing.
Xanders still doesn't tailor his jackets nor his penchant for malaprops. My favorite Xanders quote (aside from his propensity to simply call John Fox by his last name) from yesterday was the following:
"...we're in unchartered waters..."
Despite this, Xanders has an odd appeal to me: he's the anti-Joe Ellis. Under the buzzcut and the confusion, there just might be a savant. We'll soon find out.
Elway, for his part, could have used some gold chains. If you are going to show that much chest hair, you've got to come strong or don't come at all.
The Duke? How about the Disco Inferno?
Outside of these two observations we learned the following:
Something happened to Jake Locker on his way to becoming the next John Elway.
His senior season.
Does John Elway care?
At this time last year, Locker was both victim and beneficiary of the hype machine (the same machine that now has its sights set on Andrew Luck). Had Locker declared for the NFL draft as a junior, it's very possible that he, not Sam Bradford, would be the QB for the St. Louis Rams.
Consider what Mel Kiper Jr. said about Locker last April:
If you had to ask me right now who is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, I would say it's etched in stone it's going to be Jake Locker. You can mark that down. Jake Locker, if he's not the No. 1 pick, it's an upset.
That's certainly high praise from the high priest of draft geeks (otherwise known as guys I could shove into a locker with one arm)
If Brian Xanders has his way, the Denver Broncos are going to draft Nick Fairley.
How do I know this? I'm speculating of course, but after watching all of his interviews five times over this week in an effort to build our wildly popular Brian Xanders Random Quote Generator, new information has come to light, man.
First, let me point out the obvious--the Broncos would like to trade out of the #2 spot. If someone tries to claim that as an original thought or breaking news, flog them. This fact has been widely known for weeks. Xanders himself has said on numerous occasions that his general strategy (which is sound) is to trade down and accumulate picks. So you won't find me claiming that mantle.
What I will claim is that Xanders is not your typical General Manager. As I suggested yesterday, the guy simply has a hard time with public speaking. Moreover, he tends to get slightly animated and nervous, which causes him to search for what he likely perceives are high-quality football buzzwords. Take this quote for example, which is included in the Random Quote Generator:
"We researched their personal character and their football character…we never want the character grade to bleed into the football grade."
Xanders' interviews are ripe with this sort of material. What Xanders wanted to say here in simple terms is that the Broncos initially treat a draft prospect's play on the football field seperately from their potential off-field character issues. In his search for fooball speak, the words fall short.
Brian Xanders doesn't exactly fit the mold of what we expect from a general manager: He's got a double chin. His clothes don't fit. He has a tendency to rush his sentences, omit words, state facts as if they were original thoughts, and mix verb tenses. Hell, the guy used to clean pools.
In short, he's everything Joe Ellis isn't. It's for this reason, and the way he handled the recent re-signing of Champ Bailey, that the X-Man is starting to grow on me.
So I went back and spent an exceedingly long time reading and listening to interviews Xanders has given since he was named General Manger of the Denver Broncos for real. At first, I mistook his responses for gobbledygook. My mind went numb; my senses failed. Soon, I was unable to determine the questions from the answers. I fell into a Xanders-induced stupor.
When I came to, however, I realized that inside all of this undeciphered madness, Xanders had a plan. After so many interviews, he's let a few things slip.
Later this week, I'll tell you what I think that plan is. Today, however, I wanted to have a little more fun at the expense of Xanders before I begin singing his praises.
So I gathered together a few dozen of the best quotes Xanders has given. I plugged them into a random quote generator. I think you'll enjoy....