(Note: This is the third part in
an Epic a mini ten-part series on the Worst Moves of 2011; we'll also be doing a ten-part mini on the Ten Best Moves of 2011. If you want to see #10: Trading Jabar Gaffney, click here; #9: The Duke Takes on Twitter, click here.)
As Tom Nalen said earlier in the week, it's all Josh McDaniels' fault.
Last time we hooked up, dear readers, I pointed out John Elway's mishaps into social media. I speculated that because of the previous regime, one in which Josh McDaniels went all WW2 propaganda on everyone (loose lips sink ships, y'all), the Denver Broncos were set on making 2011 one in which there were multiple points of contact, interviews were as easy to come by as substance abuse in Oakland, and the organization was open and transparent as a Knowshown Moreno personalized license plate.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! A pair of academic economists thinks the end of football is a much stronger likelihood than most of us are willing to consider, especially as we learn more about the wide-ranging and long-lasting effects of head injuries. Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier believe either liability suits or potentially conclusive medical research linking CTE to football will bring down our beloved sport, as parents seek to protect their children and those involved in the sport at the coaching and administrative levels depart due to litigation fears.
An earlier Grantland piece by Jonah Lehrer (sorry to say we missed this one the first time around) addresses the difficulties facing high school coaches and medical staffs as they attempt to prevent, diagnose, and treat concussions. Sadly, even the most generously funded and purely intentioned of programs appear to be losing that battle, which cannot speak well for those with smaller budgets and less institutional dedication to attacking a problem which may have no solution.
If that's the case, Cowen and Grier suggest that basketball will become America's sport if or when football loses its stranglehold. So, how about this Jeremy Lin?
Howdy, friends. In case you hadn’t noticed, I decided to take a little unannounced break from writing about football. (I figured if I announced it that people might think that I’m full of myself, or something.) Today, I decided to return, because I think that we’re on the precipice of a very interesting offseason as Broncos fans, and that it’s time to start putting some words to it, and while I’m at it, even some sentences and paragraphs.
Today, I’m going to start where Broncos conversation always seems to start, and that’s with Tim Tebow. I’m doing so, because I’m pretty sick of talking about him personally, and I consider this to be the act of getting something important out of the way, and then moving on from it until games start happening, and there’s something new and substantial to discuss.
As I’ve been saying for years, I’m not in the arguing business, I’m in the saying what I think business. After long consideration during my quiet break, I’m strengthening my resolve on that front. I’m not going to be arguing with anybody about Tebow or anything else, because it’s just going to irritate me, and make me want to take a forever break from writing about football. (I can think of some of you who’d like that, and you can feel free to start a blog about it or something, if you didn’t know deep down that nobody would ever read it.) I say what I think, and that’s that, and I’ll be right or wrong based on the extent to which I know what I’m talking about, and how well my powers of educated guessing work. You dig?
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! My, how quickly things have changed in Oakland. It was only last February that the Raiders gave CB Stanford Routt a puzzling $20M in guarantees to stick around, later restructuring his deal to make it a five-year contract worth a potential $54.5M (but with no extra guarantees beyond the $20M). These were the kind of kooky decisions Al Davis made - with both of his starting corners hitting free agency, Big Al gave Routt only $5M less in guarantees than all-world CB Nnamdi Asomugha ended up getting from the Eagles.
Since then, Davis has moved on to another world, Huebris Jackson is no longer the coach, and Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are now running the show. Yesterday, the duo established in full that the Raiders are their team, and they put the entire roster on notice by cutting Routt, who had allowed nine touchdowns and dubiously led the league with 17 penalties called against him in 2011.
Routt's agent has reportedly already garnered interest from Buffalo and Tennessee, but no matter where the 2005 second-rounder lands, the message is clear: McKenzie and Allen will not hesitate to differentiate themselves from Davis's ways - which can only be a bad thing for the Broncos and the rest of the AFC West.
At this time of the year, a lot of the athletes who will compete at Combine are working out intensively at a variety of gym complexes that often house the athlete and will generally offer nutritional programs, a full kitchen for meals that are specifically designed to permit maximum performance, and a Star Wars workout facility. Machines for testing oxygen intake and CO2 exhalations sit alongside the treadmills that they will be used with. The cold pools that reduce muscle inflammation are filled with shivering, shaking prospects. There are machines for every muscle, and a wide range of other training devices as well.
I’ve written before on Charles Dimry, a one-time Broncos cornerback, and his facility, a franchise of Velocity Performance. There is a big fish in this growth-industry pond that used to be Athletes Performance Institute. Now it’s just Athletes Performance, but nearly everyone still calls it API. Luke Richesson was with them for 10 years. API turns out top professional athletes on a consistent basis - they’re booked solid during the predraft training cycle. Professional athletes from a variety of sports train there year-round.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's time again for Woody's Mailbag! Let's see what he's got for us on this fine morn:
There are so many people who think they can "fix" Tebow...Bratkowski and Martinez both think Tebow will be a great passing quarterback...Sean Salisbury, the former NFL quarterback who worked for ESPN for years, said (not to me, but to various others) during the Super Bowl week that he could "fix" Tim Tebow in two weeks and turn him into a "60 percent completion" quarterback.
Yes, clearly everyone who says they can fix Tim's problems are saying so out of purely charitable honesty. There's no ego or self-interest involved. Tell me Woody - is someone really going to say No, I can't fix Tim? Of course not - it's not like Tim is an uncoordinated, unathletic spaz. OF COURSE HE CAN BE FIXED. Tim could also become a concert pianist or an NBA point guard if he put in enough time.
BTW Woodrow, why in the wide world of sports would Timmy want to work with Sean Salisbury? Because he was such a great QB himself? Because he's successfully coached so many other QBs?
It wasn’t the most exciting Super Bowl ever. As a matter of fact, it really didn’t make the top 10 for me, which was disappointing considering the backstory. I had hoped, on one level, for the Pats to win so that both teams might meet one more time for a third, winner-takes-all match. As it was, the Giants showed that they are a deeper team with a better defense and that Eli Manning has long since overcome the comments on how he’s just a fair QB who’s gotten lucky as to where he’s gone. After all the articles and commentary about how defense doesn’t win championships, New York’s showed that while you don’t win a SB by yourself, the team with the better defense has a distinct advantage.
I made a few notes during the game on things that I thought might be of interest. The first was a tip of the chapeau to both teams on the composition of their lines and the way that they schemed their defenses. It was a chance to watch the various approaches of a 4-3 line on the Giants side (with appropriate hybrid fronts, just as the Patriots played off of theirs) and a 3-4 on the other, with Vince Wilfork seemingly having found the fountain of youth. He was a monster all playoff long, and I can’t stress enough that if you go back and watch his hand position, pad level, explosion and technique, you start to understand why he’s gotten better of late instead of weaker. He may not have the best stats in the league, but I’d go to war next to Chris Snee anytime and watching him fight with Vince Wilfork and the NE front seven is something that I’ll get a chance to go back and break down in still more detail, just for the fun of it.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Only a week after saying he'd be back with the Ravens in 2012, Ricky Williams announced his (second) retirement from the NFL yesterday; he attributed the decision to his own self-reflection after having received a text message from Bill Parcells which read, "Don't chase this thing too long. You can contribute in other ways."
The first time Williams retired was just days before the start of Dolphins training camp in 2004, when it was rumored he had had a third positive drug test and would be ineligible for the season anyway. After coming out of retirement in 2005 and playing that season for the Dolphins, Williams had another positive drug test and was suspended for the 2006 season, which he instead spent in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. Williams returned to the Dolphins the next year but suffered a season-ending injury during his first game back.
(Note: This is the second in
an Epic a mini ten-part series on the Worst Moves of 2011; We'll also be doing a ten-part mini on the Ten Best Moves of 2011. If you want to see #10: Trading Jabar Gaffney, click here.)
Social media--it's all the rage. Like a moth to a flame (or an illiterate with an eye piercing to a bag of K2), corporations are flinging themselves headlong into the space with little thought of the results of their actions. The recent McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Twitter disaster is just one example.
The Denver Broncos' foray into social media, while not a meltdown of epic proportions, was certainly fraught with its share of missteps. And that's why John Elway's venture into Twitter is #9 on our list of the Ten Worst Moves of 2011.
After the regime of Josh McDaniels, in which nothing was given, contact was limited to only one Napoleonic figure, and misinformation was as highly prized as the real McCoy, the Broncos felt like social media was an opportunity to reconnect with fans and present a kinder, gentler organization. In fact, Jim Saccomano, Vice President of
Kool-Aid Public Relations, tweeted in September of 2011: "Level of availability to press by coach Fox, John Elway, and personnel people unmatched in recent Denver seasons."
That sounds downright neighborly. And you can hardly blame the Broncos. McDaniels might have been headed down the path of Scott Pioli for all we know, and with Brian Xanders so afraid to express his desire to draft Clay Matthews, he might have gone into a shell.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis thinks veteran QBs won't shy away from Tebowmania because they all probably think/know they can beat Tim in a fair QB competition, and he puzzlingly posits that, "The only way the Broncos reach the Super Bowl within the next three years is if Tebow leads them." Three years, really?
According to Klis, Jack Del Rio has a two-year contract (not sure we knew that prior), and he suggests that even if Del Rio leaves after a year for another HC gig, perhaps a revolving door at DC won't be as big a deal under John Fox as it was with Shanny and McDaniels. I'll buy that.