First postseason look: Offense

In looking at the offense over the past couple of weeks, and mostly watching the film of the Chargers game, there was something awfully familiar about the play of Tim Tebow. What I'm referring to may surprise a lot of people - I don't mean his college career or tendencies, although they certainly play into this. I’m thinking of things much older, really. While reviewing Sunday's game - the second half in particular - I noticed something that may be helpful to the Broncos over time. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. When Tebow was lined up in a classic T formation, one running back short of the old T that Chicago used to beat the Redskins in the most lopsided championship in history, 72-0, the line usually blocked straight on. In modern times, of course, it’s just called a ‘pro set’, and the QB has a running back on either side (one may be a fullback). When they lined up and had Zane Beadles pull after the snap, it was designed as a running play. With Tebow keeping a fair number of them (I apologize - I haven’t had time to count them exactly, although I'll get into greater detail as the offseason wears on), he’s running in a system that has similarities to the old single wing offense. The ball is snapped, and in this case, we do know who’s going to get it, which is the modern approach.

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The Duke returns Lard 1-5-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway is officially a member of the Denver Broncos again, having signed a contract last night that makes him the organization's Executive VP of Football Operations. Woody Paige was apparently given an exclusive interview with Elway last night after the contract was finalized. Elway said,

This is all I've really wanted to do since I retired as a player. Football has been my life. I've waited for years, but the timing is perfect. The stars are aligned.

Additionally, Elway stated that Brian Xanders will in fact "be responsible for most of the personnel decisions, the scouting, the draft," and that the search for a new head coach is expected to be completed within a week or two. Elway cited an odd-sounding "study" Xanders performed of previous NFL coaches to placate the folks calling for the hiring of a head coach with a background in defense. Elway said of Tim Tebow,

I was impressed with what he did in the last three games, considering how few reps and plays in games before that, but the questions now are can he translate that grit, the winning attitude, that athletic ability into maturing into a great quarterback on the pro level.

According to Paige, the Broncos will seek permission to interview Saints DC Gregg Williams and Giants DC (and former Bills interim coach) Perry Fewell in addition to Mike Mularkey and Eric Studesville, and that there will be more candidates added in the next day or two. Elway says he did not have an opportunity to speak with Jim Harbaugh about the coaching job at Monday night's Orange Bowl.

UPDATE 10:05AM ET - According to denverbroncos.com, Elway will be introduced at a 1:30PM MT press conference which the team's site will stream live. We'll have an open thread here on IAOFM for your commentary.

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On gunslinging and rookie quarterbacks

I’d like to tell you a story, because, let’s face it, I always set up my football articles with personal stories which may or may not be relevant to my chosen football topic.  You know what, though?  It’s my platform, and I get to say what I want.  This story takes place last Wednesday, December 29th, in lovely Cleveland, Ohio.  I like the Christmas season, without actually liking the holiday itself.  The reason I like it is that a lot of my closest friends who’ve skipped town for jobs, or spouses, or whatever, come home for the holidays.

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First postseason look: Defense

For all of you who thought on Sunday that Steve Beuerlein was trying for a date with Phil Crimea Rivers and was strangely hard on Tim Tebow, who was in his third game, here are the pertinent facts: As a rookie himself in 1988, Steve played in 10 games and started 8 of them. He had a completion rate of 44.1% along with 8 TDs and 7 INTs. He had a sack percentage of 9.8 and a QB rating of 66.6, which may explain his antipathy to Tim, being the number of all evil (or the numeric short-hand name for Nero, depending on how you read history and the text involved). This guy verbally knocking a rookie for being a rookie is a joke. Remarkable how people have such short memories, isn’t it? Perhaps it was the concussions...

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The Really, Really Blind Side: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Here's another video in our ongoing FICTIONAL video series The Really, Really Blind Side.

If you missed our first video, you can check it out here.  

In this installment, Joe Ellis and Brian Xanders go back to the 80s with a little Poison.

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Broncos to interview Mularkey for HC position

As was previously speculated upon a few weeks back, the Broncos indeed have interest in Atlanta Falcons OC Mike Mularkey for their vacant head coaching position. The team has announced via Twitter that Mularkey will interview for the job on Friday.

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Luck-y scenario Lard 1-4-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Lombardi says the Panthers are leaning away from drafting a quarterback first overall. Outright bluff? Posturing? Soliciting trade offers via the media? Perhaps that's what's going on. Either way, this of course will make for plenty of pre-draft drama for the next few months. Will they or won't they? Will last night's Orange Bowl MVP Andrew Luck even enter the draft? Should the Broncos move up to take Luck?

For my money, the ideal situation for the Broncos would be for Carolina to select someone else, and then Denver could auction off the #2 pick to the highest bidder, like the Dolts did twice when they had the chance to draft Michael Vick and then when they drafted Eli Manning and ended up with the better quarterback anyway. But this would require the Panthers to not only be in love with Jimmy Clausen, but also to want another player (Da'Quan Bowers?) badly enough to draft the guy first overall, eschewing what could be a lopsided haul for the chance to draft Luck. A guy can dream, right?

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Broncos’ 2011 opponents set

Upon yesterday's completion of the 2010 regular season, the Broncos' list of opponents for 2011 was finalized. Along with their customary home/road matchups against their divison rivals, Denver will host the Patriots, Jets, Bears, Lions and Bengals. They will play the Bills, Dolphins, Packers, Vikings and Titans on the road.

Tebow microcosm? Lard 1-3-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's loss to San Diego locked up the 2nd overall pick in April's draft for the Broncos. While a last-second victory on a Hail Mary yesterday would have been exciting, quite frankly it would have been disastrous for Denver in terms of the draft - the Broncos would have slipped all the way to 5th overall. Instead, Denver will have their pick of the defensive litter should Andrew Luck enter the draft and go first overall to Carolina (or another team in the event of a trade). With Miami's loss yesterday, it appears Denver will enter the draft with three choices among the top 47 - (2, 34, 47). Correction: Denver's top three picks are at 2, 36 and 46

Tim Tebow finished with 285 yards of net offense on 52 chances, bringing his QB rating (77.8), average per throw (8.0) and per offensive chance (7.1) down a bit. However, this wasn't a huge shock with the Dolts and their top-rated defense in town. Still, Tebow's average throw and chance over his three starts were each almost a full yard higher than Kyle Orton's, and his total offensive TD rate of 5.93% is exceptional - for perspective's sake, Tom Brady's rate was 6.8%, while Philip Rivers' was 4.9% and Orton's was 3.7%. Tebow's rate stats are quite similar to those of Michael Vick, who has averaged 8.1 yards per throw, 7.5 per offensive chance and an identical 5.93% offensive TD rate.

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Gut Reactions - Week 17, Broncos-Chargers

Despite all of the excitement late in today's game, the Denver Broncos just finished the season a woeful 4-12.  This was their worst finish since the War of 1812.

holy-grail

So what do the Broncos do now besides pick 2nd in next year's draft?  Bring in their own war veteran, John Elway.

Good luck, John.  I know you're about the closest thing to Chuck Norris the Broncos have ever seen, but the NFL you left a dozen years ago isn't the NFL you're about to re-enter.

You once drove 98 yards while being pelted with dog biscuits.  That's going to seem like a cakewalk compared to what you're getting into now.

Your owner wants to win now; the boss' right-hand man is a guy who measures success by dollars spent per box seat; your general manager is a guy who just said that the ideal way to win in the NFL is to run the ball half the time;  after you find a head coach, your other order of business it to try and figure out who is going to be the franchise's quarterback for the next decade.

Oh, and the fans?  They've seen so much drama in the last two years, they'd prefer an re-run of Lost to yet another Broncos front-office change.

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