Ted's Analysis

Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 3

Hello, friends, and welcome to Part 3 of our series about the Manning offense that we can expect to see in Denver.  Today, we’ll focus on the running game, which I think will schematically have a lot of similarity to the base running game we’ve seen in Denver the past three seasons.  The philosophy will be very different, though, and it’s on that aspect which I will dedicate most of my focus.

If you missed Parts 1 or 2, and want to catch up, please see these links:

Part 1 – Basics – Formations, Personnel Groupings, and Fit of Existing Personnel

Part 2 – Presnap Recognition Concepts

Let’s begin by asking a simple question – why do football teams run the ball?  The main answer that I would give is that it’s tradition.  American football was invented in 1869, and the forward pass wasn’t introduced to the game until 1906.  It actually was introduced as a safety measure, because a bunch of people got killed or seriously hurt playing the game in 1905, and President Teddy Roosevelt demanded rules changes.  (The horror of government overreach!)  The rules committee that was formed was the precursor of today’s NCAA.

Continue reading "Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 3"

Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 2

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome back to Fat Camp.  Today, as part of the ongoing series covering the Manning offense, I’ve decided to do some work on identification concepts that Peyton will use in diagnosing the defense and getting the Broncos into the right play.  Most of this stuff is standard across all teams, and all offenses, but it’s so important to what we’ll see from the Broncos that it deserves a couple thousand words and prominent placement on a football Tuesday.

If you missed Part 1 from Saturday, here’s the link:

Part 1 – Basics – Formations, Personnel Groupings, and Fit of Existing Personnel

Have you ever watched a football game and wondered what the QB is doing at the line of scrimmage?  He says some stuff and looks at things, and then the play happens.  Today, I aim to demonstrate, through the liberal use of diagrams, what Mr. Manning will be looking at, and what it means he will/should set the play as.  Exciting, huh?  (Yes, I just used the word liberal – I wonder if I’ll be accused of making this a political pontification?  Probably.)

Continue reading "Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 2"

Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 1

Hello, friends.  I know it’s been a little while, but I’ve been super-busy with work and other pursuits the last couple weeks.  Today, let's explore what the Broncos offense might look like this season with the addition of Peyton Manning.  Since it’s a really simple scheme, I think we can pretty easily have a really good sense of what to expect once the regular season arrives.

Since we’re the only Broncos site which possesses the capability of getting deep into the X’s and O’s, we’ll be the ones to lead the way in educating Broncos fans on what to expect.  Let’s get going shall we?  Ready…. BEGIN!!

Let me first start by saying that as much of a fan as I am of Tim Tebow, I'm relieved and glad that he's gone.  The price of having him is just too high, with all of his yahoo bandwagon fans acting as a totally pious menace to intelligent society.  It will be interesting to see whether they drown out New York, or whether New York drowns them out.  Picking the Big Apple to win seems obvious, but you never know, and it will be interesting to see.  When people are determined to believe what they want to believe, it does little good to apply standards of reason to it.

I'm rooting for Tim Tebow the Quarterback to succeed, steal Mark Sanchez's job and women, and maintain his relationship with the homie Jesus, if that's what he wants to do.  Thanks for being a good Bronco, Tim, and good luck in Jersey.  Hopefully your fans don't ruin your career by making you somebody that no team would want to sign.  They're off to a pretty good start, unfortunately.

Continue reading "Fat Camp: Understanding the Manning offense - Part 1"

Thinking through Manning to the Broncos

Well, this is getting interesting.  With every passing hour, we hear more and more that the Denver Broncos are seriously in the Peyton Manning mix.  Doug had some really good stuff yesterday about this in the Lard, and I decided to share some thoughts about the possibility as well. 

1.  It will cost a lot, but the Broncos are well-positioned to pay.

If you believe Mike Freeman’s report from Thursday, the Broncos are the serious contenders along with Washington and Miami.  Neither team has the salary cap room that the Broncos have, but both have spendthrift owners who are very focused on the marketing impact of making big-splash signings.  Stephen Ross of the Dolphins is a guy who vastly overpaid for his team and has been spurned by both Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher while trying to make big-splash coaching hires.

Ross will pay what it takes, and we all know that Daniel Snyder will as well.  The question is whether Pat Bowlen will.  If he were writing a check from his pocket, I doubt he would, but I think that the Broncos, as a corporate entity, are sitting in a good financial position and could afford to write a check for a $25 million signing bonus.  This is going to be a situation where it probably takes $100 million over four years to get a deal done, due to the market forces of free agency.  With so many teams in on Manning, there’s no risk discount available for his health either.

Continue reading "Thinking through Manning to the Broncos"

Everybody has his price

When I was a kid, I learned something important from professional wrestling.  I’m sure that sounds funny, since I'm obviously the kind of adult who does not watch RAW, so let me explain.  At some point in the late 80s, there was this wrestler called The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, and he used to wear sparkly suits with dollar signs on them and go around with a black manservant giving people money to humiliate themselves.  Everybody has his price.  That’s what he always said, and that’s what I learned.  I think it’s true to this day, and frankly, if you would stick to any position at all despite an offer of any amount of money, I think that you fundamentally believe that your principles are worth more than they really are.  At some point, the price and the alternative are better than your original position and empty pockets.

There was some discussion in the comments of Monday’s Lard about the Jaguars trading for Tim Tebow, and it made me think about what the price would have to be to do it.  It’s a really interesting thought exercise, because you have to look at it a few different ways to really get to the answer, and in so doing, you can get past the surface level of a few interesting things.  You know, the surface where commenters on this site who don't like Tebow say that he's worth a bag of footballs.

First of all, let me state something that we know to be true, and then we’ll talk about the reasons for it.  Tim Tebow is worth more to the Jacksonville Jaguars than he is to any other team, regardless of how well he plays.  He’s from Jacksonville, and probably 40% of the people in the city are Florida Gators fans.  We’re going to value that connection in terms of dollar value.

Continue reading "Everybody has his price"

Fat Camp: Pass protection basics

The 2011 Denver Broncos were really bad at protecting the Quarterback, whether it was Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow.  Part of that was on the QBs themselves – Orton lacks escapability, and Tebow was extremely conservative about throwing against tight coverage, and often held the ball too long.  But most of the issue was the play of the individual protection players, and some questionable scheming. 

LT Ryan Clady had a down year, which still put him in the top 10 or so of players at his position.  His foot quickness has never gotten back to what he showed in his first two seasons, and sometimes he gets beat with quickness.  LG Zane Beadles and C J.D. Walton don’t anchor well enough, and both need to get significantly stronger as their careers progress.  RG Chris Kuper was the best of the bunch, but he’s coming off of a broken leg, which is a significant injury.  Finally, RT Orlando Franklin buried guys in the run game, but his foot quickness needs a lot of improvement if he’s going to play outside.

The good news is that this is a group of five players who are all still in their 20s and showed a high degree of durability.  I’ve said this before, but for an offensive lineman, durability is a skill.  Teams tend to carry only eight of them, so if a player gets hurt a lot, he’s a liability.  Linemen get hit a lot, but they tend to be lower-impact close area hits, where the guy they’re colliding with doesn’t have much of a running start.  You have to be able to take 1,000 or so of those hits and play every snap while managing some aches and pains and avoiding ankle sprains and the like.

Continue reading "Fat Camp: Pass protection basics"

Rosterbating on 60 stacks

Whatchall know about that scrilla?  I decided to follow the front page of the IAOFM site from Monday, and play off of the article that Doug referenced yesterday that put the Broncos on $50 million of cap room.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the Broncos' finances lately, and some other tangential thoughts.  It’s all part of being a football-thinking accountant, I guess.

Let’s start out with a provocative thought, right off the top.  It’s unquestionable that the Broncos were better off making the playoffs in 2011 than not.  I know that some of you disagree with that, and I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong.  That doesn’t make you a bad person, and in recognition of that fact, I’m going to explain what I mean by “unquestionable.”

First, let’s do away with the Draft Fallacy.  That’s the one that says that because the Broncos were 12th out of 12 playoff teams in talent, that they handicapped their future by making it too soon.  You see, say these people, the Broncos would have picked 17th in the Draft, and by making the playoffs, the best they could do was 21st.  By winning a playoff game (the horror!) they ended up at 25th. 

Continue reading "Rosterbating on 60 stacks"

Fixing the Broncos passing game

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?

Continue reading "Fixing the Broncos passing game"

Thoughts on the Patriots game

Happy Friday, friends.  I’ve spent all week (9 to 5 every day) in an SAP workshop that’s part of my MBA program, and it’s had me busy day and night.  (I don’t know why I expected different, but I did.)  As such, I haven’t had much time to write or watch film lately.  I haven’t seen any Patriots stuff since they played the Broncos, so I don’t have any great new insight to offer on that front.  What I was thinking I’d do is share some strategy thoughts for tomorrow night’s game, heavily leveraging what I saw four weeks ago and what I’ve seen lately from the Broncos.  Something is better than nothing, right?  For more detail, you can refer to my Digesting piece from a month ago.

The Broncos finally hit some throws against heavy boxes against Pittsburgh, and it won them the game, obviously.  I didn’t expect Pittsburgh to play the Broncos any differently than they play anybody else, but they did.  They played a lot of nine in the box, and they played their CBs in man coverage, which isn’t their strength.  I don’t think that Dick LeBeau had a particularly good plan, and I think that Mike McCoy had a very good plan.

Continue reading "Thoughts on the Patriots game"

Striking the right tone

So, um, yeah.  How about them Broncos?  I’ve been thinking for the last few days about how to strike the right tone with regards to Tim Tebow.  As most know, I’ve been saying that the guy will win Super Bowls in the NFL since he was a sophomore in college, long before he was ever drafted by the Broncos.  Having now seen Tebow play great in his first NFL playoff game, I feel like I should revisit that.  I don't want to be a gloater, and I definitely don't want to call out anybody personally who has disagreed with me.

Despite being both a longtime Florida Gators and Denver Broncos fan, I’m not emotionally invested in Tebow’s success.  I made an evaluation of the guy years ago, have basically stuck to it, and I still think I’m right.  Honestly, the Kansas City game made me wonder if the guy wasn’t as fearless as I’d always thought.  Maybe I’d misevaluated that – it happens, right?  If a QB is afraid to throw to a small window against tight coverage, he can’t play in the NFL.  With more evidence of that deficiency, I’d have completely supported a change.

I’ve said this before, but I don’t care about whether I was correct in the past, I care about being correct right now.  Being a good analyst is kind of like playing Cornerback; you have to forget the times you got burned, and be ready to dominate on the next snap.  I'm right a lot more often than I'm wrong, and I have years of archives to back that up.  As they say, tape don't lie.

Continue reading "Striking the right tone"