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View Full Version : Broncos temporarily push turbulent offseason aside


KevinJames
09-15-2009, 04:22 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=090...s&confirm=true

By Vic Carucci


http://static.nfl.com/static/content/catch_all/nfl_image/stokely-400x250.jpg
The outcome will be remembered for a crazy tipped pass that Brandon Stokley -- by being in the right place at the right time -- turned into the winning touchdown.

As the 2009 season progresses, it could very well end up meaning so much more.

Not only did the Denver Broncos' 12-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals allow them to put aside, at least temporarily, all of the turmoil that filled their offseason, it also revealed a good portion of what could very well define their season.

Rather than discussing all that has gone wrong since Josh McDaniels replaced Mike Shanahan as the Broncos' coach -- beginning with the trade that sent pouting quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears -- the Broncos and their fans can talk about an unforgettable road win. Never mind all of the shaking up and feather-ruffling that McDaniels has done. The Broncos, picked by many to be a disaster, are 1-0.

"It was definitely a must-win for us," second-year linebacker Wesley Woodyard said.

Besides its impact on the team's collective psyche, this was a game in which the Broncos showed they might very well have something that could carry them to much more success this season and beyond -- a tough, hard-hitting, playmaking defense.

Not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of McDaniels, who made his mark with the New England Patriots as one of the NFL's top offensive coordinators. But it was his clear recognition of the vital importance of defensive strength that helped convince the Broncos to hire McDaniels.

And in his first regular-season game as a head coach, the unit that he hired renowned defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to convert from a 4-3 to a 3-4 held the explosive Bengals scoreless for all but one minute. The Broncos twice intercepted Carson Palmer, sacked him three times, and held Cedric Benson to 76 rushing yards. Nolan prepared a superb game plan, but McDaniels had a big hand in the way his defenders performed as well.

"I think we actually have a bigger advantage of having (McDaniels) being such a good offensive coach and coming from the Patriots and having a lot of (offensive) success," said Woodyard, who had an interception against Cincinnati. "He relays a lot of stuff to us that we, as defensive players, probably would never even pick up -- certain schemes, certain plays. The biggest thing is how most quarterbacks think. If you allow a defense to get a good insight on that, you'll have some success."

Mario Haggan, another Broncos' linebacker, isn't na´ve enough to think that one win will make the turbulent offseason disappear from everyone's memory. He knows that a loss, and certainly a string of losses, could quickly bring storm clouds over the team's practice facility.

"I definitely think it'll be a very opinioned season inside (the building on) Broncos Parkway at Dove Valley (Business Park)," said Haggan, who had a sack against the Bengals.

Yet, in Haggan's view, the problems of the offseason resulted mostly from the focus that tends to be placed on the "negative instead of the positive" when change occurs.

"And we have a lot of positive things going with this team," Haggan said. "The work ethic, the time that the coaches put in, the leadership of (safety) Brian Dawkins and (cornerback) Champ Bailey on the defensive side of the ball. (Starting quarterback) Kyle Orton is a very business-like guy, (as is backup) Chris Simms. (Tight end) Daniel Graham and (running back) Correll Buckhalter ... they're all holding this team together."

That's one reason that there was a growing sense of optimism at Broncos headquarters on Monday as players reviewed videotape of Sunday's game.

"We have a lot of veteran guys that worked very hard in this offseason," Haggan said. "And I definitely think that we will be a team that people will be looking at and saying, 'Wow! I didn't think they'd be here.'"also noted
No one is neutral about Cutler. His prolific passing for the Broncos made him fairly popular, but his brash and often arrogant demeanor rubs a lot of people the wrong way. McDaniels took most of the heat when Cutler forced his way out of Denver. But many observers viewed Cutler as a spoiled brat who couldn't deal with the fact Shanahan no longer was in charge and he refused to accept a new coach with new ideas. This is what one NFL executive told me about Cutler in July: "I don't think he's a leader of men." After his four-interception performance in the Bears' loss to the Green Bay Packers, one has to wonder just how willing Cutler's teammates are going to be to follow him -- at least in the near future.
Its only week 1 yeah, but anyone who saw our defense play knows it will keep us in some games and win us some games this year. So much for the Broncos being the new lions

2KBack
09-15-2009, 04:27 PM
The idea that the 2009 Broncos are the 2008 Lions is already debunked, that's kind of nice.

Hulamau
09-15-2009, 04:42 PM
Did anyone notice Lamont Jordon on Defense making that tackle on the running back near the end of the first quarter?

What's up with that? Maybe he was and emergency fill in for Larsen at LB? :-)

cutthemdown
09-15-2009, 05:00 PM
Did anyone notice Lamont Jordon on Defense making that tackle on the running back near the end of the first quarter?

What's up with that? Maybe he was and emergency fill in for Larsen at LB? :-)

I didn't but it's the NE way. If a player is good at something you let him do it even if its not his position.

IE Sheffler in on defense in the hands group for the hail mary.

lex
09-15-2009, 05:42 PM
Carucci should be doing a piece on why Broncos shouldnt be in the hall of fame and just worry about his Bills.

Mogulseeker
09-15-2009, 05:46 PM
Did anyone notice Lamont Jordon on Defense making that tackle on the running back near the end of the first quarter?

What's up with that? Maybe he was and emergency fill in for Larsen at LB? :-)

That was a fake punt, and Lamont Jordan is a blocker on the punt return team... and the back still got 5 yards and a 1st down, so fail.

BroncoMan4ever
09-15-2009, 06:16 PM
I didn't but it's the NE way. If a player is good at something you let him do it even if its not his position.

IE Sheffler in on defense in the hands group for the hail mary.

Scheffler should have gotten some kind of fantasy point for the INT

Cito Pelon
09-16-2009, 10:04 AM
The victory is something to build on. They fought pretty hard to win that one, and it paid off. Good article.

Killericon
09-16-2009, 10:12 AM
"Temporarily"

**** you.

gyldenlove
09-16-2009, 10:13 AM
The defensive effort was good, it was nice to see a defense more focused on stopping the opposition than making weird dances.

Eldorado
09-16-2009, 10:16 AM
That was a fake punt, and Lamont Jordan is a blocker on the punt return team... and the back still got 5 yards and a 1st down, so fail.

Hillis was in there too, he sealed the edge and turned the RB in. Woodyard then caught the RB from behind and proceeded to roll off the RB like water off a ducks back. Woodyard makes that tackle and we stop the fake punt. :smh: