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baja
10-24-2009, 08:35 AM
RONCOS PREMIUM
No hard knocks for Broncos
Injuries haven't hurt much during 6-0 start
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
POSTED: 10/24/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

From behind a wooden-faced lectern, Josh McDaniels sneaked in a soft knock. It couldn't be heard by those at the rear of the auditorium during a news conference.

Off to a 6-0 start as Broncos coach, McDaniels had just been asked about his 53-man roster. For all the changes the Broncos made during the offseason, training camp and even late into the preseason, there have been zero roster moves since the week before the regular season began. That is unusual in the NFL.

Asked why, McDaniels cited bringing in the proper players in the offseason, as well as an outstanding conditioning program, as it relates to preventing injuries.

And then there is good ol' football luck, knock on wood.

"Some teams get hit with unfortunate injuries and some teams happen not to," McDaniels said this week. "I'm sure we'll end up with our share of injuries. We've had guys miss times, but we've been fortunate that nobody has had an injury that's going to cause him to miss the rest of the year."
McDaniels cleared his throat. The next question was being asked. And that's when he subtly knocked so only the recorders on the lectern could pick it up.

The threat of injuries is prevalent in the NFL. Injuries are one reason why superior teams can never get overconfident. They could be one play away from losing a key player, and injuries can be the great equalizer in lending hope to lesser teams.

The Broncos reached their only idle weekend of the regular season healthy and in complete command of the AFC West.

"I don't think you're ever in complete control until you clinch the division, or a playoff spot," quarterback Kyle Orton said. "We've got a long way to go. We've got to win a lot of games in November and beyond. It's a great start, but a long way to go."

A long memory is not required to understand the perils of overconfidence. Just last season, the Broncos blew a three-game lead in the AFC West with three games to go.

But no one, not even the San Diego Chargers, believe the Broncos will have such a monumental collapse this year. Those Broncos ranked 30th in scoring defense. These Broncos rank No. 1.

"That team is a different Denver team in the sense that they aren't going to fall apart," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. "That's a team that's here to stay."

Around the Broncos, everything seems possible. If 6-0 is possible after the wise guys of Las Vegas placed Denver's over-under season-win total at 6 1/2, then why not a first-round playoff bye, a berth in the AFC championship game, even a trip to the Super Bowl?

"We have a lot of little things we have to do better," McDaniels said. "And some big things."

During

Post Poll - Broncos MVP
Going into the bye week, the Broncos have shocked the NFL with a 6-0 record and they lead the AFC West. Who is their early-season MVP?
Kyle Orton: A 100-plus passer rating.
Brian Dawkins: The new team leader.
Elvis Dumervil: Leads NFL with 10 sacks.
Brandon Marshall: 29 rec., 332 yds., 4 TD.
Matt Prater: Leads the team in scoring.
Josh McDaniels: Game plans are perfect.

the bye week and subsequent preparation for the game Nov. 1 at Baltimore, the Broncos will work on getting off to better starts. They have trailed at halftime in three consecutive games.
"It's kind of like we're feeling our way in the beginning of the game," cornerback Andre Goodman said. "But the one thing about our defense is that when it feels challenged, that's when it steps up."

On offense, the problem has been those brawn-and-bruising running plays.

"Third-and-1 has been kind of our nemesis to this point," McDaniels said.

And special teams were inconsistent the past two weeks. So there is work to do.

"Do you want to play your best in September or October?" McDaniels said. "You want to be playing well, but you want to get better so that in December you're playing really good football."

http://www.denverpost.com/premium/broncos/ci_13630883

baja
10-24-2009, 08:43 AM
We knocked on wood about twelve times during the construction of this article, and recommend you do the same while reading it. But it’s worth noting — these 2009, 6-0 Denver Broncos have been remarkably, remarkably healthy.

(Knock on wood).

http://broncotalk.net/2009/10/11076/broncos-blog/broncos-have-been-remarkably-healthy/

The team’s health is remarkable particularly in light of the flight of injuries that plagued the 2008 Broncos. Aside from the seven running backs on the team’s Reserve/Injured list by season’s end, the Broncos’ IR was entering double-digits by about this time last year.

The 2009 Broncos have yet to endure a season-ending injury to a single starter or projected starter. No defensive starter has missed a game due to injury, and no offensive starter has missed more than one game.

(Knock on wood).
Consider the team’s Week 6 Injury Report. Only two players were listed — LB/FB Spencer Larsen (out) and RB Correll Buckhalter (probable).

Indeed, between all the high-flying tackles and hard hits on the football field, the worst injury this team has suffered in 2009 actually took place off it. Larsen’s slip-and-fall in Cincinnati remains the Broncos’ most devastating loss to date. What’s more — many speculate that Larsen could return to action after the team’s Week 7 bye to face the Baltimore Ravens.

Is it possible the Broncos will have a completely empty Injury Report for Week 8?

(Knock on wood).

As a result, the Broncos haven’t executed an NFL transaction since September 10, 2009, when CB Josh Bell and G Matt McChesney were technically released with injury settlements.

Note that September 10th was three days before the start of the regular season at Cincy. No other team in the NFL is yet to execute a transaction since the 2009’s kickoff, and most have undergone several.

What does it mean? 1. Josh McDaniels did a solid job of selecting his 53-man roster (Brett Kern rumors notwithstanding). 2. The Broncos, whether due to improved conditioning, a whole lot of luck (NOTE: this), or a little of both, are fairly immune to the injury bug.

(Knock on wood).

So as the Broncos pause during the bye week, we wonder aloud how this 2009 team — particularly the surprisingly dominant defense — would survive a sudden rash of injuries. The 2006 Denver Broncos also started the season with a dominant defense (leading them to a 7-2 record) that ultimately fell apart after injuries to LB Al Wilson, S John Lynch, and DT Gerard Warren left them vulnerable (among other causes).

Would the 2009 Broncos be able to survive an injury that knocked out defensive captain/stalwart/playmaker/superhero Brian Dawkins for three weeks?

(Knock on wood. Knock on wood. Knock on wood.)

While teams will never use injuries as an excuse, and the Broncos’ start is certainly attributable to a lot more than just the team’s health, one wonders how Broncos squads past would have performed if they had this same phenomenal run of good luck.

We’ve always found this relationship between a team’s health and overall performance fascinating, and one of the lesser-talked about aspects of this game we love. Hopefully injuries will continue to be a non-issue for the 2009 Broncos as they look toward football in January.

(Knock on wood.)

Bronco Boy
10-24-2009, 11:58 AM
I thought this was going to be about us not being on that HBO show.

Man-Goblin
10-24-2009, 12:03 PM
Never talk to your pitcher during a no hitter.

DeusExManning
10-24-2009, 01:24 PM
Why are we talking about it, you don't talk about it. That is one of the reasons the Broncos do not disclose injuries. It is superstition. You don't talk about it. This thread should be removed.

BroncoBuff
10-24-2009, 01:42 PM
Funny, but I think we have the kind of depth that could weather a few injuries.

Can hardly believe I'm saying that, but we do.

atomicbloke
10-24-2009, 02:53 PM
This thread is terrible mojo.

All 53 players are going to pig out during the bye week, report TFTP and be dismissed for the rest of the season. McD will recall Bradlee Van Pelt at QB, Darrius Watts at WR, and Wesley Duke at TE and the team will lose out to finish 6-10.

snowspot66
10-24-2009, 04:22 PM
Can a mod delete this one please?

baja
10-24-2009, 04:28 PM
Funny, but I think we have the kind of depth that could weather a few injuries.

Can hardly believe I'm saying that, but we do.

That is completely amazing for us all to even think that even if it turned out to be not true. It's amazing to even have that comfort level given that a very short time ago this team was dismantled and rebuilt with a collection of what was called borderline players.

maher_tyler
10-24-2009, 04:52 PM
If there was one player i don't think we could replace on both sides of the ball, it would have to be Doom!!

elsid13
10-24-2009, 04:58 PM
The only injury that has hurt us is Larson. I think ST and the defense are missing him.

Broncomutt
10-24-2009, 05:53 PM
When you have a winning attitude, the little things don't hurt so much.

When you wake up in the morning, you think of the job that needs to be done, not the beatdown that's waiting for you.

Injuries are very real. But there is a mental factor that can't be ignored either.

ReillyB
10-25-2009, 09:23 AM
Matt Prater as team MVP? I get nervous when he attempts PAT's!LOLROFL!LOL