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View Full Version : Mile-high miracle in works?


BMarsh615
10-26-2009, 03:19 AM
http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/10/26/mile-high-miracle-in-works

Who in their right mind would have thought when the season started that the only thing that looked like it could stop the surging Broncos was their Week Seven bye?

After all, nothing else has been able to stop Denver from charging to a stunning three-game lead in the AFC West over the Chargers with a spotless 6-0 record.

While their first three victories over the Bengals, Browns and Raiders didn't raise too many eyebrows in league circles, considering the ordinary level of the competition, Denver's last three victories over the Cowboys, Patriots and Chargers have produced an altogether different reaction.

Make no mistake: Relishing in defying the numerous critics leaguewide who predicted that they would be an unmitigated train wreck this season, the Broncos enter November as a legitimate force to be reckoned with.

Only two months removed from frequent cries for the heads of both new head coach Josh McDaniels and new QB Kyle Orton following a tumultuous training camp and preseason, the Broncos are an eye-popping 6-0 for the first time since going 13-0 in 1998 en route to winning their second straight Super Bowl behind QB John Elway.

"I did not know what to expect this year," one team insider told PFW. There was a lot hanging in the balance. All I know is that it was up and down. I could not really get a pulse on where the team was. I knew we worked harder as a team in training camp, but I never would have thought we would be 6-0.

"(But) as time goes by here, I'm getting some reminiscences of the 1998 Super Bowl team. We're just playing well in all phases. We did not have any injuries that year (as has been the case in Denver this season up to now). This could all change overnight, but the way we are playing right now is impressive."

Added an NFL personnel director: "They need all the accolades they can get after a bad summer. Everybody was crucifying Josh McDaniels unmercifully, asking how you can give up a franchise quarterback (Jay Cutler to the Bears) for two first-round picks? How many times did you hear about all (McDaniels') youthful mistakes? I did not hear anyone sticking up for them when (McDaniels) was getting baptized.

"It's really amazing for them to be 6-0 right now and coming back from the dead. It was so bad it seemed as if they were going to be one-and-done, kind of like everyone is saying about (Browns head coach Eric) Mangini right now. That's where the fans and the general public thought they were."

Instead, where they are now is on a roll that nobody saw coming, except perhaps McDaniels, who league experts agree has done a masterful job of producing packages to maximize Orton's talent, asking the former Bears QB not to win games as much as he is asking him not to lose them.

One thing about Orton that has become obvious is that he seldom loses. With a 27-12 record as a starter (.692), the only active passers who've made at least 25 starts and have a better winning percentage are Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.

"Kyle Orton is a better leader (than Jay Cutler)," one team insider said of Orton, who has a career 18-2 record in home games and has rung up a mind-numbing 142.1 passer rating with a 9-1 TD-interception ratio in the fourth quarters of games so far this season. "He is more mature and smarter. Obviously, Jay was a better athlete."

What McDaniels has also done is entrust Denver's defense to the able hands of new coordinator Mike Nolan, the former 49ers head coach who figures to be high on the list of hot assistants possibly destined for new head-coaching gigs in the near future.

"Mike Shanahan is one of the most brilliant offensive coaching minds in football, bar none," said one league talent evaluator. "He developed a Pro Bowl quarterback (Cutler) in three years. His offense was humming. He knows how to attack the field and prepare game plans as well as any. He is a hell of a coach.

"(But) the one thing he could never fix was the defense, and that is where Josh McDaniels so quickly distinguished himself. He deserves a world of credit he is a young offensive coach with very little experience in coaching defense, but he revamped the roster defensively and hired the right man for the job. If Mike Shanahan could have found a guy like Nolan sooner and identified better defensive talent, he would still be coaching in Denver."

Nolan's dramatically revamped 3-4 defense has allowed a league-low 11 points per game. The unit is spearheaded by squatty converted OLB Elvis Dumervil, the second-fastest player to reach 10 sacks since the league started keeping this statistic in 1982; veteran free-agent addition Brian Dawkins, who seems to have instantly solidified the team's secondary at free safety; and LILB D.J. Williams, the team's leading tackler despite playing his fourth different position in four seasons.

"The biggest key is that they have only given up 10 points in the second half (as well as only 2-of-35 third-down conversions after halftime) this season," said one NFL personnel director. "How would you like to be the quarterback when you only have to score two points to win in the second half? Think about that they have only given up 1.7 points per game in the second half.

"The Denver Broncos were allowing 375 yards per game in 2008. They were 29th in the league they were near the bottom. Now, currently these sons of (guns) are second in the National Football League. They are giving up only 262.5 yards. They shaved off (more than) 110 yards per game. In 2008, they were 30th in the league in points allowed 30th. And they gave up 28 points per game. In 2009, they are No. 1 in the league and have given up 11 measly points a game. Think about that. That is 17 points per game they cut down. It's incredible, man."

Yes, it is.

But nobody would consider it an incredible development should the wheels suddenly fall off in Denver, where memories of the Broncos' late-season collapse in '08, when the team blew a three-game division lead with three games to go, are hard to let go.

"You can't let up, ever," Broncos CB Champ Bailey recently said. "We've had good starts around here before you know, 4-1 last year and it didn't mean anything."

Added a team insider: "They are coaching the hell out of them right now, but I'm not going to get all goo-goo this can change anytime."

But the way we hear it, those are just the kind of comments that have really helped motivate a team that continues to play with an unmistakable chip on its shoulder.

Chipping its way to respectability, one game at a time.

Blart
10-26-2009, 04:10 AM
Good article. My favorite part,

"Kyle Orton is a better leader (than Jay Cutler)," one team insider said of Orton, who has a career 18-2 record in home games and has rung up a mind-numbing 142.1 passer rating with a 9-1 TD-interception ratio in the fourth quarters of games so far this season. "He is more mature and smarter. Obviously, Jay was a better athlete."

dbfan21
10-26-2009, 06:17 AM
Great read! Thanks. Here is my favorite part:

"You can't let up, ever," Broncos CB Champ Bailey recently said. "We've had good starts around here before you know, 4-1 last year and it didn't mean anything."

Added a team insider: "They are coaching the hell out of them right now, but I'm not going to get all goo-goo this can change anytime."

But the way we hear it, those are just the kind of comments that have really helped motivate a team that continues to play with an unmistakable chip on its shoulder.

Chipping its way to respectability, one game at a time.

I love the fact they are getting the constant coaching and the message that all of this can change with a blink of an eye. The Broncos need to stay sharp, stay hungry, feel disrespected...whatever it takes to prevent from going soft. It sounds like McD is keeping this team on task.

Go Broncos!!

TheDave
10-26-2009, 07:14 AM
Now that's how you start a monday... :thumbs:

Bronco Warrior
10-26-2009, 08:54 AM
Great article! Good call! I never think that Nolan get enough credit, and The writer is right, Shanny hires a Mike Nolan and he is not only still coaching we are a dynasty. Oh well! shoulda,coulda,woulda!

TheReverend
10-26-2009, 09:05 AM
Great article and 100% true. Josh definitely deserves to feel vindicated.

DenverBrit
10-26-2009, 09:12 AM
Great article and 100% true. Josh definitely deserves to feel vindicated.

He's gone from McStalin, McHitler, McIdiot to .........


..........................McMidas!!

lex
10-26-2009, 09:16 AM
"(But) as time goes by here, I'm getting some reminiscences of the 1998 Super Bowl team. We're just playing well in all phases. We did not have any injuries that year (as has been the case in Denver this season up to now). This could all change overnight, but the way we are playing right now is impressive."

Not only does this team not at all remind me of the 98 team but this statement is completely untrue when you consider Elway missed time with an injury. Sorry, but this team and the 98 team are totally different. Each bring a different kind of enjoyment.


I would also say that Shanahan's shortcoming was the lack of accountability from the coaches and coordinators on his staff, including Sundquist. There were too many yes men or guys he liked whose competence could be questioned. Also Shanahan became too hands off with play calling.

chrisp
10-26-2009, 09:23 AM
When Shanny got rid of Coyer the defense was a little flat, and I was like "what the hell? Let's see what someone else can do.." but in hindsight, that was probably the death-knell of the Shanny regime. Coyer wasn't a great co-ordinator but he was solid, and witha modest talent injection I dare say he could have kept the defense at least respectable.

Having said that, however, I do think that the way the offense played the last couple of years was also a factor in the poor showing of the defense. Turnovers and time of posession were an issue, so how much the poor numbers were due to that, its hard to say. The more I see this years defense doing so well, the more I think that maybe the personnell wasn't as bad as we thought last year, and that maybe there were other factors that added tothe woeful showing that may not have been the defense's fault.

snowspot66
10-26-2009, 09:25 AM
Not only does this team not at all remind me of the 98 team but this statement is completely untrue when you consider Elway missed time with an injury. Sorry, but this team and the 98 team are totally different. Each bring a different kind of enjoyment.

I think he's referring to the atmosphere and not the type of team.

Kaylore
10-26-2009, 09:40 AM
:haw!:

Pontius Pirate
10-26-2009, 09:44 AM
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/si/2009/writers/peter_king/10/25/mmqb/josh%20mcdaniels.jpg

broncocalijohn
10-26-2009, 11:00 AM
Not only does this team not at all remind me of the 98 team but this statement is completely untrue when you consider Elway missed time with an injury. Sorry, but this team and the 98 team are totally different. Each bring a different kind of enjoyment.


I would also say that Shanahan's shortcoming was the lack of accountability from the coaches and coordinators on his staff, including Sundquist. There were too many yes men or guys he liked whose competence could be questioned. Also Shanahan became too hands off with play calling.

I think the writer is correct as it was the 97 team (the 98 SB team). Didnt Elway get hurt in the following SB year and Brister came in for a few games?

Rohirrim
10-26-2009, 11:04 AM
There is no such thing as miracles. The universe is liquid, subject to will. Things happen when you make them happen.

Pony Boy
10-26-2009, 11:18 AM
There is nothing in this article that we all don't know and most of us could write it but wow.... I love to hear it over and over and over again ..............Nice read............

lex
10-26-2009, 12:47 PM
I think the writer is correct as it was the 97 team (the 98 SB team). Didnt Elway get hurt in the following SB year and Brister came in for a few games?

Only two months removed from frequent cries for the heads of both new head coach Josh McDaniels and new QB Kyle Orton following a tumultuous training camp and preseason, the Broncos are an eye-popping 6-0 for the first time since going 13-0 in 1998 en route to winning their second straight Super Bowl behind QB John Elway.


Elsewhere in the article, the 13-0 team is referred to as the '98 team.

But, truthfully, the 09 team isnt reminiscent of either the 97 or the 98 teams.