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Bronco Rob
11-04-2009, 08:14 AM
Broncos Mailbag: Short passes make for long day


By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 11/03/2009 01:00:00 AM MST


Denver Post sports writer Mike Klis posts his Broncos Mailbag on Tuesdays during the 2009 NFL season.

Pose a Broncos- or NFL-related question for the Broncos Mailbag.


1.) Hey, Mike. Why aren't the Broncos taking shots downfield? It seems like 95 percent of their passing attempts are under 15 yards. -- Nathan Schwalm, Pueblo

Nathan - True enough. In different words, I asked Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton that same question. He said the Ravens -- whose secondary had been suspect in previous games -- were playing their safeties particularly deep. So the Broncos tried to beat the linebackers on underneath patterns, but it seemed either the receivers struggled to shake free, or Orton didn't properly lead his receivers.

And all those screens the Broncos like to throw were snuffed out fairly quickly. This was one of those games where nothing worked for the Broncos offense.


2.) Hey, Mike. There's been a lot of talk about the Broncos defense and the 3-4 this year, but Joe Flacco looked like a Pro Bowler. Is he a Pro Bowler, or did we have a bad day? Thanks. -- Todd, Charlotte, N.C.

Todd - Flacco has been the quarterback surprise of this season. He didn't have near the rookie season that Atlanta's Matt Ryan had last year, but Flacco is having a much better sophomore year.

I thought the Broncos did a good job against Flacco in the first half -- he was 11 of 16, but for only 70 yards. His most impressive play was when he stayed alive on Brian Dawkins' blitz to dump the ball off to Ray Rice. But as the Broncos defense wilted in the second half, Flacco started having success downfield.

In summary, I'd say Flacco and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, who the Broncos play next, are in a tight race for the third Pro Bowl quarterback spot in the AFC. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the first two.



3.)Mike After being sacked on the first play Sunday, quarterback Kyle Orton passed for only 152 yards his longest completion was 23 yards in a 30-7 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore. "This was one of those games where nothing worked for the Broncos offense," says Mike. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post )- What do the Broncos need to fix between now and the Steelers game. The Steel's for real. -- Edgar, Salt Lake City

Edgar - That's a pretty bold statement saying the Steelers are for real when they haven't won the Super Bowl since last season. I jest because before the Ravens' game, I went on Sirius radio and was asked a couple different ways about whether the Broncos were for real.

I was dumbfounded. I remember wondering the same thing after the Broncos were 3-0 with wins against Cincinnati, Cleveland and Oakland. But I thought victories against Dallas, New England and at San Diego in consecutive weeks were enough to eliminate all doubt as to whether the Broncos were a legitimate playoff contender.

Apparently not. And now that the Broncos lost a road game against a Ravens team that reached the AFC championship game last season, there will be even more questions about whether the Broncos are for real.

I know this is for real -- the Broncos can begin their plan to improve by plugging their special-teams leaks. It's now three consecutive games where something major went wrong with one of their special-teams units.

Pittsburgh is going to be a tough matchup because the Broncos will find it difficult putting together three or four scores against that tenacious defense. For the Broncos to win, their defense will have to force "Big Ben" into making multiple turnovers.


4.) Mike - Perhaps I can use your forum to publicly apologize to Josh McDaniels, whom I openly criticized for both his smug demeanor and his offseason triage that, admittedly, looks now like major successful surgery to exorcise a tumor. After watching Jay Cutler mope on the Bears' bench after getting creamed by the Bengals, I'm officially in a penitent mood, and, short of visiting my priest, wanted to make things right. Josh, my humble apologies. You can wear your hoodie on my flatscreen any time. -- Chris Hunt, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Chris - You are very brave, my son. For your sins, you must sing Gary Glitter's "Hey" song three times.


5.) What would motivate Josh McDaniels to hire a punter (Mitch Berger) who has been dumped by so many teams? If he was such a good punter, he would not have been dropped from so many rosters. -- Jan Leffers, Tennessee

Jan - Do you realize Brett Kern is the only member of the Broncos' season-opening roster who is 7-0? He was 6-0 with the Broncos, and they are 0-1 without him. The Tennessee Titans are 1-0 since they claimed Kern off waivers, and they were 0-6 without him.

The reason why Kern was waived was because he wasn't consistent with his hang time, or directional punting. He could wow the fans with his long, spiraling punts, but too often they carried on a low trajectory and too close to the hash marks. McDaniels doesn't want returns.

Berger was punting them too short, no doubt. But a 33-yard punt with no return was almost as good as his 53-yard punt in the fourth quarter with a 14-yard return. It just doesn't look as good. Give Berger at least one game to punt off the rust. He will be expected to perform better Monday night against the Steelers.


6.) How will the DeMarcus Ware deal affect the signing of Elvis Dumervil? And might Brandon Marshall, Kyle Orton and Dumervil receive similar deals -- Christian Cox, Fort Worth, Texas

Christian - Ware's deal will affect all future pass-rusher deals because his $78 million contract with a $40 million guarantee raised the ceiling. Dumervil won't get paid like Ware, who is more of a proven, every-down force. But if Ware would have received a $50 million deal, Dumervil's contract expectations would have come in at $40 million. By getting $78 million, it's not unreasonable to expect -- what? -- a $55 million to $60 million deal for Dumervil?

All discussions regarding contract extensions, however, are premature. The Broncos won't address any deals until season's end. And even then, they may wait until they get further direction regarding the league's unsettled collective bargaining agreement.

As it stands now, Dumervil, Orton and Marshall are restricted free agents at season's end. It's unrestricted free agency that generates the financial windfall.


7.) Hi, Mike. Love the mailbag! My question is about the Broncos' 2007 draft. Ryan Harris has been great, but the three big defensive linemen the Broncos brought in haven't done anything. Do you think there is still a chance for Jarvis Moss and/or Marcus Thomas to excel in the NFL? And how is Tim Crowder doing in Tampa? Thanks! -- Tim Walker, Los Angeles

Tim - For a fourth-round pick, Thomas has been extremely productive. He's not starting anymore, but when he does rotate in, he's very active. Moss has only dressed for one game this year, so there's no doubt his NFL career has been a disappointment to this point. But don't give up on him yet. Sometimes it takes a player three or four or six years. When Moss does get the occasional practice rep, it's at the outside linebacker/defensive end position that Dumervil plays.

Crowder appears to have found a home in Tampa. He has been getting plenty of playing time rotating in at defensive end in the Bucs' 4-3 system. Even after not playing in the season opener, Crowder already has a career-high 17 tackles in six games. Whether Crowder can get playing time for a quality team is the next step in his career. Tampa Bay is 0-7.


8.) Using your magical crystal ball to predict the future, which Denver players do you see being selected for this season's Pro Bowl? -- Brett, Las Vegas

Brett - Begin with outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Cornerback Champ Bailey is an automatic. Brian Dawkins is the odds-on favorite to join Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed as the AFC's three Pro Bowl safeties. Left tackle Ryan Clady better make it this year.

I also think center Casey Wiegmann, right guard Chris Kuper and inside linebacker D.J. Williams should make it, although votes will be difficult because they don't get much national attention.

Brandon Marshall's numbers are down -- he's on pace for 75 catches and 814 yards, and many AFC receivers have better stats, but his 51-yard touchdown scamper against the Cowboys got so much TV time that he will get votes on that play alone.


http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_13695042

vancejohnson82
11-04-2009, 09:03 AM
ummm....when did the Broncos make Flacco look like a Pro Bowler?

didnt he throw for less than 200 yards>

snowspot66
11-04-2009, 09:06 AM
2.) Hey, Mike. There's been a lot of talk about the Broncos defense and the 3-4 this year, but Joe Flacco looked like a Pro Bowler. Is he a Pro Bowler, or did we have a bad day? Thanks. -- Todd, Charlotte, N.C.


Todd from Charlotte must be retarded or else I didn't realize a 175 yard 1 TD day was making a QB look like a Pro Bowler.

azbroncfan
11-04-2009, 10:21 AM
Todd from Charlotte must be retarded or else I didn't realize a 175 yard 1 TD day was making a QB look like a Pro Bowler.

He did complete a high amount of passes and his last 14 attempts I believe.

snowspot66
11-04-2009, 01:48 PM
The game was over by then. The fumble and kick return put them up by a couple scores before they got anything going on offense.

Pick Six
11-04-2009, 03:07 PM
Joe Flacco is a good quarterback. The question makes it sound like we were facing David Garrard, or some other quarterback with similar "less-than-stellar" qualities....

Bronco Rob
11-04-2009, 08:04 PM
Joe Flacco is a good quarterback. The question makes it sound like we were facing David Garrard, or some other quarterback with similar "less-than-stellar" qualities....




:~ohyah!:

epicSocialism4tw
11-04-2009, 08:10 PM
Joe Flacco is a good quarterback. The question makes it sound like we were facing David Garrard, or some other quarterback with similar "less-than-stellar" qualities....

Flacco made plays when they needed to be made. He was nails in the 4th quarter. He delivered for the Ravens. He's a solid young QB.