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jutang
07-07-2010, 02:19 PM
Not a bad write up from a non local writer. Better than most Denverpost articles.

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/denver-broncos-2010-season-preview/#more-45489

When you look at Josh McDaniels, what do you see? A beacon of confidence, or a portrait of arrogance? The embodiment of wisdom or the epitome of hubris? One thing has been clear since the day Pat Bowlen hired the organization’s fourth coach in 29 years: Josh McDaniels is the Denver Broncos. So your opinion of the man determines your outlook of the 2010 Denver Broncos.

So, what to make of McDaniels? The answer doesn’t seem difficult, but when you open your mouth to say it, nothing comes out. He’s either a hero or a villain – you just can’t yet tell which. All you know is that it’s one extreme or the other. It has to be – everything McDaniels has done thus far has been extreme.

First, there was the system overhaul: West Coast offense and 4-3 defense out, spread offense and 3-4 defense in. Then there was the Jay Cutler trade, one of the boldest N.F.L. personnel moves of the last 10 years. Throughout all this, Bronco headquarters took on a haughty Patriot tone, and McDaniels carried himself with the demeanor of a seasoned coach leading a team expected to go 12-4, rather than a rookie coach leading a team expected to go 4-12.

In McDaniels’s first regular season, the Broncos started 6-0. The defense allowed 10.1 points per game in that stretch and the offense, chaperoned by the caretaker quarterback Kyle Orton, was effective with a pass-first approach. However, after their bye week, the Broncos went 2-8. The defense gave up 25.8 points per game in those outings, and the offense became exposed in new ways each week. In the end, Denver’s system and roster had changed, but with a late-season collapse and .500 record, the results hadn’t.

If the 34-year-old McDaniels learned any lessons from Year 1, he hasn’t talked about them publicly. He approached the 2010 off-season with the same resolve as in 2009, making changes that left Bronco fans gasping in horror or delight (still can’t tell which). McDaniels abolished the zone-blocking system that, for 15 years, made Denver the manufacturing center for 1,000-yard rushers. It was the last remnant of the Shanahan era. In its place is the power-blocking scheme used in New England.

Defensively, the front line was overhauled. Three different free agents from three prominent A.F.C. 3-4 units were brought in: Justin Bannan from Baltimore, Jarvis Green from New England and nose tackle Jamal Williams from San Diego. All are upgrades over their predecessors, but all are also on the wrong side of 30.

Signing older defensive linemen is hardly controversial, though. In the spring, McDaniels made Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler, who weren’t shy about expressing criticism, his new Jay Cutlers. He shipped Marshall, one of five players in league history to catch 100 balls in three straight seasons, to Miami, and dealt Scheffler, a smooth receiving tight end who was the offense’s key mismatch creator, to Detroit. A few weeks before that, McDaniels had called quarterback Kyle Orton to tell him that the team traded fullback Peyton Hillis and a pair of late-round draft picks to Cleveland for former first-rounder Brady Quinn, and that Orton would now have to win an open competition to retain his starting job. (McDaniels has since declared Orton his starter.)

Of course, none of these off-season moves were as substantial as the one made on draft day. After using the 22nd overall pick on Georgia Tech wideout Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos traded back into the first round to select Florida quarterback Tim Tebow at 25. The most polarizing player heading into the draft became the most polarizing selection made by arguably the game’s most polarizing coach.

With the Tebow selection, McDaniels was betting his future and legacy, but he also seemed to be trumpeting his coaching abilities. You could almost hear him thinking, These people think I can’t make Tebow an N.F.L. passer….don’t they know I’m a big reason the ’08 Patriots won 11 games with Matt Freakin’ Cassel!? and “So what if our roster is only good but not great? My system will take care of everything. McDaniels is about building for the future, but not at the expense of winning in the present.

Spending a first-round pick on a player who most likely won’t see the field for a year or two shows extreme confidence. Or….is it arrogance?

Offense

There never was a quarterback competition in Denver. Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy eventually admitted this. Tim Tebow may play in a special package or two, but over all, his rookie year will be about honing mechanics, learning pro systems and proving himself to veteran teammates who might not like hearing outsiders carry on about a barely 23-year-old third-stringer’s amazing leadership abilities.

This leaves Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn, which is hardly a competition. Quinn often had perfect pass protection in Cleveland but played like a quarterback under duress. His reluctance to be aggressive with deep passes won’t be as big a problem in Denver’s controlled system as it was in Cleveland’s, but his accuracy woes figure to be. If the Broncos saw Quinn as anything more than a backup, they never would have drafted Tebow.

As for Orton….he’s as average as a ham sandwich, a vanilla ice cream cone and a rerun of Friends all rolled into one. But he proved in 2009 that he can run this spread system. McDaniels does a wonderful job of schematically simplifying Orton’s reads and forcing him to get rid of the ball quickly, with a high percentage of passes being thrown within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Given Orton’s meager arm strength, expect more quick-strike pass attempts in 2010. To discourage defenses from playing man coverage or disguising their zones, the Broncos will often align in 3 x 1 sets (three receivers on one side of the field, one on the other) and attack underneath.

First-round rookie Demaryius Thomas is more of a deep weapon and may have to develop as a route runner. That said, coaches like his intelligence and expect him to be the No. 1 option right away. The veteran wideouts – Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley – are all built to be short-to-intermediate receivers. Of the bunch, Royal stands out. He was expected to use his speed and shiftiness to become this offense’s Wes Welker, but he struggled in the system and followed his 91-catch, 980-yard rookie season with a 37-catch, 345-yard sophomore campaign. Smooth slot option Jabar Gaffney will quickly ascend to the No. 2 spot if coaches sense Royal is indeed on a Keary Colbert/Michael Clayton-like track. Royal could even fall behind electrifying but non-achieving veteran Brandon Lloyd or well-built third-round rookie Eric Decker.

With Scheffler gone, Daniel Graham – the best blocking tight end in football – might expect to finally get his wish for a bigger role in the passing game. But Graham shouldn’t get his hopes up. Even though the only other drafted tight end on the roster – last year’s second-round pick Richard Quinn – is strictly a blocker, Denver will most likely use a fourth wideout in the slot that Scheffler often occupied. Graham simply isn’t nimble enough to play from a two-point stance.

In the running game, McDaniels prefers single-back formations. Second-year back Knowshon Moreno is more talented than 10th-year veteran Correll Buckhalter, but given that Moreno hit a wall as a rookie last December and showed a tendency to unnecessarily bounce plays outside, expect the downhill-centric Buckhalter to get his share of carries again (at least early on).

The offensive line should respond to its new system just fine. The Broncos said goodbye to inside agility-based veterans Ben Hamilton and Casey Wiegmann, and drafted Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton in the second and third rounds. Beadles was a left tackle at Utah but is expected to eventually take over for utility backup Russ Hochstein as the starting left guard. Walton is a limited but gritty drive-blocker who may wind up starting at center.

Left tackle Ryan Clady is more equipped for a zone system, but players with his rare gifts can thrive in any scheme. Clady’s biggest challenge will be recovering from the patellar tendon tear he suffered while playing pickup basketball in late April. Right tackle Ryan Harris hopes off-season toe surgery will solve the problems that caused him to take a step back in ’09. If Harris is healthy, he and underrated guard Chris Kuper – a recent recipient of a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension – could form the best right-side blocking tandem in the league.

Defense

At the crux of Denver’s collapse in ’09 was the decline of the undersized front seven. The linebacking corps was not good enough to compensate for the shortcomings of a no-name defensive line. McDaniels and General Manager Brian Xanders vigorously addressed this issue in the off-season.

First, they replaced coordinator Mike Nolan with respected linebackers coach Don Martindale. Then they signed longtime Chargers nose tackle Jamal Williams to a three-year deal, Ravens end Justin Bannan to a five-year deal and Patriots end Jarvis Green to four-year deal. In all, the three contracts totaled $24.5 million in guaranteed money.

Torn triceps landed the 34-year-old Williams on I.R. last September, and knee problems dogged him before that. But before ’09, Williams had missed only four games in five years, and he’d become markedly better with age. Bannan and Green are both high-energy career backups who understand the nuances of the 3-4. They’ll give the front line the lateral run-stopping prowess that it lacked a year ago. Former regular contributors Ryan McBean, Ron Fields and Marcus Thomas now provide solid depth.

With quality linemen finally in front of him, there’s no reason inside linebacker D.J. Williams can’t have a career year. Williams is as fine an athlete as you’ll find, but he needs to be more of a hunter. Mario Haggan will compete with Akin Ayodele for the other inside job (veteran Andra Davis was released). Both have good size and are straight-line players with limited range. Wesley Woodyard is nimble in coverage and can serve as the nickel linebacker, which would allow Williams to rush the passer more often. As it currently stands, Elvis Dumervil is this D’s only bona fide pass-rusher. Being 5-11 allows Dumervil to play with outstanding natural leverage, which augments his quickness and unassuming strength. After a league-leading 17 sacks in his debut at outside linebacker, he is pining for the financial stability of a long-term contract.

Robert Ayers got financially stability as a first-round pick last year and now has an opportunity to prove he deserves it. Ayers was given the starting left outside linebacker job, where his versatility should allow the front seven to be more creative and deceptive. If Darrell Reid – who, like fellow backup outside linebackers Jarvis Moss and Baraka Atkins, is a former defensive lineman – recovers from knee surgery, he’ll be the first outside option off the bench. Denver has its fingers crossed, as Reid is the only reliable source of outside depth.

Even with an improved front seven, teams will still try to run against this Broncos D. After all, it beats having to face the secondary. Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman might be the best man-to-man cornerback tandem in the N.F.L. Being over 30, they both rely on sound technique, though being under 35, they both remain superior athletes.

Of course, as free safety Brian Dawkins shows, age doesn’t always matter. Dawkins turns 37 in October but is coming off his eighth Pro Bowl. He hasn’t lost any of his motor, pop or closing quickness. Dawkins’s heir, Darcel McBath, was drafted in the second round last year and shows true star potential. But unless McBath can learn Renaldo Hill’s strong safety position, he’ll have to continue developing from a dime role. The signing of Dolphins free agent Nate Jones tells you the Broncos didn’t expect Alphonso Smith to earn the nickel job in 2010, but the second-round pick turned heads with an impressive off-season.

Special Teams

Matt Prater is a good young kicker. Britton Colquitt became the fourth member of his family to punt in the N.F.L. when he signed as an undrafted rookie last December. He didn’t see the field but will get first crack at the punting job in training camp. Shiftiness and acceleration make Eddie Royal a potentially lethal return specialist – just ask the San Diego Chargers.

Bottom Line

You can’t win a Super Bowl with Kyle Orton, but you can maybe win a wild-card game. The Broncos aren’t explosive offensively, but they have the right personnel for McDaniels’s offense. If the improved front seven can stop the run, the defense is top-10 caliber.

Predicted Finish: 2nd A.F.C. West

Homer Simpson
07-07-2010, 02:29 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/07/06/sports/06fifthdown-mcdaniels/06fifthdown-mcdaniels-blogSpan.jpg

http://themountaincabin.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/popeye.jpg

Rabb
07-07-2010, 02:32 PM
wow, that was actually a pretty solid and honest take on things

This leaves Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn, which is hardly a competition. Quinn often had perfect pass protection in Cleveland but played like a quarterback under duress. His reluctance to be aggressive with deep passes won’t be as big a problem in Denver’s controlled system as it was in Cleveland’s, but his accuracy woes figure to be. If the Broncos saw Quinn as anything more than a backup, they never would have drafted Tebow.

I think he absolutely nailed the QB analysis

dbfan21
07-07-2010, 02:42 PM
I LOL'd when I read this: As for Orton….he’s as average as a ham sandwich, a vanilla ice cream cone and a rerun of Friends all rolled into one.

Overall, it's a pretty good write-up. Plus, it's been the best article on the Broncos since the OTAs ended.

Homer Simpson
07-07-2010, 02:43 PM
A ham sandwich and vanilla ice cream cone sounds delicious, not average!

jhns
07-07-2010, 02:45 PM
Good read. The writter knows this team better than most I see.

Homer Simpson
07-07-2010, 02:49 PM
It's an excellent article. Someone mail it to the Denver Post and ask why we get the crap from Woody and Klis instead of stuff of this calibre.

DenverBrit
07-07-2010, 02:52 PM
Agreed. One of the better Broncos articles in a long while. :thumbsup:

Kaylore
07-07-2010, 03:28 PM
Good and pretty accurate...except for the Scheffler stuff. I still don't understand how this guy gets to be mentioned with Cutler and Marshall.

Homer Simpson
07-07-2010, 03:41 PM
Good and pretty accurate...except for the Scheffler stuff. I still don't understand how this guy gets to be mentioned with Cutler and Marshall.

Surely just circumstance? Those guys were drafted either side of him. That is it surely. Plus he had his big games against SD, which were often televised.

baja
07-07-2010, 03:42 PM
If the 34-year-old McDaniels learned any lessons from Year 1, he hasn’t talked about them publicly.Not true Josh has said on several occasions he has learned much from his first year and thankfully he can admit that.

Of course, none of these off-season moves were as substantial as the one made on draft day. After using the 22nd overall pick on Georgia Tech wideout Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos traded back into the first round to select Florida quarterback Tim Tebow at 25. The most polarizing player heading into the draft became the most polarizing selection made by arguably the game’s most polarizing coach.
This isn't true either guarteening 25 million to three ageing D linemen has a far bigger impact on the team that drafting Tebow with extra parlayed picks.


There never was a quarterback competition in Denver. Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy eventually admitted this. Tim Tebow may play in a special package or two, but over all, his rookie year will be about honing mechanics, learning pro systems and proving himself to veteran teammates who might not like hearing outsiders carry on about a barely 23-year-old third-stringer’s amazing leadership abilities.


This is false also, there always was and always will be competition at every position.


Other than that good read.

TheReverend
07-07-2010, 03:52 PM
Remarkable article. Whoever wrote that has their stuff together for sure.

Florida_Bronco
07-07-2010, 03:58 PM
wow, that was actually a pretty solid and honest take on things



I think he absolutely nailed the QB analysis

Wait a minute, he can't be serious right? Quinn had "perfect pass protection"? That's an absolute joke.

Binkythefrog
07-07-2010, 04:58 PM
"With the Tebow selection, McDaniels was betting his future and legacy"

I still can't understand why the media insists that McD staked his reputation on Tebow. If Tebow sucks, but the Broncos still win the Super Bowl during his tenure, does McD suck?

Otherwise, a pretty good unbiased take.

uplink
07-07-2010, 04:59 PM
Good work, knows the team reasonably well for a writer not focused on the broncos.

elsid13
07-07-2010, 05:06 PM
Wait a minute, he can't be serious right? Quinn had "perfect pass protection"? That's an absolute joke.

It's poorly written, but I think the writer meant that even when Brady was giving time in the pocket he struggled in deep pass completion.

Popps
07-07-2010, 05:08 PM
Nice read. Thanks for posting.

gyldenlove
07-07-2010, 05:14 PM
Am I right in saying that the takehome message from that article is that we don't know anything?

2KBack
07-07-2010, 05:15 PM
I feel that the writer doesn't have the best grasp over the Wide receivers, and I still think Orton might surprise people, but otherwise this was a pretty superb article.

elsid13
07-07-2010, 05:19 PM
I feel that the writer doesn't have the best grasp over the Wide receivers, and I still think Orton might surprise people, but otherwise this was a pretty superb article.

Why do you say that? I think it a pretty fair outside view of the depth/potential of our WR corp.

HAT
07-07-2010, 05:27 PM
"As for Orton….he’s as average as a ham sandwich, a vanilla ice cream cone and a rerun of Friends all rolled into one....Who is probably pro bowl bound next year"

/repair

baja
07-07-2010, 05:29 PM
I don't get all the raves for this article anyone here could have written that piece facts wise anyway.

2KBack
07-07-2010, 05:34 PM
Why do you say that? I think it a pretty fair outside view of the depth/potential of our WR corp.

Well from what I understand, in the McD system the concept of #1, #2, etc Wr's isn't so cut and dry. If you consider the Patriots, who do you call number one, Moss or Welker? Welker obviously gets more looks, but you'd never call Moss a #2. The author tries to label the Denver wideouts in a way that I don't think applies. I think it is in agreement that Royal is best suited for the slot/Welker role in the offense. Which could be argued is the true #1. In this article they make it sound like he is struggling to be even the second option, behind a rookie even. The author claims that Royal struggled in the system, but doesn't point out that he was not playing the position that (by his own admission) he is best suited for.

I think the author knows the players pretty well, but doesn't have the same depth of knowledge and circumstance as most around here.

the article is still better than just about anything else I've seen written about Denver though.

baja
07-07-2010, 05:36 PM
Well from what I understand, in the McD system the concept of #1, #2, etc Wr's isn't so cut and dry. If you consider the Patriots, who do you call number one, Moss or Welker? Welker obviously gets more looks, but you'd never call Moss a #2. The author tries to label the Denver wideouts in a way that I don't think applies. I think it is in agreement that Royal is best suited for the slot/Welker role in the offense. Which could be argued is the true #1. In this article they make it sound like he is struggling to be even the second option, behind a rookie even. The author claims that Royal struggled in the system, but doesn't point out that he was not playing the position that (by his own admission) he is best suited for.

I think the author knows the players pretty well, but doesn't have the same depth of knowledge and circumstance as most around here.

the article is still better than just about anything else I've seen written about Denver though.

This!

Popps
07-07-2010, 05:54 PM
I don't get all the raves for this article anyone here could have written that piece facts wise anyway.

I think it's the fact that it's an out of towner, and that most articles about our team are so bad. This just looks good in comparison.

It's also somewhat fair in its tone, giving credit where due... and not due.



What a ****ing exciting season we've got in front of us. I wish this **** would get going, already.

baja
07-07-2010, 05:59 PM
I think it's the fact that it's an out of towner, and that most articles about our team are so bad. This just looks good in comparison.

It's also somewhat fair in its tone, giving credit where due... and not due.



What a ****ing exciting season we've got in front of us. I wish this **** would get going, already.


Three weeks to TC ;D

Mogulseeker
07-07-2010, 06:07 PM
Sheesh. No love for Royal at all.

HAT
07-07-2010, 06:13 PM
Sheesh. No love for Royal at all.

Agreed....Just a sophomore slump & the writer has him fighting for a job. Hilarious!

Mogulseeker
07-07-2010, 06:30 PM
Agreed....Just a sophomore slump & the writer has him fighting for a job. Hilarious!

That's the one hang up with the article. 37 catches isn't that bad... but I think Royal is going to be a 1a for us, and one of the better slot receivers in the league.

TonyR
07-07-2010, 06:44 PM
First time I've heard Walton called "limited". What's that about?

And I'm surprised nobody has noted the love for the CB tandem, particularly since some people here aren't Goodman fans.

colonelbeef
07-07-2010, 06:48 PM
OMG EAST COAST BIAS!1111!!!!1

Typically well done NY Times piece, if not a touch optimistic.

ColoradoDarin
07-07-2010, 07:18 PM
I don't get all the raves for this article anyone here could have written that piece facts wise anyway.

It just shows you the sad state of journalism today. Just think of it the next time you read a business/political/health/etc article. Chances are that particular journalist knows nothing about that either. This article is not bad, and could have been written by many an amateur blogger. That's not cause for celebration, it's sad. The article was a plain as a ham sandwich.... It only shines because in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

baja
07-07-2010, 07:19 PM
OMG EAST COAST BIAS!1111!!!!1

Typically well done NY Times piece, if not a touch optimistic.

It's the Tebow effect - God loves us now.

broncofan2438
07-07-2010, 07:52 PM
Prediction:

1st AFC West

SoCalBronco
07-07-2010, 08:17 PM
I think it's the fact that it's an out of towner, and that most articles about our team are so bad. This just looks good in comparison.

It's also somewhat fair in its tone, giving credit where due... and not due.



Yep. For an out of towner that doesn't follow the team as religiously as this board, it is a very solid piece. Most national writers are not that detail oriented, especially about the Broncos.

There's certainly nothing ground breaking about this piece, but its well researched, detailed, generally accurate, balanced and simply of higher quality than what we're used to seeing from most hacks out there (ie ESPN, CNNSI et al).

NYBronc
07-07-2010, 09:08 PM
This isn't as detailed but nice to see some <A HREF="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/416870-who-will-emerge-the-dominant-power-house-of-the-afc-west">positivity.

Hamrob
07-07-2010, 09:20 PM
"With the Tebow selection, McDaniels was betting his future and legacy"

I still can't understand why the media insists that McD staked his reputation on Tebow. If Tebow sucks, but the Broncos still win the Super Bowl during his tenure, does McD suck?

Otherwise, a pretty good unbiased take.I can't understand what folks just don't "understand".

Picking Tebow was the boldest pick of the entire draft and would have been regardless of who took him. Taking him in the 1st round...required a low hanging pair!

For a guy like Kid McD (Who has already done a lot of dust kicking) to go after Tebow...instantly sealed his fate. Tebow succeeds or McDaniels leaves...on his ass. It's as simple as that.

But don't worry...if we don't make the playoffs this year....get ready to wish Josh well elsewhere...and it will have very little to do with Tebow.

TheReverend
07-07-2010, 09:21 PM
Yep. For an out of towner that doesn't follow the team as religiously as this board, it is a very solid piece. Most national writers are not that detail oriented, especially about the Broncos.

There's certainly nothing ground breaking about this piece, but its well researched, detailed, generally accurate, balanced and simply of higher quality than what we're used to seeing from most hacks out there (ie ESPN, CNNSI et al).

Not only this, but it's also extremely thorough and football smart. The guy covered everything that's happened in McDaniels tenure without a bias, and even brought things like this to the table, which are correct and usually un-seen because the media is largely clueless:

"Given Orton’s meager arm strength, expect more quick-strike pass attempts in 2010. To discourage defenses from playing man coverage or disguising their zones, the Broncos will often align in 3 x 1 sets (three receivers on one side of the field, one on the other) and attack underneath."

TheReverend
07-07-2010, 09:22 PM
What a ****ing exciting season we've got in front of us. I wish this **** would get going, already.

110% this. A LOT of truths get revealed this season about a lot of our players and McDaniels himself. Let's hope the truths are mostly positive.

Archer81
07-07-2010, 09:25 PM
Camp starts Aug 1, right?


:Broncos:

SoCalBronco
07-07-2010, 09:28 PM
Camp starts Aug 1, right?


:Broncos:

yep

Archer81
07-07-2010, 09:31 PM
yep

Thank Tebow, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Hectate, Yaweh and Justin Beiber.


:Broncos:

Jason7730
07-08-2010, 12:50 AM
Not true Josh has said on several occasions he has learned much from his first year and thankfully he can admit that.

This isn't true either guarteening 25 million to three ageing D linemen has a far bigger impact on the team that drafting Tebow with extra parlayed picks.




This is false also, there always was and always will be competition at every position.


Other than that good read.

I agree, but add in scheff being all that. Real good article overall!