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View Full Version : Positional Battles on Sunday


lostknight
08-11-2010, 11:12 AM
Since we are actually in a game week :yayaya: it's probably time to start breaking down the positional battles that we should be watching for this weekend. Along with that, the depth chart has been releases. Coaches in General, and Josh McDaniels in particular use the depth chart to warn players, make political statements (anyone remember Brandon's position last year?) and incentivize. There were large unmistakable slaps at Alphonso Smith, Jamie Kerlew and others. Zane Beadles and JD Walton are starters, while D.T sure to challange Brandon Llyod and Kevin Alexander penciled in at second behind Ayers are pleasant surprises. Here are the ones I am going to be watching:

QB: 9 (Brady Quinn) vs 15 (Tebow)
Thought I would deal with the obvious one first. Reports from training camp are that Quinn is still struggling with down-field passes. Same reports are that Tebow is still struggling with bubble screens and passes under 5 yards. I honestly don't think this would have been on the docket if it were not for the performance that Tebow put up last saturday, but the question is, can Tebow deal with opposing players who actually are able to get to the QB. No roster spots at stake here, but this will be a key battle in what our team actually looks like this year.

CB: 22 (Alphonso Smith) versus 25 (Tony Carter) versys 41 (Vaughn) and 43 (Thompson)
Alphonso and Cater should be safe - defense backs form the bulk of special teams players, but Alphonso Smith was more or less a first round pick last year, and has severly underperformed. The team may decide to cut it's losers sooner rather then later depending on how he performs in preseason. At the bare minimum, Smith will have to show strong returning potential, since that could pivot Vaughn or Thompson into his roster slot.

CB: 33 (Nate Jones) versus 32 (Perrish Cox) for nickel/dime duties.
Cox's amazing pre-season has put him in position to challenge Jones for third CB duties.

WR: 12 (Matthew Willis) versus 14 (Brandon Stokley)
I really don't want this match up, because I think both of them have a real opportunity to contribute. Last year, we ran with 6 wide receivers. Right now, Brandon Lloyd is X, with D. Thomas in second string. I give no change to 82 (Alric Arnett) or 16 (Patrick Carter). Eddie is at Y, with Brandon Stokley listed as number two (injury concerns may play a big role here. You need a slot receiver), Gaffney and Willis top Z, but Eric Decker is behind him, and I don't see a scenario where Decker doesn't make the team. I still think the most likely outcome is a practice squad sting for Willis here. It's also possible that one of the corner positions get yanked for one more wide receiver on the team.

DE/NT/DE or DE/DL: 79 (Marcus Thomas) versus 75 (Chris Baker) versus 65 (Jeff Stehle)
The broncos are going to have to decide relatively quickly if they are planning to go with a 4-3 or a 3-4 look, since it will affect roster positions. We went with 7 linemen last year, so I picked the third string in each position, assuming a 3-4 alignment, that means one third stringer for the whole line. I would assume two practice squad positions will probably come out of the line.

Ray Finkle
08-11-2010, 11:56 AM
Since we are actually in a game week :yayaya: it's probably time to start breaking down the positional battles that we should be watching for this weekend. Along with that, the depth chart has been releases. Coaches in General, and Josh McDaniels in particular use the depth chart to warn players, make political statements (anyone remember Brandon's position last year?) and incentivize. There were large unmistakable slaps at Alphonso Smith, Jamie Kerlew and others. Zane Beadles and JD Walton are starters, while D.T sure to challange Brandon Llyod and Kevin Alexander penciled in at second behind Ayers are pleasant surprises. Here are the ones I am going to be watching:

QB: 9 (Brady Quinn) vs 15 (Tebow)
Thought I would deal with the obvious one first. Reports from training camp are that Quinn is still struggling with down-field passes. Same reports are that Tebow is still struggling with bubble screens and passes under 5 yards. I honestly don't think this would have been on the docket if it were not for the performance that Tebow put up last saturday, but the question is, can Tebow deal with opposing players who actually are able to get to the QB. No roster spots at stake here, but this will be a key battle in what our team actually looks like this year.

CB: 22 (Alphonso Smith) versus 25 (Tony Carter) versys 41 (Vaughn) and 43 (Thompson)
Alphonso and Cater should be safe - defense backs form the bulk of special teams players, but Alphonso Smith was more or less a first round pick last year, and has severly underperformed. The team may decide to cut it's losers sooner rather then later depending on how he performs in preseason. At the bare minimum, Smith will have to show strong returning potential, since that could pivot Vaughn or Thompson into his roster slot.

Zo makes the team, Carter is cut (Bailey, Cox, Zo, Good, Jones)



WR: 12 (Matthew Willis) versus 14 (Brandon Stokley)
I really don't want this match up, because I think both of them have a real opportunity to contribute. Last year, we ran with 6 wide receivers. Right now, Brandon Lloyd is X, with D. Thomas in second string. I give no change to 82 (Alric Arnett) or 16 (Patrick Carter). Eddie is at Y, with Brandon Stokley listed as number two (injury concerns may play a big role here. You need a slot receiver), Gaffney and Willis top Z, but Eric Decker is behind him, and I don't see a scenario where Decker doesn't make the team. I still think the most likely outcome is a practice squad sting for Willis here. It's also possible that one of the corner positions get yanked for one more wide receiver on the team.

Willis, Royal, DT, Deck, Gaff, Willis, Lloyd make it since DT and Decker are coming off injuries

DE/NT/DE or DE/DL: 79 (Marcus Thomas) versus 75 (Chris Baker) versus 65 (Jeff Stehle)
The broncos are going to have to decide relatively quickly if they are planning to go with a 4-3 or a 3-4 look, since it will affect roster positions. We went with 7 linemen last year, so I picked the third string in each position, assuming a 3-4 alignment, that means one third stringer for the whole line. I would assume two practice squad positions will probably come out of the line.

see above in bold

SoCalBronco
08-11-2010, 10:32 PM
Alphonso is an absolute lock to make the team.

If he truly is struggling, there still hasn't been a sufficiently decent interval between his drafting and release. You simply can't give up the assets they did for this guy and turn around and get rid of him a year later. This isn't an economics class, there's no such thing as a "sunk cost" in the NFL. You can't say "what we gave up is what we gave up, we're looking only to the top 53 now"...umm, no. I'm not sure what kind of fantasy world that perspective would survive in. When you make the investment, you've got to go the extra mile to make it work, if possible. It's not just for outside perception, but it's also for internal confidence purposes. As a coach and a FO, you want to maintain the confidence of your ownership. Splurging financial and non-financial assets in a freewheeling draft day strategy designed to "get your guy" no matter what will only be tolerated to the extent that the owner believes something more than a fly by your pants approach is going on. You have to respect the assets given up here and the commitment made to ensure the acquisition of this player. You owe ownership extended work with this player to ensure that he becomes something of value. It's an important lesson in terms of behavior modification, too. If I were an owner and my FO gave up alot of value in manuevering around and it looked less than pretty a year later, I would not allow them to just pretend that its a sunk cost. You've got an obligation to keep trying, if for no other reason than to teach the FO that if your going to do things in a non-traditional way, you have to bear the consequences if it doesn't turn out well. You want to incentivize your FO to think of the full range of consequences before they act. That's what you want to incentivize. Letting them off the hook is not the best way to incentivize future contemplation and reflection.

I don't care whether Alphonso is in the Top 53. At the very least, he gets another year. No matter what.

uplink
08-22-2010, 12:52 PM
How many CBs will be kept? What are the chances of keeping S. Thompson? Does Williams helmet count as an extra roster spot?

Florida_Bronco
08-22-2010, 02:03 PM
WR: 12 (Matthew Willis) versus 14 (Brandon Stokley)
I really don't want this match up, because I think both of them have a real opportunity to contribute. Last year, we ran with 6 wide receivers. Right now, Brandon Lloyd is X, with D. Thomas in second string. I give no change to 82 (Alric Arnett) or 16 (Patrick Carter). Eddie is at Y, with Brandon Stokley listed as number two (injury concerns may play a big role here. You need a slot receiver), Gaffney and Willis top Z, but Eric Decker is behind him, and I don't see a scenario where Decker doesn't make the team. I still think the most likely outcome is a practice squad sting for Willis here. It's also possible that one of the corner positions get yanked for one more wide receiver on the team. Good post, but you have your Y and Z receivers backwards ;D. Should go like this.

X: Lloyd, Thomas
Z: Royal, Stokley, McKinley (IR)
Y: Gaffney, Decker

TheReverend
08-22-2010, 02:31 PM
Good post, but you have your Y and Z receivers backwards ;D. Should go like this.

X: Lloyd, Thomas
Z: Royal, Stokley, McKinley (IR)
Y: Gaffney, Decker

No he doesn't. You do.

Y is the TE/Slot receiver.