PDA

View Full Version : USA Today: Denver Broncos Team Report


Bronco Rob
10-08-2010, 03:39 AM
Denver Broncos Team Report


Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey has prepped for the Ravens many times in his career, but never seen them quite like this.
"It's amazingly different," he said, alluding to the acquisition of playmakers such as wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Anquan Boldin. "The talent level, they probably have the best group in the league."

It's difficult to imagine a team with Baltimore's smash-mouth pedigree actually having a higher ranked pass offense (15th) than rushing (24th), as is currently the case. A knee injury to running back Ray Rice, and a schedule that's included the likes of the New York Jets and Pittsburgh, have contributed to that more pass-first mentality.

But so is the evolution of quarterback Joe Flacco with that better supporting cast.

"They're all good football players," Denver defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. "You've got some guys that are deep threats and some guys that are third-down (specialists). ... That's the thing that jumps off the tape at you."

The Broncos' 17th-ranked pass defense has been hit and miss to date.

The team did a solid job of containing Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark of the Colts two weeks ago but saw Austin Collie run wild, operating in single coverage. Denver had problems with the tight end down the middle of the field against Jacksonville.

Yet Tennessee passed for just 45 yards after halftime last week. The last two games were played with rookie Perrish Cox starting at cornerback, but the Broncos should get starter Andre Goodman (quad) back this week.

"(Flacco) has a lot of different areas that he can attack and that he can with the ball and I just think it makes it so much more difficult to defend one or two players n their offense — you can't do that," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "If you take one or two of them away, you are going to get hurt by somebody else."

Bailey talked about the need to pressure Flacco since "he wants to get the ball downfield," which is also the way the Ravens offensive is designed. The evolution of the Ravens quarterback has shown up on field, culminating in his fourth-quarter drive to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

"He's so calm back there," Bailey said. "You never see him get rattled or emotional at all. He showed that last week. Guys grow a little bit and that's one position where you're going to see changes every year, because of what they see and learn on the run. He's definitely grown up a lot."


—It would have been foolish to predict in the preseason that Sunday's Denver-Baltimore game in October would end up matching the No. 1 passing offense and top-ranked pass defense.

Denver's history as a rushing juggernaut and the questions surrounding Baltimore's secondary, particularly minus safety Ed Reed and cornerback Domonique Foxworth, both injured and out, alone would have created skepticism.

But that's the situation heading into Sunday.

Denver is off to its worst four-game start rushing in franchise history at a paltry 55 yards per game, turning the Broncos into a spread-it and shred-it passing offense.

And the Ravens — helped in part by a schedule that's included backups Charlie Batch and Seneca Wallace and the conservative side of Mark Sanchez over the first month — are limiting opponents to just 119 yards through the air.

"I don't think it's as much blitz as I remember from the past," quarterback Kyle Orton said of the challenge ahead. "But they probably drop eight more than any team that I know in the league. Get eight guys into coverage and every player on their team is smart. ... They route read really well and pass routes off to one another very good."

Given time, Orton should be able to expose the Ravens secondary. He's demonstrated the ability to decipher the defensive looks quickly and deliver the ball to the open receiver all season. Only Kurt Warner in 2000 (1,557) has more passing yards than Orton over the first four games of the regular season in NFL history.

So perhaps the Ravens will try to dial up more blitzes Sunday to knock him out of rhythm. Tennessee ran a blitz-heavy scheme last week and sacked Orton six times.

Coach Josh McDaniels is just as wary of Baltimore's ability to pressure — and to cover behind it.

"I know that people talk about the loss of Ed Reed, which certainly has a big impact in terms of his playmaking ability, but I think their secondary has played very well," he said. "Their corners don't give up any big plays. They come up and are good tacklers. There's not a lot of run-after-the-catch plays. The front seven certainly applies a lot of pressure without having to blitz and then when they do choose to blitz, they're effective in that mode too."

The lack of 'chunk plays' against Baltimore has meant teams have had to methodically drive downfield in order to put up points. But opponents are converting just 23.5 percent on third down, the best mark in the league.

Denver already has 22 completions of 20-plus yards this season and, given the state of the running game, may have to continue that trend to be successful against Baltimore.

Take out a 14-for-20 performance in Week 2 vs. Seattle and the Broncos have converted just 10 of 38 third-down conversions in their other three games.

It doesn't seem plausible right now that they can methodically put together long, balanced drives but instead will have to challenge the Ravens downfield to have success.

"I'd like to see how good our offense is if we can be balanced," Orton responded. "We could do some good things. We've got good players. Certainly this offense is build around being a balanced attack, and we'd love to get to that point."

SERIES HISTORY: 8th regular-season meeting. Ravens lead series, 4-3. Baltimore crushed Denver, 30-7, last Nov. 1 at M&T Bank Stadium. Denver has won three of four home games in the series but has yet to win on the road in four previous tries, including a 21-3 defeated in the 2000 AFC Wild Card playoffs.


NOTES, QUOTES

—Safety Brian Dawkins turns 37 next week, but he's showing few signs of slowing down. He had his 22nd career sack Sunday, chasing Titans QB Vince Young down for a 5-yard loss. Only Rodney Harrison (30.5), Carnell Lake (25.0) and Ronde Barber (25.0) have more picks from the defensive backfield in NFL history.

"Dawkins played like he's 24 years old," coach Josh McDaniels said.

Against Seattle a week earlier Dawkins had his ninth career game with at least one tackle for a loss and an interception.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, a member of the Eagles staff during Dawkins' prime in Philadelphia, said he wasn't surprised but "amazed" with a player he called a "brother in arms for many years."

"He's the spiritual and maybe even the physical leader of that defense," Harbaugh maintained. "He's always around the ball. He's delivering big hits. He can still cover. He can still blitz. ... He's the man, no doubt about it."

Broncos rookie cornerback Perrish Cox recently talked about a sense of awe he still feels being around Dawkins, who defines the words no nonsense not only on game day but in his preparation. Dawkins' pre-practice stretching routine alone is admired but not duplicated by other Broncos players.

"The things he does in the locker room aren't normal. You don't see those things," Cox said. "The things he kind of does to get ready is intimidating to everyone."

—The transition to becoming an NFL player has been everything No. 1 pick Demaryius Thomas thought it would be — and more.

"I thought it was going to be tough," he said. "And it's tougher."

Foot injuries limited his offseason and summer practice time. But Thomas surmised that in the Seattle game Sept. 19 he finally found a comfort level within the offense. He no longer shuddered when checks were called at the line of scrimmage. He went on to the alternate play call and went about his business.

"I'm comfortable," he said. "I'm not going to say I'm up to speed on everything. But I'm comfortable enough to play and know what I've got to do."

Camp sessions with Broncos legend Rod Smith focused on him getting in and out of his breaks. Teammate Eddie Royal was helpful with immediate on-field corrections when Thomas did something wrong.

But all in all, concerns about his ability to run all the routes necessary in a complicated pro offense coming out of his Georgia Tech offense have been mostly assuaged.

"Before the triple option, I ran routes under Chan Gailey," he said, alluding to the now Buffalo Bills and former Tech head coach. "So it wasn't a big deal."

Thomas added kickoff return duties to his workload last week and responded with a 36.0 yard average on four attempts, including a 65-yarder.

It's a role that should continue moving forward — even though Thomas hadn't returned kicks since high school before Sunday.

"We've been working with him," McDaniels said. "He's a guy that really hasn't done that much in his career up to this point but when he catches it and gets going, that's a big man to be running that fast and to have to try and tackle him on a kickoff."

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 — Players in Broncos history with four straight 300-yard passing games. Kyle Orton has a chance to match Brian Griese's run from Sept. 30, 2002 to October 20, 2002 this Sunday. Orton's passing totals have been 307, 476 and 341 the last three weeks.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's a beast. He's stronger and bigger than everybody, and not only that, he's a smart player. That's a hard combination to find. He really has the whole package. I sat next to him the last four years, and you're not going to find a better guy, either. Just a great guy, plays the game, loves football. He's just one of those special players." — Broncos DE Justin Bannan, on ex-teammate Haloti Ngata, who's coming off a career-best 11 tackle performance in Pittsburgh.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

A slew of injuries to special-teams stalwarts such as Spencer Larsen, Darcel McBath and Wesley Woodyard has contributed to a dismal showing on kickoff coverage, including a 98-yard runback by Tennessee's Marc Mariani on Sunday.

But with Denver slipping to an opponent's average drive start of nearly the 30-yard line through the season's first month, McDaniels may be ready to start putting some starting defensive players into the mix to help reverse the momentum. Champ Bailey already was added to the unit after Mariani's return, which may be some foreshadowing for this week. ILB Mario Haggan has been a key member of the coverage units in the past and is one possibility.


PLAYER NOTES

—RB Knowshon "No Show" Moreno (hamstring) didn't practice one day after going through a limited workout Thursday. It's highly unlikely Moreno plays Sunday, which would represent his third straight missed game. Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter should continue to share the workload in his absence.

—RB Andre Brown would seem a logical candidate if the Broncos would like to possibly shake up the backfield, but McDaniels indicated that Brown still is going through the learning process after spending the last year-plus with the Giants. The transition was quicker for Laurence Maroney since the ex-New England back played under Josh McDaniels with the Patriots. Brown has gotten some first-team work, however, in practices.

—CB Andre Goodman (thigh) practiced a second straight day and appears on track to start Sunday after missing two games. If he can't go, Perrish Cox will take his place.

—FB Spencer Larsen (ankle) won't play for the second straight game. Denver will use TE Dan Gronkowski and possibly OG Russ Hochstein in lead-blocking situations.

—NT Jamal Williams continues to get Thursday practices off as a means to try and keep his body fresh for the entire season. Despite only eight tackles, he's been one of the most valuable pieces on Denver's defenses for his ability to disrupt offensive blocking schemes against double-team attention.

GAME PLAN: The Broncos will work hard on improving the rush offense but Denver hasn't shown the physicality up front to be able to push the pile and when there have been seams the running backs have been slow to react or missed holes entirely. That will once again put the onus on Orton, who isn't confused easily in zone coverages and has the receivers that can create mismatches on the outside. Defensively, the Broncos could have a game plan similar to the one that worked against the Titans. Crash the outside linebackers inside and force Ray Rice to stay between the tackles, then wrap him up. Champ Bailey worked at RCB in order to align against Reggie Wayne in the Indianapolis game and the way Anquan Boldin has been playing, it wouldn't be surprising to see Bailey shadow him Sunday.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Broncos OL vs. Ravens pass rush. The tone in Denver's blowout defeat last season was set from the very first offensive snap, when linebacker Jarrett Johnson came off the edge unblocked and decleated Orton. Should the Broncos' difficulties running the ball continue — and there are few signs things will improve vs. Baltimore, despite a surprising 116.8-yard weekly yield by the Ravens, it will be up to Orton to operate from the pocket and attack the Ravens' suspect secondary — provided he has the time. Orton dropped back 56 times against Tennessee and was sacked six times, the most Denver's allowed since 2002. The Broncos can expect another aggressive blitz package from the Ravens and will need their backs to clean up what Denver's line can't.

Ravens screen game with RB Ray Rice vs. Denver OLBs Jason Hunter and Robert Ayers. Denver has added bulk to the edge, with the two starting linebackers averaging 273 pounds. Combined with a disciplined approach, Denver has kept running backs like Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew from being able to bounce plays to the outside and funneled the plays to the middle for tackles. Seeing this, Baltimore could try an alternate approach — challenging the mobility of those linebackers in space by dumping the ball off the Rice with momentum already headed their way. Rice has battled a knee problem and with an improved WR corps, his involvement in the passing game has been more limited — 11 catches for 74 yards. But he does own six of Baltimore's 11 best receiving days by a running back — including a 10-catch effort last October at Minnesota.

INJURY IMPACT: CB Champ Bailey missed Wednesday's practice due to what was officially reported as a 'non-injury.' Bailey was in the locker room during the media period and there's nothing to indicate he won't be on hand Sunday.

—LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice after being deactivated Sunday. He's considered day-to-day.



http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/broncos/notes.htm

KevinJames
10-08-2010, 04:30 AM
your a fag for including "No Show" on Moreno.

the original article doesn't say it.....so why put it in there like it does?

The MVPlaya
10-08-2010, 04:37 AM
your a fag for including "No Show" on Moreno.

the original article doesn't say it.....so why put it in there like it does?

He's been doing it in every article with his name.

+1 rep for the bold.

Let me add that USA Today can actually contact TJ about it. I'm not sure if it's actually legal to paste an article and then change something within in the article without a footnote or any obvious indication of a change, and then post a link to the article.

They got pretty serious about linking articles when posting them on forums.

I highly doubt anything like that would happen though...

fontaine
10-08-2010, 04:42 AM
Once again, Thank you Rod Smith.

Camp sessions with Broncos legend Rod Smith focused on him (DT) getting in and out of his breaks.

worm
10-08-2010, 06:13 AM
Once again, Thank you Rod Smith.

Exactly. Rod continues to be as good or better of a Bronco outside of the lines after his playing days as he was on the field wearing the Orange.

He is just a great human being.

bowtown
10-08-2010, 06:23 AM
It's amazing to me that USA Today has a better grasp of this team than any of the local rags.

ColoradoDarin
10-08-2010, 06:48 AM
your a fag for including "no show" on moreno.

The original article doesn't say it.....so why put it in there like it does?

+2

ColoradoBuff
10-08-2010, 08:57 AM
what a loser...get a life Rob!

DenverBrit
10-08-2010, 09:12 AM
It's amazing to me that USA Today has a better grasp of this team than any of the local rags.

I had the same thought as I read it.

They do a better job than any national sports outlet......so good, I'm not sure the writer isn't Leggy or another local beat writer.

SonOfLe-loLang
10-08-2010, 09:16 AM
I'd love to see Andre Brown back there...just because i can't watch Buckhalter and Maroney anymore (regardless of how much is their fault).

baja
10-08-2010, 09:17 AM
Brown practiced with the first team some this week so we might see him some. I hope so.

PRBronco
10-08-2010, 09:20 AM
your a fag for including "No Show" on Moreno.

the original article doesn't say it.....so why put it in there like it does?

+3 Wtf Rob.

I was just about to flip out about the retarded media doing this, I didn't realize he was ninjaing it in there.

enjolras
10-08-2010, 09:26 AM
He's been doing it in every article with his name.

+1 rep for the bold.

Let me add that USA Today can actually contact TJ about it. I'm not sure if it's actually legal to paste an article and then change something within in the article without a footnote or any obvious indication of a change, and then post a link to the article.

They got pretty serious about linking articles when posting them on forums.

I highly doubt anything like that would happen though...

Actually posting the article at all, edits or not, is copyright infringement. There is an entire business model springing up dedicated to suing message board and user content sites for it (and extension of the patent litigation firms). It'd be much safer for TJ if we just posted links.

mkporter
10-08-2010, 09:37 AM
+3 Wtf Rob.

I was just about to flip out about the retarded media doing this, I didn't realize he was ninjaing it in there.

+4

If you're going to be a b*tch, don't hide it in someone else's article.

underrated29
10-08-2010, 09:53 AM
Wow, if they drop 8 in coverage and only bring 3 Kyle should be able to rip them up.



Im not normally one to say Tebow this tebow that, but as a thought, if Balt is dropping 8. It might not be a bad idea to bring in TT and have a few plays where if his man is not open deep, then just tuck it and run. He only has 3 guys to beat, he could probably scramble for about 7 yards each time if everyone else is in coverage.

baja
10-08-2010, 09:54 AM
Wow, if they drop 8 in coverage and only bring 3 Kyle should be able to rip them up.



Im not normally one to say Tebow this tebow that, but as a thought, if Balt is dropping 8. It might not be a bad idea to bring in TT and have a few plays where if his man is not open deep, then just tuck it and run. He only has 3 guys to beat, he could probably scramble for about 7 yards each time if everyone else is in coverage.

I agree this is a perfect week for some Tebow

Ambiguous
10-08-2010, 10:42 AM
He's been doing it in every article with his name.

+1 rep for the bold.

Let me add that USA Today can actually contact TJ about it. I'm not sure if it's actually legal to paste an article and then change something within in the article without a footnote or any obvious indication of a change, and then post a link to the article.

They got pretty serious about linking articles when posting them on forums.

I highly doubt anything like that would happen though...

http://failosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/internet-serious-business.jpg

Flex Gunmetal
10-08-2010, 12:21 PM
All this doucheclown posts are Copypasted stories and one word/pic responses.

Los Broncos
10-08-2010, 12:22 PM
I love Rod Smith.

Tombstone RJ
10-08-2010, 01:11 PM
As other posters have noted, it's sad when usa today posts the best pre-game analysis of any ligitimate publication. Denver Posts sports idiots, errrr, writers should take note.

Kaylore
10-08-2010, 02:12 PM
USA today has had some pretty good articles on the NFL. Can anyone else remember back say five years ago when it was like reading something from a middle school report?

TheReverend
10-08-2010, 03:59 PM
Actually posting the article at all, edits or not, is copyright infringement. There is an entire business model springing up dedicated to suing message board and user content sites for it (and extension of the patent litigation firms). It'd be much safer for TJ if we just posted links.

Well, if this is under a dummy corporations name, not only would he get some decent tax write offs from the money he has to place into this, but if that ever did happen, they wouldn't have **** to take if they did try and sue.

Besides, I've NEVER seen a single message board where articles aren't posted.

Bronco Rob
10-08-2010, 07:20 PM
http://failosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/internet-serious-business.jpg




Hilarious!

oubronco
10-08-2010, 07:24 PM
Wow, if they drop 8 in coverage and only bring 3 Kyle should be able to rip them up.



Im not normally one to say Tebow this tebow that, but as a thought, if Balt is dropping 8. It might not be a bad idea to bring in TT and have a few plays where if his man is not open deep, then just tuck it and run. He only has 3 guys to beat, he could probably scramble for about 7 yards each time if everyone else is in coverage.

Wildhorses all day :strong:

Bronco Rob
10-08-2010, 07:39 PM
<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/PltaOs_ImVQ?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/PltaOs_ImVQ?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

your a fag for including "No Show" on Moreno.

the original article doesn't say it.....so why put it in there like it does?

+2

what a loser...get a life Rob!

+3 Wtf Rob.

I was just about to flip out about the retarded media doing this, I didn't realize he was ninjaing it in there.

+4

If you're going to be a b*tch, don't hide it in someone else's article.




:curtsey:

Hamrob
10-08-2010, 07:39 PM
He's been doing it in every article with his name.

+1 rep for the bold.

Let me add that USA Today can actually contact TJ about it. I'm not sure if it's actually legal to paste an article and then change something within in the article without a footnote or any obvious indication of a change, and then post a link to the article.

They got pretty serious about linking articles when posting them on forums.

I highly doubt anything like that would happen though...You Drama Queen!

Hamrob
10-08-2010, 07:41 PM
All you cry babies...sniffling hard...because someone call Moreno "No Show". Give me a break.

Moreno is an average back that can't stay on the field. Nothing more...not now, not ever.

If you can't take any criticism of players...grow the hell up!

Bronco Rob
10-08-2010, 07:47 PM
All you cry babies...sniffling hard...because someone call Moreno "No Show". Give me a break.

Moreno is an average back that can't stay on the field. Nothing more...not now, not ever.

If you can't take any criticism of players...grow the hell up!



:strong:

eddie mac
10-08-2010, 08:21 PM
I see the uberdick hasn't ****ed off to the Bear boards as I'd hoped.

The MVPlaya
10-08-2010, 08:33 PM
All you cry babies...sniffling hard...because someone call Moreno "No Show". Give me a break.

Moreno is an average back that can't stay on the field. Nothing more...not now, not ever.

If you can't take any criticism of players...grow the hell up!

Moreno = 16 games in his rookie season, these past few weeks have been his first injuries that he hasn't been able to fight through during the season.

Terrell "Short Career" Davis

yeah these names are fun.

Dr. Broncenstein
10-08-2010, 09:05 PM
Brown practiced with the first team some this week so we might see him some. I hope so.

I smell desperation.

The MVPlaya
10-08-2010, 09:07 PM
I smell desperation.

Desperation is using a player on your roster?

That's a new one.

It took desperation for Hillis to get carries. Hilarious!

Dr. Broncenstein
10-09-2010, 12:29 PM
Desperation is using a player on your roster?

That's a new one.

It took desperation for Hillis to get carries. Hilarious!

I'm sure the front office was totally planning to give starter reps to a scrap heap waiver wire acquisition in anticipation of Maroney shiatting the bed. You are so right. Nothing desperate about that at all.

oubronco
10-09-2010, 05:12 PM
Moreno = 16 games in his rookie season, these past few weeks have been his first injuries that he hasn't been able to fight through during the season.

Terrell "Short Career" Davis

yeah these names are fun.

Oh no you didn't just compare Nowshon to TD

Bronco Rob
10-09-2010, 06:22 PM
oh no you didn't just compare nowshon to td



:thumbsup:

Cito Pelon
10-09-2010, 09:39 PM
I'm not buying into Balt's O at all. They're pretty shaky. Denver can hold the Balt O to ten points, they're not real good.