11-27-2007, 07:48 AM
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Kizla: Fire Jim Bates!
I don't like a lot of stuff Kizla writes but I think he makes some interesting points:
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Time to put a stop to Bates
By Mark Kiszla
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/26/2007 01:20:17 AM MST
Broncos collapse at ChicagoCHICAGO — There's no defense for how the Broncos allowed arrogance to dissolve into panic during the monumental collapse of a 37-34 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears.
"Being the football team that we hope we are, you've got to put those games away," Denver coach Mike Shanahan said Sunday.
No duh. And no D.
There are five games remaining on the NFL schedule for Denver. As painful as it will be for everyone at Dove Valley to admit, those five games are the final ones Jim Bates should work as assistant head coach in charge of defense.
This is an experiment that simply has not worked. Let's call the whole thing off, before somebody else gets hurt.
Denver lost against hapless Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman and a sorry bunch of bad news Bears, because the visitors broke far too many rules of common sense.
You don't spit into the wind off Lake Michigan.
You don't tug on superhuman kick-returner Devin Hester's cape.
And you don't mess around with Jim.
You fire him.
Bates must go.
Hired by Shanahan as the answer to Denver's defensive prayers, Bates was the guru who was supposed to bring a new method to the way the Broncos play.
And it's driving all of us stark, raving mad.
This season, the Broncos have allowed a whopping, disturbing and totally unacceptable 295 points in 11 games.
Go ahead. Name all the defenses in the NFL more helpless than the mess Bates has made in Denver.
We'll wait as you look up whether Cleveland or Miami have surrendered more points than the Broncos.
Of course, in the time it takes you to peruse the league stats, Hester will have buzzed Denver with a touchdown on a punt or kickoff. Or both.
"I had the trifecta done on me," said Todd Sauerbrun, who watched, along with 40 friends and family members sitting in the stands at Soldier Field, as he got a punt returned for a TD, a kickoff taken to the house and a punt blocked.
Lost in the blur that was the streaking brilliance of Hester, however, was the fact that Grossman, already benched once this autumn for ineptitude, led Chicago 65 yards in a dozen plays to score a touchdown that evened the game at 34-34 in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
What hurt worse was the touchdown pass was thrown in the face of cornerback Champ Bailey, the best defender on the Broncos. Was there anything he could have done?
"Break it up," Bailey said.
Defensive teammate Dre Bly suggested the better football team allowed itself to get beat single-handedly by Hester.
I must respectfully disagree.
The Broncos cannot stop anyone, as was witnessed as Chicago quickly put Denver out of its misery in overtime. On the defensive side of the ball, I see a brave old warrior in safety John Lynch, a playmaker in defensive end Elvis Dumervil, the usually reliable greatness of Bailey, and not much else worth keeping, unless you want to count the athleticism of D.J. Williams that is being wasted at middle linebacker.
At the same time last year, after dropping a game on Thanksgiving night to Kansas City, Shanahan decided he could not win big with those Denver players. An extreme makeover ensued.
There are seven new starters from the Denver defense that took the field 12 months ago.
Bates was hired to teach the Broncos how to become a dominant defense.
The grade? F.
In 2006, a Denver defense that granted 19 points per game got assistant Larry Coyer fired.
If the Broncos are getting ripped for a touchdown more per game this year, then how can Shanahan justify retaining Bates? San Diego, Detroit and Chicago all have recorded a season high in points scored against the Broncos.
With a record of 5-6, the Broncos are not out of the playoff hunt only because the AFC West is a division without muscle or a clue.
These Broncos in the playoffs?
Do you really want to contemplate what would happen to this defense against Tom Brady and the Patriots on a trip to New England?
Please, let's don't go there. Too depressing.
Here's a more constructive thought.
The Broncos need to go in a whole new direction on defense. Again.
And does anybody really believe Denver can get there, as long as Bates stands in the way?
I'm not as trigger happy as Kizla so I don't know if firing yet another D-Coordinator is the answer. What I do expect though is for the players to play with discipline and do the basics like tackling/blocking and know their assignments. We had that guarantee with Coyer here when his units regulary overachieved beyond their collective talent.
Can we say the same for Bates? I don't think so. I honestly don't know what the answer is. What do people think, is the D showing improvement?
The thing we're doing differently now is we're constantly dedicating more and more bodies to stopping the run so that even though we're not getting gashed by RBs, offenses are now using play action to go over the top and across the middle with success against our DBs because we've usually got 8/9 in the box playing run first.