|10-01-2005, 10:06 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Forget about Bill(fatty) Williamson...theres a much better show going on
This is a much better question answer segment than anything Fatty has been able to produce...
In Rod they trust
Wednesday, September 28 at 12:01 AM
John Mitchell of Montana leads off and just wants it on record . . .
Q: Not so much a question as a request. Please mention, then mention again, that Al Michaels on Monday Night (Football) called Rod Smith "the great one." I know that people think Rod is getting his due these days, but I don't, so mention it, and mention it again.
A: OK, Rod. Rod. Rod. Rod.
There is something about players who accomplish something no one before them has. One of the great things in writing about football is there is always a chance I’ll see something I’ve never seen before.
Whether it’s Barry Foster rushing for at least 100 yards 12 times in one season (1992) –- tying an NFL record that was broken by Barry Sanders in 1997 -– or the Music City Miracle or even Patriots defensive end Mike Vrabel catching a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
Rod is now one of those players. He is the first undrafted player to top 10,000 receiving yards for his career. He also is almost universally respected by his peers and teammates.
And Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who was Smith’s wide receivers coach in Denver during the 1995-99 seasons, has often said if he were to make a video for receivers to learn how to run routes, how to practice and how to work Monday through Saturday to be better on Sundays, Smith would always be the guy he would use.
The draft was eight rounds in 1994, the year Smith was eligible, and has been only seven rounds since 1995. That’s down from 12 rounds from 1977 to 1993.
So, had Smith come out even a year earlier it is likely he would have been selected in a 12-round draft, or at least that’s what some older scouts now say in hindsight. He still spent his first season on the Broncos practice squad and didn’t play his first season on the active roster until ’95.
Derrick Alexander (Browns), Johnnie Morton (Lions), Thomas Lewis (Giants) and former CU wideout Charles Johnson (Steelers) were the only receivers taken in the first round in the ’94 draft.
Receivers taken in the second round that year were Isaac Bruce (Rams), Bert Emanuel (Falcons), Bucky Brooks (Bills), Darnay Scott (Bengals), Ryan Yarborough (Giants) and Kevin Lee (Patriots).
Obviously, Smith and Bruce have put themselves at the head of that class.
Sean O’Connor has stopped, looked and clicked in . . .
Q: One of the most obvious problems with the offense I see is the inability of the Broncos receivers to get separation. Is this a problem with the personnel or the play calling?
A: The best way that’s always been explained to me is "separation" down the field in the NFL usually amounts to one stride.
Michael Irvin has long said that in college being open was –- and then he would hold his hands about five feet apart -– and that being open in the NFL was -– and he would hold his hands about six inches apart.
Most corners who start in the league also have what scouts call "makeup speed" to get that step back if the ball doesn’t arrive exactly at the right moment. So down-the-field separation can sometimes be a matter of timing between the quarterback and the receiver.
Now, some receivers just don’t have the quickness or upper body strength to make the room they need. Often, though, the real separation comes at the line of scrimmage.
And right now Smith is the only Broncos wideout who consistently gets off the jam at the line of scrimmage. But because of his speed, corners don’t often challenge Ashley Lelie at the line unless they have help deep.
But Lelie has worked hard on his upper body strength. If he takes the step from 1,000-yard receiver to dominant receiver, it will be because he consistently makes a defender pay for trying to jam him.
Jay Dennison has seen the future and wonders . . .
Q: I've been a Bronco fan for almost 30 years. My childhood hero was John Elway, and, boy, were we blessed with him at the helm. I know that Jake is in his third year, but if he doesn't have more success this year than in years past, do you see Denver going after Matt Leinart in the draft next year? Or are there any free-agent quarterbacks out there they may go after? What about Philip Rivers?
A: This is easily the most-asked question around this year’s Broncos.
I’ve made no secret that I believe from a football standpoint, Plummer does more good things than he’s given credit for in the offense.
No, he is not as accurate as he needs to be and does force the ball at times when he gets flustered. The question is really whether or not he will be able to fix those things now that he is in his ninth year.
I think he can, but patience is often a learned trait and not always a fun one at that. This Broncos defense is also the best Plummer has had around him in his career.
That means he could do less and win more, if he is patient and trusts that punting it away at times isn’t so bad.
So, at this point the Broncos, including Mike Shanahan, are also unwavering in their support for Jake, and if he finishes the way they hoped they won’t be looking to make a change.
However, the Broncos do have two first-round picks in the ’06 draft, so that makes them a player in the quarterback derby for a long-term prospect. If they want one, they’ll be able to pick one or they’ll be able to trade one, or both picks, to someone who does and get plenty in return.
Leinart plays on college football’s dominant team. But he is coming off elbow surgery and has not yet gone through the nitpick grinder when NFL scouts spend five months picking away at all of his mechanics.
The thing about the draft is it’s about potential, not about results. It’s about what you might do in the NFL, not about what you did in college.
So a guy like Texas A&M’s Reggie McNeal or Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler, hypothetically, could become the top-rated prospects at quarterback because of the pro potential as compared to what Leinart has already done at USC.
John Cahill, formerly of Westminster, now in Kansas, didn’t touch the dial and . . .
Q: I was listening to the Kendrell Bell Show on 610 (KCSP AM 610) Sports out of (Kansas City) … Kendrell said, and I quote, "I will get held 10 out of 10 times . . ." The funniest part was, he said most of this within the first 25 minutes of the hour-long show and kept referring back to it, but at the same time he said he would not dwell on it.
My question is this, if the blocking scheme the Broncos have in place is borderline illegal, why are there not more calls made on them for illegal chop blocks and things like that? With all the comments made, you know someone is watching for this.
A: First thing is water is wet, the sky is blue and defensive guys say they get held on every play.
Last year Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said the Chiefs held his guys on most every play.
But I heard a lot more complaints from assistant coaches and personnel people around the league about the Broncos when Alex Gibbs was coaching the offensive line. The Broncos do use cut blocks, where they go low to get a defensive player on the ground, but so do most teams that run the ball effectively.
In fact last year when the league’s competition committee outlawed the "peel-back" block, where a lineman came back behind a running play or a screen pass to block a defender who couldn’t see him coming, some coaches were concerned if the new rule went too far in eliminating some blocks up front, no team would run the ball very well.
But when people talk about the Broncos, they are talking about cut blocks, a lineman and defender one-on-one.
Chop blocks -– where a defender is engaged with an offensive player up high and another offensive player blocks him low –- have been illegal for some time.
As long as the Broncos employ their run scheme, which requires their offensive linemen to cut block, people are going to give them heat for it. No defender likes a player going at his legs even if it’s from straight on. And that’s why some offensive line coaches believe the technique works so well because they believe it makes defensive linemen hesitate just enough for an offense to get a back through the hole.
Evan Kahle in Seattle rolls the dice . . .
Q: Mike Shanahan has been known as a risk-taker. Some (draft) risks worked like Terrell Davis in the sixth round, but some have not. He’s the only one that thought Paul Toviessi and Darius Watts were worth second-round picks, and he chose Maurice Clarett several rounds before he was projected. Furthermore, many NFL experts think Jake Plummer should not be a starting NFL QB. Do you think Mike’s penchant for going against the grain will ultimately be his demise?
A: Shanahan will decide how his career with the Broncos comes to an end. He has the unquestioned support of owner Pat Bowlen. Bowlen simply doesn’t want anyone else running his football team.
But, in general, I think Mike is like many coaches who also run the draft. They often attack the draft board as they do an opposing offense or defense. They’re looking for something to exploit, they’re looking for the big play.
So as it is on the field, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
But the draft is really built for plodders, the slow-and-steady types who stay away from too many risks.
Toviessi was a highly thought of prospect at Marshall, but many teams were simply turned off by his injury history. It’s rare a player gets healthier when he moves on to the NFL, so injured players will always be a draft-day risk.
Some teams had Watts as an early third, so where the Broncos grabbed him -– 54th overall -– wasn’t that far off. In just his second season, though he has been bumped down the depth chart because of too many dropped passes in the preseason, his grade is still incomplete.
As far as Clarett, he would have been taken in the fourth, most likely by the Rams at the end of the round. The Broncos didn’t have a fourth- or fifth-round picks, and no one in their draft room made a compelling enough argument for not taking him with what was a compensatory pick (101st overall).
So I can see why they did it. I thought he was talented enough to make it but that the question was going to be if he could just show up to work every day and get it done.
But most people, myself included, underestimated just how much work Clarett needs off the field to be ready to be a professional. He said all of the right things in pre-draft interviews and did well on several teams' psychological profiling.
It’s why the draft isn’t an exact science, only a wrestling match with probabilities.
Steve Maestas lives behind the walls of Cowboys Nation in Dallas and wonders . . .
Q: I know it has only been a couple of weeks, but considering that the Broncos offense has been offensive, what is the status of David Terrell? Is it to early to determine his impact this season, or is he showing something during practice?
A: The Broncos offense is tough on receivers in terms of the precision of the routes and the volume of possibilities in the playbook.
They also, without exception, have to block and block well in the run game or they don’t play.
Terrell was talented enough to have been the eighth pick of the draft and caught at least 40 passes in back-to-back seasons in Chicago with a less-than-stellar lineup at quarterback.
To me, that says he should be able to get some playing time in this offense, but the Broncos don’t seem in any hurry at this point.
And finally Mike Wells looks at the Broncos another way . . .
Q: Diehard Jags fan here, looking forward to the game this weekend. How do you think playing on Monday night will affect the Broncos' play? And what is it that you believe the Broncos will have to do to be successful against the Jags and that dominating defense, who by the way, will be giving Plummer several warm greetings throughout the afternoon?
A: Road games after a Monday Night Football always make the coaches groan when the schedule comes out.
That’s because it puts the short week before a road trip. Not convenient, but lots of people go to work when it isn’t convenient.
That means the real issues are the humidity and the game time. The Broncos have to hydrate through the week or they’ll have some of the same cramping issues they had in Miami to open the season.
And teams from the Mountain and Pacific time zones always have a body clock issue when they go East to play. The game may be a 1 p.m. kickoff there, but to the players it’s 10 a.m. Pacific or 11 a.m. Mountain or just about the time they have a pre-game meal.
Again, very little things in a big picture world, especially to guys hooking box cars together or riding a jackhammer for eight hours, but they always seem to add up.
|10-01-2005, 12:14 PM||#4|
The Dude abides.
Join Date: Nov 2004
Okay, that's great, and all - but where does he like to eat? Did I miss something? Why doesn't he just tell us where he likes to eat?
Or, why can't he just state the obvious a little more? Sort of like this:
Q - Bill, er, Jeff, what do you think the odds are that Mike Shanahan will have a successful year coaching this year?
A - Well, coaching is a funny business. It's all about wins and losses. If he wins, say, eleven games, and gets the Broncos deep into the playoffs, then I would say that you would have to consider it a successful year for him.
And suddenly, you find yourself realizing - there's ninety more seconds of my life I'll never get back.
|10-01-2005, 12:19 PM||#5|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
The Monday Night broadcast crew may have called Rod 'the great one', but I also heard one too many 'Foxworthy' calls. Attention to details boys! Get on it if you don't want to be considered the kan'tpass City Chiefs of the broadcast world!
|10-01-2005, 02:38 PM||#6|
The Kranz Dictum
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tranquility Base
Burger Bill is why I signed up here so I am eternally grateful to him for that. If he actually gave me 10% of info we used to get then I probably would not have become a Mane member & TOUCHED the Stripper pole on OF1.
Thanks for changing my life Fat Boy!