|08-31-2006, 08:52 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Saratoga, NY
Panthers run deep at many key positions
Bill Belichick has won one more Super Bowl and Cowher is the most recent to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, but Mike Shanahan arguably still is the game's best head coach. The Broncos have endured just one losing season in Shanahan's 11 seasons. Since 1995, no coach has won more games than Shanahan's 122. Denver has remained one of the league's model franchises through changes at quarterback, running back, wherever. Without question, the Broncos are the most consistent team.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Overshadowed in recent years, Mike Shanahan remains one of the best coaches in the game.
Shanahan has great coordinators by his side, Mike Heimerdinger (offense) and Larry Coyer (defense). General manager Ted Sundquist lives in Shanahan's shadow, but he's a top-notch front-office executive.
Jake Plummer proved last year that he could lead a team deep into the playoffs, and behind him now is one of the preseason's most impressive rookies, Jay Cutler. No need to even get into the running game, right? We know the Broncos are going to do that. Plus, for the first time since Ed McCaffrey, really, Rod Smith has a sidekick. Javon Walker was one of the offseason's biggest acquisitions, a former No. 1 receiver in Green Bay who will, for now, take a backseat to Smith.
The Broncos' first-team defense hasn't allowed a touchdown to its first-team counterparts in 10 series this preseason. The Broncos have really good depth along the defensive line. Their linebacking trio of Al Wilson, D.J. Williams and Ian Gold is the fastest, if not the best, in the league. The Broncos have a shutdown corner in Champ Bailey and an enforcer at safety in John Lynch.
Once again, all the pieces are in place for the Broncos to make a run at that elusive third Super Bowl title. They were a win short of the Super Bowl last year and might have gotten better in the offseason. They should contend again. They have strong leaders in Smith, Plummer, Lynch, Bailey, Wilson and Tom Nalen. And it doesn't get any better than Shanahan at head coach.