|05-19-2007, 03:01 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Orange County
As Jay Cutler Goes, so goes the Broncos
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.
Time to dust off the old playbook.
The new era has begun.
Put John Elway in the back of the brain for a moment. Forget about Brian Griese. Forget about Jake Plummer, too.
The Denver Broncos belong to Jay Cutler now, a quarterback Mike Shanahan believes has the knack to run a complex offense. Shanahan can get out the playbook that's been stored away the past few years. He can go back to calling the plays he once loved.
It's Cutler's time to shine.
Sure, Cutler started the Broncos' last five games. But the team was in limbo much of last season.
Shanahan was desperate in wanting to get Cutler, his guy, in the game. There were veteran players eager for another championship run, yet were ambivalent about having a rookie lead them there.
After a tumultuous offseason that included Darrent Williams getting shot and killed and the death of Damien Nash, the Broncos are back on the practice field with a bevy of new coaches and several new leaders. But nary a new face nor leader has a more daunting task than Cutler.
As Cutler goes, so goes the Broncos.
It's the new era.
"Any time you start with a quarterback like Jay, with the type of leadership he has, with the type of ability he has, you could say that," Shanahan said. "It's not often that you get a quarterback at that age, with that type of ability, with that type of leadership skill and that type of playing skill.
"You're just hoping that he grows and grows. ... He can't do it by himself, that's why I'm hoping we've got a pretty good supporting cast."
To help their 24-year-old wunderkind, Shanahan brought in Travis Henry, a stubborn running back who has the ability to simultaneously eat up clock and take some pressure off Cutler. The Broncos should also have their biggest offensive line in years, if not ever.
Cutler's brain and arm brought him to Denver, not his legs. Cutler isn't a stiff, but he's not going to fake out many defenders either.
So, let's tally: There's a beefier line, which includes a good blocking tight end, a beefier running back, and the receiver battle will be the best a Shanahan-led training camp has ever had. Oh, don't forget a defense that boasts, potentially, the best cornerback duo in the game.
They're all there to take the pressure off Cutler.
Like that's actually going to happen.
The pressure of playing in No. 7's shadow will remain, at least until a quarterback steals the hearts of Broncos faithful with passionate postseason play. That's just the nature of a quarterback's life in Denver, and everybody knows that.
"Mentally I feel a lot more comfortable," Cutler said after the Broncos' quarterbacks practice Wednesday. "I have a better feel for what's going on. I was pretty loose out here. Obviously I want to play well. I feel good about my job, so it's just going out there and playing football."
Cutler also talked about patience and about understanding the game more, letting it come to him.
Shanahan is banking on not just those thought processes but how quickly Cutler processes those thoughts.
Shanahan hasn't had a quarterback who thinks the way Cutler does since No. 7. So, believe that Shanahan's playbook is getting hefty again. And believe that Cutler will have every opportunity to prove Shanahan right.
We're going to see a different Broncos offense this season.
The plays and play-calling might not be as different as they will be a regurgitation of a stored-away playbook.
But it'll be different to anybody watching.
And that's fine.
It's a different era.
Milo F. Bryant is a columnist for The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page C2.
|05-19-2007, 03:21 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2006
article was already posted from another site
Last edited by dragondawg; 05-19-2007 at 03:32 AM..
|05-19-2007, 11:13 AM||#4|
Attack at all times . . .
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AFC West Championshipville
I wonder if the staff will be able to get rid of that windup The Dude has. Dude needs to get a faster release. That's a major flaw in his game.