|10-08-2007, 11:21 AM||#1|
Friend of the unsung
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: London UK
A plea for calm and reason...
Firstly, let me just say that there’s no doubt that was one of the worst losses we’ve seen in a long time. I had taken for granted how much we’d gotten used to never seeing ourselves get owned like that: in the late 80’s & early 90’s it used to happen at least once a season, even if that wasn’t untill the superbowl. In recent years that kind of humiliation had become a thing of the past, with a solid running game and an always-at-least-respectable defense keeping us in most games however much we tried to throw them away.
So I’m not surprised that everyone’s down and calling for the heads of everyone from Shanny, to Bates to Gold to whoever.
In fact, I’m surprised that we haven’t heard much of the ‘Bench Cutler and put Ramsey in there’ kind of stuff. Its encouraging that we’re still prepared to believe in Cutler so much.. (I still do BTW...).
However let’s just take a moment to breathe, take a step back an analyse this carefully before we all throw ourselves off the cliff.
Firstly, anyone who says the season is done is insane. Certifiable. We’re 2-3 for one thing, and the only thing that stops us from being in a joint division lead is that the Faiders were on a bye week so haven’t had a chance to lose yet. There is a lot of football to be played, and this is clearly a division that is going to be won with at best a 9-7 or 10-6 record. (Everybody knows this of course, but the manner of the defeat has got everyone pessimistic about our future chances of ever winning anything ever again.)
Secondly, despite appearances to the contrary, the difference between best and worst in this leage is a hair’s breadth. It IS possible to lose humiliatingly and yet still pull it together later and be competitive. If you look carefully through the results over the years you will see lots of teams that have lost heavily (by 30-40 points margins) during the regular season but still gone on to make a noise in the playoffs
Thirdly, we should not think that observing players on the sidelines, or Mike Shanahan’s demeanour can tell us anything about the personal dynamics of the Bronco’s organisation. You actually have to be walking the halls of Dove valley to do that and nonen of us here are. Different people respond to adversity in different ways, and the only thing that really tells you whether that is positive or negative is the end result. We weren’t really facing adversity untill this game tanked: losing to the Colts was upsetting but shouldn’t have surprised anyone and we were still 2-2. Now, however, we have embarrassed ourselves and questions are really being asked. How we respond from hereon in is the real question, not what has happened before.
Yes, we have a defense that is a problem. Clearly Al Wilson used to make our linebacking unit look better than they were – he was starting to miss tackles more often late last season but he had an uncanny ability to sniff out which way the play was going. We’ve lost that now, but on top of that we have the whole front 7 struggling to adapt to a system that seems to ask a lot of the DTs and the linebackers, and its questionable as to whether that interior d-line is really improved personnel-wise.
However, we also have an offense that should be scoring more points than it is, and if it could only stop turning the ball over probably would. You fix that one issue – turnovers – and suddenly you start scoring and the weak defense isn’t such a huge problem. In fact, start scoring enough and that poor run defense fails to be a factor at all.
I’m not saying that all is well – maybe Shanny does need to go, maybe getting rid of Coyer was a mistake, maybe the whole front 7 to a man blows chunks and needs replacing. What I can say for sure is that most great coaches have personality defects and something about the atmosphere in the camp that is slightly dysfunctional (Parcells anybody?).
For those of you who want to make major changes now, may I remind you that we only just did that? What do we do if we make changes again and they still don’t work? We have to give Bates at least a full year at DC and we have to give the offense in general and Cutler in particular some more time to gel. I don’t think we’ve ever had an offseason where we changed so much in terms of starters and coaches, and while we’re waiting for it all to come together it shouldn’t come as a surprise that better teams are coming to our house and slapping us around.
Its not nice to see, but rule one of grace under pressure is Don’t Panic.
Making changes for the sake of making changes is the very definition of panic.
After the season is over, I will be more than happy to see the back of Bates, DJ, Gold and even Shanny if things do not improve. My loyalty is not blind, and I’m not saying that there isn’t something fundamentally wrong with the personalities or the atmosphere, I’m just saying we can’t hope to truly discern what that might be from off in the stands. We can speculate, but ultimately if we have the wrong set-up this season then there isn’t a quick fix waiting elsewhere that we can implement.
We have to go to war with what we have today and find a way to make it work. We all have to believe that it still can, and leave the axe alone untill the offseason.
|10-08-2007, 11:25 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tampa Bay
Nice thread Chris. I wish more people would think like this and maybe this site wouldn't be unbearable to read after a loss.
|10-08-2007, 11:27 AM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2004
I applaud your optimism, but when you call for "reason" and then say
For 2+ months of football now, this team has shown that it cannot score in the red zone and cannot stop anyone else from running the ball. More recently, they cannot stop anyone from passing the ball either.
They have yet to go a game without turning the ball over.
Injuries to key starters are mounting.
They are losing consistently at home.
The schedule is about to get even tougher.
Should I go on?
|10-08-2007, 11:49 AM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2001
Frankly, there isn't really anything you can do about personnel now. You will release one person for someone else nobody wants. If you deal with another team, you will deal from a position of weakness. The only real option is to sit the players who are showing less effort and replace them with the younger players. No don't panic, the division looks weak and it is still early.