|10-17-2007, 10:09 AM||#1|
Is this thing on???
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tulsa, OK
For the Optimists...
I saw this was on the Denver Post site a couple days ago, but nobody posted or discussed. So, for those who feel the defense can still turn it around, here it is....
Advice on Bates: Give him time
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/14/2007 01:16:12 AM MDT
Twisting through the ropes, about 60 people ahead, was the iconic football coach.
Although too far away for verbal acknowledgment, luckily we later wound up in the same concourse, with the same craving for a quick breakfast.
Just like the rest of us, Bill McCartney shuffles through security lines and eats McDonald's. Somehow, this is comforting.
McCartney might be long retired from coaching the University of Colorado football program, but his passion for the game booms forcefully from his voice and sparkles through his eyes. Like everybody else, McCartney has given thought to how the Broncos have been playing lately.
"The one thing that can't be judged right now is their defensive scheme," McCartney said. "Any time you bring in a new system, it takes time. In college, at the Division I level, the difference between making a play and not making a play is fractions. Now consider the speed of the NFL, and it's even quicker."
The idea is to play without thinking. When a new system is implemented, McCartney said, it takes a while before players are conditioned to play by rote. To help support his claim, he used his 1991 Blockbuster Bowl loss to Alabama. Prior to that game, McCartney chucked his highly successful option offense for a spread passing attack.
It took the Buffs two years of tinkering with the new offense before they returned to top-10 rankings.
"So anyone who passes final judgment on their defensive system would be premature," McCartney said.
Problem is, a 16-game season doesn't afford much time for development.
As the Broncos reached their bye weekend with slumped shoulders and shaky confidence, the question is: Can they recover and reach the playoffs? The answer: Not if they continue to be gouged by the run.
All the other problems are correctable. Surely, the Broncos can find a modern-day Vince Papale to cure their special-teams ills. The offense would score more if it had the ball more and the players weren't huddling in the shadow of their own goalposts.
But there is reason to wonder whether Broncos first-year defensive coach Jim Bates can fix his defensive leaks during the bye week. From Maurice Hicks and Tyson Thompson in the first two exhibitions, to Kenton Keith and Michael Turner in the past two regular-season games, the Broncos' D has turned no-names into "What college did he go to?" curiosities.
Told of the Broncos' struggles in adopting Bates' scheme, Green Bay defensive end Aaron Kampman smiled in recognition.
"Give it time," said Kampman, who had 15 1/2 sacks last year. "It takes a little while. Last year, we gave up a lot of big plays early. But we stayed true and kept the faith, and in the last four games, we had the best defense in the NFL."
Bates' previous defensive coaching job was with Green Bay in 2005. His top two assistants, Bob Sanders and Robert Nunn, stayed back with the Packers to carry on the Bates scheme. Green Bay was 4-8 in 2006 before it won its last four games, thanks to a defense that allowed an average of 10.5 points, 225.5 total yards and 104 rushing yards.
The Packers are 4-1 this season, thanks in part to a defense that is allowing 18.6 points. In a meeting of Bates defensive systems, the Packers will play the Broncos in two weeks at Invesco Field at Mile High.
"It's not the typical defensive system where you shoot the gap," said Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. "It starts with the middle guys. I'm thinking about Denver, I think they've been used to the one-gap. The way this technique is, it's different. You've got to steer. You have to refocus everything you've been taught. But once they get that, oh, I promise you, next year, they're going to be a good defense."
It's a little unsettling, waiting till next year. Mostly because it's this year.
|10-17-2007, 12:33 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2004
Jack Del rio
Pat is so smart. This is a comforting article, I hope they gel sooner than later.