|10-19-2007, 02:56 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Broncos focus on center-quarterback exchange
By FRANK SCHWAB
ENGLEWOOD -- The snap from center to quarterback is almost as old as football itself, but that doesn’t mean it is simple.
Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler will have to get used to a new center this week. Longtime starter Tom Nalen is out for the season because of a biceps injury, and Chris Myers is his likely replacement. Extra practice time is planned this week to build familiarity.
There’s no getting around the most important difference among centers.
“The quarterback has to get adjusted to — and it sounds weird saying it — the center’s butt,” Myers said. “All centers have different butts. They’re higher, they’re lower, they’re wider.”
Myers said he hopes that won’t be a problem. Nalen crouchs low in his stance, and Myers has patterned his game — and stance — after the Pro Bowl lineman. Nalen is only one inch taller, so that adjustment should be easy.
“I tried to be like him if I ever had to go in at center,” Myers said.
There still can be problems with the basic exchange. Last year when Cutler took over for Jake Plummer, he and Nalen hadn’t worked together and botched a few snaps.
Cutler said he thought the transition would be fine because he has taken snaps from Myers.
“I’ve worked with Chris a little bit in training camp because Tommy only went once a day and Chris was always in there,” Cutler said.
The center usually feels comfortable snapping to a certain place, and the quarterback adjusts his hand placement based on that. Broncos quarterbacks typically have held their hands far back because Nalen is low in his stance. Had the quarterbacks put their hands any further underneath, they would have been squatting down to receive the ball.
The quarterback will tell the center if he needs the ball a little to the right or left, or perhaps turned at a different angle, which is why a quarterback-center combination needs time to prepare.
“You have to spend a little bit more time and make sure the quarterback is comfortable with snaps,” coach Mike Shanahan said.
The timing is also crucial, especially on plays where the quarterback sprints to the right or the left. The center has to snap the ball and instantly move down the line on those plays. The quarterback has to make sure he gets the snap as the center is moving.
“They’ve been taking snaps for a long time,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, it’s usually certain types of running plays and sprintouts that can cause a little bit more work.”
Since Myers has worked with Cutler, he said he is confident that all the snaps will be fine.
“I’m not nervous about the snaps, but I’m nervous about the games, you know?” Myers said with a chuckle.
Broncos sign Beck: Denver signed linebacker Jordan Beck and released linebacker D.D. Lewis. Beck, a third-round pick by Atlanta in the 2005 draft, spent the 2005 season on injured reserve because of a broken foot, played in 15 games last year and was released by the Falcons before this season. Lewis was signed to compete for the starting strongside linebacker spot, but played only on special teams before being released.
|10-19-2007, 03:59 AM||#2|
Famer of Rings
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Lake Forest, Orange County, Calif.
Good luck to Chris but we will be talking about our problems past the exchange if that works out. Even though this starts the process, I am more worried about the blocking and our wideouts now that Javon is probably done for the year.
|10-19-2007, 04:12 AM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Abu Dhabi
This is starting to look like a bit of a loss season, what with the multiple injuries (Javon Walker, Tom Nalen, Rod Smith), tragedies (Darrent Williams, Damien Nash), failed experiments (Linebackers and DTs), and the whole Travis Henry situation.
As Broncos fans, let's hope that our young linemen (Myers and Kupers) step in and play well -- there's gonna be a few miscues, for sure, but hopefully they'll end up anchoring our line for the next 10 years, and this year will be the start of that.
Let's also hope that Jay Cutler quickly gets comfortable with Chris Myers' butt....