|12-11-2007, 10:29 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Inside Slant USA Today and a report card that you won't get a wipping from your mom
The Broncos won't take any immediate action toward punter Todd Sauerbrun, who was charged with simple assault last week after an alleged altercation with a cab driver.
Sauerbrun didn't need the bad publicity. He was cut by the Broncos last year after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on steroids and banned substances. He promised when he re-signed with the Broncos this offseason that he would be on his best behavior.
On Monday, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he would be patient before making any decisions.
"Let's not talk about the ifs, let's let the due process take care of itself and we'll talk about it then," Shanahan said
Sauerbrun is having a good year, averaging 47.1 yards per punt. He also predicted the Broncos would kick to Bears returner Devin Hester a few weeks ago and Hester returned two kicks for touchdowns.
When Sauerbrun came back to the Broncos — he was able to re-sign with them after an arbitrator ruled him a free agent because of a contractual error by New England on a right-of-first-refusal clause — he was contrite.
"Mike Shanahan and Pat Bowlen were willing to have me back," Sauerbrun said in April. "And now I owe them.
"I will not blow this opportunity."
—The Broncos are used to having a short week. They have played road games on Thanksgiving each of the past two seasons. A lot of the preparation was done last week.
Denver had a special-teams practice on Monday, will spend Tuesday installing the game plan and then have a short refresher practice Wednesday morning before flying to Houston. The Broncos play Houston on Thursday.
—The Broncos are waiting to see if receiver Brandon Stokley can bounce back from a knee injury he played through on Sunday. Stokley was limited, caught one pass and then sat out most of the second half.
"Hopefully he can recover quick enough where he can play against Houston," Shanahan said.
PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
—RB Selvin Young could remain Denver's starting tailback for a while, but Broncos coach Mike Shanahan praised Travis Henry and made it clear he hasn't given up on Henry as a long-term answer at tailback for Denver. Shanahan said Young has been starting because Henry isn't in football shape yet after missing three games with a knee injury.
—LB Jamie Winborn has been a pleasant surprise on special teams for the Broncos. He led the team with four special-teams tackles on Sunday and made another nice tackle playing defense. Winborn was signed a couple of weeks into the season.
—TE Daniel Graham was a bigger part of the passing game on Sunday. He caught three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, his second of the season. He'll never post huge receiving numbers, but is a reliable target.
—LB Nate Webster led the Broncos with six tackles on Sunday. Webster is coming off solid back-to-back games and could finally be settling into his new position at strongside linebacker.
—DT Josh Mallard had a sack against Kansas City. The Broncos signed him off the street in November and he was immediately put in the defensive line rotation because of his ability to rush the quarterback.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS
PASSING OFFENSE: A — Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler had his best game, statistically. He threw four touchdowns with no interceptions. He made great decisions the entire game and didn't throw any passes that were in jeopardy of being turned over. The Broncos got a huge game from receiver Brandon Marshall, who had two touchdowns and is turning into one of the best young receivers in the NFL.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus — Broncos tailback Selvin Young had a huge first half with 144 yards on 11 carries. Travis Henry added a touchdown in a relief role. Denver had more than 200 yards rushing as a team, even though it didn't do much damage on the ground after halftime.
PASS DEFENSE: A — Denver got after Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle with four sacks. Croyle had 132 passing yards. Champ Bailey had an interception that set up a touchdown. The only Chiefs player to have a productive game Sunday was tight end Tony Gonzalez, who scored Kansas City's only touchdown and had 76 yards. The Broncos have had some issues covering tight ends this season, but it isn't cause for alarm this week considering how good they were against everyone else.
RUSH DEFENSE: A — The Broncos were fantastic against Chiefs running back Kolby Smith. Smith had 12 yards on 13 carries. Kansas City had 16 yards on 17 carries as a team. That was the third-lowest average the Broncos have allowed in their franchise history. Denver often played eight in the box, and the Chiefs had no counter for it.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Denver covered kicks very well, with Jamie Winborn leading the way with four special-teams tackles. Aside from a notoriously bad game against Chicago a couple weeks ago, the Broncos' special teams have played very well after a slow start this season.
COACHING: A — As Kansas City showed, teams can be prone to terrible efforts late in the season. Even though the Broncos will have a tough time making the playoffs even if they win out, they looked motivated to play their best game on Sunday and did. The Broncos are still holding onto the hope they can sneak into the playoffs.
|12-11-2007, 11:19 AM||#2|
Giving You The Business
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Huntersville, NC
Annnnnnnnd, you're grounded.
RUSHING OFFENSE: F — A total failure. When you manage only 16 yards on 17 carries against a Denver rush defense that was giving up 149 yards on average, you need to do some soul searching.
PASS DEFENSE: F — After three straight scoring drives in the third quarter made it 41-7, Jay Cutler had completed 18 of 23 passes for 223 yards and four TDs. The Broncos barely threw the ball in the fourth quarter. KC generated no pass rush, and Brandon Stokley made Ty Law look real old on more than one occasion.
RUSH DEFENSE: F — Selvin Young raced for 50 yards on Denver's second play from scrimmage, and the race was on. He had 143 rushing yards by halftime, and 156 for the game as Denver throttled down the entire fourth quarter. Kansas City didn't tackle "worth a damn," as Jared Allen noted, and was even worse in gap assignments.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C — Punter Dustin Colquitt had plenty of chances to punt when his offense went three-and-out (or fewer) and he was solid in punting eight times for a 46.3 gross and a 44.5 net. Coverage teams gave up no big returns but — as has been the case all year — generated nothing, either. CB Benny Sapp got a shot at kickoff returner but averaged only 16.8 yards on five returns.
COACHING: F — The defensive staff was able to do nothing, absolutely nothing, in making adjustments to stop the Denver offensive circus. Offensively, they did even less when Denver started teeing off on Croyle late in the game. Croyle generally stayed in the pocket where he was a sitting duck rather than use the rollouts for which he's become rather good.
Last edited by Man-Goblin; 12-11-2007 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: spacing