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Old 01-15-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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If I was the GM, this is what I would do:

Try to make a run at Julius Peppers, but not overpay for him. If we could sign him, great. If not, that's ok too. Our defensive problems are too great for one guy to eat up all of our available cap space.

Sign Shaun Cody for our NT.
Sign Karlos Dansby at ILB.
Cut/trade Dre Bly. Replace him by signing Dunta Robinson.
Sign Brian Dawkins to a 1 or 2 year deal, if he'll take it. If not, find a solid vet that can hold down the fort for 1 year. There will be 3 outstanding safeties in next year's draft: Eric Berry, Myron Rolle, and Taylor Mays. We pick up one of them as our long term guy then.

In the draft:
Trade down to the #20-25 range and pick up a late 2nd rounder for it. Draft Knowshon Moreno (LeSean McCoy if Moreno is gone, but he shouldn't be). With our two 2nds, draft Michael Johnson DE/OLB from Georgia Tech and William Moore or Brian Cushing (Cushing if he falls that far, but that's not too likely). We then take the best player available for our defensive scheme, while adding Quan Cosby in the 4th or 5th round. He is a high character guy, a hard worker, excellent route runner, and catches everything (not to mention plays big in big games). He would immediately be the #4 receiver and would be able to replace Stokley, who is only getting older.

That makes next year's lineup look like this:

Offense:
QB-Jay Cutler
RB-Knowshon Moreno (backed up by whatever 2 of our million running backs that played last year wins the camp battle)
FB-Peyton Hillis
WRs-Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, Quan Cosby, Chad Jackson
TEs-Daniel Graham, Tony Scheffler
OL-Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Kris Kuper, Ryan Harris
Outlook: If that's not the best offensive lineup in the NFL, I don't know what would be.

Defense:
DE-Julius Peppers (or Ekuban if Peppers wants too much $)
DT-Shaun Cody (Marcus Thomas as a backup and sub)
DE-Michael Johnson (Or Ekuban/Crowder when MJ is at LB)
OLB-Woodyard/Moss/Johnson/Dumervil (rotate them frequently to keep them fresh and provide different looks)
ILB-Karlos Dansby
ILB-Spencer Larsen
OLB-DJ Williams (we could rotate the aforementioned OLBs here as well, but DJ would see more minutes than any of the others)
CBs-Champ Bailey, Dunta Robinson, Josh Bell, Jack Williams
S-Brian Dawkins (or mid-level free agent), William Moore
Outlook: Not the best defense in the league, but one that's exponentially better than what we had last year, and one that will be good enough to let our offense win games for us. If we can hold opponents to under 21 points per game, we will win most games.

Now, the players that I said we should draft will undoubtedly change in their relative ranking and draft position after the combine, but the principle's of this plan would remain the same. If Knowshon becomes a top 15 pick, then we forget him, take Johnson at 20, and take McCoy in the 2nd. This plan leaves a lot to the imagination and does not hinge on getting one guy at a certain place, nor on one free agent (Peppers would be nice, but he is not a necessity). Just as our team needs to be versatile, the front office needs to incorporate a plan that is versatile and can be adapted on the fly. That's the best way to manage the early rounds of the draft: having 15 targets or so that you would like, and coming up with the best plan for getting as many of them (usually 2 or 3) as you can. We are not going to find a savior for our D with one pick, but with 3 or 4 good ones, we can certainly improve it. And for those of you who say we don't need to take a RB early, I will say that we do not have a big play threat at RB. With Moreno or McCoy, the defense will have to respect the RB on any play, run or pass, regardless of down or distance. That means more LB-TE matchups on Scheffler, less heavy blitzes, More openings for Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal on slants, and the capability to use play action on 2nd and long situations. Not to mention all the 30, 40, and even 50 yard TDs we would get out of them over the next few years. I can't remember the last time we had a back go 50 or 60 yards to the house. Portis was the last one who was a threat to do so on any play against any type of defense. With that type of back, our offense would be better than any in the NFL imo.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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And when our middlelinebackers get run over by both guards, what are you going to do?

Shaun Cody is way too small and weak to be a NG, Michael Johnson is way too small to be a 3-4 DE.

Not to mention that Peppers, Dansby, Cody, Robinson and Dawkins will cost us a lot more money than we have.

I really doubt we can draft Michael Johnson and Will Moore with mid to late round 2nd round picks

Do you know why Romeo Crennel traded Ekuban for a bag of chips and a Mcdonalds coupon? because he is not well suited to the 3-4.

I just don't see that happening, but it is a nice crazy pipe dream.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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Just a couple observations...

1) That's a whole lot of money to sign all of those free agents. I don't think it's realistic.

2) Woodyard & DJ would fail miserably as outside LB's in a 3-4. If they have a shot at playing in a 3-4, it would be inside.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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That's the worst plan ever.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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That's the worst plan ever.
Nope the worst plan ever cost a HOF HC his job...keeping slowICK
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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Nope the worst plan ever cost a HOF HC his job...keeping slowICK
I bet you Slowik's plan looked better than that. There are like 9 square pegs in a round hole defense. Dansby at ILB? Michael Johnson at DE?
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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........
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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........
!!!!
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:38 PM   #9
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all i know is that if it doesn't include tyrone poole, it's doomed for failure.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:28 PM   #10
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I didn't say that this would make the defense the best in the league. We are not going to magically make a seamless transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 overnight. We are going to have to have guys that don't fit the system. We have 21 million or so in cap room, and if we don't overpay for guys, as well as cut some older vets who aren't worth what we are paying them (cough...Bly...cough), we can get some quality players. Does it have to be the guys I spelled out? Of course not. I'm not a defensive scout. But what I am saying is we should not break the bank on any one guy. Everyone that wants to give Haynesworth 70 million dollars is an idiot. Our problems/scheme change are not going to be solved with one guy. We should not go in with the opinion that we must sign a certain guy, or that we must draft a certain guy. I want several quality players over 1 or 2 outstanding players. Almost all of these guys I have spelled out fit what I like in defensive players--versatility.

And of course DJ Williams will be better at ILB in a 3-4, because he was SO good at MLB last year.

Also, if you want to win with free agency, the way to do it is as I said, bringing in quality guys that are not going to be stars, but will start games for you, play smart, play hard, and not require huge money. Let's take a look at the Steelers, Cardinals, Eagles, and Ravens, the final 4 teams alive. When was the last time any of these teams brought in the "sexy" free agent? Philly brought in TO, and he effectively destroyed their team in about a season and a half. Pittsburgh? Not sure. Baltimore? They drafted Suggs, Reed, Lewis, Flacco, Heap, etc. Arizona brought in Kurt Warner, who everyone thought was washed up (they did too as they drafted Leinart in the 1st round). Boldin, Fitzgerald, Wilson, Rolle, Breaston, Dansby, Rodgers-Cromartie? Drafted. We aren't going to find a bunch of perfect fits in free agency. If we want a star at every position, we had damn well better start drafting them. We could've had Ed Reed, but we had it in our mind we just had to get a WR. We traded up to get Jarvis Moss, passing up Aaron Ross, Michael Griffin, and Brandon Meriweather. Brilliant. We have to draft guys we know will be great players, not guys who fit a position of need.

And about "size" and "fit" for a 3-4, I don't give a flip. I want guys that will play football. That will play hard, play smart, and do whatever it takes to win. You take your 11 prototype scheme fitting guys, and I'll take 11 guys that will play tough football, and we'll see who wins. Because hey, Al Wilson wasn't of prototypical size to be a MLB in the NFL, but he was the best LB we've had in the past decade. But since he was only 6'0", I guess we wouldn't want a guy like that. Tedy Bruschi is 6'1", was a star on the Patriots during several Super Bowl runs in a 3-4 defense, but I guess we couldn't use a guy like that since he's not big enough. Brandon Marshall didn't have the speed to be a wide receiver in the NFL. Ok. Neither did Shannon Sharpe. And he didn't play WR. But he was a football player, and got his way on the field en route to becoming the best TE ever. Size and other measurables are not as remotely important as heart, intelligence, desire, preparation, and being a team player, things our defense is sorely lacking at the present time.

Last edited by AbileneBroncoFan; 01-15-2009 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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Does no one abide the 100 post rule?

Next you will tell me dogs and cats can live together...


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Old 01-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbileneBroncoFan View Post
And about "size" and "fit" for a 3-4, I don't give a flip. I want guys that will play football. That will play hard, play smart, and do whatever it takes to win. You take your 11 prototype scheme fitting guys, and I'll take 11 guys that will play tough football, and we'll see who wins. Because hey, Al Wilson wasn't of prototypical size to be a MLB in the NFL, but he was the best LB we've had in the past decade. But since he was only 6'0", I guess we wouldn't want a guy like that. Tedy Bruschi is 6'1", was a star on the Patriots during several Super Bowl runs in a 3-4 defense, but I guess we couldn't use a guy like that since he's not big enough. Brandon Marshall didn't have the speed to be a wide receiver in the NFL. Ok. Neither did Shannon Sharpe. And he didn't play WR. But he was a football player, and got his way on the field en route to becoming the best TE ever. Size and other measurables are not as remotely important as heart, intelligence, desire, preparation, and being a team player, things our defense is sorely lacking at the present time.
If that's what's important to you, Michael Johnson is just about the worst pick possible.



http://www.draftcountdown.com/scouti...el-Johnson.php
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:53 PM   #13
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I give up. I suppose all of you wisemen that think signing Suggs and Otogwe and drafting Raji will somehow make our defense legit know more than I do. Because I'm sure guys like Tim Crowder and Josh Barrett are going to be absolute showstoppers next year. A defense is only as good as its weekest link. Put Deion Sanders in his prime with Lenny Walls on the other side and tell me how good your pass coverage is gonna be. Sure if we get Suggs he'll make some plays, but RBs will just abuse us on the other side. We don't need a lights out defense to be a top team. We need a solid defense that will make the plays its supposed to make, not give up huge plays all the time, and play consistently good to be great and our offense will do the rest. I'll take a defense that gives up 21 points a game. With the offense we are going to have, if we only give up 21 in a game, we'll win 95% of the time.

And there is no law saying we must play a 3-4 next year. Nolan has run a 3-4 and a 4-3. We're going to be better off if we make the scheme fit the personnel, not vice versa.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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If that's what's important to you, Michael Johnson is just about the worst pick possible.



http://www.draftcountdown.com/scouti...el-Johnson.php
Actually I suppose it's conceivable that Laurinaitis is available early in the 2nd. But as I said in the original post, all of these conjectures and projections will change (probably dramatically) post-combine. I'm not worried about specific players. I am worried about overpaying for free agents, drafting based on "need" alone, and these two mistakes combining to cause us to miss out on quality players. The whole point of this thread is to say that we should try to sign 3-4 free agents that can start for us and play quality football, instead of 1 or maybe 2 at a higher price, regardless of if they'll make more big plays. And in the draft, we cannot get it in our head that we have to draft DL in the 1st, or LB in the 1st, or even a defensive player in the 1st. If we don't get a shot at Curry, Jenkins, Raji, or Maualuga at 12 and cannot find someone who will trade picks with us, I would rather take Moreno than the 2nd best DT or or 3rd best LB.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #15
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I'm not worried about specific players. I am worried about overpaying for free agents, drafting based on "need" alone, and these two mistakes combining to cause us to miss out on quality players. The whole point of this thread is to say that we should try to sign 3-4 free agents that can start for us and play quality football, instead of 1 or maybe 2 at a higher price, regardless of if they'll make more big plays. And in the draft, we cannot get it in our head that we have to draft DL in the 1st, or LB in the 1st, or even a defensive player in the 1st.
Well, this I agree with.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:20 PM   #16
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M Poole and Mays are not entering the draft.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:23 PM   #17
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Rolle, is going to oxford last i checked and Mays is staying in school as well. good research though....
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:36 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=AbileneBroncoFan;2253597]I didn't say that this would make the defense the best in the league. We are not going to magically make a seamless transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 overnight. We are going to have to have guys that don't fit the system. We have 21 million or so in cap room, and if we don't overpay for guys, 1. as well as cut some older vets who aren't worth what we are paying them (cough...Bly...cough), we can get some quality players. 2. Does it have to be the guys I spelled out? Of course not. I'm not a defensive scout. But what I am saying is we should not break the bank on any one guy. 3. Everyone that wants to give Haynesworth 70 million dollars is an idiot. Our problems/scheme change are not going to be solved with one guy. We should not go in with the opinion that we must sign a certain guy, or that we must draft a certain guy. I want several quality players over 1 or 2 outstanding players. Almost all of these guys I have spelled out fit what I like in defensive players--versatility.

And of course DJ Williams will be better at ILB in a 3-4, because he was SO good at MLB last year.

Also, if you want to win with free agency, the way to do it is as I said, bringing in quality guys that are not going to be stars, but will start games for you, play smart, play hard, and not require huge money. Let's take a look at the Steelers, Cardinals, Eagles, and Ravens, the final 4 teams alive. 4. When was the last time any of these teams brought in the "sexy" free agent? Philly brought in TO, and he effectively destroyed their team in about a season and a half. Pittsburgh? Not sure. Baltimore? They drafted Suggs, Reed, Lewis, Flacco, Heap, etc. Arizona brought in Kurt Warner, who everyone thought was washed up (they did too as they drafted Leinart in the 1st round). Boldin, Fitzgerald, Wilson, Rolle, Breaston, Dansby, Rodgers-Cromartie? Drafted. We aren't going to find a bunch of perfect fits in free agency. If we want a star at every position, we had damn well better start drafting them. We could've had Ed Reed, but we had it in our mind we just had to get a WR. We traded up to get Jarvis Moss, passing up Aaron Ross, Michael Griffin, and Brandon Meriweather. Brilliant. 5. We have to draft guys we know will be great players, not guys who fit a position of need.

And about "size" and "fit" for a 3-4, I don't give a flip. I want guys that will play football. 6. That will play hard, play smart, and do whatever it takes to win. You take your 11 prototype scheme fitting guys, and I'll take 11 guys that will play tough football, and we'll see who wins. Because hey, Al Wilson wasn't of prototypical size to be a MLB in the NFL, but he was the best LB we've had in the past decade. But since he was only 6'0", I guess we wouldn't want a guy like that. Tedy Bruschi is 6'1", was a star on the Patriots during several Super Bowl runs in a 3-4 defense, but I guess we couldn't use a guy like that since he's not big enough. Brandon Marshall didn't have the speed to be a wide receiver in the NFL. 7. Ok. Neither did Shannon Sharpe. And he didn't play WR. But he was a football player, and got his way on the field en route to becoming the best TE ever. 8. Size and other measurables are not as remotely important as heart, intelligence, desire, preparation, and being a team player, things our defense is sorely lacking at the present time.[/QUOTE]

1. If we cut Dre Bly we save, 0 dollars, because what remains of his signing bonus is exactly the same as his cap hit this year.

2. Then why spell out guys? you could have said we need an ILB, a DE, a NG and a S in free agency.

3. But giving Julius Peppers 70 million is a brilliant idea?

4. Asante Samuel?

5. Trust me on this one, the don't set out to draft busts. They actually try to get great players, but there is a reason why only 50% of the 1st round picks become good players, because scouting is inherently an inaccurate process.

6. Then your NT shouldn't be a guy from an 0-16 team, your DE shouldn't be a guy known for half-assing it.

7. You are right, Sharpe didn't have the speed to be a WR, and that is why he wasn't a WR. There is a huge difference between having a 310 lbs NG and a MLB who is 6'0, an MLB can compensate for his height by having long arms or by having good play instincts or by playing with good leverage, a NG can't compensate for being light.

8. Shaun Rogers is well known for his lack of heart, he is not particularly intelligent, he has 0 desire, he has been disciplined for not showing up to team meetings, and yet he is a lot better than any DT we have because he is bigger and stronger. TO is the antithesis of a team player, he is reasonably intelligent, his desire to play is debatable and so is his heart, but he is 6'5 and runs very fast.

I know it is a longheld belief that if you just try hard enough you can win, but in reality if the other guy is a lot more talented than you are he will beat you like a drum. John Engelberger tries, he really plays hard, but unfortunately he is too small, too weak, lacks technique and instinct and therefore he will never be a good player. Peyton Manning or Troy Smith? Peyton Manning by all accounts struggle when he is under pressure and has been known to lash out at team mates, Troy Smith on the other hand will do anything he can to win, he will scramble on broken plays, he will take a hit, he will take the blame if things go wrong, but fact is that Peyton Manning has a super bowl ring, 3 MVP titles, and loads of pro bowl and all-pro team appearances, while Troy Smith will never earn anything in the NFL because he is just not good enough.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:51 PM   #19
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Besides ripping the OP for all the flaws in his thinking, Quan Cosby wont last until the 4th round. You dont kick major ass in a BCS bowl like he did and fall to the fourth round as a WR. If not for Crabtree, Des Bryant and Briscoe in teh Big 12 he'd get all kinds of attention.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:00 PM   #20
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1. If we cut Dre Bly we save, 0 dollars, because what remains of his signing bonus is exactly the same as his cap hit this year.
We could trade him for a guy that has fallen out of favor with his team...Lito Shepherd perhaps. Just throwing that possibility out there.

2. Then why spell out guys? you could have said we need an ILB, a DE, a NG and a S in free agency.
People won't listen to you if you don't spell out players. But I am quite aware that it is useless to name players at this point. Case in point, this time last year, not one person on this board would've been wanting Eddie Royal. Hell, most fans I know didn't want him after we drafted him.

3. But giving Julius Peppers 70 million is a brilliant idea?
Nope. If he wants 70 million he can take a hike.

4. Asante Samuel?
Name me another. You can add one or two big free agents every now and then, but as the Cowboys have shown us, (or the New York Yankees, whoever you want to look at), you can't buy wins with free agency. My theory on this is that they don't "grow up" in your system and in your locker room. It's kind of like if you grow up in a high school in Texas playing football freshman and sophomore year. Prior to your junior (and first varsity) year, you move to New York. You can still learn the playbook, but your in a completely different environment with an essentially different society. You may like it better, you may not. But at some level it effects your attitude and how you live/play. Idk if that's it or not, but it's just a theory.

5. Trust me on this one, the don't set out to draft busts. They actually try to get great players, but there is a reason why only 50% of the 1st round picks become good players, because scouting is inherently an inaccurate process.
I'm aware of that. No one (except maybe the Raiders haha) wants a bust. But there are factors that play into it, sometimes just a gut feeling. I think Chris Wells is going to be a bust. He'll play great when healthy, but as time goes on, that will be less and less often. Stafford is another. Dunno why I think that, but I just don't see him being a top 10 QB. But on the more measurable side, you can look at trends. For everyone that wants Raji (and I wouldn't be mad if we took him at 12), remember that DT is one of the biggest boom or bust positions in the first round. He could wind up being an all-pro, but he is more likely to wind up being another DeWayne Robertson. Kris Jenkins was a 2nd round pick. Jamal Williams, who is an animal, was a 2nd round pick...in the supplemental draft. If we want to be safe in the 1st, we'll go RB, LB, or S. These positions are easier to project. Since no safety is worth taking at 12, and a RB such as LeSean McCoy will be available in round 2 we should really go for Maualuga if he works out well enough to be justified at 12. Raji is still certainly an option, but we shouldn't base our entire defense on him panning out. The fact that we have so many holes on D actually is a benefit here, as we can actually take the player that we feel will be the most successful.

6. Then your NT shouldn't be a guy from an 0-16 team, your DE shouldn't be a guy known for half-assing it.
0-16 eh? So you wouldn't want Calvin Johnson on your team? And I'll get to the NT in a minute. I slept on my preliminary plan and have dramatically improved it.

7. You are right, Sharpe didn't have the speed to be a WR, and that is why he wasn't a WR. There is a huge difference between having a 310 lbs NG and a MLB who is 6'0, an MLB can compensate for his height by having long arms or by having good play instincts or by playing with good leverage, a NG can't compensate for being light.
Cody is 6'4", 310. That's not light, but I agree a NT should be heavier than that. He certainly has the frame to add 20-30 pounds though.

8. Shaun Rogers is well known for his lack of heart, he is not particularly intelligent, he has 0 desire, he has been disciplined for not showing up to team meetings, and yet he is a lot better than any DT we have because he is bigger and stronger. TO is the antithesis of a team player, he is reasonably intelligent, his desire to play is debatable and so is his heart, but he is 6'5 and runs very fast.
TO is not intelligent. Any guy who thinks that the QB and TE are conspiring against him in the hotel the night before doesn't fit my definition of a smart guy. And I wasn't questioning his talent. When he was younger he was the best receiver in the NFL. But he couldn't pay me to be on my team.

I know it is a longheld belief that if you just try hard enough you can win, but in reality if the other guy is a lot more talented than you are he will beat you like a drum. John Engelberger tries, he really plays hard, but unfortunately he is too small, too weak, lacks technique and instinct and therefore he will never be a good player. Peyton Manning or Troy Smith? Peyton Manning by all accounts struggle when he is under pressure and has been known to lash out at team mates, Troy Smith on the other hand will do anything he can to win, he will scramble on broken plays, he will take a hit, he will take the blame if things go wrong, but fact is that Peyton Manning has a super bowl ring, 3 MVP titles, and loads of pro bowl and all-pro team appearances, while Troy Smith will never earn anything in the NFL because he is just not good enough.
This last part is where your argument lost me. I know a lot of people on here hate Peyton Manning, but to say he struggles under pressure and that he isn't a good teammate is ludicrous. We blitzed him all those times in the playoffs to put pressure on him and he did what...throw for 400+ yards and 5 TDs. He may not look as graceful on the field in the playoffs as, say Tom Brady, but if I'm going into a big, must win game, I wouldn't consider anyone except maybe Brady as a better option at QB. As for the lashing out at teammates, sometimes you need that. When a receiver messes up, the QB needs to hold him accountable. When a lineman false starts, the QB, as the leader of the offense, needs to raise the bar. Here's the difference in a Manning and a Rivers: When a Colt player makes a mental mistake and false starts, Manning gets on him, demanding better. Rivers either gets mad at the ref, cries like a girl, gets his panties in a wad, or all of the above. I'm glad Cutler was getting on receivers against SD for making mental mistakes and that he basically said the defense sucked. We need an in your face player that is going to demand excellence. What I don't get is why when Ray Lewis does this, he is the great leader and motivator of the defense. When Manning does this, he is a punk. It's no different, and as long as Manning, Cutler, or any other QB holds himself accountable for his own mistakes I have no problem with it. Actually I want to see that in the leader of my team.

Also, to the guy that said Rolle and Mays aren't available in the draft this year, I am aware of that. That's why I want to sign a mid-level free agent to a 1 or 2 year deal to "hold down the fort." We can pick up Berry (he's going to be the best of the 3) or Mays or Rolle in the 1st round in 2010. Sorry if I wasn't clear about that.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:05 PM   #21
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to ..... much .... writing ... can t ....read ..... it ....... all.

Nice job though..although I don't agree with all of your takes, they are well thought out and pretty in-depth.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:11 PM   #22
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Ok. I slept on my plan (as well as my philosophy/poli sci hw), and adapted it to make it more effective. I love to adapt and improve my ideas, and I take suggestions from others (something not too many people here seem to do).

Firstly, judging by the talent on the roster and available to us, I think we should (and probably will) play a lot more 4-3 than 3-4 next year. While a believe we will eventually transition to a 3-4, it's not going to be overnight since we can't get that kind of personnel in one offseason, and Mike Nolan has proven that he can run both schemes in Baltimore. That being said, these projections are based on us running 4-3 at least 2/3 of the time we are in a base defense.

Secondly, if what the other threads on here say is true about Robertson's signing bonus, get him out of here. He's not worth that much money. If cutting him still gives us the huge cap hit, do anything and everything we can to trade him. I'd take a 7th round pick to save 10 million dollars on the cap. If we can't get rid of him, then we should not play him just because he's making big money if someone else on the roster can outperform him. Best player should play at all positions, period, regardless of salary.

Thirdly, by not completely switching to a 3-4, we don't have to overhaul every position and scramble to find guys. We should make this a 3 year process and use the draft as our primary tool. But on the defensive line, we don't have to overhaul everything right now. Dumervil can stay at DE for the most part. As can Moss. We can still certainly start playing them some as LB in pass rush mode to start the transition, but that wouldn't be an every down thing. I would still sign Shaun Cody in this situation, probably over Haynesworth still. Cody is 6'4" 310, and can certainly add bulk. And in our 4-3 package a defensive line of Dumervil-Cody-Thomas-Ekuban would not be bad at all. That leaves some depth with Moss/Crowder and Powell as backups who will certainly get plenty of PT. Terence Cody is staying at Bama, and he could be someone to make a run at next year (we will have to trade up to get him though) in addition to the 3 safeties. We will have options in the 2010 draft.

Fourthly, on the linebacker corps. I don't know why people don't think DJ Williams can play OLB in a 3-4. I know he doesn't play MLB in a 4-3 as well as the outside, so other than how many DL are in front of him, I don't see it being much different in a 3-4. As much as I like Suggs, Dansby will probably give us 100 tackles, 6-7 sacks, and a pick or two for a lot less money. With the 12th pick we could take Maualuga to round out a 4-3 alignment and complete 3/4 of our 3-4 alignment. For the 4th LB, I would say find him from within (Larsen?) or add a prospect in the later rounds or next year.

Secondary: I really like Dunta Robinson, but to get him we would likely need to dump Bly, which could be problematic. I would love to think we could trade him, but that's unlikely given his contract. I'll have to concede we can't get rid of him, and will abandon Robinson, much to my chagrin. Safety is the position I would address in the 1st round of the 2010 draft, but we could still go after a veteran guy this year. By not signing one of the high priced FA, we could make a legit run a Dawan Landry. Let's assume we can land him. If Barrett pans out and we take a S next year, we could even run a 3 safety package from time to time if we so choose. The secondary this year be Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, Josh Barrett, and Landry, and next year could be Bailey, Bly, Landry, and Berry/Mays/or Rolle.

Draft: I still maintain trading down in the first and hopefully picking up a late 2nd for our efforts. I still want Knowshon Moreno or LeSean McCoy, whichever McDaniels prefers and whichever one will be more versatile running up the middle, bouncing outside, pass blocking, and catching passes out of the backfield. But since we need a MLB, let's say that we stay at 12 and take Rey Maualuga. With our 2nd, we would take LeSean McCoy (hopefully he'll be available, if not go with the best DL available). If we don't feel that Cosby is going to be available in the 4th (though he could well be--it all depends on his 40 time), then we could take him in the thrid (Hakeem Nicks would be a great pickup also, depends on who you like). On day 2, we take the best player available on defense that would be able to transition to a 3-4 (we'll probably need to use a later pick on a developmental O-linemen to get us another body/backup).

Conclusion: In this new projection, our offense will look the same as the OP, except for LeSean instead of Knowshon. Still just as deadly. The defense would be as follows in each package:

4-3
DEs-Dumervil, Ekuban (Moss/Crowder still in the mix)
DTs-Cody, Thomas (Powell/draft pick in rotation as well)
OLBs-Williams and Dansby
MLB-Maualuga
CBs-Bailey, Bly, Bell, Williams
S-Barrett, Landry

3-4
DEs-Crowder, Moss/Ekuban/maybe even Thomas from time to time (address this later in the draft--just get a guy that won't get manhandled in there)
NT-Powell (need to add a big body on the 2nd day of the draft to play here)
OLBs-Suggs/Dansby, Williams
ILBs-Maualuga, Larsen
CBs-Bailey, Bly, Bell, Williams
S-Barrett, Draft pick
*The d-line is the weak point here. This is what will have to be revamped in 2010 and 2011. I'm aware of this, so don't lose your mind over it.

The whole point of this plan is to not handicap our future to sign big time free agents and to give us an idea of where we are going next year and beyond. It is also based on the premise that we will be a primarily 4-3 team still, which is likely since we cannot change our personnel in one offseason. I would like a quality DE, and we could perhaps trade down for Tyson Jackson, but that would throw off this entire projection, so I'll let you do the math on how things would wind up then. We are going to need cap room to resign Marshall and Scheffler (and eventually Royal), so we need to take that into consideration when pursuing FAs as well.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhat01 View Post
to ..... much .... writing ... can t ....read ..... it ....... all.

Nice job though..although I don't agree with all of your takes, they are well thought out and pretty in-depth.
Haha. Sorry. I love to write, so I can't help it. I didn't see this before posting offseason plan 2.0 on this thread, so I'll sum it up. Get quality, young, free agents at OLB, DT, and S without breaking the bank. Draft Maualuga at 12, LeSean McCoy in round 2. Retool D-line in later rounds, but don't try to overhaul it until next year. Continue to play more 4-3 than 3-4 until we can change over all of our personnel in the next 2-3 years. I guess I could've just said that, but then I wouldn't be a very good political science/philosophy/history major. Lol.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:41 AM   #24
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Isn't quan Cosby like 28 or 29? Or is that another Texas wr? Played minor league baseball or some such
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:22 AM   #25
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Peppers as a DE in a 3-4? The primary job of the DL in a 3-4 is to occupy the blockers and stuff the run lanes and you want to waste one of the most complete and best pass rushers in the NFL there?

If Peppers was to land in Denver we would be stupid to switch as a pass rushing DE like Peppers is an absolutely invaluable piece to a 4-3 D.
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