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Old 02-12-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
montrose
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Default Klis: Healthy Hillis would have changed everything

Healthy Hillis would have changed everything
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post

HONOLULU There were injuries to each of the Bailey brothers.

There were injuries to all three starting linebackers.

There were injuries to both receiving tight ends.

There were season-ending injuries to seven tailbacks.

The one injury that hurt the Broncos more than any other in 2008?

"I still think if Peyton stays healthy we make the playoffs," said Broncos center Casey Weigmann.

As in Peyton Hillis, the Broncos' fullback turned tailback who played inspiringly until he tore a hamstring while making a sensational catch against the Kansas City Chiefs in the season's 13th game. It was no coincidence, Wiegmann said, that Chiefs' game was the Broncos final win of the season.

"He just ran so hard," Wiegmann said. "Ran people over. It was just a mentality. He gets everybody else fired up. There's no way Buffalo should have beaten us."

Up 13-0 against the Bills in Game 15, the Broncos did not have the power running game required to secure leads. The Broncos eventually lost to Buffalo, lost the AFC West title, and lost Mike Shanahan.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_11653387
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #2
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Weigman isn't the only one thinking this...it's hard to pin down the butterfly effect of anything, but there is no doubt that the Broncos were onto something with that stretch with Hillis at tailback.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:05 AM   #3
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i think this has been expressed around here a few times and it's spot on.

A healthy Hillis would have gotten us to the playoffs, no doubt.

Unfortunately, it may have cost us the chance at ever being a SB team under Cutler. I know that sounds like a stretch, but Shanny was going to keep Slowik. No rebuild on defense. Spend a few more years under a mediocre defense, then fire Slowik and find another guy like him. Probably more of the same.

We needed fresh blood, and a new atmosphere to shake this organization up. Now we have the chance to start over. It could go wrong for us, but things look more positive than negative right now.

Hillis' injury might just help this organization create a new "dynasty."
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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We definitely missed him. Definitely hope to see some of him again in 09.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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I'm sorry but the Broncos are more than offense. No, we couldn't secure leads without Peyton, but we also couldn't keep leads with that defense. While I agree we would have had more a chance to win those games we lost, we never belonged in the playoffs with that defense or with no chance of winning the SB. The Chiefs and Chargers are thrilled at just making the playoffs. I rue the day Broncos fans say well at least we made the playoffs. It's all about the SB......and defenses.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Good post, gunns. I implore people to go back and watch the second Raiders game where we got blown out with a healthy Hillis on the field. This team had/has much bigger problems that need to be addressed. We didn't belong anywhere near the playoffs.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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I'm not saying we deserved the playoffs, but with Hillis we would have beat Buffalo for sure.

Our leading rusher that game was Eddie Royal with 71 yards.

We had two rushing TD's by ....... Jay Cutler.

Pope, Bell, and Young looked like crap.

Prater kicked three FG's. Hillis would have helped us move the chains on at least one or two of those drives, and we lost by 1 TD.

We didn't deserve the playoffs (especially defensively), but Hillis would have gotten us there.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cmhargrove View Post
I'm not saying we deserved the playoffs, but with Hillis we would have beat Buffalo for sure.

Our leading rusher that game was Eddie Royal with 71 yards.

We had two rushing TD's by ....... Jay Cutler.

Pope, Bell, and Young looked like crap.

Prater kicked three FG's. Hillis would have helped us move the chains on at least one or two of those drives, and we lost by 1 TD.

We didn't deserve the playoffs (especially defensively), but Hillis would have gotten us there.

Pope was playing well before he went down with an injury in the 2nd quarter of the Buff game. I liked him when I saw him play for Duh Bears in the Pre-season. It took TB a good 2 weeks to get back in football shape. I wouldn't be surpriesed if he sticks next year.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:01 PM   #9
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Pope was playing well before he went down with an injury in the 2nd quarter of the Buff game. I liked him when I saw him play for Duh Bears in the Pre-season. It took TB a good 2 weeks to get back in football shape. I wouldn't be surpriesed if he sticks next year.
Also I think Pope got injured inside the red zone while we were driving on the 1st or 2nd FG attempt. If he does not go down I think we had a chance of beating Buff. Shanny clearly wanted to run that day to help the D. When Pope went down and TB not in football shape our doom was sealed.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #10
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I'm not saying we deserved the playoffs, but with Hillis we would have beat Buffalo for sure.

Our leading rusher that game was Eddie Royal with 71 yards.

We had two rushing TD's by ....... Jay Cutler.

Pope, Bell, and Young looked like crap.

Prater kicked three FG's. Hillis would have helped us move the chains on at least one or two of those drives, and we lost by 1 TD.

We didn't deserve the playoffs (especially defensively), but Hillis would have gotten us there.
Do not agree on Buffalo. While the RB's were crap, they weren't total crap.
Pope averaged 7.3 yds per 6 carries, all 3 a total of 110 yds, not counting Royals 71 yds. That's an adequate amount of yardage albeit, bits and pieces. If you watched the game as it went on Buffalo was able to score faster and faster as our D did absolutely nothing.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:29 PM   #11
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Do not agree on Buffalo. While the RB's were crap, they weren't total crap.
Pope averaged 7.3 yds per 6 carries, all 3 a total of 110 yds, not counting Royals 71 yds. That's an adequate amount of yardage albeit, bits and pieces. If you watched the game as it went on Buffalo was able to score faster and faster as our D did absolutely nothing.
i believe the difference is in the gameplan. jay is better when he can play action or roll out; without threat of a hammer in the backfield we are 1 dimensional. a few surprise runs may look good on average but do little in the course of the game whereas 25-30 runs controls the clock, brings the secondary up and frees BMarsh, Royal and Stokely up do dominate. This is what we saw happen when defenses started seeing the Hillis locomotive come flying downhill and the results showed as wins.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #12
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Do not agree on Buffalo. While the RB's were crap, they weren't total crap.
Pope averaged 7.3 yds per 6 carries, all 3 a total of 110 yds, not counting Royals 71 yds. That's an adequate amount of yardage albeit, bits and pieces. If you watched the game as it went on Buffalo was able to score faster and faster as our D did absolutely nothing.
Our offense looked quite good with Pope, he was doing well. Of course, he went on IR after the first drive.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:56 PM   #13
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Having any of our 6 top RB's healthy would have made a huge difference....that seems really really overly obvious to me
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #14
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Up 13-0 against the Bills in Game 15, the Broncos did not have the power running game required to secure leads. The Broncos eventually lost to Buffalo, lost the AFC West title, and lost Mike Shanahan
just a little bit of dissent here. this is EXACTLY why Shanny needed to go. in the past several years, his game plan has been to get a quick lead, take the foot off the gas, and hope that your running game can wind down the clock to victory. i hate this strategy. it's the equivalent of Prevent Defense for the offensive side. i like Hillis and i like a good, smash mouth running game as much as the next guy, but it was clear to me and many others that each week, the game plan consisted of the opening drive, the following drive, hope for a defensive turnover, and try to outlast the other team while playing a game of field position.

i want a team like Indy or NE that says from the opening drive that they plan on putting up 35+ points and dare you to keep up with them.

Last edited by Gort; 02-16-2009 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #15
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just a little bit of dissent here. this is EXACTLY why Shanny needed to go. in the past several years, his game plan has been to get a quick lead, take the foot off the gas, and hope that your running game can wind down the clock to victory. i hate this strategy. it's the equivalent of Prevent Defense for the offensive side. i like Hillis and i like a good, smash mouth running game as much as the next guy, but it was clear to me and many others that each week, the game plan consisted of the opening drive, the following drive, hope for a defensive turnover, and try to outlast the other team while playing a game of field position.

i want a team like Indy or NE that says from the opening drive that they plan on putting up 35+ points and dare you to keep up with them.
Yeah man I agree with this. I remember in '04 he did this SO much. got a 17-7 lead and the play calling in the second half became run run run punt. run run short pass punt. It was painful watching other teams come back after being down 17 at the half. Play for 60 minutes and score on every drive. You're not preventing injury by half assing, only exaccerbating the likelyhood of it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:36 PM   #16
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Healthy Hillis would have changed everything
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post

HONOLULU There were injuries to each of the Bailey brothers.

There were injuries to all three starting linebackers.

There were injuries to both receiving tight ends.

There were season-ending injuries to seven tailbacks.

The one injury that hurt the Broncos more than any other in 2008?

"I still think if Peyton stays healthy we make the playoffs," said Broncos center Casey Weigmann.

As in Peyton Hillis, the Broncos' fullback turned tailback who played inspiringly until he tore a hamstring while making a sensational catch against the Kansas City Chiefs in the season's 13th game. It was no coincidence, Wiegmann said, that Chiefs' game was the Broncos final win of the season.

"He just ran so hard," Wiegmann said. "Ran people over. It was just a mentality. He gets everybody else fired up. There's no way Buffalo should have beaten us."

Up 13-0 against the Bills in Game 15, the Broncos did not have the power running game required to secure leads. The Broncos eventually lost to Buffalo, lost the AFC West title, and lost Mike Shanahan.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_11653387

Popps told all of you dopes this mid-season. That's right, talking about myself in the third person.

Engleberger is gone. Hey... I'm feeling good!

Anyway, yes... we would have made the playoffs with Hillis and he's by far the best every down runner on the roster.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:40 PM   #17
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i believe the difference is in the gameplan. jay is better when he can play action or roll out; without threat of a hammer in the backfield we are 1 dimensional. a few surprise runs may look good on average but do little in the course of the game whereas 25-30 runs controls the clock, brings the secondary up and frees BMarsh, Royal and Stokely up do dominate. This is what we saw happen when defenses started seeing the Hillis locomotive come flying downhill and the results showed as wins.
Exactly correct.

People trying to justify backs like Selvin friggin' Young by posting their YPC average miss the point. While Hillis DID carry for about 5 yards a pop, it was his ability to run on first down, and his ability to run WHEN TEAMS KNEW WE WERE RUNNING that separates him from the other scrubs we threw out there.

We were flat-out a different team with him at RB. Shanahan said it, and now several players have said it. You'll still have dips around here calling for him to be used as a novelty h-back-punter-long-snapper, but he's quite simply our best runner. When we draft someone better, we should start them. Until then, Hillis sets us up to be a winning offense.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:56 PM   #18
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Exactly correct.

People trying to justify backs like Selvin friggin' Young by posting their YPC average miss the point. While Hillis DID carry for about 5 yards a pop, it was his ability to run on first down, and his ability to run WHEN TEAMS KNEW WE WERE RUNNING that separates him from the other scrubs we threw out there.

We were flat-out a different team with him at RB. Shanahan said it, and now several players have said it. You'll still have dips around here calling for him to be used as a novelty h-back-punter-long-snapper, but he's quite simply our best runner. When we draft someone better, we should start them. Until then, Hillis sets us up to be a winning offense.
Absolutely. When hillis made that ridiculous catch and tore his hammy, the playoffs were done......i can only imagine what the backfield would look like with hillis and a top notch halfback..would put the fear of god into other team defenses which of course would open the field for cutler and company...but, damn, the broncos defense is just soooooo bad, that might not happen for a couple of years.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:13 AM   #19
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Absolutely. When hillis made that ridiculous catch and tore his hammy, the playoffs were done
Amazing, really. Any number of things could have happened to negate that play.

To me, if that play goes differently... Shanahan is still coaching this team right now, for better or worse.

It's like the onside kick in KC. You just couldn't make this stuff up.

I suppose that's why we'll never quit watching.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:01 AM   #20
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I think had Hillis been healthy, yeah, we would have beat Buffalo and went to the playoffs. But would it have mattered? With the worst defense in the league and probably the worst special teams, we would have been taken out right away.

As much as I hated to see Shanny go, it was probably best to start fresh and generate some new excitement around here.

New coaches, new management, some new players. Now all we need to do is get rid of the old worn out uni's and get some new ones and we will be on our way.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:24 AM   #21
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Hillis got overused, and his hammy paid for it. True, he was the best option at the time of the injury, but he's not an every down RB.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #22
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I agree, i just hate blaming things on injuries or Refs.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:29 AM   #23
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Hillis got overused, and his hammy paid for it. True, he was the best option at the time of the injury, but he's not an every down RB.
What then is your definition of an every down back if it's not a 240 lb tank? You think he's too fragile? And I find it a little hard to believe that a guy who didn't even play in the first half of the season could suddenly be overused in 3 games. Hillis got hurt on a random freak accident that could have happened to anyone.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #24
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Hillis got overused, and his hammy paid for it. True, he was the best option at the time of the injury, but he's not an every down RB.
how does a guy landing on hillis' back and tearing his hammy have ANYTHING to do with the number of carries he had?

wheres your proof hes not an every down back? his production shows differently. look at the jets game and chiefs game (before injury), more times he got the ball the better he looked.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:32 AM   #25
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how does a guy landing on hillis' back and tearing his hammy have ANYTHING to do with the number of carries he had?

wheres your proof hes not an every down back? his production shows differently. look at the jets game and chiefs game (before injury), more times he got the ball the better he looked.
JMHO dude. Relax.
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