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Old 03-06-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
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Default Krieger: system over talent

Didn't see this posted...

Krieger: Coach is standing Pats
By Dave Krieger
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/06/2009 12:30:00 AM MST
Updated: 03/06/2009 01:24:59 AM MST


Maybe there was never any question whether Josh McDaniels would adapt his system to the Broncos' talent or the other way around, but after the first week of NFL free agency, we know the answer.

The other way around.

The '09 Broncos will be McDaniels' guys to as great an extent as he can manage in a single offseason.

The irony is that even as the Broncos' new coach aggressively recasts the roster, signing 12 free agents in eight days, he's taking some of the same risks the Broncos' old coach did.

On the bright side, no sign of the character risks so far. No Dale Carter, Daryl Gardener or Maurice Clarett, although, now that Clarett is blogging, you never know.

But Mike Shanahan's other weakness was the medical risk. He always thought he was getting a bargain because of medical problems that would most certainly heal themselves in Colorado, as if his players were 19th- century tuberculosis patients.

Remember Courtney Brown? Remember Dewayne Robertson, who failed the Broncos' physical and was accepted in trade anyway?

You don't even want to look at running back Correll Buckhalter's medical chart. He has blown out the same patellar tendon twice. Also an ACL. Last year he sprained an MCL.

I hear J.J. Arrington was on crutches when he visited Dove Valley, although the club will not confirm it. This after what should turn out to be fairly minor meniscus surgery, unless . . . well . . . you know.

Perhaps because of these medical histories, McDaniels signed three running backs among his first 12 free agents. The third, former Patriot LaMont Jordan, appeared in only half the games last season.

You'll forgive Bronco fans if they don't necessarily buy the safety-in-numbers gambit. Shanahan's last team went through seven running backs.

Brian Dawkins belongs on the risk pile, too. He's 35. He got a five-year contract. His pass-coverage skills are in decline. McDaniels might not be aware, but it's almost a carbon copy of Shanahan's signing of John Lynch five years ago, except that Lynch was only 33.

Around the league, the scouting report on Dawkins is that his ability to play in space is disappearing. Even in Philadelphia, where he could be elected mayor, he was removed in obvious passing situations last season. Like Lynch, he is a great locker-room and character guy. But whatever part of that $17 million is guaranteed could turn out to be for a relatively short rental.

McDaniels is putting more faith in system than talent. His high-volume signing of veteran players tells you he believes he can win right away by plugging reliable but unspectacular performers into the New England system.

Scouts Inc. grades free agents on a scale of 1-100, with 60-69 being an "average starter," and 50-59 a "good backup." Eleven of the Broncos' 12 signees graded out in those two categories. The 12th, Dawkins, graded out in the 70s, as a "good player."

These selections also tell us something about how the Broncos' front office has shaken out in the wake of the firing of Goodman & Son just three weeks ago. It looks like it's pretty much all McDaniels and Keith Kidd, the former Patriots scout, and not much sign of general manager Brian Xanders.

The Broncos have signed three former Patriots, McDaniels' former organization, and zero former Falcons, Xanders' prior stop. Maybe Xanders' emphasis will end up being contract negotiations and dealing with the salary cap.

Here again, the new boss is looking a little like the old boss. The coach appears to have consolidated most of the control over player personnel.

The sheer volume of players suggests it is important to McDaniels to get his own guys in the locker room, guys who owe their contracts to him and will preach the value of his program to teammates and the outside world.

In that context, next week's meeting with quarterback Jay Cutler looms larger.

Cutler's best friend on the team, tight end Tony Scheffler, is on the trading block. Cutler believes he was, too, before a deal for Matt Cassel, McDaniels' former quarterback, fell apart.

McDaniels' denials that he proposed this swap have caused a rift with Cutler, who believes he has inside information to the contrary. The young coach's attempts to get control of the locker room won't do him much good if he can't bring the quarterback back into the fold.

They haven't installed a Patriots West sign at Dove Valley yet, but that looks like the idea. The New England superstructure is going up. The players will have to fit in. If a few of them are former Patriots, they'll have a head start.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci...250?source=rss
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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But Mike Shanahan's other weakness was the medical risk. He always thought he was getting a bargain because of medical problems that would most certainly heal themselves in Colorado, as if his players were 19th- century tuberculosis patients.


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Old 03-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #3
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As long as we start winning in a couple years--really winning-- this will all be worth it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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I wonder how much of this is CYA when a new coach comes in? After all, if you come into a new team and completely overhaul it quick, even if the owner starts getting cold feet, it's too late!
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyR View Post
Didn't see this posted...

Krieger: Coach is standing Pats
By Dave Krieger
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/06/2009 12:30:00 AM MST
Updated: 03/06/2009 01:24:59 AM MST


Maybe there was never any question whether Josh McDaniels would adapt his system to the Broncos' talent or the other way around, but after the first week of NFL free agency, we know the answer.

The other way around.

The '09 Broncos will be McDaniels' guys to as great an extent as he can manage in a single offseason.

The irony is that even as the Broncos' new coach aggressively recasts the roster, signing 12 free agents in eight days, he's taking some of the same risks the Broncos' old coach did.

On the bright side, no sign of the character risks so far. No Dale Carter, Daryl Gardener or Maurice Clarett, although, now that Clarett is blogging, you never know.

But Mike Shanahan's other weakness was the medical risk. He always thought he was getting a bargain because of medical problems that would most certainly heal themselves in Colorado, as if his players were 19th- century tuberculosis patients.

Remember Courtney Brown? Remember Dewayne Robertson, who failed the Broncos' physical and was accepted in trade anyway?

You don't even want to look at running back Correll Buckhalter's medical chart. He has blown out the same patellar tendon twice. Also an ACL. Last year he sprained an MCL.

I hear J.J. Arrington was on crutches when he visited Dove Valley, although the club will not confirm it. This after what should turn out to be fairly minor meniscus surgery, unless . . . well . . . you know.

Perhaps because of these medical histories, McDaniels signed three running backs among his first 12 free agents. The third, former Patriot LaMont Jordan, appeared in only half the games last season.

You'll forgive Bronco fans if they don't necessarily buy the safety-in-numbers gambit. Shanahan's last team went through seven running backs.

Brian Dawkins belongs on the risk pile, too. He's 35. He got a five-year contract. His pass-coverage skills are in decline. McDaniels might not be aware, but it's almost a carbon copy of Shanahan's signing of John Lynch five years ago, except that Lynch was only 33.

Around the league, the scouting report on Dawkins is that his ability to play in space is disappearing. Even in Philadelphia, where he could be elected mayor, he was removed in obvious passing situations last season. Like Lynch, he is a great locker-room and character guy. But whatever part of that $17 million is guaranteed could turn out to be for a relatively short rental.

McDaniels is putting more faith in system than talent. His high-volume signing of veteran players tells you he believes he can win right away by plugging reliable but unspectacular performers into the New England system.

Scouts Inc. grades free agents on a scale of 1-100, with 60-69 being an "average starter," and 50-59 a "good backup." Eleven of the Broncos' 12 signees graded out in those two categories. The 12th, Dawkins, graded out in the 70s, as a "good player."

These selections also tell us something about how the Broncos' front office has shaken out in the wake of the firing of Goodman & Son just three weeks ago. It looks like it's pretty much all McDaniels and Keith Kidd, the former Patriots scout, and not much sign of general manager Brian Xanders.

The Broncos have signed three former Patriots, McDaniels' former organization, and zero former Falcons, Xanders' prior stop. Maybe Xanders' emphasis will end up being contract negotiations and dealing with the salary cap.

Here again, the new boss is looking a little like the old boss. The coach appears to have consolidated most of the control over player personnel.

The sheer volume of players suggests it is important to McDaniels to get his own guys in the locker room, guys who owe their contracts to him and will preach the value of his program to teammates and the outside world.

In that context, next week's meeting with quarterback Jay Cutler looms larger.

Cutler's best friend on the team, tight end Tony Scheffler, is on the trading block. Cutler believes he was, too, before a deal for Matt Cassel, McDaniels' former quarterback, fell apart.

McDaniels' denials that he proposed this swap have caused a rift with Cutler, who believes he has inside information to the contrary. The young coach's attempts to get control of the locker room won't do him much good if he can't bring the quarterback back into the fold.

They haven't installed a Patriots West sign at Dove Valley yet, but that looks like the idea. The New England superstructure is going up. The players will have to fit in. If a few of them are former Patriots, they'll have a head start.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci...250?source=rss
Oh gee, what do you know, a negative article.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if I'm happy or not that the DP brought Krieger over. I think I'm not.
Sometimes he's insightful, but most of the time it feels like the Broncos hurt his feelings and he's striking back the only way he can.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:18 AM   #7
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System AND talent.

Krieger apparently thinks it's an either-or thing, which it's not.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tombstone RJ View Post
Oh gee, what do you know, a negative article.
I'm onboard the McD bandwagon, and I appreciate the scrutiny of the media, but you have to admit Krieger does make some good points here.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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I'm onboard the McD bandwagon, and I appreciate the scrutiny of the media, but you have to admit Krieger does make some good points here.
every coach whos ever worked for bowlen has had essentially the same responsibilities, im not sure why you think it would be diff now...
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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every coach whos ever worked for bowlen has had essentially the same responsibilities, im not sure why you think it would be diff now...
Because Bowlen said it would, and then changed his mind like a gutless drunk.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:44 AM   #11
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Well now that scouts inc grades our players low, why even play the games!
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #12
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"Think players not plays"

We still need to get some...
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:10 AM   #13
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So, going by the logic of this Krieger article and Scouts Inc., 'tis better to get one or two high rated players than get 11 mediam grade players?

I guarantee you if the Broncos had gone in this direction, the DP would have articles like: BRONCOS FAIL TO ADDRESS GAPING HOLES/MULTIPLE NEEDS.

It's a no win situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, etc...
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #14
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Well now that scouts inc grades our players low, why even play the games!
Actually, these grades mean we have improved our defense. Another poster commented a few days back that not one of the D guys we have released from last year have been signed by anyone.

So the real comparison should be the released guys' grades vs the signed guys' grades.

It's not as if McDaniels was starting with a royal flush on D. More like a pair of twos. It was time to tear it down and start over--something Shanahan could not see the need for. He's brought in some inexpensive, stopgap guys to lend some stability and provide a modicum of talent while we build thru the draft. He's kept the guys that have or may have some talent (Thomas, Peterson, Doom). Good for him.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #15
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So, going by the logic of this Krieger article and Scouts Inc., 'tis better to get one or two high rated players than get 11 mediam grade players?
I don't know that Krieger is saying this. He is saying that the injury histories of some of the players is a concern and a possible repeat of Shanny mistakes. He's also saying the coach having too much power in the player personnel function is deja vu all over again.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:26 AM   #16
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So, going by the logic of this Krieger article and Scouts Inc., 'tis better to get one or two high rated players than get 11 mediam grade players?

I guarantee you if the Broncos had gone in this direction, the DP would have articles like: BRONCOS FAIL TO ADDRESS GAPING HOLES/MULTIPLE NEEDS.

It's a no win situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, etc...
Not so sure I agree with you.

Fields was just a solid signing and frees draft day flexibility.

Davis is my favorite of all the signings. He'll bring a solid presence to the interior that's been missing for years.

...after that, what's the point?

We cut Dre Bly and are carrying more dead money over that cut than if he had stayed, and in his place signed an inferior player. Said inferior player is also old and small.

We signed Brian Dawkins. I'll love the leadership and emotion he brings to the team, but beyond that, there's no real benefit. If you watch the Ari/Phi playoff game, it's like a Dawkins blooper real. He's an upgrade from last season, but at a price tag of 4.5 mill each year for the next two seasons, why not spend a little more and grab a very good player whose skillset isn't on the decline?

All the running backs are garbage.

Reid I don't know enough about, but his record isn't awe inspiring. Whatever he is asked to do will be more than what's been required of him coming from a Tampa 2.

So out of 12 signings, one of the top 5 was... gasp... Kenny Peterson, a hold-over from our previously stellar DLs...
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #17
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...after that, what's the point?
Unfortunately I agree with you for the most part, particularly on Dawkins. One minor disagreement is the fact that nobody has looked at Bly, coupled with the fact that I've read Miami was not happy to lose Goodman, tells me we got the better player in this case.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:35 AM   #18
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Unfortunately I agree with you for the most part, particularly on Dawkins. One minor disagreement is the fact that nobody has looked at Bly, coupled with the fact that I've read Miami was not happy to lose Goodman, tells me we got the better player in this case.
Not happy, but were unwilling to pony up a few measely dollars to pay him even a comparable amount?

Location matters substantially... he's leaving MIAMI, and he's not leaving for a big pay day either. Neither is the safety.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:30 AM   #19
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Rev you make some good points but we'll have to wait and see how they perform in our Defense to really get an assessment
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #20
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Rev you make some good points but we'll have to wait and see how they perform in our Defense to really get an assessment
I agree, and I'm holding out hope, but seriously... I mean really?

I could understand the Browncos. We brought in a volume of players to fill different roles for the price of Heyward. Good move, imo.

This is more of the same but less effective. We could've just KEPT Bly and saved about 6-7 mill in cap (between Bly savings and Goodman's price), rolled a good chunk of that into our safety budget and we could've probably gotten both Phillips AND Sanders, instead of old man Dawkins and dog****.

Could've still filled the holes with Davis and Fields.

Hell we could've even still grabbed Gaffney to help with our WRs in the system transition.

...but we've also signed so much additional garbage for no reason.

Buckhalter, Arrington, Jordan, which one of them seems like an upgrade over last years stable?

How much money did we pay our new long-snapper again?!?!

I like some moves. Some are just senseless
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #21
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Kreiger ought to try researching before he writes. Dawkins' deal, which he claims is so awful, can be voided after two years. And I'm sorry, but the guys we had playing safety last year... I mean, if the alternative was bringing them back or hoping a weak safety draft class would net a starter... I'm not on board.

The long snapper was a questionable signing. In my eyes, it's the only one so far in the off season.

now instead of one Mark Kiszla, the Post has two. Rah.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:28 PM   #22
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No Slowik = immediate upgrade.

Many of these moves are lateral, but people forget we're installing a new defense and need players that will fit into that role here. Right now we have enough to work with where we can field a 3-4 defense and with the new coaching staff it won't the atrocity we marched out onto the field last season. They're bigger, more physical and they are good character guys. Some are fragile, and that potentially coming back to haunt us is the only point I agree with Krieger on.

That said we could start the season right now and our team, especially in the secondary, would be better. Now we just need to have a good draft.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #23
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I think it was a pretty fair article.

Josh will have hits and misses just like everybody else. Cutting as deep as he has is not what I would have done if I was the coach...but there are a lot of ways to skin a cat.

IMO, the kid is not channeling Lombardi here. To me he is no different than a group of good coaches that are in the right place at the right time.

Bottom line. Josh is going to need to get lucky for Denver to make a big leap forward Find a HOF player at a key position in the sixth round like TD or Brady....and watch how quickly a team can change.

Strike gold like that and he will be claimed a 'mastermind'. Whiff on a few drafts and he will be McGoat. There is a razors edge between the two.

To me, luck will determine the result as much as Josh's skill.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:06 PM   #24
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Name five "A" rated free agent defenders Shanahan brought into Denver in the past decade. Hint: Don't bother.

Name five "B" rated free agents in general?

Maybe, but you'll have to think hard.

We've been absolutely abysmal in free agency, and last year's Boss BaileyNiko debacle just sealed the deal.

These signings already look infinitely better (on paper) than what we did the last few years. C'mon, most of us told you right out of the gate that Boss Bailey was a disaster. Niko was the "answer" at LB?

I understand the line of reasoning that tries to compare what McDaniels is doing to what Shanahan usually did, but there's a quality issue to talk about. It's one thing to share theories, it's another to go out and apply them with good results.

These signings look better to me than anything we've done in the past few years. We'll find out if that's the case.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:09 PM   #25
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To me, luck will determine the result as much as Josh's skill.
That is true for almost all professions.

Let's just hope for the best.

At least if the season started tomorrow, we could field a passable defense.

And we are in a position to draft BPA.
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