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Old 07-06-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
tsiguy96
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Default dre bly: i was scapegoat for bad 08 season

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/nfl-...-role-new-team

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Hungry.

Dre' Bly uses that word a lot these days. He is 32. Looking at an 11th year as an NFL cornerback. Coming off an imploded season with the Denver Broncos that left him impugned and unemployed; the San Francisco 49ers pulled him from the free-agent pool six weeks ago.

Bly is pleased with this, because he still has passes to defend, a reputation to restore. And now, there is a new coach's confidence to validate.

Yep, walking up to another NFL training camp, Bly is blunt about it. He doesn't need football. But he wants football.

"I'm just so hungry right now," Bly, from Chesapeake's Western Branch High, said last week at his formative training center on Baker Road, where he helped stage a two-day youth camp.

"If I wouldn't have signed, I'd have been OK with it. I mean, I would have been frustrated, but I know how the game is. I know the way things ended last year in Denver had something to do with why I didn't sign (until May).

"But that's all in the past. I've got a good situation in San Fran."

49ers coach Mike Singletary has given him the chance to step in for injured Walt Harris, Bly said, and to "be the guy I've been my whole life." The numbers say that guy has been pretty good.

Bly's 40 interceptions are seventh among active players, and he's forced 18 fumbles. That's the most of any cornerback since 1999, when the St. Louis Rams picked Bly in the second round out of the University of North Carolina.

Bly contends, with feeling, that he can still be that guy. Even better, actually, because of experience and instincts honed over 151 games, two Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls.

Nonetheless, Bly was apportioned much of the blame for Denver's late-season collapse in the AFC West that led to all sorts of upheaval, starting with the firing of coach Mike Shanahan.

The Broncos were lousy in practically every defensive category, and dead last with 13 takeaways. Playing opposite star Champ Bailey, Bly had two of Denver's six interceptions, but those tied his season low.

Upon his arrival from Detroit in '07, Bly called Denver "a classy organization that knows how to win." The Broncos were 8-8 last year, however, and were 15-17 in Bly's time there.

"I was made the scapegoat," Bly said. "Especially on the other side of Champ, you're gonna take (criticism). But I don't care who you are, if you don't have a pass rush and you're not aggressive on defense, they're gonna catch a ball.

"We weren't aggressive last year in Denver. We let people take the fight to us. We were so predictable on defense. I don't make no excuses; none of us played well in the system.... People are going to question my ability, saying I'm not this, I'm not that, that's fine. I use all that for motivation."

Naturally, separation brings pangs; Bly says he'll miss teammates from Denver. Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall, who appeared at Bly's camp, says that's mutual.

"He's definitely a guy I wouldn't mind being like when I'm 10 years in the league," Marshall said. "He's a mentor to a lot of guys in the locker room. He's someone I look up to and I'll always support."

Still, time marches. Bly, who accepted a one-year deal for a reported $845,000, says he'll play two more seasons, three tops. He'd like to win the NFC West. He'd like to reach 50 career interceptions. He'd like a good finish, next time on his own terms.

"I've told myself 12 years is probably gonna be my mark," Bly said. "I've made my money, I ain't gonna be hanging on. The minute I get demoted, I'm retiring. I'm not gonna be a gunner, running down on special teams. Why do I need to do that?

"I'll be a No. 3 corner, I'll do that. I've accepted the fact that I might have to do that this year. But a No. 4, trying to make the squad? I'll retire. I don't need it."

Wanting it, Bly hopes to prove, means so much more.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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just goes to show that in this case, maybe the players werent as bad as the system showed, and having a top tier DC could change hte fortunes of our D quite a bit.

also, when dre was the #1, he played very well, far better than he got credit for. he is right though, slowick refused to attack and try to create things to happen, and the D got destroyed for it. imagine if shanny stuck around with this guy, wed be screwed again.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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Bly wasn't that great IMO anyway, but I don't think any players on the team thought much of the defensive scheme, but there was Shanahan all prepared to keep that crappy defensive staff intact for another season. And some still wish Shanahan was still the coach? Amazing.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #4
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He's right. Doesn't matter what corners you have out there. If the QB has all day to throw play after play after play you're going to make any CB look terrible.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsiguy96 View Post
just goes to show that in this case, maybe the players werent as bad as the system showed, and having a top tier DC could change hte fortunes of our D quite a bit.

also, when dre was the #1, he played very well, far better than he got credit for. he is right though, slowick refused to attack and try to create things to happen, and the D got destroyed for it. imagine if shanny stuck around with this guy, wed be screwed again.
Don't kid yourself... the players were just as bad as the system. Being predictable is one thing. Getting your ass beat play after play in the trenches 1 on 1 is not the system.

There is a reason why Doom, DJ, champ, and Thomas are the only returning starters.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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Don't kid yourself... the players were just as bad as the system. Being predictable is one thing. Getting your ass beat play after play in the trenches 1 on 1 is not the system.

There is a reason why Doom, DJ, champ, and Thomas are the only returning starters.
And Bly has something all 4 of those guys want: A Super Bowl ring.

Bly is a good corner. Bob Slowik is just a ****ing moron.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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I respect Bly tremendously for how he played once Champ went out last year....he was NOT the problem out there, it was an entire unit of incompetence from top to bottom
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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There is still no eason that Bowlen could not of called Slowick in his office and fire him.

If Shanny didn't like it, he could of resigned sving millions. Spend the season getting a cople backs, staying with 4/3 and draft D.

Hire Spags or Lex.

Regardless, the problem wasn't Bates or the offense.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #9
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I dunno if too many were blaming Dre Bly ... he was our best DB for most of the second half of the year
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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There is still no eason that Bowlen could not of called Slowick in his office and fire him.
I've wondered that lots of times ... must've gone deeper with Pat and Mike.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #11
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it was reported multiple times it had nothing to do with slowick why mike was fired im not sure if we will know exactly why for awhile. something happened there that sparked it though.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
And Bly has something all 4 of those guys want: A Super Bowl ring.

Bly is a good corner. Bob Slowik is just a ****ing moron.
Bly WAS a good corner... He's going to be lucky to make a team as a nickle/dime.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:53 AM   #13
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I dunno if too many were blaming Dre Bly ... he was our best DB for most of the second half of the year
Bly was doing ok, but I'm not sure why he thinks he was the scapegoat.

There were plenty of other places to look for 'scapegoats' other than the DBs.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:58 AM   #14
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it was reported multiple times it had nothing to do with slowick why mike was fired im not sure if we will know exactly why for awhile. something happened there that sparked it though.
Wanting a new multi million dollar practice facility was reported as one reason the rift began.

But overall, Bowlen probably arrived at the same conclusion that many in the fans base reached: the team wasn't going anywhere with the current regime and philosophy.

One thing that stood out to me was Shanny's appearance during his press conference.
He looked like a man who had shed a huge load off his shoulders and appeared ten years younger.
Bowlen, on the other hand, looked ten years older and in need of a long vacation.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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I didnt even know the guy was in San Fran. Whatever, he had some good plays and some bad ones. The one that will always stay in my mind is that play in overtime against the Packers on Monday night.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #16
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There is still no eason that Bowlen could not of called Slowick in his office and fire him.

If Shanny didn't like it, he could of resigned sving millions. Spend the season getting a cople backs, staying with 4/3 and draft D.

Hire Spags or Lex.

Regardless, the problem wasn't Bates or the offense.
Why? So we can see Lex throw games at the end of the year to move up in the draft? Bly was the scapegoat because we expected more from him. He was paid to do a job that we watched wasnt being done. Yes, the pass rush stunk but I dont see anyone blaming Champ like they would Bly. The scheme stunk and Bly couldnt adapt to use the most of his ability. And if he did, then he lost his ability.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #17
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I wish he would have just told us he would play in 2009 for $845,000. That would have been a no brainer...
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:00 PM   #18
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it was reported multiple times it had nothing to do with slowick why mike was fired im not sure if we will know exactly why for awhile. something happened there that sparked it though.
As quite as this has gone I would say Cancer .
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #19
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Why? So we can see Lex throw games at the end of the year to move up in the draft? Bly was the scapegoat because we expected more from him. He was paid to do a job that we watched wasnt being done. Yes, the pass rush stunk but I dont see anyone blaming Champ like they would Bly. The scheme stunk and Bly couldnt adapt to use the most of his ability. And if he did, then he lost his ability.
Bly won a game for us that is more than I can say about mister ass tackle DJ williams ....
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:03 PM   #20
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DJ williams and the word 4th down just does not happen .
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:08 PM   #21
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I still can't believe some people on this board don't think Bly could be a #2 corner in this league.....

Playing alongside a bona fide shutdown corner is probably one of the hardest positions to play because all week the opposition works on ways to get you out in the open or locked up in one on ones....

I played opposite of a borderline All American in high school (Michael Ray Garvin/ Arizona Cardinals) and it SUCKED ASS....he would basically not see a pass all game thrown his way and I was out there taking on what felt like an entire offensive playbook designed towards my side

why do you think we have struggled so mightily at finding a #2 CB?
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:21 PM   #22
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Not that I dont agree with him, but he could have just waited and let his play speak for him.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #23
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I'm not a big Andre Goodman fan ... I doubt he'll be better than Bly would've been.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:27 PM   #24
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I've wondered that lots of times ... must've gone deeper with Pat and Mike.
It probably went just about as deep as Shanahan saying Slowick would be back without even giving it a night to think about it or talking with Pat after the SD loss.

Shanahan acted like it was his team. By and large Pat let that slide as long as the team was winning. Shanahan stopped winning, but he didn't stop acting like it was his name on the deed. Bowlen got sick of someone who wasn't getting it done telling him just how it was going to be.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:30 PM   #25
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I sure wish Shanahan would have fired Slowik, hired a real DC, and we were in a different position right now.

I'll take what we have; but I would have preferred that. A lot.
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