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Old 09-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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Default Broncos Team Report 9/22

Broncos Team Report
Updated: September 22, 2009, 2:20 AM EDT

Inside Slant

When Elvis Dumervil was asked to move from defensive end to outside linebacker to fit the Broncos' new 3-4 scheme, nobody knew for sure if he would work out at the new position. Surely, it's safe to say, very few people expected the move to work out this well.

Dumervil, who had a good training camp and preseason, tied a franchise record with four sacks against Cleveland on Sunday. His quickness off the edge has been a huge asset to the Broncos' defense during the scheme transition.

"He can get underneath you and push you back to the quarterback," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "He is a unique player."

The Broncos needed an elite edge rusher for their 3-4, and Dumervil might end up being that player. He was a good pass rusher at end, although last year his numbers trailed off. He got off to a slow start because of a hand injury and never recovered.

Dumervil didn't know what to expect this season. He had never played outside linebacker, but he deserves credit for working hard to learn the new position. The Broncos have been smart too, not asking him to get outside his comfort level too often in the scheme.

Eventually, Dumervil started translating his pass rush ability to outside linebacker, zipping by Browns right tackle John St. Clair often on Sunday. Dumervil lines up at right outside linebacker in the base defense but moves to the left side for passing situations.

"It hasn't been easy," Dumervil said. "I still have a lot to learn. I feel like I am going the right direction, though."


Notes and Quotes

--Broncos coach Josh McDaniels insisted there was no reason receiver Brandon Marshall sat out during a long stretch of the second quarter. Marshall was on the sideline and apparently ready to go, but the Broncos kept using Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley in the three-receiver sets.

"No reason," McDaniels said. "All our guys are ready to go whenever we call their number and we were doing some different things, moving people in and out."

--The Broncos have been spreading the ball around through two games, especially in the passing game. While that might not be great for people that expected big years out of Eddie Royal or Brandon Marshall, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he doesn't believe in trying to get players a certain amount of touches in a game.

"I don't buy into forcing the ball, I think you get into problems," McDaniels said. "I think that creates turnovers. Defenses would love that if you force the ball to one guy."


Strategy and Personnel
PLAYER NOTES

--S Darcel McBath got his first career interception in the final seconds of Sunday's game. McBath could eventually find himself with a role in passing situations, but for the first two weeks most of his work has come on special teams. McBath was a second-round pick.

--Brett Kern rebounded nicely in Week 2. After a rough opener, Kern averaged 54.5 yards against the Browns and helped keep their dangerous returner Joshua Cribbs in check.

--G Russ Hochstein didn't start his second straight game at right guard because Chris Kuper returned from injury. But Hochstein was used as a fullback in the goal-line offense. Hochstein is a typical Patriots lineman, meaning he could be used in gadget situations by Josh McDaniels.

--CB Alphonso Smith handled punt returns for the Broncos on Sunday. He didn't break any long returns but had no ball security issues, which was a concern for the team through preseason.

--LB Darrell Reid led the Broncos with two special-teams tackles against Cleveland. Reid, who also plays in the nickel defense, is quickly becoming a valuable and versatile player for the team.

REPORT CARD VS. BROWNS


PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus - Denver's Kyle Orton wasn't spectacular, completing barely 50 percent of his passes. But he did not turn the ball over, which is becoming the top priority in the Broncos offense. He also hit a couple of big plays to keep the offense moving. Orton will eventually need to carry the team, but the defense has been so good that so far the Broncos are fine with Orton being mostly a game manager.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B - Denver's rushing offense finally came alive in the fourth quarter. Correll Buckhalter broke a 45-yard touchdown run and Knowshon Moreno picked up tough yards. Part of the success came from the three tight-end set Denver used to grind out yards with the lead in the fourth quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: A - Brady Quinn refused to throw downfield. Either blame Quinn or Cleveland's conservative approach, or credit the Broncos' defense. Denver's secondary hasn't allowed many big plays in two weeks, thanks in large part to a revamped secondary. The pass rush has also been pretty good. Elvis Dumervil had four sacks, mostly when he was up against Browns right tackle John St. Clair.

RUSH DEFENSE: A - Jamal Lewis got only 38 yards on 14 carries as the Broncos swarmed to the ball once again. His longest carry was 12 yards. The Broncos are playing well against the run, but will be tested by the Raiders this week. The key has been that the linemen are occupying blockers and linebackers aren't letting running backs get to the second level very often.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus - Matt Prater missed two field goals on a windy day and Peyton Hillis lost a fumble on the opening kickoff. The reason Denver's grade wasn't much worse is it did a fantastic job against elite returner Joshua Cribbs, not allowing him to make any big plays.

COACHING: A - Josh McDaniels is 2-0. The competition hasn't been the toughest but the team has done what has been asked of it in each game. So far the defensive staff deserves a lot of credit for that unit's amazing turnaround from last year. The offense has been careful not to turn the ball over, and that has been good enough for a couple of win
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Umm,,, I rate the passing game a C plus, there were a lot of "non-statistical" plays out there that kept us in control of the field position game.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Pretty fair assessment. Cleveland is a bad team and we dominated them, which bodes well. I think we all agree it's a work in progress, but I definitely saw some of the progress from week 1 to 2, and I'm looking forward to seeing us crush the dreams of a feisty Raiders squad.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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Umm,,, I rate the passing game a C plus, there were a lot of "non-statistical" plays out there that kept us in control of the field position game.
true, with his only around 50% completion rate this weekend, it isn't factored in a lot of passes that were purposely thrown at the feet of players or just thrown away to avoid a turnover. there were a lot of smart plays by Orton that weren't pretty but they kept us in control of the game.

i am really enjoying not seeing our QB forcing balls into double or triple coverage and having a lot of turnovers.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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While I think our Offense still looks awkward... gotta love how much a team player and smart Orton looks out there. He'll put up big numbers I think, prob 22 TD to 10 INT but you gotta love how he is not turning the ball over at all!
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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While I think our Offense still looks awkward... gotta love how much a team player and smart Orton looks out there. He'll put up big numbers I think, prob 22 TD to 10 INT but you gotta love how he is not turning the ball over at all!
Exactly..on some of his throws it kinda leaves you scratching your head..on the other hand you would rather have that than a turnover or forcing into into double or even triple coverage. I like that quote from McD about spreading the ball around and not forcing it to one guy all the time. I think it makes the O a little predicable. When you are spreading it around it keeps the opposing D a little more off balance and guessing! The O is still a work in progress and they will get better. I think McD has done a great job but the tough is about to get going...and we will soon see what kind of team we really have.

On a side note...i think the Pats are missing McD as their O cordinator. Their offense isn't looking all that great! Maybe McD was the mastermind behind that great O after all?!?!
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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Exactly..on some of his throws it kinda leaves you scratching your head..on the other hand you would rather have that than a turnover or forcing into into double or even triple coverage. I like that quote from McD about spreading the ball around and not forcing it to one guy all the time. I think it makes the O a little predicable. When you are spreading it around it keeps the opposing D a little more off balance and guessing! The O is still a work in progress and they will get better. I think McD has done a great job but the tough is about to get going...and we will soon see what kind of team we really have.

On a side note...i think the Pats are missing McD as their O cordinator. Their offense isn't looking all that great! Maybe McD was the mastermind behind that great O after all?!?!
Good observation. I think Orton threw to eight different receivers during the Brown's game.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #8
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true, with his only around 50% completion rate this weekend, it isn't factored in a lot of passes that were purposely thrown at the feet of players or just thrown away to avoid a turnover. there were a lot of smart plays by Orton that weren't pretty but they kept us in control of the game.

i am really enjoying not seeing our QB forcing balls into double or triple coverage and having a lot of turnovers.
I distinctly remember him having to throw it away three consecutive times in the red zone, because they had no quick underneath routes called and there was tremendous pressure on the right side of the line. Blame that on McD-Orton did the right thing on those plays, trying to maintain position for the Field Goal try. That's off the top of my head but I would rather he throw it away then take a sack or toss an INT anywhere on the field.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #9
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--Broncos coach Josh McDaniels insisted there was no reason receiver Brandon Marshall sat out during a long stretch of the second quarter. Marshall was on the sideline and apparently ready to go, but the Broncos kept using Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley in the three-receiver sets.

"No reason," McDaniels said. "All our guys are ready to go whenever we call their number and we were doing some different things, moving people in and out."
I think he's lying.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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I would rather Orton throw the ball away than risk throwing into coverage. No need to take chances unless trying to come from behind.

Dumervil was like a streaky shooter in basketball. Wasn't heard from much in the 1st half, but then was unblockable for a few series in a row where he got all his sacks and pressures.

I am really liking what I see from ILB Davis. He made a lot of plays Sunday.

No doubt Mike Nolan has made a big difference with this defense. If you consistently make teams go 70-80 yards to score, without giving up long runs or passes, unless you are truly horrible on defense, you will usually be pretty successful.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #11
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I think he's lying.
Well, he did look to the left as he spoke.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:24 PM   #12
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I'm pretty sure Doom got 3 of the 4 sacks out of the 4-3 defense.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:08 PM   #13
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On a side note...i think the Pats are missing McD as their O cordinator. Their offense isn't looking all that great! Maybe McD was the mastermind behind that great O after all?!?!
Hey, remember when we lost Kubiac how stale the playcalling was? Shanny was so predictable. I mean when most of the fans know what plays your gonna call, you have to believe that most defenses do as well. I honestly feel like we would have made the playoffs if Kubes was still around. Even with that horrendous efense last year.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:17 PM   #14
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I'm pretty sure Doom got 3 of the 4 sacks out of the 4-3 defense.
regardless of the scheme he got them in, he made St Clair his b**** in the 2nd half
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:39 PM   #15
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I think he's lying.
I think it's news speak which translates to "We're keeping this in house."
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:42 PM   #16
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Also though it was windy so it was probably tough to throw the ball well and accurate.
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