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Old 10-01-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Good article on RB and DL depth/rotation

When it comes to closing out games, the Broncos have shown they have what it takes to keep their foot down for 60 minutes.

Whether it's Brandon Stokley's "Immaculate Deflection" in Week 1, Elvis Dumervil's three sacks in the fourth quarter in Week 2 or the squad rushing for 251 yards combined in the second half of Weeks 2 and 3, Denver shows no signs of slowing down as the game wears on.

One of seven undefeated teams in the league, the Broncos' ability to keep the pedal to the medal in the second half quarter certainly isn't hurt by the fact that they have the depth to rotate a handful of players at several positions.

The two biggest spots -- running back and defensive line.

In the backfield, the Broncos have a group of players who can get the job done. Case in point, Correll Buckhalter was nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week and Knowshon Moreno was nominated for the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week after the same game -- Buckhalter had 108 yards rushing on 7.7 yards per carry and Moreno had 90 yards on the ground and his first career touchdown in Week 3.

"It allows us to wear defenses down," Buckhalter said of splitting repetitions.

The club has divided the carries throughout the backfield. Heading into Week 4, Moreno has 46 carries and a touchdown, Buckhalter has 31 carries and a touchdown and LaMont Jordan has 15 carries. Peyton Hillis has four carries, typically with the team near the goal line, and has one touchdown.

"We like to have a fresh back -- there is no reason for us to not have that during the course of a game," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. "Last couple of games, LaMont has really carried all of the four-minute carries at the end of the game when you can put in a big, fresh back and try to wear them down even more. Peyton has been our goal-line and short-yardage guy. We use them all."

And it's not just the running backs that have a rotation, it's other positions from the linebacker corps to the defensive line. Vonnie Holliday said rotating six defensive linemen -- like the team did last week in Oakland -- forces the opposing offensive line to have to prepare for several players as opposed to just one.

"It helps you kind of wear them down as a tag team," he said. "In the fourth quarter when you really need that push and you need to get after them, you can. I think that was evident this past Sunday with Oakland. Those guys did a great job early in the game, and late in the game when we needed to get some fresh bodies in there and get after (JaMarcus) Russell, we were able to."

McDaniels said he and the coaching staff never hesitate to rotate in players throughout the game. He said that against Oakland, at times the team even substituted all three linemen at once, as well as putting in one new guy at a time.

"We've got to keep the guys fresh, that's the key," defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely said during training camp. "And it's up to me to make sure through the course of a game when I know a guy's tired, I've got to put a fresh body in."

With the defensive line maybe even more so than the running backs, the way the game is going helps dictate the rotation, whether it's the opposing offense putting together a long drive, the weather or any number of reasons.

"I think defensive line isn't a position where you expect to play 75 plays a game," McDaniels said. "There are a lot of things that go on in there. There is a lot of pounding that takes place. Depending on how hot the day is -- and last week was the hottest that we have played in, really -- we might need to sub in a lot of guys."

And the players don't mind the rotation, especially when it leads to wins.

"It's a really long season," Moreno said. "We're going to try to stay healthy and keep it moving."

FORCING MISTAKES

So far, the Broncos defense has forced eight takeaways -- five interceptions and three fumble recoveries through three games. That has helped lead to a plus-six turnover margin, good for tops in the AFC and second in the league.

"The funny thing is, once you get one, you get another," Champ Bailey said of the turnovers. "They come in bunches. I think if you just work hard to get them, just try to be in the right place at the right time, things will happen your way. The turnovers will happen."

This week, the Broncos will face a Cowboys team that has a minus-one turnover margin due to four giveaways -- a fumble by Felix Jones and three interceptions by Tony Romo.

Romo's interceptions show that he is succeptible to some mistakes, but Andra Davis said that doesn't mean he's not a talented quarterback.

"We got a stat on him today that he's got a real high winning percentage on the road, so he's a very good quarterback," he said.

Romo has a 15-5 record in road games since becoming a starter in 2006, part of an overall record of 29-13. Part of that ability to win on the road comes from the signal caller's confidence in his abilities.

"He's a guy, he trusts his arm," Bailey said. "He trusts his receivers. With a confidence like that, he's going to try to make every throw he can. I would too. If I could throw it like that, I'd be trusting my arm, too."

So does the Broncos defense, who has already intercepted five passes, expect Romo to sling the ball across the field?

"I'm just hoping I'll be there to catch it," Bailey said.

http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.ph...4&storyID=9422




"We like to have a fresh back -- there is no reason for us to not have that during the course of a game," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. "Last couple of games, LaMont has really carried all of the four-minute carries at the end of the game when you can put in a big, fresh back and try to wear them down even more."

...and here's you reason for Jordan making the team over Darius Walker. I questioned the move at the time, but now it makes perfect sense.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:30 PM   #2
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This is why we have the home field advantage back

We are going to hard to beat at home the opposite of the recent Shanahan teams.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Bob Slowick was so full of fail.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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The logic of this young coach is spot on.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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Bob Slowick was so full of fail.
Please, PLEASE stop saying that name.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:17 PM   #6
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Bob Slowick was so full of fail.
Kahn! How the hell are ya?
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:13 AM   #7
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Kahn! How the hell are ya?
Khan vultured two ****ing td's from Ryan Grant last week. ****ing **********.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:47 AM   #8
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During the off season these were my two biggest concerns. I am glad to see the Broncos ARE running the ball. I am glad to see our defense is no longer subpar.

If McD beats Wade Phillips and Dallas that will be a pretty strong statement to the league.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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I love the substitutions on the D-line. Reminds me of how Philly has done it so well for so long.

Also about Lamont Jordan - not only is he a big bruising back that will wear down already tired defensive players, but he virtually never fumbles the ball. He won't lose a game for you ala Chris Brown.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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During the off season these were my two biggest concerns. I am glad to see the Broncos ARE running the ball. I am glad to see our defense is no longer subpar.

If McD beats Wade Phillips and Dallas that will be a pretty strong statement to the league.

Meh, Dallas can be subject to the same scrutiny as a lot of teams. For all that is made about Denver's schedule, you can poke holes in Dallas' as well. They lost to the only "good" team theyve played and have defeated the Bucs and Panthers. So basically, even if Denver wins, Dallas is still subject to the same scrutiny even though a prevalent perception of Dallas might give a win over them cache.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:06 AM   #11
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Meh, Dallas can be subject to the same scrutiny as a lot of teams. For all that is made about Denver's schedule, you can poke holes in Dallas' as well. They lost to the only "good" team theyve played and have defeated the Bucs and Panthers. So basically, even if Denver wins, Dallas is still subject to the same scrutiny even though a prevalent perception of Dallas might give a win over them cache.
Exactly. Any team that loses to us the next few weeks will get a "maybe they're not as good as we thought" from the media.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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Please, PLEASE stop saying that name.
No whining or begging here. This is the OM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:24 AM   #13
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Exactly. Any team that loses to us the next few weeks will get a "maybe they're not as good as we thought" from the media.

Someone in the media is already teeing dallas up for precisely that by calling Denver the worst 3-0 team in the history of the merger. Whats behind that kind of hyperbole isnt a genuine belief but, rather, a reason to tweak Dallas fans.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:26 AM   #14
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Meh, Dallas can be subject to the same scrutiny as a lot of teams. For all that is made about Denver's schedule, you can poke holes in Dallas' as well. They lost to the only "good" team theyve played and have defeated the Bucs and Panthers. So basically, even if Denver wins, Dallas is still subject to the same scrutiny even though a prevalent perception of Dallas might give a win over them cache.
The perception of Dallas' schedule as being more difficult than ours is the result of residual impressions based off last years teams. Last years NYG>Cin, Car>Cle, and TB>Oak. This year Carolina's failures on the field, and the resurgence of Cincy make the schedules look much more even. The problem is analysts (and many fans, myself included) are having trouble wrapping thier heads around the fact that the Bengals are playing like a playoff calibre team, and the Panthers are not. It's not a good reason to rate Dallas higher than Denver, but it is a rationalization of why people frequently do so. Sunday will show how fair or unfair such assessments are, and I hope the Broncos manage to blow huge holes in the theory and alter peoples perceptions.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:28 AM   #15
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This is an old argument, and I probably lean towards having more a feature back. But, the modern NFL has changed things to an extent, and if you can have a couple of talented guys on your roster like Moreno and Buckhalter, there's no reason not to utilize both of them.

I think the key is, some guys need 8-10 carries to get going... and some (like Buck) seem to be able to come right out and perform well. I think Moreno might be a guy who needs 10+ carries before you really start to see the best of him in a game.

NE was 4th in rushing last season without anything close to an elite back. So, the system can work. Thus far, I'd say we're a good running team... and getting better.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:33 AM   #16
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The perception of Dallas' schedule as being more difficult than ours is the result of residual impressions based off last years teams. Last years NYG>Cin, Car>Cle, and TB>Oak. This year Carolina's failures on the field, and the resurgence of Cincy make the schedules look much more even. The problem is analysts (and many fans, myself included) are having trouble wrapping thier heads around the fact that the Bengals are playing like a playoff calibre team, and the Panthers are not. It's not a good reason to rate Dallas higher than Denver, but it is a rationalization of why people frequently do so. Sunday will show how fair or unfair such assessments are, and I hope the Broncos manage to blow huge holes in the theory and alter peoples perceptions.
Youre right...Like I said..."prevalent perception"
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #17
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Someone in the media is already teeing dallas up for precisely that by calling Denver the worst 3-0 team in the history of the merger. Whats behind that kind of hyperbole isnt a genuine belief but, rather, a reason to tweak Dallas fans.
The funniest part about this is that its all based on some false perception of the broncos team. Really, why are we the worst 3-0 team ever? Though we had a rough season last year, we were still 8-8. The only real position downgrade we had was at quarterback (and its not like Orton hasnt won lots of NFL games before). We didn't play that poorly in the preseason. So where does the media actually get this opinion from? Is there a shred of empirical evidence that Denver sucks? As far as i can tell, its from nothing other than their own bull****.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:54 AM   #18
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The funniest part about this is that its all based on some false perception of the broncos team. Really, why are we the worst 3-0 team ever? Though we had a rough season last year, we were still 8-8. The only real position downgrade we had was at quarterback (and its not like Orton hasnt won lots of NFL games before). We didn't play that poorly in the preseason. So where does the media actually get this opinion from? Is there a shred of empirical evidence that Denver sucks? As far as i can tell, its from nothing other than their own bull****.
Like I said before, the guy who said that probably doesnt truly feel like Denver is the worst 3-0 team ever...but it is a way to tweak the Dallas fanbase, which is considerable. He is saying this probably because he thinks Dallas can lose and he is trying to construct some story out of it based off of some bogus premise. But whether he's right about this has nothing to do with anything when you realize that he's doing it to get a reaction and supply his own material, you can kind of see that its actually a compliment of sorts (again, he probably is saying this knowing Dallas has a realistic chance of losing).
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:56 AM   #19
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Like I said before, the guy who said that probably doesnt truly feel like Denver is the worst 3-0 team ever...but it is a way to tweak the Dallas fanbase, which is considerable. He is saying this probably because he thinks Dallas can lose and he is trying to construct some story out of it based off of some bogus premise. But whether he's right about this has nothing to do with anything when you realize that he's doing it to get a reaction and supply his own material.
Oh, i agree, i wasn't necessarily commenting on that prognosticator specifically, but more the general belief that Denver was a team in chaos or as Clayton called them "an expansion team." I just never truly understood where those opinions came from.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:24 AM   #20
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Bob Slowick was so full of fail.
Welcome back!
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:43 PM   #21
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Meh, Dallas can be subject to the same scrutiny as a lot of teams. For all that is made about Denver's schedule, you can poke holes in Dallas' as well. They lost to the only "good" team theyve played and have defeated the Bucs and Panthers. So basically, even if Denver wins, Dallas is still subject to the same scrutiny even though a prevalent perception of Dallas might give a win over them cache.
That could be true but Wade Phillips can always get up for beating the Broncos.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #22
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This is an old argument, and I probably lean towards having more a feature back. But, the modern NFL has changed things to an extent, and if you can have a couple of talented guys on your roster like Moreno and Buckhalter, there's no reason not to utilize both of them.

I think the key is, some guys need 8-10 carries to get going... and some (like Buck) seem to be able to come right out and perform well. I think Moreno might be a guy who needs 10+ carries before you really start to see the best of him in a game.

NE was 4th in rushing last season without anything close to an elite back. So, the system can work. Thus far, I'd say we're a good running team... and getting better.
I am completely sold on the idea of doing what works. If the Broncos get an elite back then the problem comes back how long will that guy last. If the the Broncos RBBC all year the only thing I care about is does that get the job done.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:56 PM   #23
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I am completely sold on the idea of doing what works. If the Broncos get an elite back then the problem comes back how long will that guy last. If the the Broncos RBBC all year the only thing I care about is does that get the job done.
People act like RBs becoming irrelevant because of RBBC. If you look back to the 80s, how many great seasons did James Wilder have after he set the record for rushing attempts in a season? Back in those days, 300 carries were about what it is now. One thing thats different now is that you dont see fullbacks running the ball as much (theyre even rarely used for blocking) and you also dont hear as much about guys finding their groove at around the 15th carry.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #24
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"It's a really long season," Moreno said. "We're going to try to stay healthy and keep it moving."
Love this guy. Great attitude\maturity on and off the field.

If Sanchez starts to lose (@Saints tomorrow) and Moreno becomes an impact player in helping Denver win some games...the ROY voting should get a whole lot closer.

Well should, if Sanchez played West of the Mississippi.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:52 PM   #25
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Bob Slowick was so full of fail.
Slowick is a failure, Slowick with at pissed off Mike Shanahan on the other hand is going to be something to watch.
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