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Old 10-05-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
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I've been accused of being both a McDaniel's hater and lover, and my response to everything so far has been "this team will be crazy good or crazy bad." It's not fair to push out my predictions out any further, so here is my official prediction. 11-5, good, but not crazy good.... but they could be.

First the Mea Culpa's. I was wrong; it was absolutely time for Shanahan to loose authority or his job. As I mentioned below I think the offense is seriously under-performing but it's a sign of how bad the defense has been the last three years that we could get Dawkins and Champ on the same team, and not think that this could be a epic unit. The surprise from everyone in the NFL tells you everything you need to know about how badly the offense was mismanaged.

That's not to let the front office off the hook for some of the stupidity this off season. The way they handled the earlier Brandon Marshall mess, how badly they have handled the press, the constant attack on players that the front office decided were no longer relevant to this team. These were big mistakes that kept this team from gelling as early as it could or should have.

All that being said, the "Hug" yesterday may end up being the most important play of this year. Josh McDaniel's had been seriously aloof from the community, the media and the locker room. Everything he said came out drizzled with New England arrogance from calling people "the player" to "lower extremity" injury reports.

Yesterday showed that McDaniel's is really a member of this team, not the Lord Ruler of it. That perception will go a long long way with the players and the community. If you don't think this matters, go see the difference the Rockies have made with Jim Tracey at the helm instead of Clint Hurdle.

This is where the team should have been at the start of the season.

As I mentioned, the defense has been nothing short of awesome. Any doubt that Mike Nolan is the right man for this job is gone after the first three games. He has done a great job merging the best of Denver's old system with new enthusiasm, players and scheme. Doom and Woodyard and DJ, but also Dawkins and Hill and a 3-4. Shanahan was trying to do a pseudo-move to a 3-4, and every experiment was just that - more prone to blow up in the face of the team then provide real and tangible results. Shanahan knows it now - it's part of the reason he is studying other teams right now - it's a shame that it took the complete collapse of the Broncos to get him to go extrovert.

It's been hit or miss with the D-line and the ability to generate pressure with a 3 man front. This last week was the first week that I think we saw consistent pressure with a three man rush. However, the consistent shutdown of other team's running games indicate that Ron Fields is getting the job done at the all important nose tackle position. This allows Doom to run off the edge rather then have to buttress the middle of the formation to keep the running game in check. McBean and Peterson have been unremarkable - the best thing you can say about a D-lineman.

DJ, Doom and Haggan have solidified the LB corp like we have not seen since Al Wilson was forced out of football. We knew last year that our LB corp had talent. The addition of Davis helps what should have been a huge asset last year. The depth behind them looks pretty solid with Ayers and Woodward in particular solidifying things considerably.

Doom is providing the foundation for a attacking D-Line, the perfect linebacker to compliment Dawkins and Champ. Enough has been written that I won't rehash it.

Speaking of Dawkins, what the frick were the Eagles thinking letting this guy go? What's even better is not only do we have Dawkins, we have two very young and very talented safeties learning from him. He plays the position the way it needs to be played - without reservation, at full speed and with a attitude. Burton and McBath should be taking notes.

What about Robert Ayers and Alphonso Smith, whom the Broncos spent two first round picks on? The jury is still out. Doom's success removes one avenue for Ayers. Alphonso Smith has had a few brilliant moments, but the jury is still very much out.

What's surprising about this team, is that so far the offense has been badly under-performing. The only components that have been executing so far have really been the new components - Buckhalter, Moreno, Gaffney. The huge talent that we had last year at offense - Cutler, Marshall, Sheffler, Eddie Royal, Peyton Hillis have been almost completely ineffectual.

Which brings us to the complex question of Kyle Orton. Kyle Orton has proven to be exactly what both sides of the great Orton debate thought. Both a efficient game manager and dink and dunk qb, unable to take advantage of opportunities down the field. I think a commentator this week - on the Marshall play said it perfectly. The ball to Marshall was both underthrown (velocity wise) and high. The week before Oakland actually switched to Cover 0 with their safeties because Kyle Orton could not deliver it down the field. We really don't have a way to stretch out the field. That vertical down the field ability are things that Marshall and Royal excel at. This team will not be great without involving them. Orton has to be able to deliver the ball down the field.

The running game now resembles New England's - which is both a blessing and a curse. Gone are the days of simply grinding a opponent under a solid running game. Instead three running back - with wildly inconsistent results. The big failure of zone blocking was supposedly the inability to run between the tackles, yet McDaniel's called three straight running plays earlier this week, and not a one achieved positive results. That play calling was frustrating to say the least. I know McDaniel's wants to prove his chops as a offensive coach, but I really wonder if we might not do better having a offensive coordinator calling plays?

For this team to be great, they need to change some of their spots. The Shanahan teams always started strong, and then faded as opposing teams figured out the cruches Shanahan was using to hide player's inabilities. Right now the Broncos have a lot of crutches, and they need to get rid of them before opposing teams kick them out.

Remeber that in 2006 the Broncos defense as of Game 7 was the best in the league. The offense was solid, if unspectacular, as Shanahan was following up on his 2005 strategy of limiting the throws that Jake Plummer could throw to keep him out of dicey turn over positions. The bad news was that the rest of the league had clued into this strategy and was adapting leading to lackluster offenses all season long.

Then in week 7, the Colts "picked the lock" of the Broncos defense, scoring more points in that game, then all the opponents in the previous three weeks had. Plummer played much better in that game - setting his season high in scoring- but the team never recovered. Cutler would get his start, and immediately eclipse Plummer's scoring, but at this point, the defense was a pale shadow of itself.

Right now this team looks a lot like the 2006 team. This team needs to expand what they can do, really open up the hose on some opponents. Otherwise, sooner or later this team will be picked.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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king neckbeard is playing a lot better than the 2006 jake plummer
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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king neckbeard is playing a lot better than the 2006 jake plummer
qft
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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king neckbeard is playing a lot better than the 2006 jake plummer
I think Orton has shone flashes of having a much better arm than people are giving him credit for. That TD to Moreno for example
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:48 PM   #5
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king neckbeard is playing a lot better than the 2006 jake plummer
And just wait until THE GLOVE. COMES. OFF. The league won't know what hit it.

Seriously. When the hell can he take that thing off? From what they were saying during the game is sounded like the finger still hurts.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:10 PM   #6
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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I think Orton has shone flashes of having a much better arm than people are giving him credit for. That TD to Moreno for example

I believe it when I see it. I don't mean that as a slam, but so far teams are completely discounting the possibility of deep passes from this qb.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:25 PM   #8
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This team "gelled" long ago. The hug is simply a sign that Marshall (we hope) is on board a train this team has been on a long time. We've read about how Vonnie Holiday was specifically impressed by how the team had bought into McDaniels. So I disagree that Josh has loosened up one bit. This team has been a solid unit since the beginning of camp. He'll they even seem to really be behind the kicker.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:31 PM   #9
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I believe it when I see it. I don't mean that as a slam, but so far teams are completely discounting the possibility of deep passes from this qb.
He over threw Mckinley deep. I think when he gets more familiar with the system and gets his timing down better with his receivers he will surprise a lot of people.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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This team "gelled" long ago. The hug is simply a sign that Marshall (we hope) is on board a train this team has been on a long time. We've read about how Vonnie Holiday was specifically impressed by how the team had bought into McDaniels. So I disagree that Josh has loosened up one bit. This team has been a solid unit since the beginning of camp. He'll they even seem to really be behind the kicker.
Which is much wiser than being in front of him.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:48 PM   #11
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The '06 team went three and out half a dozen times a game it seemed. They couldn't move the ball for ****.

We seem to be quite able to move it this year. We need to stop killing our own drives though. We've had a ton of drives stopped cold by holding and false starts. Several inside or near the red zone.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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8 penalties for 81 yards
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:41 PM   #13
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I think Orton has shone flashes of having a much better arm than people are giving him credit for. That TD to Moreno for example
i agree. too many people are basically looking at him like he is Chad Pennington. he has an average NFL strength arm. it isn't an Elwayesque arm but it isn't a Pennington arm either. it is in the middle. he has the ability to throw downfield. the entire offense is still working to get on the same page together. i doubt the full playbook has even been implemented yet. give it a little time and he will show he can execute more than the short routes, and this offense will show what it is capable of. there is just far too much talent for the offense to continue to underachieve all year.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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i agree. too many people are basically looking at him like he is Chad Pennington. he has an average NFL strength arm. it isn't an Elwayesque arm but it isn't a Pennington arm either. it is in the middle. he has the ability to throw downfield. the entire offense is still working to get on the same page together. i doubt the full playbook has even been implemented yet. give it a little time and he will show he can execute more than the short routes, and this offense will show what it is capable of. there is just far too much talent for the offense to continue to underachieve all year.
Don't know if anyone remembers but if he hits Gaffney on that pass he over threw him on, it's a TD! We can hope he has a coming out party against NE
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:20 PM   #15
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8 penalties for 81 yards
Whats your point?
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:22 PM   #16
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He's actually overthrown a couple of balls that looked to me like throws the bashers of Orton said he couldnt make. I mean, you can go back an dread some of the stuff spdirty and lex and broncofan7 said in the offseason that his noodle arm couldnt throw it fifty yards.

My first day at training camp and I knew that was bull****, I saw him chuck it 65 yards in the air with pinpoint precision (of course, Marshall did drop the pass).

It may not have the velocity of Jay on the long ball but his short ball gets there pretty damn quickly and even his intermediate ball has some zip on it.

He may never be an all world QB but I would compare his arm strength to Brady (not his accuracy, nor his "it" factor, calm yourselves) and maybe McDaniels can turn him into something more than his perceived status is now. Might take a year but considering that it took Tom Terrific and company a year, next year may even be better than this year.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:22 PM   #17
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Whats your point?
He was responding to the post right above his which brought up drive killing penalties.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:39 PM   #18
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This team reminds me of the '04 Patriots. They had the number one scoring defense but were number seven in yardage. Their offense was ranked 17th in yardage but were 12th in points. They went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl.

Now I think our defense might not finish as high, but I do think our offense will finish higher than 12th.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:49 PM   #19
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And in 2006, Plummer wasn't playing anywhere near as well as Orton. Plummer was a horribly inept passer that year.

In Plummer's first game against the "mighty" Rams, he did a repeat of his performance in the AFCG throwing three ints and fumbling once.

In Plummer's next game against the Chiefs he threw an Int and no touchdowns.

The next game Plummer and Walker owned the Patriots and he played well.

The following game against the Ravens he'd throw another Int but also a TD and against the Ravens D he gets a break.

This is where the idea that "Plummer was winning" in '06 is total crap. Plummer turned the ball over a lot that year and our defense won us those games early until they wore down. Whenever a player is turning the ball over, they aren't helping you win games, even if you win. They just happen to be on a winning team.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:39 AM   #20
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And just wait until THE GLOVE. COMES. OFF. The league won't know what hit it.

Seriously. When the hell can he take that thing off? From what they were saying during the game is sounded like the finger still hurts.
Slice the tip of your finger down to the bone to the point it needs a ton of stitches to close it. Then hit the knuckle with a hammer, not too hard though, don't break it.

Then go to emergency room and get it stitched up. Then go out in a couple weeks and throw a football and let us know how it feels.

Hell yeah it hurts. He's showing the team his toughness and that's one of the reasons the offense and defense respect Orton so much. He's always a big hit with teammates because he is genuine, likeable, and very tough player.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:02 AM   #21
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I've been accused of being both a McDaniel's hater and lover, and my response to everything so far has been "this team will be crazy good or crazy bad." It's not fair to push out my predictions out any further, so here is my official prediction. 11-5, good, but not crazy good.... but they could be.

First the Mea Culpa's. I was wrong; it was absolutely time for Shanahan to loose authority or his job. As I mentioned below I think the offense is seriously under-performing but it's a sign of how bad the defense has been the last three years that we could get Dawkins and Champ on the same team, and not think that this could be a epic unit. The surprise from everyone in the NFL tells you everything you need to know about how badly the offense was mismanaged.

That's not to let the front office off the hook for some of the stupidity this off season. The way they handled the earlier Brandon Marshall mess, how badly they have handled the press, the constant attack on players that the front office decided were no longer relevant to this team. These were big mistakes that kept this team from gelling as early as it could or should have.

All that being said, the "Hug" yesterday may end up being the most important play of this year. Josh McDaniel's had been seriously aloof from the community, the media and the locker room. Everything he said came out drizzled with New England arrogance from calling people "the player" to "lower extremity" injury reports.

Yesterday showed that McDaniel's is really a member of this team, not the Lord Ruler of it. That perception will go a long long way with the players and the community. If you don't think this matters, go see the difference the Rockies have made with Jim Tracey at the helm instead of Clint Hurdle.

This is where the team should have been at the start of the season.

As I mentioned, the defense has been nothing short of awesome. Any doubt that Mike Nolan is the right man for this job is gone after the first three games. He has done a great job merging the best of Denver's old system with new enthusiasm, players and scheme. Doom and Woodyard and DJ, but also Dawkins and Hill and a 3-4. Shanahan was trying to do a pseudo-move to a 3-4, and every experiment was just that - more prone to blow up in the face of the team then provide real and tangible results. Shanahan knows it now - it's part of the reason he is studying other teams right now - it's a shame that it took the complete collapse of the Broncos to get him to go extrovert.

It's been hit or miss with the D-line and the ability to generate pressure with a 3 man front. This last week was the first week that I think we saw consistent pressure with a three man rush. However, the consistent shutdown of other team's running games indicate that Ron Fields is getting the job done at the all important nose tackle position. This allows Doom to run off the edge rather then have to buttress the middle of the formation to keep the running game in check. McBean and Peterson have been unremarkable - the best thing you can say about a D-lineman.

DJ, Doom and Haggan have solidified the LB corp like we have not seen since Al Wilson was forced out of football. We knew last year that our LB corp had talent. The addition of Davis helps what should have been a huge asset last year. The depth behind them looks pretty solid with Ayers and Woodward in particular solidifying things considerably.

Doom is providing the foundation for a attacking D-Line, the perfect linebacker to compliment Dawkins and Champ. Enough has been written that I won't rehash it.

Speaking of Dawkins, what the frick were the Eagles thinking letting this guy go? What's even better is not only do we have Dawkins, we have two very young and very talented safeties learning from him. He plays the position the way it needs to be played - without reservation, at full speed and with a attitude. Burton and McBath should be taking notes.

What about Robert Ayers and Alphonso Smith, whom the Broncos spent two first round picks on? The jury is still out. Doom's success removes one avenue for Ayers. Alphonso Smith has had a few brilliant moments, but the jury is still very much out.

What's surprising about this team, is that so far the offense has been badly under-performing. The only components that have been executing so far have really been the new components - Buckhalter, Moreno, Gaffney. The huge talent that we had last year at offense - Cutler, Marshall, Sheffler, Eddie Royal, Peyton Hillis have been almost completely ineffectual.

Which brings us to the complex question of Kyle Orton. Kyle Orton has proven to be exactly what both sides of the great Orton debate thought. Both a efficient game manager and dink and dunk qb, unable to take advantage of opportunities down the field. I think a commentator this week - on the Marshall play said it perfectly. The ball to Marshall was both underthrown (velocity wise) and high. The week before Oakland actually switched to Cover 0 with their safeties because Kyle Orton could not deliver it down the field. We really don't have a way to stretch out the field. That vertical down the field ability are things that Marshall and Royal excel at. This team will not be great without involving them. Orton has to be able to deliver the ball down the field.

The running game now resembles New England's - which is both a blessing and a curse. Gone are the days of simply grinding a opponent under a solid running game. Instead three running back - with wildly inconsistent results. The big failure of zone blocking was supposedly the inability to run between the tackles, yet McDaniel's called three straight running plays earlier this week, and not a one achieved positive results. That play calling was frustrating to say the least. I know McDaniel's wants to prove his chops as a offensive coach, but I really wonder if we might not do better having a offensive coordinator calling plays?

For this team to be great, they need to change some of their spots. The Shanahan teams always started strong, and then faded as opposing teams figured out the cruches Shanahan was using to hide player's inabilities. Right now the Broncos have a lot of crutches, and they need to get rid of them before opposing teams kick them out.

Remeber that in 2006 the Broncos defense as of Game 7 was the best in the league. The offense was solid, if unspectacular, as Shanahan was following up on his 2005 strategy of limiting the throws that Jake Plummer could throw to keep him out of dicey turn over positions. The bad news was that the rest of the league had clued into this strategy and was adapting leading to lackluster offenses all season long.

Then in week 7, the Colts "picked the lock" of the Broncos defense, scoring more points in that game, then all the opponents in the previous three weeks had. Plummer played much better in that game - setting his season high in scoring- but the team never recovered. Cutler would get his start, and immediately eclipse Plummer's scoring, but at this point, the defense was a pale shadow of itself.

Right now this team looks a lot like the 2006 team. This team needs to expand what they can do, really open up the hose on some opponents. Otherwise, sooner or later this team will be picked.
Lostknight, outstanding observation. I think the 2009 team mirrors the 2006 team and season.

The 06 Defense was exposed and was worn down b/c the 06 offense was unable to score points and the D back then kept the Broncos in games as we see today. The 09 Defense can continue to play at the level their playing at for the last 12 games.....however, I believe its contingent on Orton stepping up and winning games with his arm more so than just managing the at the expense of the wear and tear the Defense will undoubtedly endure as the season wheres on.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:09 AM   #22
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Slice the tip of your finger down to the bone to the point it needs a ton of stitches to close it. Then hit the knuckle with a hammer, not too hard though, don't break it.

Then go to emergency room and get it stitched up. Then go out in a couple weeks and throw a football and let us know how it feels.

Hell yeah it hurts. He's showing the team his toughness and that's one of the reasons the offense and defense respect Orton so much. He's always a big hit with teammates because he is genuine, likeable, and very tough player.
Everyone appreciates Orton's toughness with his injury, however, why not let the finger heal and just start Simms! The last few games, Orton has gotten by some luck with his throws perhaps due to his injury, but this type of luck can't last forever. Sooner or later those questionable passes/throws will be intercepted. So far the Defense and the WR's on this team have bailed out Orton on the way to a 4-0 start. Orton has 29% 3rd down completion percentage and at that percentage rate, this Defense could very well wear down like the 06 Defense did.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:26 AM   #23
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4-0, that's why. You don't start the backup when the starter can go out and win you the game. I can't believe I'm even having this discussion. Sooner or later he will throw a pick, that is almost certain. I'm just wondering what makes you think Chris Simms would be a better option.

You don't think you are smarter then Coach Mcadaniels do you?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:32 AM   #24
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Ok since you love situational stats I decided to get some for you Rasta.

Attempts

1-10 he's comp 55%
11-20 he's comp 55%

but as game goes on

21-30 63.3%
31+ 85%

What that tells me is that he gets better as he needs to late in games to win them. In the early going he throws ball away, punts for field position, plays it safe.

You mistake style for lack of talent and that is the flaw in your reasoning.

Orton is 6-4 225 pounds, I've seen him chuck ball for big gains in Chicago and I don't see a problem with his arm. He's a little slow footed and that is his weakness but Broncos have good protection and a pocket passing offense.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:49 AM   #25
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4-0, that's why. You don't start the backup when the starter can go out and win you the game. I can't believe I'm even having this discussion. Sooner or later he will throw a pick, that is almost certain. I'm just wondering what makes you think Chris Simms would be a better option.

You don't think you are smarter then Coach Mcadaniels do you?
Oh get over yourself! Simms is just as talented as Orton and more than likely throws the ball with more consistency and win the WR's are open! What makes you think Simms wouldn't be any better? The point is, everyone is using the excuse of Orton wearing the golve to protect his finger injury....as to why he's throwing the ball so erratically---I hope this is the reason and by week 8 with his finger healed, we should see Orton giving the Defense a rest for a change.
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