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Old 10-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
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Default Strange chemistry bubbling in Denver

http://www.profootballweekly.com/200...ling-in-denver

Strange chemistry bubbling in Denver
Posted Oct. 15, 2009 @ 12:53 p.m.
By Tom Danyluk

Cedric Hardman was an end rusher, a 49er sacker, who took his jollies from busting up the quarterback. And he loved jawing about them. Joe Theismann was a whiner; and Dan Fouts — you could flatten his nose to his face and he'd still beat you; and the one he pitied most was Archie Manning, who spent every Sunday in the shark tank, fighting off the fins and the teeth and counting his stitches.

And as I watched the Denver Broncos play New England last Sunday I thought about something else Hardman said — about a so-so passer who helped the Baltimore Ravens win a championship years ago, pretty much by not screwing things up.

"The common denominator of all great teams, no matter what the sport," Hardman said, "is chemistry. A glaring example of that occurred when Brian Billick had the nerve to think his system was so great that he didn't need to invite his own quarterback, Trent Dilfer, back the year after winning the Super Bowl.

"I don't know what's wrong with these damn people, messing with Dilfer. The boy had won the last 15 or 18 games he'd started, and Billick wouldn't even invite him back the next season. They talked about what Dilfer couldn't do, but they didn't talk about what he could do — and that was win, dammit! That's the bottom line.

"Rule No. 1: Don't mess with chemistry!"

And in Denver a Dilfer-ish quarterback named Kyle Orton gunned down the Pats with a pair of late 90-plus-yard drives, and a shocking Broncos defense wiped Tom Brady off the second-half scoreboard, and when it was over you couldn't help but sense something special was brewing out there — chemistry.

You can feel it with these Broncos. The tumblers are clicking. They're somehow getting the tips and the breaks and the bounces, and they're stacking them up in the win column.

How did they get here, and so quickly? When you eyed their late-summer roster it was pure hodgepodge, a shish-kabob team … trade here, free agent there, rookies over here … then all the tension with the new head coach. 5-11, maybe 6-10 was the coming forecast.

Instead, a mysterious alchemy went to work. What gives?

"I guess we're lucky. The altitude — who knows?" said DRE Vonnie Holiday (three tackles and forced a Brady fumble), a Miami reject. "It was amazing going into [the Pats] game, listening to the prognosticators saying we're the underdogs once again in our house after beating Dallas last week. … We feel like we've got a good team here. We're doing some good things. The guys in the locker room believe; the coaches believe; guys believe in each other and are fighting."

Orton believes he finally has the right coaching to drill into his strengths — that's Josh McDaniels and a new offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy.

"This is a great offense I can thrive in," says Orton, "that is really suited well for me. You've got to think, you've got to handle the operation correctly and then you've got to be accurate.

"Mike is a good mix with Josh because Josh is certainly intense and sometimes can be in your face a little bit. … I like that, but Mike is a very calming factor. He's played and he knows the position."

Orton was a low-level bomber at Purdue (522 yds. vs Indiana … 385 at Notre Dame), winging it around in the frenzy of the Joe Tiller scheme. It stirred enough attention to earn him a mid-round draft slot.

But Orton's had to scale things back to survive in the pros. Nothing fancy. The arm strength — just OK. He won't force things over the middle, and he won't cut you up deep.

But he won't turn it over either (one interception this season), and that's been the glue in holding the Broncos together thus far. It's also called self-preservation.

"The way I evaluate a quarterback," says McDaniels, "is wins, production, taking care of the football, helping your team do what it needs to do."

Chemistry — you won't hear McDaniels throw the word around much. His mantra is preparation — and picking the right guests for the party.

Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, who won back-to-back titles in Dallas, echoes the mindset.

"Everybody talks about chemistry of a football team and experience and leadership," says Johnson. "Well, what wins in this league is talent. And what wins in this league is individuals that don't make mistakes."

So you grab some good players and you coach the hell out of them and sometimes it still won't come together, e.g., San Diego, Dallas, the Coughlin Giants … with Shockey and Strahan and Tiki. Flop clubs.

Maybe there really is a third leg to all of this, the relationship biz?

"Oh, I believe very much in team chemistry … or espirit de corps … or karma … whatever you want to call it," says Dick Vermeil, former head coach of the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs. "I tried to cultivate that when I was coaching. You want your players to look out for one another, to care for each other, not letting the other guy down. It mainly happens on teams that are enjoying success, but I've seen losing ones develop it as a way to get through adversity. Everyone pulling together. The collective goal.

"Another way to say it is 'psychological momentum.' One year with the Chiefs we won nine straight. We won games we had no business winning. It was incredible. We'd just find ways to do it. Our players just expected to win."

Vermeil says sometimes it only takes a shot of new blood to make a difference on a club.

"In Denver you've had coaching changes, new coordinators," says Vermeil. "So right away a new level of enthusiasm gets created. Expectations change, there's a different way of doing things. That can energize a team. Then you start looking for guys that fit your profile. You keep the ones that do, and whoever doesn't buy into it — you eliminate.

"Over the years we passed over many talented guys in the draft because someone I knew on the college staff would say, 'Coach, he won't fit. Skip him. He won't fit in your program.' "

So far, Orton fits the Denver formula, and as he filled out the postgame questionnaire, he whipped the word "great" around the room in describing his team's big day — great talent, great line, great kick, etc.

Well, it's not a great club — yet. Orton's a swell story, and the running game is trying, and that defense — second in the league — has a head start on everybody.

But it's been chemistry that's held it all in place, the juice that's lifted a dead-look team onto a fast track toward the playoffs. Players caring. The right fit.

Trent Dilfer would raise a glass to that.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:59 AM   #2
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I think we have what we had back in the superbowl days; a well oiled machine. Everyone is doing their job and it makes the gameplan run smooth.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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What is really important about team chemistry is not the guy who is number 40 on the DC, he will always be a team guy, but the guy who is number 1 is the important one. When you have a Brian Dawkins out there looking out for his boys, when you have a Kyle Orton out there talking to people making jokes, that is what matters, if they do it then everybody else will fall in line.

Chemistry and team spirit starts at the top and trickles down, it comes with responsibility and it comes with looking out for each other, when the number 1 guys do that, all the rest will do it as well.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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It's a good article and makes valid points, but the main premise is off.

What Kyle did last Sunday was world's above anything Dilfer was ever capable of achieving.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:26 AM   #5
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Yep. It's worked for five games.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
It's a good article and makes valid points, but the main premise is off.

What Kyle did last Sunday was world's above anything Dilfer was ever capable of achieving.
I just looked back at Dilfers stats for the 2000 season. He had a whopping 1,500 yards passing on the season. Kyle will have that after game 6.

Even Mock could bust off 2k passing if he had to.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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Yeah...you can't compare Kyle to Trent.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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it's a good article and makes valid points, but the main premise is off.

What kyle did last sunday was world's above anything dilfer was ever capable of achieving.
no doubt!!!!!
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ant1999e View Post
I think we have what we had back in the superbowl days; a well oiled machine. Everyone is doing their job and it makes the gameplan run smooth.
I'm gonna keep a file of these homer posts and post them when this team crashes and burns won't that be fun.....
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheDave View Post
http://www.profootballweekly.com/200...ling-in-denver

Well, it's not a great club — yet. Orton's a swell story, and the running game is trying, and that defense — second in the league — has a head start on everybody.

But it's been chemistry that's held it all in place, the juice that's lifted a dead-look team onto a fast track toward the playoffs. Players caring. The right fit.

Trent Dilfer would raise a glass to that.
Second?
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #11
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I think we have what we had back in the superbowl days; a well oiled machine. Everyone is doing their job and it makes the gameplan run smooth.
That's true. But we had a lot more talent on the superbowl teams, in addition to team chemistry.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #12
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I just looked back at Dilfers stats for the 2000 season. He had a whopping 1,500 yards passing on the season. Kyle will have that after game 6.

Even Mock could bust off 2k passing if he had to.
Kyle is doing better than Dilfer did then but to put your statement in context,Dilfer wasn't there starting QB until game 9 of that season. Tony Banks was their starter for the 1st 8 games. If you remember Tony Banks lost his starting job because of his inability to score a TD. They won like 5 games without scoring a TD on offense.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TheDave View Post
http://www.profootballweekly.com/200...ling-in-denver

"I don't know what's wrong with these damn people, messing with Dilfer. The boy had won the last 15 or 18 games he'd started, and Billick wouldn't even invite him back the next season. They talked about what Dilfer couldn't do, but they didn't talk about what he could do — and that was win, dammit! That's the bottom line.
That's an easy one, Dilfer wasn't lighting up the stat sheet. Dilfer winning games wasn't good enough for some people, much in the same way it is for Kyle Orton.

Orton is what, 26-12 for his career? He's not glamorous, he doesn't win you your fantasy league, and he doesn't dazzle those fans that want to be proud of the boxscore, so winning games just isn't enough for some people. Winning games and playing smart football just isn't enough.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #14
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Kyle is doing better than Dilfer did then but to put your statement in context,Dilfer wasn't there starting QB until game 9 of that season. Tony Banks was their starter for the 1st 8 games. If you remember Tony Banks lost his starting job because of his inability to score a TD. They won like 5 games without scoring a TD on offense.
Coupled with his success and the fans dislike of previous starter Tony Banks, Dilfer became very popular in Baltimore, but he was surprisingly released after the season. With this, he became the only Super Bowl winning quarterback released the following season.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:35 AM   #15
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Didn't the Ravens bring in Elvis Grbac after they won the SB??
I know that Grbac SUCKED and retired after year #1 in Baltimore.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #16
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Why do so many compare Orton to Trent Dilfer?

Trent Dilfer is one of the most terrible QBs of the last decade.

True Orton isn't known for lighting up scoreboards or being a fantasy stud, but he is leaps and bounds better than Dilfer.

Against the man many claim to be the best in the league this past weekend, he was clearly the better QB on the field at the end of the day. I am not saying he is the best QB in the league, but if the NE game showed anything, it showed that Orton does not get rattled, he has the ability to take a game over and get his team a victory late(2-90+ yard drives to get the game into overtime is amazing) and when he has it all working he can hang with the elite QBs in this league.

Dilfer could never hang with the best at the position. He was a bottom feeder QB. Orton is a lot better on his bad days than Dilfer could have ever hoped to be.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:14 PM   #17
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Yea, Dilfer is on the lower end of a QB that I think has the capacity to win a SB, but he still illustrates what is possible when a proper team structure is put in place.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:17 PM   #18
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In fairness to Trent Dilfer (in regards to SB season), while he was never a great QB, he was on a team that never, ever got any offensive production through the air during the tenure of the HC. No one ever was successful, even on a small scale. The Job became, just let the D win the game, and it stayed that way for 5-6 years.

and his 1500 yds were in 8 games, tony banks (i believe) started the season

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Old 10-16-2009, 01:48 PM   #19
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Anyone wonder why the Broncos fell of the map after they drafted Jay Cutler?

The team that was here had chemistry, and the change of QB destroyed that. It didnt help that Cutler was Greise-esque in his aloofness.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:23 PM   #20
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Careful. The Cutler fan-boy club is still lurking in the shadows...lol
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:27 PM   #21
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Careful. The Cutler fan-boy club is still lurking in the shadows...lol
Cutler is a very good player now.

However, when Shanny drafted him it destroyed the veteran team that went to the AFC Championship game and was a couple of defensive players away from winning a super bowl.

Drafting Cutler is ultimately what lost Shanny his job.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:30 PM   #22
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Cutler is a very good player now.

However, when Shanny drafted him it destroyed the veteran team that went to the AFC Championship game and was a couple of defensive players away from winning a super bowl.

Drafting Cutler is ultimately what lost Shanny his job.
I think losing Al Wilson was a very big factor in that too, he was the heart and soul of the defense and a good player. After he left there was a real void of veteran leadership and certainly there was no defensive leader who could rile up the other players and bring the unit together.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #23
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I think losing Al Wilson was a very big factor in that too, he was the heart and soul of the defense and a good player. After he left there was a real void of veteran leadership and certainly there was no defensive leader who could rile up the other players and bring the unit together.
I agree.

The Broncos lost their defensive leader and lost their offensive leadership when Plummer checked out.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #24
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You know what folks...

Were going to have to ignore this thread. I've gotten a few rep comments reminding me that I'm not a good enough fan to post positive material.

Sooo... my hope is that you all can just move along to something else and hopefully one of the offseason superfans will re-post it again.

Thank you in advance for you cooperation.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #25
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You know what folks...

Were going to have to ignore this thread. I've gotten a few rep comments reminding me that I'm not a good enough fan to post positive material.

Sooo... my hope is that you all can just move along to something else and hopefully one of the offseason superfans will re-post it again.

Thank you in advance for you cooperation.
lol I take it I wasn't the only one then
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