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Old 10-30-2010, 05:23 AM   #1
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It's been quite a week building up to Sunday's NFL International Series showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium.

The excitement has been growing with each passing day and it would be fair to say it has been a memorable few days with the NFL circus in full flow. It has certainly felt like an action-packed and colourful week.

I've seen 49ers head coach Mike Singletary attacked by a persistent and brave wasp, Tottenham and England centre-half Michael Dawson attempt to play quarterback (badly) and I've even thrown a pass to the greatest wide receiver in NFL history in Jerry Rice.

The Denver Broncos finally joined the fray on Friday as they held their first practice in the United Kingdom at The Oval. And in keeping with the madness of the week, tight end Daniel Graham and offensive lineman Chris Kuper ended up having an impromptu game of cricket on the famous old ground, taking on Surrey's Arun Harinath and Tom Lancefield.

"It was a lot of fun and I thought I was pretty good," Graham laughed. "I went two for two. Is that how you say it? I got two wickets (I chose not to correct him given his size and obvious strength). Now I just hope they let me keep the bat." (Would you try to take it off him?)

I cannot see Graham and his American compatriots taking to cricket, particularly the Test variety. Most American sports detest the concept of a tie. Legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi once famously said: "A tie is like kissing your sister."

One can only hope Vince meant that was a bad thing.

The thought of some Tests going five days and still ending in a draw remains an alien concept to our American cousins.


Daniel Graham enjoys the feel of leather on willow at The Oval

Enough of cricket for now. Back to the NFL and the Broncos, who, like the 49ers, need a win in the worst possible way on Sunday after opening the year with two wins and five losses.

Head coach Josh McDaniels was upbeat and positive ahead of the 49ers meeting and feels a win is vital to his club, insisting: "This is an important game for us, no matter where it is being played. It is important to go into the bye week with the momentum of a victory."

McDaniels may still be growing as an NFL head coach but, at the age of 34, I think he should be given time to put things right in Denver. And I think he will be given some leeway as he looks to mould his team into a championship contender.

I interviewed McDaniels on the telephone a couple of weeks back (you can read the results in Sunday's gameday magazine on sale at Wembley Stadium) and I also conducted a quick one on one with him on Friday after his press conference.

I cannot help but be impressed. I know he is fiery and, at times, controversial but he is also passionate, committed and determined to get the very best out of his players.

He learned his trade under one of the greatest coaches in recent NFL history in Bill Belichick and like the New England Patriots boss, McDaniels is keen to stock his roster with players who are smart, tough, versatile and willing to put the team first. Those kind of guys are not always easy to find so building a team like that could take time.

It's also hard to accuse McDaniels of shying away from the big decisions. Since taking charge in Denver, he has traded potential superstars in quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

The real positive from those moves was getting Kyle Orton in exchange for Cutler. The former Chicago Bears passer has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL in the first half of the season and he is definitely going to be a player to watch on Sunday.

The Broncos are going to take some lumps along the way, but the general feeling is that this 2-5 team has much more potential than the squad that opened the 2009 campaign with six straight wins.

Now the Broncos just need to find a way to turn potential into wins. I think Broncos fans can rest assured that McDaniels has the passion and energy to lead that challenge.

Looking ahead to the weekend, it should be a great Saturday as the NFL is holding a Fan Rally at Trafalgar Square from 1-5pm. Get along if you can. I am especially excited as I will be on stage interviewing some of the biggest names in NFL history in Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Morten Andersen and Mike Singletary. I will also be chatting on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

www.BBC.co.uk/blogs/neilreynolds

Last edited by Dagmar; 10-30-2010 at 05:58 AM..
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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I know that I'm eagerly anticipating the day when the Premier league sends the worst two teams across the pond for a cripple fight. I can only imagine how exciting this must be for the British.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:18 AM   #3
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Hello, I'm Neil Reynolds. I commentate and write about the NFL. I've followed the NFL since 1983 and covered the league as a journalist and broadcaster since 1991. I also played for 10 years in the British American Football League.
Dude was certainly on McDaniels' nuts in that article. I wonder why he chose to go the way he did with that article.

Last edited by BMarsh615; 10-30-2010 at 06:22 AM..
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:21 AM   #4
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i know that i'm eagerly anticipating the day when the premier league sends the worst two teams across the pond for a cripple fight. I can only imagine how exciting this must be for the british.
go broncos!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:26 AM   #5
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Man, I didn't mean to post this on Chiefs Planet...

Wait, this isn't? Coulda fooled me!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:34 AM   #6
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That was a nice article. There really hasn't been a lot of coverage for the Broncos with emphasis being on the "home" team the 49ers. If I wasn't gonig to a Halloween party tonight I would go to the fan thing today, but I have a lot of stuff to do and since today's thing is about SF more than anything, not that big a deal. Am looking forward to tomorrow and hanging with some other OManers at Green Man, tho I am slightly tempted to go into London to see Elway, Little, for the Broncos party. This is going to be fun to see. Really excited to see my guys over here.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:48 AM   #7
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That was a nice article. There really hasn't been a lot of coverage for the Broncos with emphasis being on the "home" team the 49ers. If I wasn't gonig to a Halloween party tonight I would go to the fan thing today, but I have a lot of stuff to do and since today's thing is about SF more than anything, not that big a deal. Am looking forward to tomorrow and hanging with some other OManers at Green Man, tho I am slightly tempted to go into London to see Elway, Little, for the Broncos party. This is going to be fun to see. Really excited to see my guys over here.
I thought is was a refreshing article from an interesting prospective

One another note;

Quote:
McDaniels is keen to stock his roster with players who are smart, tough, versatile and willing to put the team first.
If so why o why would he ever get rid of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Schelfer (sp) and Hillis. Aren't all those guys smart tough versatile team first guys?
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:48 AM   #8
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Is BVP standing on the sidelines with his resume hoping to get McD's attention? Leicester Falcons rule!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:50 AM   #9
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Man, I didn't mean to post this on Chiefs Planet...

Wait, this isn't? Coulda fooled me!
And I called you a whiner, looks like I had the wrong guy. It was doc I should have been accusing.
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dr. Broncenstein View Post
I know that I'm eagerly anticipating the day when the Premier league sends the worst two teams across the pond for a cripple fight. I can only imagine how exciting this must be for the British.
EPL bottom feeder games are way more intense and exhilarating than the NFL variety. Those clubs have to scratch, claw and fight to stay in the Premier League and not get relegated to the lower division.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:25 PM   #11
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I interviewed McDaniels on the telephone a couple of weeks back (you can read the results in Sunday's gameday magazine on sale at Wembley Stadium) and I also conducted a quick one on one with him on Friday after his press conference.

I cannot help but be impressed. I know he is fiery and, at times, controversial but he is also passionate, committed and determined to get the very best out of his players.
I wonder how many people calling for McD's head now, would do so if they were to sit down with him one on one and talk Broncos.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BMarsh615 View Post
Info about the author...


Dude was certainly on McDaniels' nuts in that article. I wonder why he chose to go the way he did with that article.
Because it's a puff peice, for further examples of such see Post, Denver.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:44 PM   #13
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I wonder how many people calling for McD's head now, would do so if they were to sit down with him one on one and talk Broncos.
Maybe talk football, still not sure what he knows about Bronco history, he was like 1 durning the 77 run but I would sit down and talk football with the guy.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:55 PM   #14
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I wonder how many people calling for McD's head now, would do so if they were to sit down with him one on one and talk Broncos.
I would pay good money to see a round table discussion / debate with McD, jhiz, no_broncos, dragster, etc.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:09 PM   #15
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Maybe talk football, still not sure what he knows about Bronco history, he was like 1 durning the 77 run but I would sit down and talk football with the guy.
Wow I bet he would be sooo stoked. Geez....
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:45 PM   #16
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Good read, just a win is all I care about.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:06 PM   #17
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I would pay good money to see a round table discussion / debate with McD, jhiz, no_broncos, dragster, etc.
That would be priceless and quickly devolve into a one pony show with Josh twirling the drooling, nodding trio around his pinkie like that whistle he uses.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:11 PM   #18
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Is BVP standing on the sidelines with his resume hoping to get McD's attention? Leicester Falcons rule!
We could start him at RB.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:16 AM   #19
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Man, I didn't mean to post this on Chiefs Planet...

Wait, this isn't? Coulda fooled me!
WOOP WOOP!

Fan police alert!!
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:27 AM   #20
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If so why o why would he ever get rid of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Schelfer (sp) and Hillis. Aren't all those guys smart tough versatile team first guys?


Yeah, we have been showing that we are a tough team... We have also played real smart, with few mistakes... All of the RBs we replaced Hillis with are great at receiving, running, and even move to FB! Oh wait, none of that is true....
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:41 AM   #21
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WOOP WOOP!

Fan police alert!!

Rusty is one of the few level headed posters here and he gets accused of this fan police crap when in fact he is just pointing out poster's extreme reactionary and foolish beyond belief demands are an unwise line of thinking. There are many other reasonable posters that get shouted down by the Mane Tea Baggers as well.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:48 AM   #22
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Rusty is one of the few level headed posters here and he gets accused of this fan police crap when in fact he is just pointing out poster's extreme reactionary and foolish beyond belief demands are an unwise line of thinking. There are many other reasonable posters that get shouted down by the Mane Tea Baggers as well.
Not knowing even the basics of football and just blindly following a **** coach is not being level headed....
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:00 AM   #23
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**** all the mcd lovers..they need to be banned from this site.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #24
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**** all the mcd lovers..they need to be banned from this site.
All the Bronco haters need to be banned.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:44 AM   #25
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All the Bronco haters need to be banned.
Mcd lovers cannot be bronco fans..They are worse than chiefs/raider/charger fans.
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