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Old 08-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
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Default lets compare this years team to last years team (on paper)

So I was thinking about this earlier...the amount of *on paper* improvement we've made so far vs last year is pretty impressive. let's break it down:
OL:
  • 2010: Gimpy Clady, Daniels, Walton, Gimpy Kuper, Beadles. Two injured vets, 2 rookies, and one guy who has never started before. Only 2 of the 5 have ever played together previously. IMO, going into the season with an OL this inexperienced was one of McD's biggest failures that rarely gets talked about. It was damn reckless.
  • 2011: Healthy (kow*) Clady, Beadles, Walton, Healthy (kow*) Kuper, Franklin. Healthy across the board, only one rookie. 4 of 5 played together last year. I'd say this is a pretty significant improvement.
QB:
  • push.
RB:
  • 2010: Gimpy Moreno, Buckhalter, Maroney
  • 2011: Healthy Moreno (kow*), McGahee. an improvement in pretty much every way. Moreno will have a different role - was power back, now he's the receiving back. That plays to his strengths much better. McGahee is a much better short yardage guy than Moreno ever was.
WR:
  • 2010: Lloyd, Gaffney, Royal
  • 2011: Lloyd, Decker, Royal. Should be a push (?)
TE:
  • 2010: Graham, Gronkowski
  • 2011: Fells, Julius Thomas, Rosario. Really not sure here, but in terms of receiving, we can't be much worse.
Front 7:
  • 2010: 3-4 with DJ Williams as best player.
  • 2011: 4-3, gotta assume Von and Doom account for a pretty significant improvement here.
secondary:
  • 2010: Champ, Goodman, Dawkins, Hill
  • 2011:Champ, Goodman, Dawkins, Moore. We've got to assume that Dawkins will be a step slower than he was at the start of last season. Moore may be an improvement over Hill,
kicking game:
  • push
Coaching:
  • 2010: McDaniels, Martindale. Not much to like here. questionable playcalling, under-utilization of running game, defense that other coaches said was schematically unsound.
  • 2011: Fox, McCoy, Allen: competency. period.
When you look at it positionally, we have definitely improved in the OL, RB, defensive front 7, and coaching. QB and kicking game are all the same guys, so no down grades here. that leaves secondary, TE, and WR, and frankly, I think that we may see improvements in all three of these areas. I think that the upgrades across the board have been pretty significant, if not nationally heralded.

With this in mind, it's really hard for me to understand how anyone can objectively look at this, and project this team to not be better than last years team by at least a couple of games. 6-10 is an absolute floor - anyone who predicts this team to win 5 or less is obviously on crack.

I think that this team is an 8 win team, give or take. A couple of lucky bounces and we could be 10-6. A couple of unlucky bounces and we are 6-10. Overall though - 8-8 is a very realistic prediction, and we could be contending for the division title.

*kow = knock on wood
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:40 PM   #2
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I agree with your position by position breakdown, and we should be better in terms of wins. The kicker is the MUCH tougher schedule. That said, I agree six wins is the floor, I'm expecting 6-9 wins, with an outside chance of a better upside and chance at a playoff spot if this defense is even close to how it's looked in preseason.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwill07 View Post
2010: McDaniels, Martindale. Not much to like here. questionable playcalling, under-utilization of running game, defense that other coaches said was schematically unsound.
It will be an improvement having 11 guys on the field every play.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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The only problem I have with the OP is that there is no paper involved.

Otherwise I feel the same way about this years team, no reason we can't beat on a teams like Oakland and KFC this year and win 8 or 9 games.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Goodman was also injured/ineffective last year. If he's healthy then I think the tie goes to 2011. I'd also take Moore over Hill.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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I agree with your position by position breakdown, and we should be better in terms of wins. The kicker is the MUCH tougher schedule. That said, I agree six wins is the floor, I'm expecting 6-9 wins, with an outside chance of a better upside and chance at a playoff spot if this defense is even close to how it's looked in preseason.
here's the thing: pre-season strength of schedule means absolutely nothing. This schedule could be easier than last years, with a couple of key injuries or implosions on opponents teams. What looks daunting in August may not be so bad in December.

Frankly, I think that last years team would have been a 6-8 win team with competent coaching. I firmly believe that the McD spygate cost us the StL and AZ game by virtue of distraction, and McD cost us the game in KFC by completely abandoning the run with 12+ min left in the game, after Moreno had been killin' it. That's a 3 game improvement right there, just by walking McD out.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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I wouldn't give up hope yet on Moreno becoming a top back in the NFL.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #8
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I really like Daniel Fells as a good mentor and role type blocking guy that can receive. Julius Thomas is going to be money.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Our front seven is unrecognizable from last year:

Doom - DJ - Mays - Ayers / LB
Vickerson - Williams - Bannan / DL

Vs.
Von - Mays - DJ
Ayers - Vickerson - Bunkley -

That is dramatic. Not a single player coming back at their same position as last year, DJ, Doom and Ayers in their natural spots... plus Bunkley > Bannan, Von >>>>> anyone at OLB.

I might be seeing things, but I like what I've seen from Bunkley and Fells... anyone?
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:08 PM   #10
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I can't remember the last time I've seen a team change so much in one off-season. If they had actually gotten a stud DT or two, tell me where the other holes are. Am I wearing orange-tinted glasses? Drafting Von and (basically) adding Doom - I mean Jesus, teams salivate at the thought of instantly adding that much firepower.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:10 PM   #11
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Also - I realize my avatar is orange-tinted glasses....so what.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:22 PM   #12
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We were an 8-8 team last year that severely underperformed in a number of games. We're not elite, but we're underrated.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:23 PM   #13
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Also - I realize my avatar is orange-tinted glasses....so what.
You're out of your element.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:37 PM   #14
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You're out of your element.
You're not wrong, you're just an a-hole.

I agree with the 8-8 comment - so close, yet so far away because of key injuries and crap coaching. Oh well, such is life.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I can't remember the last time I've seen a team change so much in one off-season. If they had actually gotten a stud DT or two, tell me where the other holes are. Am I wearing orange-tinted glasses? Drafting Von and (basically) adding Doom - I mean Jesus, teams salivate at the thought of instantly adding that much firepower.

Depth on defense (I think our starters are going to be solid to good) and depth along the offensive line. IF the team stays relatively healthy 8 wins is not impossible. 10 wins would be pretty awesome, but I dont think the team is there yet.

Our pass rush is going to be ridiculous. Begging for a passrush for years and it appears we have one. I honestly do not know how to react to that.

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:09 PM   #16
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Depth on defense (I think our starters are going to be solid to good) and depth along the offensive line. IF the team stays relatively healthy 8 wins is not impossible. 10 wins would be pretty awesome, but I dont think the team is there yet.

Our pass rush is going to be ridiculous. Begging for a passrush for years and it appears we have one. I honestly do not know how to react to that.

You're absolutely right *furiously knocking on wood*

Yeah, I hope this pans out. Pass rush? Denver? Whaaaaaaaa?
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:12 PM   #17
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IMO, going into the season with an OL this inexperienced was one of McD's biggest failures that rarely gets talked about. It was damn reckless.
To make this statement, you have to consider the available alternatives. They were: (1) Keep the Shanahan OL, which had disintegrated into a disaster; (2) Repair the line with FA; or (3) Repair it with the draft and take your lumps with rookies.

The broncos chose (3). That doesn't strike me as reckless. Just a team intent to rebuild the OL quickly. Frankly, it seems to me they may have succeded, if preseason blocking by the first string OL is any indication. It's been years since our guys on the OL looked this good.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:31 AM   #18
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A whole lot of 'ifs' in 2011. Like you say, a few fortunate bounces and we're above .500, BUT that damnable D-line HAS to improve against the run. That one single improvement would make the Broncos contenders, because the pass rush issue is solved.

8 & 8 still looks like the max to me, but we can definitely spoil the party for Oakland and KC...looking forward to that.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:19 AM   #19
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Also - I realize my avatar is orange-tinted glasses....so what.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Depth on defense (I think our starters are going to be solid to good) and depth along the offensive line. IF the team stays relatively healthy 8 wins is not impossible. 10 wins would be pretty awesome, but I dont think the team is there yet.

Our pass rush is going to be ridiculous. Begging for a passrush for years and it appears we have one. I honestly do not know how to react to that.

I love the fact we now have the ability to put pressure on the QB. Unless opposing offenses are going to run a 2 TE set the entire game to help on blocking Doom and Miller, our guys are going to have a party in the backfield!
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:35 AM   #21
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Well on paper we look good ....so what we need to do is petition pat bowlen to convert the turf into cardboard......

All kidding aside..... you have to like the improvements that have been made on the team in particular the defensive of side of the ball...... with an improved O-line and running game not to mention not being down by 14 or 21 points every game, I believe we could contend for at least a wild card spot
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:30 AM   #22
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This team is better in our minds on paper, but what really matters is still execution. Talent without execution is simply frustrating. We need to see the product on the field post-preseason to even consider if some of these are really upgrades or just wishful thinking.

They are still poor against the run, even with a really aggressive front and run blitzing to this point. Unless that is fixed, the Pass rush will not be as potent as people believe. Also, they are going to get burned if they blitz half as much as they have in the preseason. This will be a high risk/high reward defense and It remains to be seen if that really helps or is just more fun to watch.

The offense is going to be more ball control, and less vertical in nature. That will be good if they clean up third down conversion %. However, it will be worse if they can not get better at that. Nothing worse than short drives with no first downs, no points, and defense right back on the field.

I hope this group plays better than the group did last year, however the coaches do not even know how this team will perform until the lights go on for real.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
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This team is better in our minds on paper, but what really matters is still execution. Talent without execution is simply frustrating. We need to see the product on the field post-preseason to even consider if some of these are really upgrades or just wishful thinking.

They are still poor against the run, even with a really aggressive front and run blitzing to this point. Unless that is fixed, the Pass rush will not be as potent as people believe. Also, they are going to get burned if they blitz half as much as they have in the preseason. This will be a high risk/high reward defense and It remains to be seen if that really helps or is just more fun to watch.

The offense is going to be more ball control, and less vertical in nature. That will be good if they clean up third down conversion %. However, it will be worse if they can not get better at that. Nothing worse than short drives with no first downs, no points, and defense right back on the field.

I hope this group plays better than the group did last year, however the coaches do not even know how this team will perform until the lights go on for real.
Dude, its a great take Mediator, but also completely off topic.

The thread is about breaking down position by position, on PAPER, is the team better. Obviously we wont know until the lights are on for real.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
This team is better in our minds on paper, but what really matters is still execution. Talent without execution is simply frustrating. We need to see the product on the field post-preseason to even consider if some of these are really upgrades or just wishful thinking.

They are still poor against the run, even with a really aggressive front and run blitzing to this point. Unless that is fixed, the Pass rush will not be as potent as people believe. Also, they are going to get burned if they blitz half as much as they have in the preseason. This will be a high risk/high reward defense and It remains to be seen if that really helps or is just more fun to watch.

The offense is going to be more ball control, and less vertical in nature. That will be good if they clean up third down conversion %. However, it will be worse if they can not get better at that. Nothing worse than short drives with no first downs, no points, and defense right back on the field.

I hope this group plays better than the group did last year, however the coaches do not even know how this team will perform until the lights go on for real.
So, what are the words you've heard on opinions of the Broncos off season changes?

Don't sugar coat it.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediator12 View Post
This team is better in our minds on paper, but what really matters is still execution. Talent without execution is simply frustrating. We need to see the product on the field post-preseason to even consider if some of these are really upgrades or just wishful thinking.

They are still poor against the run, even with a really aggressive front and run blitzing to this point. Unless that is fixed, the Pass rush will not be as potent as people believe. Also, they are going to get burned if they blitz half as much as they have in the preseason. This will be a high risk/high reward defense and It remains to be seen if that really helps or is just more fun to watch.

The offense is going to be more ball control, and less vertical in nature. That will be good if they clean up third down conversion %. However, it will be worse if they can not get better at that. Nothing worse than short drives with no first downs, no points, and defense right back on the field.

I hope this group plays better than the group did last year, however the coaches do not even know how this team will perform until the lights go on for real.
Regarding run D and 3rd down conversions: you are right in that we don't know what the impact of positional upgrades will be. However, we were so bad in these areas last year, its tough to imagine it gets worse. Obviously, it takes a little pre-season faith that things will get better, and i do believe that there is room for optimism.
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