Friday, October 29, 2010

Broncos in London, set to take on 49ers

Earlier this morning the Broncos arrived in London. The team flew over last night to prepare for their week 8 match against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL's fourth annual regular-season International game at Wembley Stadium.

The team made the flight with no set backs, and McDaniels said the team should be ready to go on Sunday.
"We think that everyone who is here should be ready to go and capable of playing, so we look forward to having a full-strength team, or at least the team that's in London," McDaniels said.

There will be lots of events, press conferences and tweets leading up the to Broncos 1pm(ET) kickoff Sunday, you can catch all the action on our facebook and twitter pages!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The blog's in a predicament

The past few days, weeks and even months I've had little time and desire to keep the site updated, for many reasons - which I'll get to. As a result, interest in this blog has dropped drastically, along with the hits. So I'm considering (at least temporarily) terminating the blog (or at least updating it).

Most of the time I've had for blogging I've spent writing for - another great Bronco Blog that embraced me into their staff earlier this year. I've been extremely busy as well, and with so many other great sites and blogs out there (like BroncoTalk, MHR, BroncosStable, and MaxDenver), that do a great job of keeping fans up-to-date on everything Broncos, I frankly haven't felt the need to re-report Bronco news to you all.

I will however keep updating our Facebook page, which has been growing stronger since the day it was started. There's a great little community on the page and I'd love to keep it going. And of course if there's a huge uproar over the idea of this blog taking a bow (or perhaps nap) then I'll certainly reconsider - but the chances of that are unlikely.

So in conclusion, thank you all very much who have followed the blog, commented, and read my 'coverage' of our beloved Broncos! You can be sure to still find me blogging my heart over at BroncoTalk! A Mile High Salute to you all, Go Broncos!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Broncos make several roster transactions

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.< — The Denver Broncos on Tuesday signed linebacker Diyral Briggs to the team’s active roster, it was announced. Also on Tuesday, the team placed wide receiver Matthew Willis on injured reserve and signed wide receiver Eron Riley to its practice squad.

Briggs (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), who was originally signed to Denver’s practice squad on Sept. 22, is a second-year player who spent parts of the 2009 and ’10 seasons on San Francisco’s active roster. He played in four games with the 49ers last year and totaled four special-teams tackles. He also played in the club’s opener against Seattle this season.

Briggs originally signed with San Francisco as a college free agent on April 30, 2009, from Bowling Green State University, where he was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference selection and the 2006 MAC Player of the Year.

A two-time all-league choice at Mt. Healthy High School in Cincinnati, he was born on Oct. 31, 1985. His first name is pronounced DIE-rell.

Riley (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), is a first-year player who spent time on Carolina’s practice squad this season. He spent the entire 2009 season on Baltimore’s practice squad after signing with the club as a college free agent from Duke University.

The Denver Broncos on Wednesday signed tight end John Nalbone and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein to their practice squad, it was announced.

Nalbone (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) is a second-year player who played two games for Miami this season and also spent time on Minnesota’s practice squad. He entered the NFL with the Dolphins as a fifth-round draft choice (161st overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft from Monmouth University and spent a portion of last season on the club’s active roster and practice squad.

He totaled 101 receptions for 1,079 yards (10.7 avg.) with nine touchdowns as a three-year starter for Monmouth, earning All-Northeast Conference honors following his senior season.

A four-year letterman at Lawrence High School in Lawrenceville, N.J., he was born on May 14, 1986.

Unrein (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) is rookie defensive lineman who spent the 2010 preseason with Houston after being signed by the Texans as a college free agent from the University of Wyoming.

--- Official Press Release Per the Denver Broncos

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Broncos fall to 2-4 after 24-20 loss to Jets

Missed opportunities.

That's what lost the Broncos the game. After recovering an onside kick, the offense failed to produce any points and punted the ball away. A Matt Prater missed field goal added to the pain of a previous bad snap earlier in the game that took away what would have been a chip-shot field goal for Prater. The four three-and-outs didn't help either. With 1:13 left in the game and three timeouts left the Broncos got one last chance. Kyle Orton--who has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season when it comes to two minute offenses--led the Broncos down to the Jets 44 yard line with 42 seconds and one timeout left. A bad snap by rookie J.D. Walton that was recovered by the Jets put the final touches to a killed opportunities afternoon for the Broncos.

The Broncos defense was solid in the first half, forcing Mark Sanchez to throw two interceptions -his first, and second, interceptions of the season. The Broncos also out-rushed the Jets in the first half, with Tim Tebow contributing with 23 rushing yards on 6 carries and one score. The Broncos rushing game as a whole looked much better, with Moreno averaging 4.0 yards a carry (which is much better than his former 2.8 season average), but as the game went on, the Jets run game got better, and the Broncos offense didn't take advantage of opportunities.

For nine years, LaDainian Tomlinson embarrassed the Broncos defense, then he moved on to New York. Late in the game, Tomlinson was back to his old ways, rushing 16 times for 55 yards and two scores, including a one yard TD run that put the Jets up 24-20 with less than two minuets left in the game.

The Broncos will return home next week to face the 2-4 Oakland Raiders.

Photos used in this post were used courtesy of Getty Images.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kyle McCarthy activated, two others released

The Broncos have signed Safety Kyle McCarthy (seen to the left), and Outside Linebacker Kevin Alexander to the active roster off the practice squad, reports Lindsay Jones.

After both Brian Dawkins and Darcel McBath went down with injuries last week, the Broncos secondary was in need of some more depth, and had it on the practice squad. Twenty-four years old McCarthy was scouted out of Notre Dame as a great run-supporting safety that lacked big play ability and size and went undrafted. The Broncos brought the undrafted free agent to Training Camp, and he now will get his first opportunity in the NFL, as it is speculated he could see some time on defense as well as special teams against the Jets.

To make room for the two players,
the team cut running back Andre Brown in a transaction intended to be a short-term roster move, according to The National Football Post. The club also released offensive lineman D'Anthony Batiste.

The full injury report for Sunday's can been seen below, courtesy of the Broncos:

OUT: LB Robert Ayers - Foot; S Brian Dawkins - Knee; CB Andre' Goodman - Quadricep; S Darcel McBath - Ankle; LB Wesley Woodyard - Hamstring
QUESTIONABLE: FB Spencer Larsen - Ankle; RB Knowshon Moreno - Hamstring; WR Demaryius Thomas - Concussion PROBABLE: LB Mario Haggan - Neck

Game Center: New York Jets at Denver Broncos

Photos used in this post were used courtesy of Getty Images.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moreno could play Sunday, Bell would like to

Knowshon Moreno may be able to play Sunday, for the first time since the team's 31-14 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. Through the first two weeks of play, Moreno rushed 39 times for 111 yards while adding 5 receptions for 71 yards and two scores, before being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Thursday, Moreno practiced on a limited basis, but there's no word yet if he'll be ready to go on Sunday. Tomorrow will most likely be the deciding factor; if he's able to again practice, he should be able to play Sunday; if he doesn't practice, he'll probably be ruled out against the Jets.

Even though he only managed 2.8 yards a carry, the Broncos rushing attack, and offense, would really love to have Moreno back, as would the fans. It seems not one fan has been satisfied with the performance of Moreno's fill-in, Laurence Maroney. Neither has former Bronco running back Tatum Bell. Bell, a 29-year old free-agent who was drafted by the Broncos in 2004, spent two stints with the Broncos, his latest in 2008, and has since been out of football. Still living in Denver, and apparently in good shape, Bell wants another shot with the Broncos. Earlier today Bell tweeted:
@BroncoTalk mannn they [The Broncos] just need to give me a workout and let me take over.
It's not the first time Bell has made such statements, last Sunday Bell tweeted Fox31 reporter Josina Anderson; "Man they [The Broncos] need me[,] only 39 rushing [yards] cmon now." The fans seem to agree. The general consensus is, Hey, he couldn't be any worse than what the Broncos rushing attack has been.

With the lowest ranked rushing attack in the League, the Broncos could sure use either Bell or Moreno on Sunday. Stay tuned.

Photos used in this post were used courtesy of Getty Images.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We've teamed up with TiqIQ!

Broncos Zone has teamed up with TiqIQ! TiqIQ is a ticket data company that tracks ticket prices and availability for all major sporting events to help you buy smarter tickets. This is great news for Bronco fans.

Because, (a) They aggregate and compare listings from sites like StubHub, eBay, Ticketsnow and TicketNetwork, doing all the work for you -- finding the best seat for the best price, (b) They break each venue up into TipZones, which are groupings of sections that they've determined are comparable in value, and (c) They provide ticket-level buying intelligence through IQ rating and TiqIQ Statistics.

So, what are you waiting for? Go check out the best prices for Sunday's game against the Jets by either clicking the TiqIQ widget in the sidebar or simply clicking here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Penalties kill Broncos in 31-17 loss

When you are penalized 9 times, allow 200 rushing yards, and your offensive line allows three defensive players in the backfield every play, your chances of winning are low. On Sunday the Broncos did all three and fell to the Ravens for the second straight season, by a score of 31-17.

After holding the Ravens on their first drive to a turnover on downs, the Broncos offense set up at their own 15-yard line. On the 4th play of the drive, Eddie Royal took an end-around 33 yards for a big first down. The play, however, was called back for a holding penalty, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The Broncos offense proceeded to self-destruct itself, halting numerous drives by offsides and holding penalties. One bright spot on the afternoon was Brandon Lloyd; Lloyd caught 5 passes for 135 yards and two scores. It was all for nothing though, as the offensive line couldn't give Orton enough time to find any consistency and wasn't able to create a running game.

While the offense struggled, the defense followed suit and allowed over 400 yards of total offense and 31 points. The defensive pass rush was most alarming, reaching Flacco only once for a sack and proved incapable of stopping the run.

It was a rough day for the Broncos all around, the team will fly back to Denver to face the Jets at home night week. Humbled by today's loss, hopefully the team will put up a better performance in front of a home crowd next week.

Photos used in the above article were used courtesy of Getty Images and the Associated Press.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Are the Broncos' Running Backs doing their job?

The Broncos mere 2.2 yards a carry has their rushing attack ranked last in the NFL, and caused an uproar in Bronco Nation, aimed particularity at Laurence Maroney. I've been asked why Maroney, who has rushed 23 times for 29 yards, is still on the roster? Here's my best observations on that, and the Broncos lack of production on the ground:

The Broncos are rushing without a [true] fullback. Last season, statistics showed the Broncos rushing attack was most effective when Spencer Larsen lined up in the backfield, and the running game was least effective in single-back formations. Taking note of that, the Broncos utilized fullback Larsen more at the start of the season, before he was injured. The running game struggled even with Larsen at fullback, but showed signs of possible improvement. Last week Larsen was inactive, and the running game was ineffective. Tight End Dan Gronkowski did line up at fullback for the Broncos a few times last week, but was clearly not as productive in run blocking as Larsen is. While it is true that Maroney does seem to hit the hole quite slowly, he, and the other running backs, are running behind a line featuring a rookie center and first year Guard in Stanley Daniels. The blame shouldn't all be cast upon the backs for the lack of running game, neither should it be solely resting on the shoulders of the offensive line. The Broncos are a passing team, and in the modern NFL, you don't have to have a great running game if you have a fantastic passing attack, just ask New England and Indianapolis. For more on that, I move on to my next point.

Coaches look at the big picture, whereas fans stereo-type production by stats
In the Broncos offense, a single running back isn't asked to rush for 150 yards a game, rather, to be able to pass block, execute screen plays, and run behind one of the worst run-blocking offensive lines in the league. Many fans haven't taken note of this, however, and have stereo-typed running backs to be the guy that has a sole job of running over a defense for 150 yards a game and a couple of scores - and that's it. While every coach would love a running back that can successfully run behind a line that isn't consistently opening holes, that is not what Josh McDaniels is solely looking for out of his running backs. To an extent, the Broncos running backs are doing a good job of doing what it is that McDaniels is asking of them to do, and that's not rack up the rushing yards. To expound on the fans look at the stats, coaches look at the execution, I'll use OLB Robert Ayers as an example. The OLB position is one that has been stereo-typed into a position that asks a player to rack up the sacks. Since that is just what Elvis Dumervil did last season, fans are now expecting Ayers to fill that role. So last Sunday when Ayers totaled 5 tackles (4 solo and 1 assist), fans didn't take much note of it. McDaniels, however praised Ayers for his great game, because Ayers did what the Broncos asked of him - not to lead the NFL in sacks, but to contain the outside and slow down Chris Johnson. In the same way, the Broncos don't ask their running backs to score Fantasy Football points, but rather to do their job and have a part in the passing game.
"I don't think it's statistics for us when we looked at his performance, it was that he did his job on basically every play," said Josh McDaniels about Ayers' play on Sunday. Similarly, the Broncos are not looking for their running backs to pile up great rushing statistics, but to do their jobs.
All this is not to say the Broncos are satisfied with what the running backs have accomplished, and that they don't care the running backs aren't gaining more than 2.2 yards a carry. I am saying (a) You have to look at the big picture, not just the rushing statistics, (b) the Broncos are no longer a running team, (c) the running backs are running without Larsen lead-blocking and behind a line that has played mediocre so far this season and (d) the backs are pass protecting and providing good check-downs for Orton, and that has been overlooked.

Watching film from Sunday's game at Tennessee, I noticed on many plays Maroney or Correll Buckhalter securing key blocks - giving Orton just a half second longer in the pocket - just enough time for him to find his receivers. Maroney and Buckhalter combined to catch 7 passes for 48 yards and a score to take the lead in the fourth quarter. In two games this season, Maroney has four catches for 50 yards, while Buckhalter has 11 for 71 yards over four games - both have compiled more receiving yards than rushing yards, showing both players have been effective contributors on offense, just not the way fans take much note of.A solid rushing attack is something the Broncos would love to have, but having the Leagues' leading passer and the top ranked passing offense in exchange seems to be a pretty fair compromise. In time, the Broncos running game will get better - it can't get any worse. With more playing experience, the young offensive linemen will start to block better and the banged up veterans will start to perform better. Getting second-year back Knowshon Moreno back from his hamstring injury would probably help as well. Having a great rushing attack doesn't win the NFL anymore, having a rushing attack that can set up play action and run out the clock at the end of games does. The Broncos will look to address the running game this week, but won't be bringing in any veterans or give up on Maroney yet.

The Broncos' Buckhalter and Maroney have done what the Broncos have asked of them in the passing game, now they need to figure out a way to contribute more in the running game.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Around the web: Broncos prevail vs "cheap" Titans

The Broncos overcame early problems and left Tennessee with their first road victory after a fourth quarter rally by the defense, the offense and the special teams. []

Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton had some choice words for the Tennessee Titans' defense following the Broncos' 26-20 win on Sunday, telling the team's official site that the Titans played a "cheap" game. []

The Titans cheap play didn't slow down the Broncos passing attack. Orton went 35 of 40 passes for 341 yards and two scores. Orton now leads the NFL in passing yards, hitting his new favorite target, Brandon Lloyd, for 454 yards yards over the first four weeks. Just two yards behind Reggie Waybe, Lloyd is ranked 2nd in receiving yards, while Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney rank 12th and 27th respectively. [Stats]

While he lit up the stats, Orton also took some hits, and multiple sacks. One of these times, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton is not going to get up from under that pile of sweaty, angry men. And then this NFL season will be broken beyond repair for Denver. [DenverPost]

The rushing attack hasn't fared too well either. In the two games Knowshon Moreno has missed with a pulled hamstring, Laurence Maroney has rushed 23 times for 29 yards (1.3 yards per carry) and Correll Buckhalter has 10 carries for 15 yards (1.5 yards per carry). "We'll get better," Maroney said. "We have no choice. There's nowhere to go but up." [DenverPost]

Next week the Broncos will travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens before returning home the following week to face the Jets. [Schedule]