- Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Tony Pike and 10 other QB's elected not to participate in the bench press Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Meanwhile Penn State’s Daryll Clark pounded out 21 repetitions, this may have helped his draft status.
- Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung, considered the top prospect at his position, didn’t finish the final drills at his NFL Scouting Combine workout Saturday after tweaking his groin. It is not a serious injury.
- That was not the only injury of the day, Arkansas guard Mitch Petrus, who tied the NFL Scouting Combine record (since 2000) with 45 bench-press repetitions Friday, injured his left hamstring during his first 40-yard dash Saturday morning and won’t run again.
- Tomorrow at the NFL Combine the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will begin drills.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
- McDaniels had this to say about Brandstater: “We have high hopes for Tom. I’m sure he’s in our building today working to get better. He’s working really hard. I think that’s the goal anytime you take a player and give him the opportunity to learn like we did with Tom last year. Hopefully he has the opportunity to really progress this Spring and really be competitive when we head to training camp because the goal is never to take a player and put him as the third string quarterback then leave him there. We want him to ascend...We have high hopes for Tom."
- Of Brandon Marshall he had this to say:“Brandon is a great football player, there’s no question about it. And he had a great season this year in terms of his production. A Pro Bowl year. Anytime you’re dealing with a players and contracts, you weigh a lot of things. Certainly the fact that we did [meet and workout a solution] already once, makes you believe that you can do it again and again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m really fond of him. He’s a good person and certainly played a big role on our team. There are a lot of things that go into, but we’re not at a point where we’ve made a decision on it.”
- McDaniels also said he looks for character and production in players he drafts.
- Second-year player Seth Olsen is a candidate to start at left guard and center.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Arkansas guard Mitch Petrus tied a combine record (since 2000) with 45 bench repetitions of 225 LBs. Of course he wasn't counting, he was "Shocked" when he was told how many he did.
In his interview, Tim Tebow said although it has been his dream to play QB in NFL, he would be willing to playing another position.
“I want to be a quarterback in the NFL,” he said. “It’s been my dream since I was 6 years old, so I’m going to do what it takes to do that. But if I’m on a team that asks me to help the team in some other way, of course I’m going to do that. It’s team first.”Get more in depth coverage of the combine by going to NFL.com/Combine.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos hired as a coaching assistant, it was announced Tuesday. This completes the Broncos’ 2010 coaching staff. Callahan, 25, enters his fifth season of coaching and first in the NFL after previous stops in the collegiate and high school ranks.
He began his coaching career at UCLA in 2006 as a graduate assistant in the Bruins’ football operations department and also helped coach the defense. In 2007, he was responsible for breaking down UCLA opponents’ game video, aiding coaches with game preparation, directing the defensive scout team and breaking down opponents’ special teams units.
It has not been announced what his role will be, right now he is just being called a "Coaching Assistant".
Sheppard, the prosecution's first witness, testified about what happened in the third-level VIP area of the nightclub, where Williams and his friends were celebrating. That group included current Bronco Brandon Marshall, and Marshall's cousin, Blair Clark. Sheppard said that Blair Clark shook and sprayed a bottle of champagne over the crowd at midnight, which started a confrontation between Clark and another man, whom Sheppard did not name.
"He was like, 'What's up with this (stuff) man," Sheppard said. Sheppard said Williams tried to diffuse the situation.
"Darrent approached him and said it was nothing like that, we was just partying," Sheppard said. As a verbal confrontation escalated and spilled outside, Williams was trying to get the Broncos, including Javon Walker, into a limousine.
"Darrent hops in the limo and then looks out the back window and sees his teammates out there. He doesn't want to just leave them out there like that," Sheppard said. "He was trying to break them up - 'You all are tripping, lets go home.' They still won't quit arguing. He was like, 'Forget it, whoever is riding with me, we're leaving."
Walker, who was on the team in 2006, and several of his female acquaintances were among the last people to join Williams' party in the limo before it left. Several minutes later, Sheppard said, is when the limo came under fire. "I hit the deck after the sixth or seventh shot," Sheppard said.
It wasn't until after the limo came to a stop after hopping a curb on Speer Boulevard and the unharmed passengers had climbed out that Sheppard realized Williams had been shot. Sheppard said he remembered seeing former Bronco Javon Walker with Williams. "Javon picked him up, he was like, 'Don't die on me. Don't die on me.' But D wasn't saying nothing," Sheppard said. "He was holding him like he was a baby." Sheppard said police arrived quickly and took the uninjured passengers from the limo to the police station while Williams and the two other victims were taken to the hospital.
Among the witnesses Levin said will testify is current Broncos star Brandon Marshall. Levin said Marshall and his cousin were involved in multiple verbal and physical confrontations with Clark and Clark's associates at and after a New Years Eve party. The defense has previously said Clark was nowhere near the limousine in which Williams was riding when he was shot. Clark's attorney will offer an opening statement soon.
Brandon Flowers, who was in the limo and was wounded in the shooting, has just taken the witness stand.
Witness/victim Brandon Flowers: "The music went on, we was driving, then we heard glass breaking and everyone got down. It was gun shots. First I heard the glass breaking. We all got down, looked around. I started feeling pain in my backside, so I knew I was shot."
... More to come... Follow @DenverCourts on twitter for more updates.
2/24/10 Get updates on the trial today by checking out the Denver Post live blog, here.
2/25/10Witnesses Anderson and Jackson-Keeling again refused to testify and were taken back to jail. Won't return till Tuesday. Thursday's first witness is Nick Washington, a friend and business partner of Darrent Williams from Fort Worth. Nick Washington confirms testimony from Tuesday about confrontation inside and outside of club night of shooting. Washington has broken down in tears on witness stand when asked about the shooting of Williams.
The next witness is Shaniqua Dunn. She is an acquantaince of Willie Clark.
The next witness is Shaniqua Dunn. She is an acquantaince of Willie Clark.
Thursday UPDATE: Follow the Denver Post live-blog of the Darrent Williams murder trial will be updated through the day by clicking here.
- The trial of Willie D. Clark for the murder of Darrent Williams started this morning. Prosecution witness John Sheppard, a longtime friend of Darrent Williams, said Brandon Marshall's cousin started the confrontation at the nightclub. Follow @DenverCourts on twitter for updates through out the trial.
- The NFL Combine starts Thursday, catch all the action over at NFL.com
- Many players will be going to the Combine, Tim Tebow included. Although he'll be there, he won't be throwing any footballs - that's a big let down for fans and scouts. He is working on tweaking his delivery though.
- The New England Patriots placed the franchise tag on Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork on Monday, providing more time for negotiations toward a long-term contract.
- Currently the Broncos haven't placed a tag on any of there players, but rumors are that the club would like to re-sign Elvis Dumervil before March 5th (when Free Agency starts).
- Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Jets could release running back Thomas Jones. He went on to say, if the team thinks Leon Washington is healthy it would be a good move. Speculations then lead on to believe the Jets might be going after LT.
- The Lions are actively shopping the second overall pick in April’s draft, according to a league source, and would be very comfortable trading down, looking to stockpile three or four assets. According to NFL.com
- The Lions could also be going after a QB, Tom Kowalski of Michigan Live is reporting that the Detroit Lions could sign quarterback Marc Bulger this offseason. Kowaslski thinks that Scott Linehan, who coached Bulger in St. Louis, would want Bulger in Detroit.
- The Carolina Panthers have decided the price is too steep to keep their all-time sacks leader. Therefore, five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers is about to become one of the top prizes in free agency. Peppers is of the biggest defensive free agents to hit the open market in years.
- The Ealges have Donavon McNabb, Michael Vick, and Kevin Kolb all still on the roster. Don't expect them all to still be in Philly come kickoff weekend in 2010. Many teams are interested in all three of the quarterbacks. The Eagles would like to trade Mike Vick for a fair price, but no team is willing to do that. So Vick may be stuck in Philly for at least one more season, or at the very least may not be released till the start of or mid-preseason. Whatever the Eagles do with the three QB's will have a ripple effect on the whole NFL.
- Chris Steuber of Scout.com is reporting that the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be working on a blockbuster trade.
- Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News says the Cowboys should consider Brandon Marshall, "The Cowboys want to upgrade the scoring ability of the offense, which ranked 14th in points last season. The quickest way to do that is to keep Austin and give him the help of a second threatening wide receiver. Brandon Marshall has the touch of a diva about him but has shown that he has rare talent. He's worth at least investigating. "
Monday, February 22, 2010
The Broncos are under no obligation to offer him a long-term deal and could probably re-sign him by tendering him at the highest level ($3.168 million), but sources say there's a chance the team will agree to a contract extension with OLB Elvis Dumervil before he becomes a restricted free agent March 5. Dumervil had a league high 17 sacks last season, and the club wants to keep him in town for many years to come.
This is good news for all Bronco fans who are screaming for the Broncos to re-sign him. I also think that a short contract apposed to a long contract would be a good move by both sides. We'll keep you posted.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
A few days ago I tweeted Bronco Linebacker/Defensive End Darrell Reid and asked him to do an interview for us. He said he would do it and we exchanged a few emails. Here's Broncos Zone's Questions, and his Answers;
- Darrell Reid recorded 24 Tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in 2009.
- He also was tied for second place in Special Teams tackles for the Broncos (10).
- Follow him on twitter! @Footz95
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Follow Lindsay Jones on twitter, @PostBroncos
DENVER — Current Broncos stars Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil and DJ Williams are on the defense’s list of potential witnesses in the murder trial of Willie Clark, the man accussed of murdering Bronco Darrent Williams on Jan. 1, 2007.
Jury selection for Clark’s trial will begin later this week, with the trial expected to start Tuesday. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.
Other potential defense witnesses with ties to the Broncos are Javon Walker, Karl Paymah, Nate Webster and Demetrin Veal, all former Broncos who were Broncos in 2006. There are 63 people on the list of potential witnesses provided to the court by defense attorney Abraham Hutt last month.
The Broncos played their final game of the season — a loss to San Francisco on Dec. 31 — and a number of players attended a party that night. Clark is accused of firing shots into the limo that was carrying Williams and others, including Walker, after leaving the club.
We have been waiting for this trial for a long time, may justice prevail.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Yesterday Darrell Reid tweeted on twitter that he had 'Just Left Physical Therapy.' This made me scratch my head because I wasn't aware that he had an injury. Turns out, Reid had connective tissue damage in his left knee. The injury accured against the Steelers in early November. Although it was a serious injury he kept it to himself and played through 5 more games before he told the trainers.
"I’m the type that doesn’t really like the training room, so I really didn’t tell the trainers what was going on at first; but after the Colts game it got so sore that I knew I had to get on top of it. I had to tell the trainers. I told them after the Colts game because I knew that it wasn’t good," acknowledged Reid.
After he got back from Miami, he had surgery in his knee, it may at the very least prevent the outside linebacker-defensive end Darrell Reid from fully participating in training camp.
"I had knee surgery in New York after I got back from the Super Bowl. I was told the recovery time could be between six to eight months," said Reid to Fox 31’s Josina Anderson on Monday.
This is sad news for the Broncos and Darrell. I wish him a quick and full recovery. Give him your well wishes on twitter @Footz95
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Aukerman worked under 'Wink' Martindale for four years at the University of Miami (Ohio). Both coaches specialize in linebacker blitzes. It will be interesting to see who else 'Wink' will bring in and their style of coaching. Expect to see a heavy blitzing Bronco defense in 2010.
The arrival of these two coaches is good news for all the linebackers, they all already have great relationships with Martindale, while Aukerman--a former linebackers coach--has coached under him. This is particularly good news for outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. The former University of Miami Defensive End is coming off a career year, and his first Pro Bowl appearance. I'm very optimistic about the Broncos defense in 2010. Last season the Broncos defense notched 39 sacks, this coming year Wink and his defense are hungry for more.
"I'm an aggressive guy by nature," Martindale told the Denver Post. "I believe in physical, smart football, and I have an aggressive attitude about things. The players already know that by being with me."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Aukerman joins the Broncos from Kent State University, where he guided the Golden Flashes' linebackers last season. Under his leadership, the Kent State defense held four opponents without a touchdown.
Prior to his stint at Kent State, Aukerman coached at the University of Miami (Ohio), for four season where he coached the linebackers and special teams.
In 2004, Aukerman coached the inside linebackers at Western Kentucky University under then defensive coordinator and current Broncos defensive coordinator.
I'm not surprised, I couldn't believe that Pat Bowlen would sell the franchise right now.
Season-ticket prices for Denver Broncos home games in 2010 will not be raised for the second consecutive year, the club announced Thursday.
Tickets located on the United Club Level at INVESCO Field at Mile High also will be reduced in price by approximately 21 percent for the 2010 season.
Season-ticket holders were notified of the pricing information through invoices mailed last week.
"We recognize and understand the economic challenges facing our fans," Broncos Senior Vice President of Business Development Mac Freeman said. "Their support for the Broncos has remained overwhelming despite an uncertain financial climate. We appreciate their loyalty and want to make sure they can continue to share in the excitement of our team during the 2010 season."
In addition to pricing information, Broncos season-ticket holders were informed of the creation of a Family Zone seating area at INVESCO Field at Mile High as part of the club's seat improvement process. This alcohol-free area is comprised of four sections totaling approximately 750 seats, and fans have the option of relocating to those seats based on their season-ticket priority number.
This is all just a rumor, and if he were to buy the Broncos he would probably not move the team. I can't imagine Pat Bowlen selling the Broncos at this time, but you never know what could happen. We'll keep you posted.
[Via ESPN] Spencer Larsen, Brandon Gorin and LeKevin Smith will participate in the NFL’s Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program this spring. The program started five years ago to give players business-school experience during their players days to help prepare them for their post-football life. The session will be held next week.In case you are wondering who in this world those players are here are some short bios:
Spencer Larsen was drafted by the Broncos in 2008. As a rookie he played in 9 games and started in one. The Broncos drafted Larsen as a linebacker, but after seeing him deliver huge hit after hit on special teams Mike Shanahan moved him to fullback assuming he would be a good blocker. Against the Falcons in the 2008 season Spencer Larsen was the first player to start on both sides (as a FB and LB) since 1999. Last season Larsen missed much of the season due to injury, but returned mid-season and was a big part in the Broncos rushing attack. Watch this video, and watch for the blocking of #46 (Larsen) click here.
Brandon Gorin is a Offensive Tackle who has spent time with the Chargers, Cardinals, Patriots, Rams, and the Broncos last season. The 31-year-old played in 6 games last year, starting in one.
Le Kevin Smith is currently one of the biggest players on the
Denver Broncos roster. Smith is a Defensive End, and played his first 3 years with the New England Patriots. Le Kevin started in only one game for the Broncos last year, but took advantage of his opportunity notching a sack. He recorded 10 tackles while playing in 13 games.
There you have it folks, you can all calm down. Although the Broncos aren't going after McNabb, Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen said in an interview that the Broncos are "hoping" to draft another Quarterback in the upcoming draft. Calm down Orton fans, he also stated that the team wanted to keep Orton as the starter.
"I want Kyle back," Bowlen said. "Orton is a good quarterback. I'd also like to think we might have the opportunity to draft a young quarterback, not necessarily to come in and play right away, but if you have the opportunity to draft somebody, that would be a plus for us."
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
"It's significant for all of the members of the broadcasting community," said Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. CEO. "For anyone who wants to write that broadcasting is dead, 106 million people watched this program. You can't find that anywhere else."One of the reasons the Super Bowl is watched by so many people is the funny commercials. 'The Dortios Slap' scored big, and was picked by many as the best Ad this year. This goes to show that Football is America's Game.
Super Bowl XLIV beats 'M-A-S-H' finale for U.S. viewership record [NFL.com]
Some Bronco fans would welcome McNabb with open arms, while others (me) want to stay far away from him.
This isn't big news, the Broncos will be signing lots of players in the off-season, only to be cut after and during training camp. It will be interesting if Denver goes after any other Bills now that Stuesville is on board.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
First of all I think it's gonna be a great game! Congrats to both the Colts and the Saints!
You have not just the top two teams in the league battling it out for the title (isn't that the way it should be?) but you have the top two QB's leading their teams.
I also think the Saints will emerge victorious today! Here's why:
I believe in the New Orleans Saints! They have meant so much not just to the city of New Orleans, but to the entire Gulf States region. They symbolize everything that is RIGHT about New Orleans!
They have the most dangerous offense in the league. If you make one mistake, one missed assignment, one blown coverage it's a TD. The Colts MUST bring their defensive "A" game today to keep Drew Brees and that offense in check.
I don't believe that the Colts and Peyton Manning will be able to match score for score what the Saints can do.
For the DL of the Saints, they need to make sure their hands are up on every pass play. Look at what our Broncos forced Peyton into when we pressured him and put our hands in his face. He threw for 3 picks and we ALMOST ended up walking outta there with the upset of the year.
The "X" factor in all of this is two parts. The 1st is Reggie Bush, he can out run ANY DL and LB on the field, and most DB's won't be able to contain him coming out of the backfield. Look for Reggie to have a big game today. 2nd is the Saints "D". They need to play in their gaps, and stick to their game plan of putting pressure on Payton Manning. If they start worrying too much about Peyton's gyrations and audibles at the LOS, Peyton will beat them. Play your game, honor your game plan, and trust the guy on the left and right of you to do their job as well, and you will frustrate and force Peyton to make mistakes!
Finally, my brother, his wife and 4 kids reside in Lafayette, Louisiana, and although they're die-hard Bronco fans 1st and foremost, their adopted team are the Saints.
I believe in the New Orleans Saints and feel they'll leave Miami with the team's 1st Lombardi Trophy and more importantly they will give back to the Gulf States region the pride and continued strength to rebuild what Katrina took from them.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Drug addiction is a nasty, nasty disease!
So with that being said, I want to congratulate Floyd Little on being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame! It was LONG OVER DUE! Good things come to those who wait and Floyd need not wait anymore!
As far as Shannon not being inducted, I get it. When you are up as a receiver, regardless if you're a Tight End or a Wide Receiver, along side the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Jerry Rice, there is NO WAY the committee is going to make Jerry Rice share the stage with ANY other receiver. Which is why Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Shannon Sharpe didn't make it.
On top of that, I think the committee did Shannon a favor by not putting him in along side the GOAT. Had we looked at Shannon's stats along side Jerry's it pales in comparison. When he played for San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle, Rice made 1,549 catches for 22,895 yards, had 14 1,000-yard seasons and scored 208 touchdowns. It would have diminished Shannon's career had he gone in with Rice.
What frustrates me more is the fact that he didn't get in last year. Shannon deserves to be in, hands down, no questions asked, end of story. He revolutionized the TE position and did it all coming from a small Division II school Savannah State University.
Sharpe was drafted in the 7th round of the 1990 NFL Draft, 192nd overall, by the Denver Broncos. He had a mediocre rookie season as a wide receiver, until Broncos head coach Dan Reeves convinced him to convert to tight end. He remained with Denver until 1999, winning two championship rings in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII in the process. After a two-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won another championship ring in Super Bowl XXXV, he returned to the Broncos where he retired in 2003.
Career receiving statistics
Year Team Games Rec Yards Y/R TDs
1990 Denver Broncos 16 7 99 14.1 1
1991 Denver Broncos 16 22 322 14.6 1
1992 Denver Broncos 16 53 640 12.1 2
1993 Denver Broncos 16 81 995 12.3 9
1994 Denver Broncos 15 87 1010 11.6 4
1995 Denver Broncos 13 63 756 12 4
1996 Denver Broncos 15 80 1062 13.3 10
1997 Denver Broncos 16 72 1107 15.4 3
1998 Denver Broncos 16 64 768 12.0 10
1999 Denver Broncos 5 23 224 9.7 0
2000 Baltimore Ravens 16 67 810 12.1 5
2001 Baltimore Ravens 16 73 811 11.1 2
2002 Denver Broncos 12 61 686 11.2 3
2003 Denver Broncos 15 62 770 12.4 8
Total - 203 815 10,060 12.3 62
Shannon Sharpe Highlights
Click here for Career Highlights
Click here for a funny CBS Highlight
More CBS Stuff
Vaya con Dios John!
As always let me know your thoughts!
Big congrats to Floyd Little! This was a long overdue, Sharpe will get in next year. We will have more to come on the site so check back.
It looks to be a great game, it would be a crime to miss it. No predictions here, but we are pulling for New Orleans. The game is on CBS, 7 pm (ET) enjoy the game!
Friday, February 5, 2010
"Help me understand this: How can a guy catch 21 passes one week and then two weeks later he doesn't even play?" Sharpe told the Denver Post. "Once you go there, once you break that communication, once you break that trust, I don't know how you get that back. So Brandon Marshall and Coach (Josh) McDaniels, I don't know how they mend this."
In my opinion, if, and I say it's a BIG "IF" the Broncos don't re-sign Brandon, (because I think they will) then he will draw huge interest from numerous other teams who need a big play receiver like Marshall, and I'm not the only one who feels this way.
"I know personally there are three teams out there who are going to make a move for Brandon Marshall," Sharpe said.
One of those teams who are in desperate need of a receiver of Marshall's caliber are the Baltimore Ravens, who ironically, Sharpe played for after leaving the Broncos in 2000 only to return and end his career with Denver from 2002 to 2003.
It makes me think that maybe Shannon is acting as Brandon's surrogate agent?
If I were Coach McD and Pat Bowlen, I wouldn't let a receiver of Marshall's talents get away. I'd pay him Fitzgerald type money with every clause possible in his contract that allows me to essentially get him "blackballed" from the league if he gets a ticket for jaywalking!
Denver can't allow our biggest superstar to walk, it never works out for the team, ALWAYS for the player!
Let me know your thoughts!
Veto's Pizza just opened and was my first job the year before I left. Heck, Ponderosa High School wasn't built until 84-85 I think?
I was there from 1979 to 1986. I grew up watching Bronco games on TV. I remember how the only way people would make it from Monday thru Friday was because they knew that Sunday was coming. God forbid you had to live through the summers with no football....... I remember my dad working several jobs for our neighbors around their houses as a handyman, driving delivery trucks on the weekends and being too proud to tell his oldest son that he was working nights as a janitor at Northeast Elementary, just to be able to afford to keep our season tickets in the South Stands at the Old Mile High (may you rest in peace), because he loved taking his sons to games.
I remember going to those home games back then, and having it be such a family environment, yet those families would rather kill you and risk going away to the "big house" then let you talk bad about their Broncos let alone root for the opposing team. Heck the Broncos were part of your family.
Back then, it was the Broncos, yeah we had the Nuggets, but back then, heck, DU's basketball team would have probably beat the Nuggets. Now we have the Av’s, and the Rockies, and the Nuggets. We have INVESCO, and the Pepsi Center and Coors Field.
Well, I'm older now, live in Southern California, and have a wife, a kid and a house of my own, yet I still manage to go to a few games at the new stadium, and it just doesn't have the same small town charm that it used to. Seems like Denver has got a little trendy.
Sure I'll bring my son, Nick, to a game now and then, maybe in 2010 before the lockout (he's 8 now) but, it just won't be the same as when I was a kid. The passion of the fans, (and maybe the players, coaches and owner too?) it just isn't there anymore. Back then we had something to prove.......... now it seems we don't. It wasn’t about the money, or the lifestyle, or the “BLING”, social networking and the amount of followers you had on Twitter. It was then about winning and nothing else mattered.
Like the song goes from the Proclaimers....."I would walk a thousand miles....." to be able to have that small town atmosphere again.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
This is our 50th and final Bronco fun fact. We hope you enjoyed our "50 Facts throughout the Broncos 50th season" thanks for reading, Go Broncos!!!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Me: I heard Julius Peppers wants to play OLB in a 3-4, first off is that legit? And do you think he'd be willing to play DE in a 3-4, & would he be any good as a 3-man defensive end? Thanks!
Frank Schwab: I think he'd play any position as long as the team is willing to pay him. And any team paying him what he'll command would be nuts wasting him as a 3-4 end. I don't think he'd be bad there, but it would be like paying an elite left tackle and putting him at guard.
Me: Ok, so then that tosses out the window any thought of the Broncos going after him right? Because both him and Dumervil are pure pass rushers, and you can't have a 3-4 with only 2 LB's in coverage (or can you?) and according to Mike Kils the Broncos will meet any price a team offers Dumervil. Do you think Doom and Peppers could end up both in Denver? I don't, but people are telling me it would work, your thoughts?
Frank Schwab: On paper it would work fine - but come on, they're not sticking $20m a year into one position when they just drafted an OLB first round last year. I'd be blown away if they signed Peppers.
So there you have it, Peppers and Denver are not a match. One more thing I'd like to throw out there; When Simon Rice signed with Denver in 2007 he was 33, Peppers is 30. Elvis Dumervil is 26, and Robert Ayers hasn't even reached puberty. Chew on that.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Frank: The most direct, but probably most difficult, solution would be finding an elite quarterback. The 2009 Chargers weren’t particularly great in any area except passing offense (and, with a couple of horrendous breakdowns, special teams). Philip Rivers carried the Chargers this year, as Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have done for their teams. After an odd trend in the early 2000s which saw a bunch of mediocre quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, we’re back to a normal world order in which elite quarterbacks are at a premium.
But, having a blue-chip quarterback is not necessary for success. That’s a good thing for the Broncos, because they aren’t easy to find. So unless the next Philip Rivers falls in their lap, the Broncos can cut the distance between the Chargers and themselves by drafting better. Yes, that’s a simple answer, but it also comes from a simple reality: The Broncos aren’t as talented as the Chargers. And the reason is the Broncos have wasted plenty of draft picks over the years.
Since 2003 the Broncos have had 56 draft picks. Of those, I’d consider seven as good to great players on the current team (D.J. Williams, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, Chris Kuper, Ryan Harris and Ryan Clady) and some others are above average contributors (Eddie Royal, Knowshon Moreno, Spencer Larsen, Marcus Thomas). The Chargers, since 2003, have drafted (and had one big draft-day trade) for 13 players in the top category (Mike Scifres, Shaun Phillips, Nick Hardwick, Nate Kaeding, Rivers, Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles, Antonio Cromartie, Marcus McNeill, Eric Weddle, Louis Vasquez), a few others in the contributor range (Brandon Siler, Legedu Naanee, Antoine Cason) and a couple others like Igor Olshansky and Michael Turner who are not in San Diego anymore but contributed to the division title streak. Also, San Diego signed Antonio Gates as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Add all of that together and it’s pretty easy to see why the Chargers have been so dominant.
Perhaps if the Broncos had hit more home runs in the draft (DeSean Jackson instead of Royal, Marion Barber or Brandon Jacobs instead of Maurice Clarett, etc.) then the gap would be closer. The Broncos had a new regime in 2009 but still didn’t dominate the draft. Denver had five picks in the first or second round of the 2009 draft. Yet, when ESPN AFC West blogger Bill Williamson picked a rookie of the year from the division, it was Vazquez, a guard picked by San Diego in the third round.
The Broncos and Chargers haven’t been huge players in free agency recently, and probably wouldn’t be in an uncapped NFL. Both teams need to draft well, and the simple matter is, the Chargers have drafted better than the Broncos. That’s why the gap exists, and it won’t shrink unless the Broncos start finding more blue-chip draftees.
Ian: The Broncos have perennially had one of the best secondaries in the AFC, if not the NFL, over the last eight seasons. This is not the key to domination in the AFC West; the key, as it has always been (see Minnesota, see Indianapolis) is an incredible defensive line with an All Pro center fielder... Denver just happens to be extra lucky to have Champ Bailey and the extremely underrated Andre Goodman... Not to mention Brian Dawkins (that center fielder that I mentioned earlier). The Broncos swung for the fence several times in the Mike Shanahan era, attempting to find that great defensive linemen in the draft and Josh McDaniels picked up Robert Ayers in the first round last season.
So with rumors spiraling over North Carolina that Julius Peppers is not likely to return to the Carolina Panthers, not only that, but that he would love to play in a 3-4 defense... Of course we here at The Orange Page are going to start to lick our chops. Elvis Dumervil and Peppers lining up opposite of each other? Come on man... In an uncapped year!?! Sure Peppers may go to the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys can afford him (but due to a weird top eight rule can't actually pay him), but if Pat Bowlen is serious, if Josh McDaniels really wants to win now... They'll make a major play for Peppers, he is the Reggie White of this era and White led the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls as a Green Bay Packer (not as a Philadelphia Eagle).
I am a true believer that McDaniels' offense is a system offense and yes Chris Simms looked horrible in it compared to Kyle Orton, but had Simms started the season instead of Orton, we would have still been 6-0. I'm not as caught up in the whole 'Denver must re-sign Orton/Brandon Marshall/Chris Kuper/Tony Scheffler now,' hype as the rest. I feel like Denver could easily lose Marshall, Myers and Scheffler and end up even better next season. Remember the season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs? How many catches did Jabar Gaffney have? Could have been anyone really through... Kenny McKinley my friends? I hope that I'm not over your heads my friends.
Now, let the McKinley/Gaffney cue be our perfect lead in to what needs to be done on the Broncos offense... While, I love Colorado native Daniel Graham, the man has dropped key passes for at least four season now. Time to let the man go and as much as I love Scheffler, if the Broncos can't figure out a way to make up for his lack of blocking ability then he's got to go too.. Broncos need a Shannon Sharpe, a Tony Gonzalez, an Antonio Gates... We can't settle, we need a man who can block his butt off (Richard Quinn) and a man who can catch nearly everything that comes his way (Tony Scheffler). I don't see anyone out there in Free Agency that's going to accomplish that for Denver. This is why I would actually back the Broncos is picking one up with their first round draft pick (Vernon Davis, minus the attitude).
I feel like it's fairly obvious at this point that Denver will begin their complete transformation on their offensive line... Starting at the guard position. This will lead to more success in running, more success in passing and whomever the Broncos quarterback ends up being... He'll throw for less interceptions and more touchdowns. Let's be honest though, if Orton is back, this will be his second season under the system, second season with the receivers and second season with Josh McDaniels... That spells game over for opposing defenses... With a schedule like we've got this season... Yeah, we're golden.
Bryan: I'm going to watch this year's playoffs and I'm going to be betting that the team that wins will be one with two outstanding features: an offensive line and a defensive line. The Broncos are transforming to a new offense and the line that protects that system needs to be reformulated to fit the mold. This team desperately needs to address the defensive line... the overall numbers suggest Denver's defense was adequate to, at worst, average against the run but those that watched this team over the closing weeks of the season know all too well that the run was the straw that broke this team's back. Those boys up front just didn't get it done and the entire league figured them out. The Chargers, the Colts, the Ravens, the Steelers, the Chiefs, the Raiders... they all ran early, they ran often, and they ran throughout. They kept those old men in the defensive backfield out there too long and they wore... us... down.
Add a defensive tackle, if not two, of worth... get the guard position fixed... and do whatever you need to do to replace what will be lost in Brandon Marshall, and I'll maintain faith. I believe better production from those two positions would have brought a definitively better end to this season and I'm the first to admit fear that not replacing the third, if that comes to reality, will be a downfall next.
Steve: The Broncos have to do a few things to catch the Chargers. Play their best football late in the season. If the Chargers are anything it's finishers. Philip Rivers is now 18-0 in the month of December while Denver has faced yet another late season collapse. My theory on the Denver collapses is the lack of pure size. Denver was team built undersized on speed. As the season wears on, guys get nicked up and worn down and by the end of the season as the speed advantage is gone, it's just a bigger man pushing you around. Also, I think Denver got stale offensively and became very predictable. They need to open up the offense and learn to become a Big Play offense. You simply can't count on 13-15 play drives in the NFL as too many things can go wrong. Batted balls, sacks, penalties, drops all can easily happen and stall a drive. You need to be able to score quickly and San Diego can do that in spades. Denver has the talent at WR and RB to score in hurry but they need to call the plays. Teams that can score in a blink are never out of a game. The Defense in Denver is a much, much improved unit and they are on the right track. The issues are on offense, mainly the overly conservative play calling.
My Take: We need to beef up the O and D line first off. And like Frank said draft better. The Zone thanks all the guys for stopping by! Be sure to check out all their blogs.