Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Join linebacker Wesley Woodyard for an MVP Dinner benefiting his 16Ways Foundation on Nov. 1st

On the field, Denver Broncos fourth year linebacker Wesley Woodyard is a special teams captain and tackling machine, leading the team with 43 stops through five games this season.

Off the field, the former Kentucky Wildcat is one of the more active players in the community. In 2010, Woodyard was the Broncos recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year honor, an award that recognizes players that personify leadership on and off the field and who have demonstrated significant impact through community service.

Since his rookie season in the NFL (2008), Woodyard has been a role model in the community, from supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and the NFL's Play 60 movement to participating in the team's annual Shop With A Bronco holiday program for children.

Most recently, Woodyard has founded 16Ways, a foundation which supports at-risk youth and their families with the goal of helping youth achieve the highest academic and social success. On Tuesday, November 1st, Wesley Woodyard will host an MVP dinner to benefit the 16Ways Foundation at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Denver.

Woodyard will be joined by several teammates (who are still to be announced) at the dinner and is inviting everyone in the Denver area to join them for a five star, four course meal and silent auction benefiting the 16Ways Foundation.

The dinner will be held at 7-10 p.m. (the doors will open at 6:30 p.m.) and space is limited. Tickets to the event, which are inclusive of tax, gratuity and Valet, are $250 a person, with all of the proceeds going to Woodyard's foundation.

Sullivan's Steakhouse is located at 1745 Wazee Street, Denver Colorado, 80202.

For more information on the event, email 16Ways@mvpdinners.com or visit the event's website. For reservations call (424)-256-2022. Woodyard and his teammates will be attending to benefit the youth, will you?

Game day images of Woodyard were provided courtesy of Paul Cloud Photography.

Broncos' Tim Tebow named starting quarterback

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox announced on Tuesday that Tim Tebow will start at quarterback against the Miami Dolphins following the team's bye week.

“I think (being) 1-4 has a lot to do with it," said Fox on Tuesday following practice. "We haven’t gotten it done as a football team—it’s not one guy. It’s not all Kyle Orton’s fault, but we do have to make adjustments and we do have to change. We have to do something to win football games.”

Active for twelve career games, Tebow has thrown for 733 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing for 264 rushing yards and seven touchdowns (which the second-most rushing touchdowns by an active quarterback since 2010).

“I’m just very honored to get this opportunity," said Tebow on Tuesday. "I’m very excited. I’m just blessed to be a Denver Bronco, and to go out there and play for this organization is truly a privilege.”

The Broncos decision couldn't have come at a better time for Tebow, who will have extra time to prepare for the Dolphins during the bye and have two receivers back from injury. Second year wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who has been explosive when healthy, is expected to be back and slot receiver Eddie Royal is also hopeful to be back from a groin injury.

Joining Royal and Thomas as Denver's four main receivers will be Pro Bowler Brandon Lloyd and second year star Eric Decker, who is having a career year.

“One thing you can’t take away from him is that heart, that emotion," said Decker. "That’s something he carries on his sleeve and brings every day to work. He’s a guy that won’t be outworked and that rubs off on people. It might not be the most conventional way but he finds a way to get it done.”

Decker is not the only one that has noticed Tebow's overachieving style of play.

“He’s going to do whatever it takes. He’s going to work harder than anybody else and he’s going to make sure he does what needs to be done to be successful,” said linebacker Joe Mays.

Tebow's throwing motion and passing game in general have been under heavy scrutiny, but if he is able to wins games, his teammates and coaches will be satisfied.

“Some people may call him unorthodox, but at the end of the day he gets the job done. When his number is called he’s always looking to go out there and perform and make plays.”

There are certain rules about what players can and cannot do during a bye week, but thanks to modern technology, Tebow will be able to study up on the Dolphins defense for the next two weeks.

“That’s a great thing about iPads. You can put all the film on there now. So, it’s good.”

Images used in this article were provided courtesy of Paul Cloud Photography.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tebow's 2nd half comeback against San Diego falls just short

Trailing the San Diego Chargers 23-10 following halftime on Sunday, Denver Broncos head coach John Fox sent second year quarterback Tim Tebow out on the field to lead the offense.

The move came after weeks of fans chanting for Tebow and continued mediocre play from starting quarterback Kyle Orton. On Sunday, Orton seemed out of rhythm from the start, leading several 3-and-out drives and throwing an interception.

The defense had been on the field for much of the first half but was still able to hold the Chargers high powered offense to field goal attempts on three drives which could have resulted in twenty-one points. In the second half, Tebow was aided by the defense which stepped up, allowing just two more field goals and forcing two turnovers.

On his first few series, Tebow struggled, throwing several passes at the feet of open receivers. Once he started playing his game however, Tebow warmed up and the offense rallied behind him. Tebow finished the game 4-of-10 for 79 passing yards with six carries for 38 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing).

Tebow benefitted from the outstanding play of running back Willis McGahee, who finished the game with 125 yards off of 16 carries. Fellow running back Knowshon Moreno also made Tebow look good taking a screen pass 28 yards for a score. The offensive line also did a nice job of giving Tebow relatively good protection.

The Broncos were just one two-point conversation away from tying the game at 26 late in the fourth quarter. Star receiver Brandon Lloyd, who hauled in an incredible sideline catch earlier in the scoring drive, couldn't hold on to Tebow's two point conversation attempt and the Broncos ultimately fell to the Chargers by a score of 29-24 (following another Chargers field goal).

Although it was a loss, the game gave hope to Broncos fans across the country. For a change, Broncos fans actually had exciting football to watch and felt like the team had a chance to win down to the last second.

The Broncos have a Bye week next followed by a Week Seven match in Miami against the Dolphins. Speculation is that the Broncos will keep Tebow the starter moving forward. Coach Fox hasn't made any official announcement as of now, but we expect one to be coming soon.

For up-to-the-minute updates on the quarterback situation, follow Broncos Zone on Facebook.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't throw in the towel on the Broncos' season

A popular cliché in the football world goes something like: It's not how you start, but how you finish (just ask the 2009 Denver Broncos, 2007 New England Patriots and 2010 Green Bay Packers). After four weeks of play, the Broncos are 1-3 and near the bottom of their division, but the season is far from over.

Denver has played four good football teams this season. Through the first four weeks of play, the Broncos opponents have gone 11-5.

Against the Oakland Raiders in week one, Broncos fans were disgusted to see quarterback Kyle Orton sacked five times and Oakland's Darren McFadden run all over Denver's defense. The game however was no fluke for the Raiders -- who are 2-2 after falling to the New England Patriots on Sunday -- as Oakland's defensive line has played dominantly this year, recording eleven sacks (compared to their opponents two) and McFadden is leading the NFL in rushing.

When the Broncos faced off against the Cincinnati Bengals in week two, Denver got their sole win of the season against a rebuilding Bengals team. Though many fans feel Denver should have blown the Bengals away, Cincinnati is an improving team and rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has been playing extremely well. On Sunday, the Dalton-led Bengals upset the undefeated Buffalo Bills.

When the Broncos traveled to Tennessee to take on the Titans in week three, Denver simply couldn't win the game in the end. The Titans however, are standing at 3-1 atop their division behind quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who is well on his way to having a career season. It's not as if the Broncos lost to a bottom of the barrel team in week three.

On Sunday, the Broncos ran into a Green Bay Packers team that was simply the better football team. Denver was over matched from the get go and they were never expected to pull off a victory on the road in Green Bay. With that said, the Broncos, despite having four of their drives end in turnovers, scored 23 points against the Packers high-ranked defense. Had the Broncos scored 23 points against the Raiders, that game would have gone into overtime. Had the Broncos scored 23 points against the Bengals, they still would have won. The story stays the same against the Titans, Denver would have won if they had scored 23 points.

Granted, everything mentioned above doesn't change the fact that the Broncos are 1-3, but the season is not yet lost. Broncos fans have been spoiled with two World Championships, six Super Bowls appearances, eight AFC Title Games, ten AFC West Titles, seventeen Playoff Berths and twenty-four winning seasons. We can't abandon our team when the going gets tough, the Broncos are going through a rebuilding process, and there is hope for the future.

The Broncos defense will have cornerback Champ Bailey back from injury next week, along with defensive end Elvis Dumervil and linebacker D.J. Williams, who each missed at least two of the team's first three games. Joining the veterans on Denver's defense is rookie linebacker Von Miller, who has looked about as impressive as any rookie defender to come around in a long, long time.

Over the past three games, Miller has consecutively recorded at least one sack and has totaled four through the first four games, which is the most ever recorded by a Broncos rookie through the first four games of a season. Thus far, Miller has recorded sixteen tackles, four sacks, two passes defended and two forced fumbles. Each and every week Miller has improved; he is going to be the cornerstone of this defense for years to come.

On the offensive side of the ball, there are several more young players that have shown great potential. Receiver Eric Decker has been on fire, scoring five touchdowns through the first four weeks of play, which is the first time a Broncos non-running back has done so since Steve Watson in the 1981 season. Thus far, Decker has caught 20 passes for 270 yards and four receiving touchdowns. Decker looks to provide a solid receiving option for the Broncos for many years to come.

The season is still young, Denver still has twelve games left to play. Up next is a home game against the San Diego Chargers. Let's see how the Broncos fair against a division rival this week before giving up on the entire season. Starting 1-4 would be a rough start, but a 2-3 start would not be unacceptable from a rebuilding team that has had a hard schedule.

On a different note, the Broncos announced on Monday that the NFL has approved the team's request to wear its orange jerseys as the primary home jerseys beginning in 2012.