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A Brand New Day…

January 5, 2010

Okay, so that was a crappy Sunday for the Broncos and everyone but 12 teams in the NFL, including their fans. But it’s a brand new day, and we all need move on, because we wouldn’t be the first team to take a mediocre season and build off of it. I mean lets face it, the Broncos basically trashed everything from last year, had a total turnaround, and still managed to not have a losing record. That’s rare.

I’m not making excuses. Our late season collapse is in fact inexcusable. But it happened. Let’s at least look at the bright side of things. If McDaniels can get past his stubbornness, which you can read my comments about here, then for all we know, we can build this average team to a playoff caliber one. There are some things we need to do though and none of them have to do with a coaching change! McDaniels will stay. For those of you who don’t like him, sorry. He’s here for at least another year.

1. Let’s add a bit more oomph to the running game.

Ahh the age old question. Could our running game be doing better than it already is? For the Broncos, the answer is yes. I’ll be frank, I love Knowshon Moreno. I think he will be one of McDaniels’s best picks of his career, and should have a long, prosperous career in the NFL. Many fans think that he isn’t all that he is cracked up to be.

They say he’s not fast enough, not explosive enough and they say that if he isn’t able to put up a 100 yard game, there is something seriously wrong. No offense to them, but the only serious thing wrong is their heads. Moreno isn’t fast or explosive but he is consistent and agile. He is a goal line threat, a versatile runner and is the perfect balance of speed and power.

Fred Taylor would be a good example of a running back that has had a great career but has never been fast or explosive. For years Jacksonville fans complained about this, so the coaching staff went out and found a running back that could add a bit more “oomph” to the game. His name was Maurice Jones-Drew and he is considered to be one of the best backs in the league.

The Broncos need to find someone fast and explosive like MJD, and throw him in the mix. The best way to do this would be in the draft. A guy I really like right now for this is Ryan Mathews of Fresno State. He has declared early to go in the NFL draft and after watching the New Mexico Bowl, I can safely say he would add all of these things.

There are plenty other backs like him in the second and third rounds of the draft, and I think we have a good opportunity this year to find some under the radar prospects at running back. If we can add a bit more oomph to the running game, we could have an awesome back field.

2. Fix the offensive line.

This should be number one on the list but since I can segue nicely into it, I will put it second.

When talking about adding more oomph to the running game, besides running backs, the next thing we need to look at is the offensive line, and we have serious, serious problems there. With the exception of Ryan Clady and Casey Wiegmann, we are just horrible and while Ryan Harris was great last season, I can’t tell you if he is still as good because he has been injured for so long!

Chris Kuper is pretty good in pass protection but can get no push in the running game and I think will be asking for way too much money, so we might as well just let him go. Ben Hamilton will be let go also, and while Russ Hochstein should remain on the team as a reliable backup, he is no starter. So here comes the question: Do we draft a guard or find one in free agency?

Free agency seems to be the place to get one this year despite the CBA disagreements, which I can truly say I don’t understand.

But I do understand the draft, and the one Guard I would want to draft early, Mike Iupati, has had his stock explode so much, we won’t be able to draft him unless we trade up into the late 1st round. That is why, unless we are able to find some sort of late round steal, it would be most sensible to try to find an experienced Offensive Guard in free agency.

Logan Mankins I think is probably the perfect fit. He is an expert at blocking the run and the pass, and has played over 80 straight games without an injury. He is consistent and knows McDaniels’ scheme too, after playing in New England for 5 years. If he is available the Broncos should spend as much money as it takes to bring him in.

3. Find players that understand McDaniels’s message.

This is an interesting one that will take more than one year to fix. You see, when you have a head coach as unique as Josh McDaniels, and by that I mean a coach that is this intense, this passionate and this exciting, there are only a few players who receive his message and respond well to his style of coaching. Players like Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler don’t respond well to this message while players like Brian Dawkins and D.J Williams really do.

We need to draft players and sign players who understand his message and will play for him. But more than that, we need to weed out the players who don’t. I’m looking at you Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Jarvis Moss. I want players who really want to play for McDaniels and are willing to fight for him.

Intensity will be the key. Let’s get intense, hard working players who play with a passion. Imagine a team of 23 Brian Dawkins, and 30 Champ Baileys. That is the kind of team I want.

I like how good of a player Brandon Marshall is, but I don’t like the kind of player he is. I have trouble respecting him. I have trouble imagining that he really wants to win. I thought he was making a change but if he in fact did lie about having a injury, then McDaniels was right to not let him play and in that case I don’t want him back.

4. Reevaluate the training staff.

This is an interesting one but something that I have been thinking of for some time since last year with Jay Cutler and the multiple running back injuries. It shocked me when the Broncos training staff was not able to diagnose that Jay Cutler had diabetes for an entire 2 years in the NFL, even after noticing him being very ill towards the end of the season.

Then came the 6-7 running backs who had to end their season prematurely with injuries. The fact that we had so many running backs leaving with injuries is not just coincidence, it shows that there is a root problem in the training staff and how they are preparing our players.

So why do we care, a year removed from this?

There is a recurring theme that is related to this. Every single year we collapse toward the end of the season. Every. Single. Year. I was wondering since we had a full turnaround, what there was on the team that would keep us consistent in this respect and then it hit me: We didn’t switch out our training staff!

Now, I’m not saying that we need to fire them all, and get new people in, but they need to be reevaluated because I think there is something going on, we don’t like.

  1. January 5, 2010 11:06 AM

    LOL! “There is something wrong with their heads” I love it! Hehe, I feel the same way. . . I think Moreno will do great. Vote for him for Rookie Of The Week!

  2. January 5, 2010 11:13 AM

    Every players in the NFL wants to win, so you can’t say “So-in-so doesn’t want to win” But some players have a “ME ME ME” attitude. And that can effect winning games…

    • January 5, 2010 2:16 PM

      Interesting point, but I have to disagree. There are some players in the NFL, like Antonio Bryant for instance, who the second they make big money, don’t play as hard and really don’t mind if they are not winning.

  3. January 5, 2010 3:17 PM

    Yeah that’s totally true, but nobody doesn’t want to win.

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