What a tumultuous off-season for the Broncos. I was sitting down at a Mexi restaurant with my family and some friends when it popped up on the TV. Shanahan is gone. What? No one can tell me they saw that coming. With no sound emanating from the tube it was all I could do to sit there and enjoy dinner. As soon as we finished the meal I quickly asked for the check and ushered my wife and the 4 year old out the door. Yep, there it was, the coach for life was being shown the door. Who? What? Where? What the fuck just happened. We don't do this in Denver. If nothing else we can take pride in our stability as far as the head coach was concerned. This was the guy who finally brought it home for us. Helped 7 get his ring. Gave us as fearsome a running attack as you were likely to see. Jesus Christ.
It took a couple weeks to settle in but my next reaction was to be a tad excited. It had been 13 years since we had a new face to lead us. Shanahan's philosophy had grown a little old and his drafts had been horrendous. But who would we replace him with? There were a ton of interesting new faces out there and available. Josh McDaniels was about the last guy I would have predicted as Denver's new head coach.
Okay, he's young. I told myself that wouldn't be a problem. He's from New England. The system has been dominant for quite awhile now. Can they make it work in Denver? Do they have the personnel? Well we do have a talented young QB with a cannon for a ...what's that? The QB (who shall forever remain nameless on this blog) and the new coach had a spat? The QB isn't returning calls? The QB won't even talk to Bowlen? What the fuck is going on here?
This was a decidedly bad way to start your tenure in Denver Josh. I am not blaming all on him. In fact I give Cutl...the QB most of the blame on this one. Shanny and his O coordinator get run out of town and the QB wants to take his ball and go home. Ultimately it's good riddance to bad rubbish. Urlacher has already called the QB, and I am quoting here, a "pussy". Believe me when I tell you that I am going to Tivo every Bears game this year and root hard for the opposing team...HARD! Fuck that QB.
I had just gotten over that and have to now I have to put up with a petulant little WR named Marshall. Talented though he may be he is certainly in no position to be asking for a new contract. Christ sake he may be suspended for the first 4 games. Since training camp started last week he has sat out every practice. Nice bargaining position douchebag. Sit on your ass in the trainers room, rehab and shut the fuck up.
So those are the two malcontents. What of the guys who actually want to play in Denver. Let's start with the new gunslinger in town Kyle Orten. Wow, I haven't heard so many he's "a really smart person" comments since my friend tried to hook me up with his pig of a sister. Seriously, I know Orten has shown flashes and he might be a passable QB but he isn't the long term solution and neither is Chris Simms or the rookie tom Brandstater. I am trying to remain optimistic about Orten but haven't begun indulging in the Kool-Aid just yet.
As much as Marshall angers me we need him on the field. I love, and I mean love, Eddie Royal. He's quick and has great hands. I think he got tired last year near the end of the season hut with a year under his belt he should do great things. Can anyone say Wes Welker?
If the RB's we have can stay healthy I feel confident they can get the job done. No one is going to be asked to carry the load. If Know"show" Moreno can get into camp he and Ryan Torrain should be up to the task. They are both great catching the ball out of the backfield and McDaniels likes to use his RB's that way.
The offense line is set and looks to be one of the best units in football again.
The Defense is the real question. There are a lot of free agent no names filling holes on the line and lots of guys changing positions to fit the scheme. Champ we know is going to be good. Dawkins brings a leadership this D was missing last year and new CB Alphonso Smith is an impressive ball hawk. Our D line and LB's are the weak link on this team. The real question going into this season is how they hold up and whether or not McDaniels can make his system work in year one.
Most people are saying 6 wins. I won't say until after the final pre-season game against the Bears. It's a tough schedule for sure but you never know from year to year how good any team is really going to be.
I'll break down that schedule next time.