Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TMQ article opens up some old wounds

I might be part to blame, calling that the 2008 Denver Broncos would finish somewhere between 14-2 and 12-4 this season. I predicted nearly every preseason position battles winner (including Marquand Manuel over Hamza Abdullah), I predicted the rise of Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal and I've also predicted that Andre Hall would be the number one back in Denver (okay that one hasn't happened yet, but I've finally got the bandwagon behind me).

An unconscious memory was ripped to the forefront of my brain after reading this afternoon's TMQ Broncos Preview. Dripping in glossy sarcasm ESPN.com Page 2's Greg Easterbrook, points out that amongst other things:
"Bob Slowik is the new guy, and twice already Slowik has been fired after a one-year stint as an NFL defensive coordinator. This makes him an ideal fit for the Denver program."
Ouch, I don't want to point out that once Slowik took over the Broncos defense last season, the running defense specifically bumped up three pegs, from worst in the league to 29th in the league. Granted the Broncos shut down the San Diego Charger's LaDanian Tomlinson in a meaningless game, the same defense shut down Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson in a game that would have sent the Vikings into the playoffs.

I'm not here to be a homer or to rebut every point made by TMQ, there are very valid points made in the article. They were valid seven months ago too, but take into account those two games I mentioned in the last paragraph and package them with how Dallas' new one-two-punch did last weekend.
"The Broncos were 7-4 with the inside track to a wild-card berth, quarterbacked by Jake Plummer, a career 41-22 with Denver, and boasting one of the league's top defenses. Then The Ultimate Leader, Mike Shanahan, benched Plummer and sent in rookie signal-caller Jay Cutler. Since that moment, the Broncos are 9-12, their defense has gone Fizzie and even their vaunted rushing game has become mortal, slipping to ninth in 2007."
Need I say more? Jake Plummer was quite a quarterback, but had Denver stuck with Steve DeBerg (another guy who was quite a quarterback) in 1983 John Elway would never have emerged. Plummer had his shot, multiple times in the playoffs and he blew it, multiple times in the playoffs.

It's getting old, fans of Denver are ready to look forward to the upcoming season, why can't the media just let them? Take into account now, not last week, month, year... Right now, that's what matters.

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E. Halsey Miles said...

TMQ writes about stuff and some of it happens to be football, and some of it happens to be accurate. Key word 'some'.

He had a lot of crap in that article, mostly written by a guy who was obviously writing about a very large topic and therefore didn't do any real research. He looked at how the team did last season, followed the obvious headlines, and made the typical conclusions one could make from that.

Also, Neither Rhodes nor Bates were fired (though Bates effectively was, so maybe I should just say Rhodes). Coyer was fairly undeservedly fired, honestly, but so it goes. It's weird to see writers get their undies in a bunch about firing coordinators, since it happens all the damn time in the league. A team does poorly, pow, time for a coaching change.

Now, 14-2 or 12-4 is a pretty serious prediction, and I'm not sure I can get behind that.


That game against Dallas was pretty convincing. If I see more of that...so far, it looks like we've been having one awesometastic draft and things are good. But youth will have weaknesses, and these weaknesses will be exploitable. Making the playoffs is going to be a matter of shoring up those weaknesses once our opponents understand them. I'm still feeling 10-6 but they could show more.

Ian said...

The game against Dallas I don't really know how to take yet. I remember last season when they killed us in the preseason I saw it as an indicator for our season... I'd like to take this season's performance as a gauge as well.

If you notice we weren't blitzing against Dallas either, not like we were in training camp and against Houston. Green Bay should give us the best way of measuring our talent, as Denver will play the starters into the third quarter hopefully.

Thanks for your insight, don't make yourself scarce around here!

- Ian