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  • "Getting hammered is part of rebuilding"

    Rocky Mountain News/Sports section

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...739316,00.html

    Dave Krieger

    November 4, 2007

    DETROIT — On the bright side, that kickoff return thing is finally coming around.
    "What it really was, everybody was on their assignment," said Andre Hall, who averaged 29 yards on four returns Sunday. "Everybody did what they had to do. I seen a lot of open lanes and it turned out pretty good."

    If you had to pick only one unit on your professional football team to know what it was doing, you might pick offense or defense over the kickoff return team, but hey, it's something.

    And that doesn't even exhaust the bright side. Everybody else in the suddenly lame AFC West also lost, so the 3-5 Broncos, even after an abject humiliation, are still right there.

    "You take a look at it, we're still one game out," said Mike Shanahan.

    Of course, you take a look at it, and they were also three minutes from their most lopsided shutout loss since 1967, so it may be time to quit taking their postgame analysis from the dictionary of football clichés.

    The Broncos are rebuilding without admitting it. Maybe it's time they admitted it.

    "My mind-set has never been to play for next year," Shanahan said. "It never will be."

    Maybe that's the problem. Shanahan has been patching and filling for nine years, ever since John Elway retired. He's been widely praised, including here, for never letting the Broncos fall to the bottom, as the Cowboys did, as the Niners did, after their championship run.

    But without premium draft picks, the patching and filling grows more desperate with each passing year. Out of 22 starters on offense and defense Sunday, exactly three — cornerback Champ Bailey, safety Nick Ferguson and linebacker Ian Gold — started in the same spots in the eighth game a year ago.

    And they wonder why they are suddenly plagued by penalties and missed assignments and blown coverages and dropped balls?

    They keep saying injuries are no excuse. Everybody has injuries, they say. It comes right from the tough guy playbook. No excuses.

    Unfortunately, that has now turned into denying reality. The offensive line is pretty close to a joke, and the defensive line isn't much better. The Broncos are being beaten up front on both sides of the ball, the surest sign of a losing football team.

    To say that the loss of Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen has a lot to do with that is not making an excuse. It's stating a fact. And if you are determined to ignore that fact because you're too manly to make excuses, then you are going to miss a big part of the reason for Sunday's embarrassment.

    When I asked injured quarterback Jay Cutler to diagnose what was wrong with the offense, the first words out of his mouth, before he retreated to the clichés that blame no one by blaming everyone, were these:

    "We were having trouble up front."

    The gaps between center Chris Myers and guards Chris Kuper and Montrae Holland might as well have been six-lane highways. The Lions were credited with five sacks, but that wasn't half of the chaos they caused. A couple of times, it occurred to me that Cutler's life might be in danger.

    Myers, playing in Nalen's place, is a sixth-round draft pick who had never started a game before this year. Kuper, playing in place of injured Ben Hamilton, is a fifth-round pick and another virgin starter.

    These are not excuses. These are facts. For the Broncos, the manly refusal to make excuses has become the macho refusal to face facts.

    They were equally helpless Sunday on the defensive line, where they were credited with a single sack. In perhaps the game's best comic moment, defensive tackle Antwon Burton wagged his finger, Dikembe Mutombo style, after that rarest of plays, a defensive stop at the line of scrimmage.

    That's right, you'd better not run on the Broncos, even if they did go into the game with the worst run defense in football.

    In perhaps the second-best comic moment, defensive back Domonique Foxworth double fist-pumped a stop 6 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Because, hey, a 6-yard gain is better, for example, than a 7-yard gain.

    The fact is, the Broncos have personnel problems all over the field — on the offensive line, on the defensive line, at linebacker, in the defensive backfield. Gold had three tackles Sunday. Nate Webster had two. Are there two starting linebackers in football playing to less effect?

    No excuses has become an excuse. It is time to face facts. If you're rebuilding, which turnover at 19 starting positions suggests, admit it. Then take steps to keep your young quarterback out of harm's way by giving him that Jake Plummer moving pocket. They haven't gotten Cutler killed yet, but at this rate, they just might.

    Whatever that MRI on his injured leg says, if I'm Cutler, I'm going in this morning to negotiate a much larger life insurance policy.

    [email protected]

  • #2
    Dave Krieger has a point. This is a rebuilding year. Mike Shany is the type of coach that wants to win now, and all this losing is a shock to him. Shany has to face the facts that this is a rebuilding year. He dosent want to admit it, but its true. This doesnt mean that this season is over... it just means that the broncos have to make some adjustments for right now to win some games.

    Any thoughts?

    Comment


    • #3
      It's turned into a rebuilding year because of poor play, bad free agent signings, and of course, injuries.

      I can assure you the mentality going into this season was not to build for the future. Mike Shanahan stated as much yesterday after the game.
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
        It's turned into a rebuilding year because of poor play, bad free agent signings, and of course, injuries.

        I can assure you the mentality going into this season was not to build for the future. Mike Shanahan stated as much yesterday after the game.
        I agree. Our offseason was clearly not a rebuilding effort. It was yet another patch job. Now that things aren't working out, it's getting labeled as a "rebuilding year"... which is the worst of both worlds.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
          It's turned into a rebuilding year because of poor play, bad free agent signings, and of course, injuries.

          I can assure you the mentality going into this season was not to build for the future. Mike Shanahan stated as much yesterday after the game.
          the "mentality" doesn't mean anything. Like it has been stated before.. I dont' want a coach that goes into the season making statements of "its only a rebuilding year, we aren't going to be very good." Thats crap. You want your coach, coaching staff, and players to have the mentality and approach that EVERY season is a Super Bowl run... despite the reality.

          So please... don't give me this " well shanahan said it wasn't a rebuilding year.. so it wasn't" stuff. Shanahan (as well as EVERY COACH) is going to say to the press the EXACT same thing he wants his team to approach the practices and year. If the coaches say its a rebuilding year... then the players practice as if it is.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Warhawk View Post
            I agree. Our offseason was clearly not a rebuilding effort. It was yet another patch job. Now that things aren't working out, it's getting labeled as a "rebuilding year"... which is the worst of both worlds.
            It was a rebuilding year. You don't have THAT many new starters and rookie QB, and don't believe its a rebuilding year. Why do you think that Mojo didn't think we would do better than a 8-8 year? Not because Shanahan said it wasn't a rebuilding year... but because the reality of it, it is.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ravage!!! View Post
              the "mentality" doesn't mean anything. Like it has been stated before.. I dont' want a coach that goes into the season making statements of "its only a rebuilding year, we aren't going to be very good." Thats crap. You want your coach, coaching staff, and players to have the mentality and approach that EVERY season is a Super Bowl run... despite the reality.

              So please... don't give me this " well shanahan said it wasn't a rebuilding year.. so it wasn't" stuff. Shanahan (as well as EVERY COACH) is going to say to the press the EXACT same thing he wants his team to approach the practices and year. If the coaches say its a rebuilding year... then the players practice as if it is.
              Agree to disagree, I suppose...

              I truly believe Shanahan thought he had a Super Bowl team in place.
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                Agree to disagree, I suppose...

                I truly believe Shanahan thought he had a Super Bowl team in place.
                of course you do. You want to believe everything negative about shanahan you can.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ravage!!! View Post
                  of course you do. You want to believe everything negative about shanahan you can.
                  Actually, if anything, I would compliment Shanahan for having those kinds of expectations for this franchise each and every season. It's a gift, not a curse, even though he's overshot more times than not.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                    Actually, if anything, I would compliment Shanahan for having those kinds of expectations for this franchise each and every season. It's a gift, not a curse, even though he's overshot more times than not.
                    Well.. you may be right. He may very well have thought he had a team capable going to the SB in place. But that just may be his out look in life and the game, and never truly sees anything less than making a SB run. Personally, I want that in a coach. We all know that the expectations are high, and we all know that most teams have a "failed" season. But if you want a winning persona, you have to truly believe that you have a winning chance. That starts with the top, and trickles down.

                    Unfortunatly.... obviously........ that mentality doesn't always transfer over to reality.

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                    • #11
                      Well I havent packed the season in yet as bad as it looks.

                      But im not one to say it is a rebuilding year either if the shoe fits wear it.

                      Calling this season a rebuilding year just dont fit the Broncos feet.

                      You dont call a season where you start 2-0 and vegas picking you at 30/1 odds to get the super bowl by saying it is a rebuilding year all the moves that Denver made over the offseason was to make 9-7 team good enough to go to the AFCC.Not to rebuild a team.You dont use the term rebuild from a team that was 13-3 and 9-7 in the last two seasons.

                      By calling this a rebuilding year all you are doing is giving yourself a easy to way backpaddle out of what you think this years team could do.

                      Im not going to use the battle cry rebuilding year for this years team.
                      :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo:

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                      • #12
                        No.. this was not suppose to be a re-building year. The talk was that the Broncos were going to be in the thick of things for the playoff race.

                        If the Patriots hadn’t have pickup Randy Moss, it was the Colts as being the favorite to repeat winning the SuperBowl.

                        But that the Broncos were now made to compete with them with the addition of Dre Bly and Daniel Graham.

                        Injuries are part of the game, but the Broncos have had more than their share.
                        Go Broncos !!

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          I don't really get how you can say this isn't a rebuilding year. Yes, this team had high expectations, but that means nothing. Even if they where winning, the last 2 seasons have been rebuilding seasons. If you don't believe me, look at the roster for once. You where either not a fan for more than these past 2 years or you just don't know anything about this team if you think it wasn't a rebuilding period. We have what, 3 of the same guys still on this offense from the AFCC team. Like 5 of them on defense. Of those, some are even injured right now. Then there is always the second year QB that still has yet to get a full season of starts in.

                          How exactly is this not a rebuilding year? A big part of our offense has less than 3 years experience. The head of the offense is in his second year....

                          Call it what you want I guess. I still expected this team to win but I have seen that we have been rebuilding the team for over a year now.

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                          • #14
                            I don't see how what we did in the offseason was patching. We did all we could in the draft, we got two promising DEs, a pretty talented DT, and a little bit of o-line depth. Travis Henry looked good when the line was doing well and we weren't passing 40-some odd times a game, and of course when he wasn't in the face of suspension and injuries. Graham has performed well as a blocker, and has made a few key receptions. Stokley is doing very very well, i'd consider this another good pick up. I think Sam Adams was a bad signing, he can't even make it a full series on the field let alone get any sort of pressure up the middle. Dre Bly has been off and on, but i'd rather have him on the team than foster and bell.

                            Even if we were to have gone rebuilding mode last offseason, what would we have done differently? Not gone after Graham, Stokley, Henry, Bly? Then we'd be looking at Foxworth at #2 CB (I'm not completely confident in Domonique yet), Brian Clark or someone similar in the slot, Selvin Young/Mike Bell/ Cecil Sapp running the ball, Scheffler(love scheff, but he has a ways to go on blocking), I don't see that as an advantage.

                            Sorry, you can not add yourself to your own ignore list.

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                            • #15
                              "My mind-set has never been to play for next year," Shanahan said. "It never will be."
                              Uh, really? I thought the whole reason for pulling Plummer last year was because it wasn't enough to just get to the playoffs, we wanted to win the SB... in essence, we were basically giving up our chance of making the playoffs so our QB of the future could get some experience. Isn't that playing for next year?

                              As for whether or not we're rebuilding. Well, I certainly hope that is what we're doing! If you say we're rebuilding, at least it makes it seem like there's a reason for how bad we suck right now. If we aren't... well, we still suck, but it feels like there's less hope for it ending in the near future.

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