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  • Solid Piece About The O and D Lines

    Solid piece heading into the off-season about the Broncos O-Line and D-Line.

    http://www.milehighreport.com/story/2008/1/2/4430/49808

    Check it out!


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  • #2
    Originally posted by TheSportsGuru View Post
    Solid piece heading into the off-season about the Broncos O-Line and D-Line.

    http://www.milehighreport.com/story/2008/1/2/4430/49808

    Check it out!
    Wow..thorough report. But who are these folks?
    There goes the franchise...

    Comment


    • #3
      Very good analysis although I'm not fully sold on the what-to-do-about it bits. The figures - especially on the DLine don't surprise me. If Ekuban returns I think we'll do a little better. I also expect Crowder to develop a little more this offseason and possibly nail down the starting spot at LE.

      NT is - as this article shows - our greatest need. I very much agree with bringing in a draftee and a vet there. Then we have a decent 4 or 5 way rotation with Thomas, McKinley and the "Duck of Doom " at the DT position. McKinley especially is a much better fit there.

      I'm not sure on drafting an LB though. I know that they're reasonably easy to draft. However there seems to be a decent selection in the FA market. But I'm pretty certain we need an upgrade there in any case. We need someone fast and disciplined...I like Nate-and-his-flying-helmet-of-doom because he's very energetic. However he must become more disciplined if he wants to keep the job next year because he does tend to overpursue. I don't agree with moving DJ, I think we're going to see good progression from him over the offseason and into next season.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Orange_Nut View Post
        Wow..thorough report. But who are these folks?
        MileHighReport?? Big time Broncos fan blog. Solid community of Broncos fans...


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        • #5
          Good article. I'm not sure it quite addresses all of our needs, but that's at least a good start. I think it's a good call to move DJ back outside, where he has excelled. I'm curious to see how our defense ranked on 3rd and long situations though, as that was one of our greatest killers IMO. 1st and second down we seemed to be able to come up with stops, but then we would crumble on 3rd.

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          • #6
            It was just starting with the O-Line and D-Line. There will be follow-up pieces over the next couple of weeks...


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            • #7
              If we take a LB with our No. 1 pick, I will be BEYOND pissed. It wont matter if we have the greatest linebackers in the NFL. If we don't improve our line, the linebackers just get pushed back by they're own giant fat linemen who are getting pushed around like shopping carts.

              There are at least three DT's that will go in the first round that could probably make a significant impact right away. Dorsey (who we cant get unless we trade up) Frank Okam (who isnt projected above the thirds round yet) and Sedrick Ellis. Any of these players would be WAY more important than a LB.
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              And THAT'S, the Cosmic Perspective.

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              • #8
                Good analytical review, awful understanding of needs...just another fan with his say!

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                • #9
                  Please, by all means, enlighten us...


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                  • #10
                    Nicely done.

                    However, DJ sucks as a WILL LB. It's been reported ever since his rookie season. His natural position, ala his skillset, is at MIKE. He loves MIKE. The coaches love DJ at MIKE. He was one of the absolute best MIKE LBs in the NFL this season.

                    He's not moving.


                    Also, I still don't believe Ian Gold is going anywhere. He was very productive this season, despite about 5 glaring mistackles, which apparently overshadows the rest of his play. He's also the absolute only LB we have on our team that can cover in man coverage, allowing us to do safety blitzes. The rest of our LBs are limited to zone schemes. To replace Gold, we'd probably have to bring in an even more expensive WILL LB in free agency, or possibly draft Dan Connor, whom is a true WILL backer in the NFL and specialized in coverage at PSU. But he'd require a 1st round pick, and I can't imagine a scenario where we would draft a LB with so many other, more important needs (DT, S, OT) and equivical needs (WR and RB).

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                    • #11
                      nice article. i've been saying for awhile now that we're a collective example of how you can have boatloads of talent everywhere, but if you're missing an O and D line, you will fail and that talent won't mean a thing. contrastingly, look at the teams without as much talent as us, who succeed more because of their play in the trenches. tennessee, houston, tampa, etc.

                      And boy, are these two ever ugly. First we have the 24th most stuffed rushing attack in the league. What does that mean? It means that only eight other teams were stopped on first and second down rushes as much as we were. This means rushes for zero yards as well as rushes for losses. This is a terrible statistic, and is an indictment of our rushing attack's consistency. but wait, there's more...
                      this i think has been a long time coming. our small zone blocking scheme, without the right guys, will work every few tries and only because it breaks off 10 yard runs when it does, we're not complaining as much as we should be. but this is a telling statistic. we're killing our own offensive drives because our linemen get pushed into the very holes they're trying to create and young/henry just hit the wall and fall over. i can guarantee you we were never once among the top ten at this stat with portis and a better oline. we need that again, to keep drives going. to keep our defense off the field. to attain more desirable field position, and if for nothing else than to just speed up the development of jay cutler because all we ever do is put him in third and long situations. let's make it easy for the kid and we'll all win, on many different levels.

                      and that 32nd ranked short yardage running game was enough to make me ill. i knew it was bad but reading "32nd ranked" and thinking of teams who have some pretty awful running games being better, made me embarrassed. we're too damn small to assert ourselves. we can't push forward when the defense is completely committed to pushing us the opposite direction, which will happen on goal line stands and short yardage pushes. i think this has been this way for years. with the late 90s broncos, we had small linemen, but they were stubborn ox strong. now, we have small linemen, who are strong but not that strong. so we get pushed backwards and into running lanes. i think this began to happen during portis' time here, but we just didn't notice it because he was so good at anticipation, finding holes and making guys miss. his agility and pure running ability saved our asses.

                      i hate to bring up gold again but anywhere he was supposed to cover a gap we were ranked 20th and below. at least webster had the crappy left DT to blame some of his problems on. nate i noticed wasn't as fast as ian but could diagnose a play quicker and take better angles. but he couldn't recover when he was incorrect in his diagnoses. and when you consider anyone who was at left DT sucked it up, you can't be shocked with 32nd overall.

                      i dunno if i agree on his assessment of dumer, since he's basically doing what he's told-bullrush the hell out of them. which leaves a hole big enough to drive a semi-truck through off the left guard. many teams are thanking us for that as early as lamont jordan and the bills game.

                      i've also said since we got bates we need penetration from the DTs. being space eaters just isn't enough. it won't collapse the pocket, it'll just make it slightly more narrow and any qb worth his paycheck will still eat us alive. we made almost every qb we played look good up to and including vince young and philip rivers. yuck.

                      i think his "what are we going to do" read more like a "what should we do". and i agree with all except moving dj. cause like i said before one more move and we'll practically be frat hazing him.
                      Last edited by NinjaPirateFunk; 01-02-2008, 03:34 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Very good indepth article, this guy knows what he is talking about.


                        I really liked the part were he said "What are we going to do?
                        We are going to sit right where we are at #12 and draft a LB. A patient madman, a guy with guts and grit and a passion for football. DJ will hand him the Mike LB, and take his own lessons from his stint at MLB to the weakside after Gold's departure, where he will, ahem, 'rock **** off.' Two new big boys will filter into the D-line, one of whom will be a FA, the other a rookie."


                        Since it was just like what I was telling you guys here and was bashed from thread to thread about it. We should and hopefully will be going after a MLB in the first round and filling our DT position through FA with hopefully Simon from Greenbay. We do those two things and bam, this defense WILL be great agian.

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                        • #13
                          agree 110% if that line backing idea happens are line backers will one of the besst again hope it happens

                          made by showoff

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gr3yStreet View Post
                            If we take a LB with our No. 1 pick, I will be BEYOND pissed. It wont matter if we have the greatest linebackers in the NFL. If we don't improve our line, the linebackers just get pushed back by they're own giant fat linemen who are getting pushed around like shopping carts.

                            There are at least three DT's that will go in the first round that could probably make a significant impact right away. Dorsey (who we cant get unless we trade up) Frank Okam (who isnt projected above the thirds round yet) and Sedrick Ellis. Any of these players would be WAY more important than a LB.
                            I would agree with this. It's too bad we can't get Glenn Dorsey, but he should be gone in the top 5.

                            But a NT to play RT is exactly what the Broncos desperately need. 32nd in the league is just beyond unacceptable at LT, so they need exactly what this articles says: 1 veteran FA starter, and a rookie #1 draft pick to groom behind him.

                            Then the RT spot. Here Marcus Thomas has to get much better. He was just a rookie and rookie DTs don't often excel, so it's excusable that he wasn't great. But even if he improves there's just no depth there. Alvin McKinley is a decent backup, but he can't be pressed into a starter role without the same problem emerging next year. So, ideally, Denver should sign TWO veteran DT FAs who can step in if needed, AND draft one to groom.

                            Unless they do this the defense won't be any better next season, and you can bet that LT will run wild and Denver will lose twice to the Chargers again.

                            As for the O-line, they need at least 1 decent veteran. I'm not at all impressed with RT Erik Pears. He finished 26th in the league and should be a prime candidate to be cut. They need to get somebody who can play that position. Perhaps if Hamilton returns they can shift Kuper to RT, but Myers taking over for Nalen at center is also a problem.

                            I'm not convinced that Ryan Harris can go from never starting anywhere on the OL to starting LT. That's way too big a jump. They will need to work him into the rotation slowly over the course of the next year.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cugel View Post
                              I would agree with this. It's too bad we can't get Glenn Dorsey, but he should be gone in the top 5.

                              But a NT to play RT is exactly what the Broncos desperately need. 32nd in the league is just beyond unacceptable at LT, so they need exactly what this articles says: 1 veteran FA starter, and a rookie #1 draft pick to groom behind him.

                              Then the RT spot. Here Marcus Thomas has to get much better. He was just a rookie and rookie DTs don't often excel, so it's excusable that he wasn't great. But even if he improves there's just no depth there. Alvin McKinley is a decent backup, but he can't be pressed into a starter role without the same problem emerging next year. So, ideally, Denver should sign TWO veteran DT FAs who can step in if needed, AND draft one to groom.

                              Unless they do this the defense won't be any better next season, and you can bet that LT will run wild and Denver will lose twice to the Chargers again.

                              As for the O-line, they need at least 1 decent veteran. I'm not at all impressed with RT Erik Pears. He finished 26th in the league and should be a prime candidate to be cut. They need to get somebody who can play that position. Perhaps if Hamilton returns they can shift Kuper to RT, but Myers taking over for Nalen at center is also a problem.

                              I'm not convinced that Ryan Harris can go from never starting anywhere on the OL to starting LT. That's way too big a jump. They will need to work him into the rotation slowly over the course of the next year.

                              I'm with you on almost everything. I'm definitely a little higher on Ryan Harris though. Remember, if he had come out his junior season, he was projected as a Top 15 draft pick, very similar to Ryan Clady this year. Injuries and a crappy team helped him fall last draft. Talent-wise, and when healthy, as he apparently is now after his back surgery, he's a top-shelf quality OT, and he's tailor-made to be a LT under our existing scheme.

                              I think Pears is a good player to have as well because he filled in for Lepsis fairly well at LT last year, and he played average at RT his first year there this season. At worst, he's a great swing 3rd tackle. I'd assume, if we do draft an OT, we draft a Right Tackle. And there happens to be a Pure RT that fits our schemes that could go anywhere from Mid-1st to late-2nd. That is USC's Sam Baker. And from all accounts, he's slipping to the 2nd round because scouts are convinced he can't play LT in the NFL, only RT. And he's a more versatile under sized OT, then a big mauler. So, I'm thinking he may well slip into the 2nd round and might make a nice option with our early 2nd round pick.

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