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ARTICLE: Bates poised to walk Shanahan's plank

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  • ARTICLE: Bates poised to walk Shanahan's plank

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/new...hanahan-blame/
    By Dave Krieger, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
    Thursday, January 3, 2008

    This is not a fun week to be Jim Bates. 'Tis the season for scapegoating in the NFL and Bates is the leading candidate to fall on his sword for the disappointing Broncos.

    Already, the two teams that finished behind them in the AFC West are knee-deep in the ceremonial firing of the coordinator, which has the dual advantages of making the head coach look like he's doing something and diverting attention from his own culpability.

    In Kansas City, Herm Edwards fired much of his offensive staff, including coordinator Mike Solari, because the Chiefs offense was terrible. Who made Solari, a career offensive line coach, the coordinator? Why, Edwards, of course.

    In Oakland, reports suggest Lane Kiffin will fire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. The rumor mill has Ryan moving on to the Jets, where Edwards used to be head coach, just in case you don't understand the term "revolving door."

    Nor is this quaint tradition limited to the Broncos' unfortunate division. The Lions have reportedly fired offensive coordinator Mike Martz, which is interesting when you consider that their defense was much worse than their offense (except against the Broncos, when both were terrific). Of course, the head man, Rod Marinelli, is a defensive guy.

    Apparently, they are firing coordinators in Cincinnati and San Francisco, too. By the time you read this, there may be more.

    We have yet to hear from the principals at Dove Valley, aside from Matt Lepsis withdrawing from the process and Javon Walker offering to. Mike Shanahan has scheduled his season-ending meeting with the wretches - always an emotional farewell - for Monday. Which brings us back to Bates. If Shanahan wants to quiet the questions about the stewardship of his team, he'll have a decision on his assistant head coach/defense by then.

    The problem, of course, is Shanahan hired Bates only 51 weeks ago. His quote from last summer, in which he pointed out the bright side of missing the '06 playoffs, still echoes:

    "There's no way if we had (gone) to the playoffs that those guys would be here because they had so many other opportunities," he said of Bates and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.

    After the Broncos finished 30th against the run and 28th in points allowed, it looks like holding on to beat the 49ers in the season finale a year ago, punching their ticket to the playoffs, would have meant more than we knew at the time. It might have saved them from this mess.

    Now the problem is principally financial. Bates got a three-year deal. Coordinators make seven figures these days. Al Saunders and Gregg Williams in Washington are up around $2 million per, but the average is closer to $1 million. Owner Pat Bowlen is very understanding of his old pal Shanahan, but I'm guessing he's not that excited about forking over $2 million or so to make Bates go away.

    If money is enough of an issue, the Broncos might try to give Bates an incentive to accept a lesser buyout - say, by telling him he can stay if he doesn't mind filling the Gatorade buckets next year.

    From the beginning, Bates' seven-in- the-box base scheme didn't work here. In fact, during the preseason, Cleveland Browns broadcaster Bernie Kosar wondered aloud why a team with cornerbacks like Champ Bailey and Dre Bly wouldn't take advantage of their man coverage ability by moving a safety into the box to help against the run.

    The answer at the time was that the Broncos weren't showing everything, it being preseason and all. The criticism turned out to be right on the money. By the time they made a midcourse correction at the bye week, they were 2-3. From then on, they ran a hodgepodge of schemes that often left the players confused.

    Having abandoned his base defense long ago, it's hard to see any reason other than financial to bring Bates back. At the same time, it's worth remembering that Shanahan was in love with his scheme last summer.

    "It's the Dallas scheme when they won the Super Bowl," he said then. "It's Miami, what they've done through the years."

    Not so much, as it turned out. But blaming the scheme now does have the convenient byproduct of diverting attention from the personnel, which is Shanahan's department.

    Ironically, the coach Shanahan fired to make room for Bates is going to the playoffs. Larry Coyer is assistant head coach/defensive line for the Bucs.

    His 2006 Broncos defense finished eighth in the league in points allowed. This year's team gave up an average of a touchdown more per game.

    Bates seems like a nice man, but if the Broncos are going to get this season's sour taste out of their mouths, he probably has to go.

    Still, don't begrudge him his golden parachute, whatever it turns out to be. Bates didn't trick anybody. Shanahan knew exactly what he was getting.

    The mistake was his.

  • #2
    Im still in favor of one more year for Bates, but if Shanny lets him go, its tough to argue based on the results (or lack thereof).

    Comment


    • #3
      It's probably totally unfair to fire to Bates after only one year, in which Shannahan totally failed to provide him with the players necessary to run his scheme.

      Unfortunately, life's not fair and in Denver, some one has to burn for a season like this one.
      sigpic

      And THAT'S, the Cosmic Perspective.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know, we're not exactly a pink-slip-happy organisation by any means. And I think I would be surprised if we did let Bates go. Not to mention that this article is speculation and not much else.

        As we all know, last season ended badly for the D. Or never really took off in any case. In the end the biggest contributor to the run D was that Bates didn't have a backup plan. And who can blame him? We just happen to be the first team who haven't been able to learn this system! Also considering we reverted to Coyer's scheme and still couldn't play that...that strikes me as a bit odd. In the end the leadership just wasn't there. The coaches didn't do a great job, I'll admit that but they were in a tight spot having to coach a scheme which wasn't theirs (and thus not knowing all the ins and outs of it) as well as teaching elements of their own. And that was very much a trial and error process as seen evidenced by our wild inconsistency (more than former coaches anyway).

        In terms of personnel, we just didn't have leadership where we needed it. Champ and John are fantastic but there's no way they can really mesh the front 7 together. Losing Al was huge...but it had to happen sooner rather than later. The biggest problem now is finding a vocal leader to replace him. DJ is not that player. I want to keep him at MLB but getting a WLB who can rally the D would be a MASSIVE bonus. Gold gets pumped up but he's not the type to lead from the front. Likewise, on the DLine losing Ekuban was quite big. That initially left us with Engleberger/Doom/Adams/Gordon+Burton. Engleberger's high effort but quiet. Doom could become a leader but he's still only in his second year. Adams was always too out of breath to talk. The less said about Gordon and Burton, the better. We're going to need Thomas, Doom or Crowder to become the leader of the DL. And I'm sure one of them will. I just pray that it's sooner rather than later.

        Of course, actually having decent personnel on the interior of the line would have helped. I think the original plan was to get Big Daddy and Kris Jenkins. Of course, neither of those happened which then sent us a little into panic mode simply because FA had slim pickings. After Redding was franchised we didn't exactly have a great bunch to choose from (players like Starks were RFAs). In hindsight, getting rid of Myers was a mistake. He wasn't the best player...but he was adequate. Which is more than can be said for some other players. The draft wasn't much better. We got the best DT we could have gotten in my opinion and besides, DTs are not immediate impact rookies is general.

        Anyways, then we began our revolving DT door which we already want to forget. And the team went a little into panic mode. This was exacerbated by having two Sapp Wannabes on the team who didn't want to play ball. Well, they fared well outside of Denver

        I'm rambling now, but in the end the probabilities of us acquiring the players needed for the system were quite slim at the time. And how can we blame that all on a guy who had been there for 6 months when we've not had a steady D-line ever since we started our trademark adequate-player-rotation in 2003? There are opportunities now to acquire the guys we need. And I say that we give Jim a chance. 2007 was definitely an anomaly for the Broncos for so many reasons and I think we shouldn't make Bates a scapegoat for it when there were so many factors in it.
        sigpic

        Elvon Millervil eat grues for breakfast.

        Pey-Pey to Bey-Bey for the Tey-Dey.

        Comment


        • #5
          If Shanny does this he better sure as hell get the 12th overall pick on offense cus next year we need to score 40+ points each game just to keep our heads above water.


          Also the guys we have now Dont Fit the Bates system on the line except maybe Doomervil who had a good year.

          The Bates system regressed to the bend dont break system, I do hope Shanny Keeps Bates for year 2 and gives him more personnel on Defense that work with his scheme then to short cuff him.
          McDaniles Career as a failure of a Head Coach is being fulfilled. Termination of McFailure has happen.

          Rejoice Bronco Fans we have taken our team back, but at a heavy cost.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gr3yStreet View Post
            It's probably totally unfair to fire to Bates after only one year, in which Shannahan totally failed to provide him with the players necessary to run his scheme.

            Unfortunately, life's not fair and in Denver, some one has to burn for a season like this one.
            I don't get this free pass many people here seem to want to give to Bates. I think it is totally unrealistic to think that a new defensive system is allowed to make a team so much worse the first year in order to see better years down the road. I don't believe for a minute that a coach in his right mind would accept such a drastic decline in year one in hopes that years two or three would net the results the scheme promised. This is a win now league and if a new system takes this much time to succeed, you can keep it. I'd rather fine tune a decent defense (the three years prior to Bates) than trash it and try to force a new one in which takes years to master and an upheaval in personnel to succeed. It's one thing to fail to improve, and it's another to radically decline. Bates' track record to date in Denver is the latter. Let him go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The_Man_07 View Post
              I don't get this free pass many people here seem to want to give to Bates. I think it is totally unrealistic to think that a new defensive system is allowed to make a team so much worse the first year in order to see better years down the road. I don't believe for a minute that a coach in his right mind would accept such a drastic decline in year one in hopes that years two or three would net the results the scheme promised. This is a win now league and if a new system takes this much time to succeed, you can keep it. I'd rather fine tune a decent defense (the three years prior to Bates) than trash it and try to force a new one in which takes years to master and an upheaval in personnel to succeed. It's one thing to fail to improve, and it's another to radically decline. Bates' track record to date in Denver is the latter. Let him go.
              I guess you dont buy into the old saying "Pratice Makes perfect"...

              Put it this way If i gave you a year and tell you " you got this one year, this great teacher who teaches people in 4 years and has a sucess rate of 97% getting their BA's in whatever field. Yet for this you got 1 year to learn everything under the sun, with this great teacher and you gotta do it within the year." Wouldnt that be too much for you?

              Then after you fail, who are you gonna blame... the person that taught you... or yourself. Of course you point the teacher because you dont wanna be the scape goat. Thats whats happening to Bates right about now.

              With the talent he HAD at his avalibilty he could NOT excacute his plays let alone have enough time to teach them the in's and outs of his system.

              Was the system complex probably not but it was shown after week 3-4 (whenever we went into our decline) that his system was not working because the Defense got confused and ended up reverting to the 4-3 scheme.

              All defensive schemes take time to fully implement, the defense shown flashes but thats about it, its due to the players not learning the system and not sticking to it. Course it comes down to the Coaches but they can only "Coach" you as far as they can before the rest falls square on players shoulders.


              Thats what happened here, Bates didnt have the right players nor had the time to use all his plans. if He leaves expect next year for the broncos to go 6-10 and possibly Shanny leaving right along at the end or a major scale back in Shanny's Duties as GM. Witch in turn will make Shanahan leave the Broncos org.
              Last edited by BroncoKazuki; 01-03-2008, 04:28 AM.
              McDaniles Career as a failure of a Head Coach is being fulfilled. Termination of McFailure has happen.

              Rejoice Bronco Fans we have taken our team back, but at a heavy cost.

              Comment


              • #8
                The problem is that his scheme was already scrapped. We weren't even running it in the final 11 games or so. So if we go back to it, we're going to be back to square one next season.

                And I know it's easy to criticize Shanahan for personnel decisions. However, all defensive personnel decisions (at least initially) were in the hands of Jim Bates - not Mike Shanahan. I hate the scapegoating that Shanahan does in the offseason but in this instance, I think there's more than probable cause for Bates' termination.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by muse View Post
                  I don't know, we're not exactly a pink-slip-happy organisation by any means. And I think I would be surprised if we did let Bates go. Not to mention that this article is speculation and not much else.

                  As we all know, last season ended badly for the D. Or never really took off in any case. In the end the biggest contributor to the run D was that Bates didn't have a backup plan. And who can blame him? We just happen to be the first team who haven't been able to learn this system! Also considering we reverted to Coyer's scheme and still couldn't play that...that strikes me as a bit odd. In the end the leadership just wasn't there. The coaches didn't do a great job, I'll admit that but they were in a tight spot having to coach a scheme which wasn't theirs (and thus not knowing all the ins and outs of it) as well as teaching elements of their own. And that was very much a trial and error process as seen evidenced by our wild inconsistency (more than former coaches anyway).

                  In terms of personnel, we just didn't have leadership where we needed it. Champ and John are fantastic but there's no way they can really mesh the front 7 together. Losing Al was huge...but it had to happen sooner rather than later. The biggest problem now is finding a vocal leader to replace him. DJ is not that player. I want to keep him at MLB but getting a WLB who can rally the D would be a MASSIVE bonus. Gold gets pumped up but he's not the type to lead from the front. Likewise, on the DLine losing Ekuban was quite big. That initially left us with Engleberger/Doom/Adams/Gordon+Burton. Engleberger's high effort but quiet. Doom could become a leader but he's still only in his second year. Adams was always too out of breath to talk. The less said about Gordon and Burton, the better. We're going to need Thomas, Doom or Crowder to become the leader of the DL. And I'm sure one of them will. I just pray that it's sooner rather than later.

                  Of course, actually having decent personnel on the interior of the line would have helped. I think the original plan was to get Big Daddy and Kris Jenkins. Of course, neither of those happened which then sent us a little into panic mode simply because FA had slim pickings. After Redding was franchised we didn't exactly have a great bunch to choose from (players like Starks were RFAs). In hindsight, getting rid of Myers was a mistake. He wasn't the best player...but he was adequate. Which is more than can be said for some other players. The draft wasn't much better. We got the best DT we could have gotten in my opinion and besides, DTs are not immediate impact rookies is general.

                  Anyways, then we began our revolving DT door which we already want to forget. And the team went a little into panic mode. This was exacerbated by having two Sapp Wannabes on the team who didn't want to play ball. Well, they fared well outside of Denver

                  I'm rambling now, but in the end the probabilities of us acquiring the players needed for the system were quite slim at the time. And how can we blame that all on a guy who had been there for 6 months when we've not had a steady D-line ever since we started our trademark adequate-player-rotation in 2003? There are opportunities now to acquire the guys we need. And I say that we give Jim a chance. 2007 was definitely an anomaly for the Broncos for so many reasons and I think we shouldn't make Bates a scapegoat for it when there were so many factors in it.


                  That's a really good post. I agree completely.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The problem with his scheme is we never had the personell to play the scheme. And Instead of realizing this and build a scheme to the personel we let players go and tried to force them to play to the scheme. Was a Bad desicion in the end. I dont mind giving him another year and the scheme another year if we get the personel if not then we need to look to a scheme that better fits our players and try to improve there.
                    think its sad we could start 6 - 0 then end 2-8 in our last 10.
                    Fire McDaniels



                    Bronco Fan Since '82

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just find it funny that virtually all fans here last year were claiming that we had the talent, we just needed the right coordinator. So in the offseason, we go after the best coordinator available, and seemingly improve on the defensive side of the football (personnel decisions that Bates himself made), and by all accounts, it's an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end, and now the excuse is it's not the coaching - we just don't have the talent.

                      This was the worst Broncos defense I have ever seen put together, and historically, it's the worst scoring defense post-merger (and even in the few years before that). Someone has to be held accountable for it's performance, and if not Bates, then who?

                      I can tell you this much - Larry Coyer certainly wasn't the problem.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TOTALLY agree Mojo!!!

                        Coyer's defense was one that allowed Wilson to flourish, and gave us the hard hitting tackles at the line. It was one that kept us above .500 for his entire tenure here! NOT ONCE WERE WE LOWER THAN 9-7, and that was last year when we put in Cutler mid-way through the season AND lost Ferguson for the year.

                        How about these stats:
                        Coyer's defense consistently has ranked among the NFL's most productive during his three seasons as the Broncos' defensive coordinator and has helped the club advance to the playoffs each year. The Broncos have placed in the league's top-7 in run defense in every year under Coyer and have allowed an average of 93.3 rushing yards per game since 2003 to rank second in the NFL during that period.

                        Denver also has ranked among the league's best teams in overall defense under Coyer, posting consecutive top-4 NFL rankings in yards-per-game allowed from 2003-04 and placing fourth in the league (289.5 ypg.) in that category since 2003. In addition, the Broncos have surrendered an average of 18.0 points per game since 2003 to rank fifth in the NFL in scoring defense with Coyer at the helm. Coyer's defense was instrumental in the Broncos going 13-3 in 2005 and advancing to the AFC Championship Game. Denver, which sent cornerback Champ Bailey, safety John Lynch and linebacker Al Wilson to the Pro Bowl, ranked second in the NFL in run defense (85.2 ypg.) and posted the thirdbest such mark in franchise history. The Broncos allowed only 16.1 points per game to tie for third in the NFL and surrendered a total of 37 points in their final four games (9.3 ppg.) en route to capturing the AFC West title.

                        Now look where we are!

                        Coyer's defense needed a few new players, a few tweaks here and there not a total revamping.

                        It also makes me wonder if Bates had been here for a while if we would have ever been able to pick up players like Lynch and Champ. Stop gap defense does not allow for players of that caliber to shine.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Losing Ekuban, Al Wilson for good, 2 LB’s all in the offseason or pre-season certainly hurt. And I had totally forgotten as Muse brought out that they tried to bring in Big Daddy, he may have made a big difference.

                          It’s not like they didn’t try to bring in players to fit the scheme. Hopefully this offseason they are much more successful in getting the types of players they want.

                          If not, I agree, what good is the scheme if you don’t have the personnel to run it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think Bates' system has a higher ceiling than Coyer's, so you can applaud the decision to get Bates' in to replace Larry in that respect, even if it did mostly come from Shanahan's scapegoating.

                            I'm in favour of giving Bates' another year, but he can hav no complaints if it's not afforded to him in all honesty.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wasnt a fan of Larry Coyer I thought Bates was a step in the right direction

                              The Broncos defense this year was the worst from top to bottom.

                              Coaches
                              I dont think Mike Shananhan made the right preseason moves,I thought Bates didnt really have his finger on what he could do with what he had.I dont think he did a good job installing his system at all and should of seen major warning signs during the preseason.

                              Players
                              I dont like Nate Webster,Sam Adams at all.
                              I dont think all the players was all focused on the same goal.
                              Alot of new faces and a new way of doing things and the players wasnt buying into Bates system.

                              The Broncos have got to be better next year regardless of who the dcoord is.

                              I think Bates can turn it around but this was not a good showing his first time out
                              :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo: :logo:

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