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  • Good Article on Gaffney

    Gaffney gets big chance with Bronco

    The resume is there — playoff games, Super Bowl, the catches, the yards, the testimonials from the likes of Bill Belichick about the way he plays.

    But in eight previous seasons in the NFL, Jabar Gaffney never has led his team in catches, or receiving yards. He may finally be in position to change all that. With Brandon Marshall taking his off-the-field baggage and three 100-catch seasons to Miami, the Broncos are a team with an opening for a go-to guy in the offense.

    "I'm looking at it the way I've always looked at it, going in like I was the No. 1," Gaffney said. "Just waiting for my opportunity to make more catches, have more impact, more chances to make more plays.

    "I'm a team-first guy; that's what keeps me around. So you just embrace the opportunities you have. If it happens to be more catches, more opportunities, more balls coming your way, then you try to make the best of it and be ready for it."

    Gaffney isn't the biggest receiver on the Broncos' roster, and he isn't the fastest, but if knowledge is power, he may be the most powerful.

    He played in Josh McDaniels' offense in New England before he arrived in Denver last year, and he is proficient at as many as five wide receiver spots, depending on how deep the coaches go into the playbook to open up the formation.

    "(Gaffney's) always where you need him to be and where you expect him to be," Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton said. "And he does that at every spot. As a quarterback, if you know what you're getting from a receiver, that's always going to help."

    Belichick, renowned for tossing praise around like anvils, once described Gaffney as "a tactician." He is a player who can beat you with his head as well as his feet and hands.

    When Marshall was benched by McDaniels for the 2009 season finale, it was Gaffney who was Orton's leading target in the ill-fated season-ending loss to the Chiefs. In a game when the Broncos elected to throw the ball 56 times against the league's 31st-ranked run defense, it was Gaffney who finished with 14 catches for 213 yards.

    "I'm always working hard with my route running, doing all of the extra stuff that would help me at the receiver position," Gaffney said. "I love getting my routes down and getting as close to perfect as I can. If I drop a pass, I think I need to stay out there extra and do what it takes not to drop another one.

    "Coach Belichick always preached 'the more you can do.' So, the more you can do to help the team the more, you're going to be on the field."

    But in the years before Belichick, it was Gaffney's father, Derrick, a wide receiver who played in 100 games in his eight seasons with the New York Jets, who sent Jabar into the football world with the idea that the more places on the field he could play the more times he would find himself in the lineup.

    "He was a real technician, a good route runner, and the way he said he never dropped passes, that's what I took from him," Gaffney said, laughing.

    When Jabar was finishing up his career at Florida, he often spent his final minutes of each day in bed, tossing a ball toward the ceiling. He would catch 50 with each hand, 50 with his right hand only, 50 with his left hand only, 50 with his left eye open and 50 with his right eye open.

    Day in, day out, it was the routine, because someday he believed he might catch the pass that would mean the difference.

    "I still think that way, go out there and contribute any way you can, with or without the ball," Gaffney said. "I still do all that sometimes when I can't sleep. But now, I'm older, maybe I only get to 15, you know. I just want to help us win. The rest will take care of itself."

    Jeff Legwold: 303-954-2359 or [email protected]

    Steady receiver

    Broncos wide receiver Jabar Gaffney had career highs in catches and yards receiving last season, largely because he could play any of the team's wide receiver spots in the offense:

    Year No. Yds. TDs
    2002 41 483 1
    2003 34 402 2
    2004 41 632 2
    2005 55 492 2
    2006 11 142 1
    2007 36 449 5
    2008 38 468 2
    2009* 54 732 2
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  • #2
    I think Gaffney is a great receiver, and it seems like he improves every year based on those stats. I'm expecting 60 maybe even 70 catches this season, for 800+ yds, and maybe 5 TDs.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
      I think Gaffney is a great receiver, and it seems like he improves every year based on those stats. I'm expecting 60 maybe even 70 catches this season, for 800+ yds, and maybe 5 TDs.
      I agree, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him get 1000 yards this season.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Gaffney is another reason I think Stokely might be on the way out. He provides depth at every WR position. He can play the slot, so we didn't need Brandon for depth reasons.
        sigpic
        Thank you to my grandfather jetrazor for being a veteran of the armed forces!

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        • #5
          Yeah, Stokely's roster spot hinges on McDaniel's faith in Kenny McKinley.
          New England Patriots GM

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          • #6
            "tactician" is a perfect term for Gaffney. Gaffney is one of those solid receivers you see play 10 years in the league because he gets to his spots, makes the little adjustments against a zone D to be in an open spot pretty close to the time he's supposed to be there and makes the catch.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gbt31 View Post
              Yeah, Stokely's roster spot hinges on McDaniel's faith in Kenny McKinley.
              McKinley seems like an outside receiver, not a slot guy like Stokley. I don't know how the WR corps will pan out, but Stokley seems like he still has a year left in him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Acedude View Post
                McKinley seems like an outside receiver, not a slot guy like Stokley. I don't know how the WR corps will pan out, but Stokley seems like he still has a year left in him.
                I am by no means comparing the two. I'm just looking at how many receivers we usually carry and looking at who I believe we be one of those 6 WR's. Jabar, Eddie, DT, Decker. Those four are locks. With Brandon Lloyd playing great at OTA's and McDaniels giving him high praise in his Press Conferences, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he will make the roster. That's five.

                Eddie is an inside guy. Decker I believe can play both inside and out, but I see him playing mostly inside on multiple WR sets. Jabar can play anything, but for this season I see him mostly staying outside. And Lloyd is mostly going to be inside.

                Therefore, I see the last WR spot going to either Stokley or Mckinley. With Stokley making 1.4 million this year and Mckinley making barely close to that, and with McDaniel barely utilizing Stokley last year...I would say his days are numbered as a Bronco.
                New England Patriots GM

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gbt31 View Post
                  I am by no means comparing the two. I'm just looking at how many receivers we usually carry and looking at who I believe we be one of those 6 WR's. Jabar, Eddie, DT, Decker. Those four are locks. With Brandon Lloyd playing great at OTA's and McDaniels giving him high praise in his Press Conferences, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he will make the roster. That's five.

                  Eddie is an inside guy. Decker I believe can play both inside and out, but I see him playing mostly inside on multiple WR sets. Jabar can play anything, but for this season I see him mostly staying outside. And Lloyd is mostly going to be inside.

                  Therefore, I see the last WR spot going to either Stokley or Mckinley. With Stokley making 1.4 million this year and Mckinley making barely close to that, and with McDaniel barely utilizing Stokley last year...I would say his days are numbered as a Bronco.
                  The last spot you are speaking of may very well belong to Willis and not McKinnley or Stokely. That kid has impressed during OTA's as well. It will be interesting to see how our WRs pan out at the end of training camp.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gbt31 View Post
                    I am by no means comparing the two. I'm just looking at how many receivers we usually carry and looking at who I believe we be one of those 6 WR's. Jabar, Eddie, DT, Decker. Those four are locks. With Brandon Lloyd playing great at OTA's and McDaniels giving him high praise in his Press Conferences, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he will make the roster. That's five.

                    Eddie is an inside guy. Decker I believe can play both inside and out, but I see him playing mostly inside on multiple WR sets. Jabar can play anything, but for this season I see him mostly staying outside. And Lloyd is mostly going to be inside.

                    Therefore, I see the last WR spot going to either Stokley or Mckinley. With Stokley making 1.4 million this year and Mckinley making barely close to that, and with McDaniel barely utilizing Stokley last year...I would say his days are numbered as a Bronco.
                    Stokley scored 4 TD's on 19 receptions last year. I can see validity in your argument, but I'm wondering if Lloyd is better on the team than Stokley for 2010. I like McKinley and Lloyd as a possible, but Stokley is proven getting to the end zone consistently.

                    There will be some tough choices to be made at WR this year, no doubt.

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                    • #11
                      I think gafney quietly made a bigger impact than most want to acknowledge. Brandon got lots of catches, but gaffney was the teams only real threat to go vertical. He had 50+ catches and a 13+YPC average.

                      He seems like a "slot" type guy, only he finds a way to be open 20 yds down field.

                      I think he'll do well this year, and is a good guy to have these young guys learning from, not only as a good team guy, but knows the offense as well as anyone.

                      Like a lot of others on the team he's hard to root against...
                      Last edited by owninit; 07-24-2010, 01:08 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Acedude View Post
                        Stokley scored 4 TD's on 19 receptions last year. I can see validity in your argument, but I'm wondering if Lloyd is better on the team than Stokley for 2010. I like McKinley and Lloyd as a possible, but Stokley is proven getting to the end zone consistently.

                        There will be some tough choices to be made at WR this year, no doubt.
                        I think a key stat there is 19 receptions in 16 games. That is not very many and he is 34 and didn't participate in OTAs due to an injury. He has been a very good player during his career but for someone who will rarely see the field this year, it would be better to develop a younger player who makes significantly less, could play inside or outside, and could also play special teams. I think Willis, McKinley, and Lloyd, will battle for 2 slots.
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                        • #13
                          The guy reminds me alot of Haven Moses. Certainly not the most talented receiver, but a "tactician" like Haven was, who had a good feel for where the open space was.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Al Wilson 4 Mayor View Post
                            Gaffney is another reason I think Stokely might be on the way out. He provides depth at every WR position. He can play the slot, so we didn't need Brandon for depth reasons.
                            Eddie moving into the slot will be what forces Stokley out. Stokes is getting older and while he can play flanker or wideout, he's not big enough or durable enough to be there through an entire season any longer.

                            I foresee Gaffney as #1 and perhaps DT or Lloyd as #2 and Eddie in the slot this season.
                            You Tell 'em Justice is coming. You tell 'em I'M coming!sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by broncos SB2010 View Post
                              I think a key stat there is 19 receptions in 16 games. That is not very many and he is 34 and didn't participate in OTAs due to an injury. He has been a very good player during his career but for someone who will rarely see the field this year, it would be better to develop a younger player who makes significantly less, could play inside or outside, and could also play special teams. I think Willis, McKinley, and Lloyd, will battle for 2 slots.
                              Stokley has 12 TD's on 108 receptions since 2007 when he joined the Broncos. 4 TD's last year on 19 receptions.

                              I'm thinking maybe it's too early to put him out to pasture.

                              I can see your points, I just hate to see a TD scoring guy like Stokley put to pasture too early.

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