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Shannon Sharpe On Droughns

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  • Shannon Sharpe On Droughns

    Hello all, Long time Broncos message board reader, first time poster. Even longer Broncos fan (born and raised in Colo. Springs now in Arizona). I love listening to what MOST of you have to say. The team is looking really good, but this week scares me as Denver is notorious for losing the games they are supposed to win.

    Just thought I would post a little something our boy Sharpe had to say about Droughns. Good looking out Shannon! (Sorry if this has already been posted)

    Droughns does it for Denver
    My final two years in Denver were Reuben Droughn 's first two there after he came over from Detroit. They needed somebody at fullback and he did a great job. It's strange how the Broncos trade Clinton Portis, then Mike Anderson gets hurt and then Quentin Griffin can't manage to hold onto the ball and you end up with Droughns as the starting running back. If any of those three things hadn't happened, you'd have never heard of Reuben Droughns.

    How much of the load can Reuben Droughns continue to carry?
    Mike Shanahan always goes with the hot guy so it's going to be tough for Anderson or Griffin to get their jobs back. But the big question is the workload. Droughns has carried the ball 68 times the past two weeks (38 and 30). That's a lot of carries for a guy who is 210 or 215 pounds. If he can hold up and bring his carries down a bit, you might see him rush for 1,300 yards or more this year.

  • #2
    Aikman's take

    Were you were surprised when Reuben Droughns rushed for 193 yards against Carolina in Week 5? Shame on you. In Denver, the names of the ballcarriers change, but the system that produces their great performances doesn't.

    Years ago, coach Mike Shanahan and his offensive line coach, Alex Gibbs, devised a running game that is not overly complicated but is very effective. It requires a talented running back, but it starts with an athletic group of linemen who can work in unison.

    The Broncos' bread-and-butter, the stretch play, is a good example. When the ball is snapped, the entire line moves laterally in one direction -- to the right, let's say. Denver uses a zone blocking scheme, so each lineman puts a body on whichever defender is in his zone. Meanwhile, the blockers on the back side (the left tackle and left guard, in this case) focus on putting defenders on the ground. They use cut blocks, which aren't illegal, though they push the limits. Defenders fall.

    The play requires patience from the runner because while he's sliding to the right, parallel to the line, he's looking for a hole to open. He can burst through any hole he spots, but the classic move is to cut back through the area where defenders are lying on the ground. Broncos backs have busted some long runs that way over the years.

    The beauty of this scheme is that if defenders get wise and increase their backside pursuit, the quarterback can run bootlegs because the defense no longer has anyone to contain the outside perimeter. The Broncos run a lot of plays, but this general system of lateral blocking movement and utilizing cutback lanes has been enormously effective.

    Continuity also is a big part of Denver's success running the ball. Gibbs has moved on to Atlanta, but coordinator Gary Kubiak, running backs coach Bobby Turner and line coach Rick Dennison have been with Shanahan since he arrived in Denver in 1995. Most of the linemen have been together for years, too. This is a well-schooled group.

    Mike Shanahan was hired as head coach of the Broncos in 1995, inheriting an organization that had gone 0-4 in Super Bowls and a pass-happy team led by QB John Elway. Since Shanahan arrived, the Broncos have had four different 1,000-yard rushers and won two Super Bowls.
    Year 1,000 yard rusher
    1995 Terrell Davis (1,117 yds)
    1996 Terrell Davis (1,538 yds)
    1997 Terrell Davis (1,750 yds)
    1998 Terrell Davis (2,008 yds)
    1999 Olandis Gary (1,159 yds)
    2000 Mike Anderson (1,487 yds)
    2001 none
    2002 Clinton Portis (1,508 yds)
    2003 Clinton Portis (1,591 yds)
    In the early years under Shanahan, when Terrell Davis was racking up 1,000-yard seasons (and even a 2,008-yard season in 1998), the back got the glory. Davis was outstanding, but when you consider that Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson and Clinton Portis also rushed for 1,000 yards -- and that Droughns has rushed for 369 yards over the last two weeks -- it is apparent that the system and a gifted line have been equally responsible.

    This isn't a knock on any of those backs. It's just a tip of the hat to Shanahan and a system that allowed his team to trade Portis for cornerback Champ Bailey and not miss a beat.


    • #3
      Really good post. That is exactly the way everything works. It's funny that it can be broken down so easily. But it is virtually unstoppable.


      • #4
        I was so happy to see Shannahan using the toss last weekend. It was very effective for TD. The Broncos stopped using it for some reason. It was good to see them using it again. Those sweeps to the outside used to be Denver's bread and butter. Hopefully they will stick to it.
        Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.


        • #5
          definelty not a knock but denver has yet to face a good run defense ...and we cant really say jacks becasue Q was in ... iguess all will be found out in Atlanta
          The fool who fancies he is full of wisdom
          While he sits by his hearth at home.
          Quickly finds when questioned by others .
          That he knows nothing at all.


          • #6
            I don't think that the bengals are going to be hard to beat... there 32# against the run right? know mike is going to run the hell out of the ball..I wanna see them put Champ on the offense in this game for 1 play you think anyone can cover him


            • #7
              Man lovdembroncos you are thinking the same way I have been thinking for some time now. I think if they would have used Q on more sweeps he would have been more successful. He obviously is not a big back, so sweep him out and let him use his speed to hit the holes the line creates rather then just run him up the middle. I think he would have gone wild on Jacksonville if we'd have done that. He's just a little bit too small to go straight up the middle, and as you said, TD was running all over defenses with the sweeps. I hope Mike is thinking the same thing we are!


              • #8
                we know Deltha can't cover him, that's for sure.

                i wouldn't mind seeing a nice little flip to Bailey to the outside like the KC game, that beautiful stretch he made for the first, even though i don't think he got the call...

                anywho, yup, that's a good breakdown. it's funny how easy it is to break it down, how hard it is to stop it. thanks for the read Broncosboyeee

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Broncosinindy
                  definelty not a knock but denver has yet to face a good run defense ...and we cant really say jacks becasue Q was in ... iguess all will be found out in Atlanta
                  I guess you missed the Jacksonville and San Diego games huh. Jacksonville and San Diego both have good run defenses. Look at the stats.

                  Now I understand why Mike Anderson was successful. Reuben Droughns runs the same way Anderson does. Quentin Griffin and Clinton Portis had to fake out the last man in their way where Reuben and Mike runs them over. Reuben doesn't bust 40-70 yards runs but he gets anywhere from 3-7 yards a pop. With 25-30 carries a game Reuben will stay around the 150 mark every game easy. Which keep other offenses off the field and keeps our defense fresh. Now all we need to do is have Jake realize hes not in Arizona anymore and play like he has some sense.