Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Paging, Mr. McGahee

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Paging, Mr. McGahee

    http://www.milehighsports.com./

    Paging, Mr. McGahee
    The Broncos can't leave running back to chance
    By Doug Ottewill | @Dottewill

    The Denver Broncos are deeper than Jack Handy.

    Look up and down the roster, and its readily apparent that John Elway, who enters his fourth year as the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, has left no stone unturned. If there were any positions of weakness on a team that went all the way to the Super Bowl last year, Elway addressed them over the offseason. Layer upon layer, its clear that Elway isn't leaving anything to chance in 2014. He's added starting talent and depth upon depth; in theory, not even injuries can derail what looks to be the most-talented team in the NFL.

    But yesterday, on a harmless day of training camp, Elway and the Broncos were reminded that depth can disappear quickly. If the Broncos have one position on the roster that's debatably unstable, it's running back. And as Murphy's Law so often dictates, Denver was further exposed in the backfield when projected starter Montee Ball departed camp for emergency appendectomy surgery.

    It is believed that Ball will be back - healthy and ready - for the regular season, perhaps even sooner. But with the incident, Denver was reminded that in the NFL, trouble is always just one "thing" away - one hit, one cut, one... emergency appendectomy.

    Ball comes into his second season with 120 carries for 559 yards (a 4.7 yards per carry average) and four touchdowns. Elway liked what he saw from Ball so much that he let last year's stalwart runner, Knowshon Moreno, walk for pennies on the dollar. Through camp, Ball has looked the part of a starter.

    But behind Ball, things look less sturdy.

    The first depth chart of the season revealed that Ronnie Hillman, who enters his third season in the NFL, is next in line to assume the duties of starting running back. To label Hillman's career with the Broncos as "disappointing" wouldn't be entirely unfair. Drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft, Hillman was supposed to possess "home run" speed, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field long enough to showcase it. Not big or strong enough to break tackles, and having a nasty fumbling problem, Hillman comes into the season with just 20 more career rushing attempts than Ball. And with a 3.9-yards-per-carry average and just two touchdowns, his numbers don't particularly excite anyone in Denver.

    Behind Hillman is C.J. Anderson, an undrafted free agent out of Cal that opened plenty of eyes during his rookie training camp before going down with a knee injury. The setback effectively sidelined Anderson for the year, but the Broncos liked what they saw enough to keep him around. The book on Anderson is that he's smart and tough. On seven carries last year, he averaged 5.7 yards.

    Behind Hillman and Anderson stands a pile of unknowns: Juwan Thompson, CSU's Kapri Bibbs, Brennan Clay and Jerodis Williams round out the rest of the depth chart at running back. Who are four people who've never been in my kitchen for $1,000, Alex?

    Should Ball return healthy, the Broncos three-headed approach could be just fine. But perhaps the pessimist's angle should be examined.

    What if Ball's recovery is sluggish? What if he's injured somewhere down the road? What if Hillman is who he's always been? What if Anderson was simply last year's training camp darling? What if none of them can block as well as Moreno, and - gasp! - Peyton Manning finds himself on his backside at some point?

    All fair questions that lead to a single realization: Deeper than deep, Denver still needs some insurance at running back.

    Elway has said in so many ways that he's not interested in picking up a veteran running back off the scrap heap. Right or wrong, he's confident in his current backfield. But perhaps yesterday's scare will serve as a reminder that his odds of "being right" can be cut by one-third in a heartbeat. It's unlikely he'd say so publicly, but surely the thought of bringing in a proven commodity crossed Elway's mind yesterday.

    There are plenty of respectable running backs out there without jobs. Ronnie Brown, Michael Bush, Felix Jones and Rashard Mendenhall are all proven backs that might deserve a look. They're not perfect for a variety of reasons, but they're all proven veterans who could potentially help a backfield that "boasts" a total 45 NFL games, 267 carries and exactly zero starts.

    Then again, it's not easy for just any running back to instantly adapt to Manning's intricate - and vital - pass protection scheme. It's conceivable that the aforementioned veteran free agents would have a tough learning curve in the Broncos system. But there is one free agent who could potentially pick up right where he left off the last time he was in Denver - Willis McGahee.

    McGahee was unceremoniously cut by the Broncos prior to last season. It's uncertain whether he was let go because of injury or attitude, or for another reason altogether. But prior to an injury deep into the 2012 season, McGahee was the Broncos best back since Mike Anderson. He was a warrior in the Tim Tebow ground attack. And behind Manning, McGahee got the tough and dirty yards that a finesse offense cherishes. And most importantly, he was an excellent blocker, keeping Manning upright more often than not.

    McGahee signed on late with Cleveland last season, played in 12 games, starting six. He wasn't nearly as effective with the Browns, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry (nearly two yards shy of his average with Denver the year before). But he also wasn't playing behind Manning. Cleveland was a mess last season, and it could be argued that few backs around the league would have excelled there.

    At 32 years of age, it's conceivable that McGahee doesn't have much gas left in the tank. If that's the case, Denver could cut him just as easily as they could sign him. But if there's still something there, McGahee could be an insurance policy that Denver may (or may not) - desperately need. Like many Broncos, McGahee isn't wearing a Super Bowl ring; perhaps he's as hungry as the rest of the organization.

    No matter how good the Broncos look at the moment, the window for any Super Bowl contender closes rapidly. This is not the time to speculate on unproven backs; hinging the fate of the Broncos on Ball, Hillman and Anderson almost seems irresponsible.

    It's time to give McGahee a call; there's nothing to lose.

  • #2
    I'd feel much better with McGahee as our backup than Hillman or Anderson.
    :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Really? McGahee? No thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by johntbronco View Post
        Really? McGahee? No thanks!
        Pretty disrespectful considering what he did in Denver (way more than Hillmand and Anderson combined). He's a good pass blocker, would fit well.
        :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Houshmazode View Post
          Pretty disrespectful considering what he did in Denver (way more than Hillmand and Anderson combined). He's a good pass blocker, would fit well.
          Not being disrespectful. He did a fine job when he was here. But, now he is OLD! (relatively speaking of course)

          Free agent Willis McGahee is not expected to be re-signed by the Browns.We'd be surprised if McGahee got signed by anyone. He'll turn 33 in October and is coming off a season that saw him rush 138 times for 377 yards (2.73 YPC) with two touchdowns. The Browns desperately need to upgrade on in-house options Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya. Feb 20 - 10:26 AMSource: Akron Beacon-Journal

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd rather have Mendenhall, Felix, or Brown than McGahee.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johntbronco View Post
              Not being disrespectful. He did a fine job when he was here. But, now he is OLD! (relatively speaking of course)

              Free agent Willis McGahee is not expected to be re-signed by the Browns.We'd be surprised if McGahee got signed by anyone. He'll turn 33 in October and is coming off a season that saw him rush 138 times for 377 yards (2.73 YPC) with two touchdowns. The Browns desperately need to upgrade on in-house options Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya. Feb 20 - 10:26 AMSource: Akron Beacon-Journal
              He's worked with Manning, is a good pass blocker and was in Cleveland last year. I can't really fault him for that. Yea he's a little old but a little veteran experience in the backfield would probably make Manning comfortable.
              :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm interesting thought, and I wouldn't be against it. I've never been a big fan of Hillman, and CJ is a huge question mark. I have faith in the coaching staff, and their decision. However, to me imagine the outcry if Manning gets blindsided in a game, because the RB missed a blitz pickup.
                What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?
                I don't know and I don't care

                Comment


                • #9
                  McGahee would be fine, he's still capable of rushing for 1k but if spiller is available he should get the first look
                  Last edited by beastlyskronk; 08-05-2014, 11:02 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johntbronco View Post
                    Not being disrespectful. He did a fine job when he was here. But, now he is OLD! (relatively speaking of course)

                    Free agent Willis McGahee is not expected to be re-signed by the Browns.We'd be surprised if McGahee got signed by anyone. He'll turn 33 in October and is coming off a season that saw him rush 138 times for 377 yards (2.73 YPC) with two touchdowns. The Browns desperately need to upgrade on in-house options Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya. Feb 20 - 10:26 AMSource: Akron Beacon-Journal
                    hes 33 in october. For a running back it means milage but last season his body basicly got a season off. Would bring the man back immediately for depth.

                    We quickly forgot the times when McGahee just fell down and got 4 yards up the middle on a draw

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CinnaMunMun View Post
                      I'd rather have Mendenhall, Felix, or Brown than McGahee.
                      I thought Mendenhall retired

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rst08tierney View Post
                        I thought Mendenhall retired
                        Yea I forgot about that

                        I just like Felix more in the passing game. He is a good pass blocker as well and would be more dangerous as a pass catcher in a pinch.

                        Donald Brown is pretty much the same boat, he just doesn't seem as worn down as McGahee

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am certainly in favor of adding an experienced vet to group of RB unknowns and hopefuls.

                          McGahee is an interesting thought. Curious about what he has left to give though. Same with some of the other "scrap heap" type of backs.

                          Would not be surprised to see Elway being patient and wait for the right fit. See who is released over the next few weeks. Spiller now being rumored. A few weeks ago the rumors were Green-Ellis and Ingram. An upgrade at RB could get interesting if the "right" player is released.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't mind adding a veteran to the group but I also don't think this is the time to hit the panic button. This was a non-football injury to Ball that is expected to be completely healed by the time the season rolls around. Preseason is usually more for getting the unknowns a chance to shine than that of the starters. Yes there is something to say of getting into a rhythm for the season but lots of especially RB's these days that know they are going to make the roster would rather skip most of preseason. This gives the back ups that many more chances to show what they got.

                            Now again don't mind bringing in a veteran but I also don't think it necessary at this point. If one of Anderson or Hillman goes down then yes that is the point I would say bring in the veteran as I wouldn't want to trust a UDFA rookie week 1 to be a huge contributor.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i Doubt we bring anyone in.

                              We have plenty of backs.


                              Cj will be the man after he shows he is much better than hillman. Juwann thompson will get some good runs and clay and bibbs arent bad either. We are just fine. Montee might be back for the 4th pre season game and get a little work to keep the flow going. No big deal.
                              So far:
                              FA- Melvin Gordon. Brandon Scherff
                              1. Kenneth Murray LB; 2. Shenault WR; 2B. Biadazz Center, 3. OT

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X