Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tim Tebow named Broncos' starting quarterback - The Denver Post

Tim Tebow named Broncos' starting quarterback - The Denver Post:

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Broncos have confirmed that Tim Tebow will start in Week 7 versus the Miami Dolphins.

Interestingly enough, the Dolphins will be honoring the 2009 Florida Gators, including the opposing quarterback, Tim Tebow. Ha!

Denver Broncos told Tim Tebow is starting quarterback, source says - ESPN

Denver Broncos told Tim Tebow is starting quarterback, source says - ESPN:

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It's almost officially "Tebow Time" in Denver. The Broncos were addressed by John Fox and staff today and were told that the Broncos will start Tim Tebow in Week 7 when they face the Miami Dolphins in Miami.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Denver Broncos Recap: Six Takeaways from Close Loss to Chargers | Bleacher Report

Denver Broncos Recap: Six Takeaways from Close Loss to Chargers | Bleacher Report:

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Denver Broncos came up short against the San Diego Chargers, however, there were a lot of things we learned about the Broncos in Week 5, including what the Broncos have in first round draft pick Tim Tebow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Report: Broncos to workout safety Sharper - BroncoTalk

Report: Broncos to workout safety Sharper - BroncoTalk:

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Wow! this would be a huge defensive gain for the Broncos. Darren Sharper is one of the best safeties of all-time. Working alongside of Brian Dawkins, helping out rookie Rahim Moore learn the ropes.

If the Broncos added Sharper they would have the two top players with the most interceptions in the NFL... number 1 (Sharper) and number 2 (Champ Bailey) among active players.

In addition to Sharper, the Broncos reportedly worked out running back Thomas Clayton, and three other running backs, which weren't named and a defensive lineman.

Hopeful moves that the Broncos might get some help to relieve the myriad of injuries they suffered in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

“Play Tebow” coming to Denver billboards? - BroncoTalk

“Play Tebow” coming to Denver billboards? - BroncoTalk:

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"Bench Orton, Play Tebow" coming to billboards near you?!

A group of die hard Broncos fans are preparing to put up the cash to purchase two billboard signs near downtown Denver if Orton has another cruddy game this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The fans say that they aren't Tebowmaniacs who have just started following the Broncos after Tebow signed in 2010, but they are fans who have enjoyed the Broncos for years.

After only a week of poor play by Orton fans are already ready to sacrifice Orton in a game where he passed for over 300 yards, but also turned the ball over three times.

If Orton doesn't play better next week, his drive to Mile High might be haunted by these signs calling for Tebow to take the helm for the Broncos.

Denver Broncos: Front Office and Fans Moving Farther Apart on Tim Tebow

The Denver Broncos front office has been paying the Broncos fans lip-service since they started the highly-paid, highly-drafted prospect Tim Tebow in Week 15 of 2010 against the Oakland Raiders.

The team at that point was hopelessly 3-10, had finally fired their coaching disaster, Josh McDaniels, and the cries for somebody else, anybody else at the quarterback position had become too loud to contain.

Fans chanting for Tim Tebow, the franchise quarterback of the future, resounded and finally won out when interim head coach Eric Studesville, coming off a shellacking by a lackluster Arizona Cardinals team, couldn't resist and inserted Tebow into the lineup as the starting quarterback.

The reason for the dismal 10 losses with Kyle Orton under center wasn't his lack of production. He threw for 3653 yards, 20 touchdowns and just nine interceptions with a 58.8 completion percentage in the first 13 games of 2010.

When it comes to scoring, moving the chains on third down, and making it happen when it really counts, the comparison between Orton and Tebow is surprisingly very similar. AFC West blogger from ESPN.com, Bill Williamson presented some ESPN Stats & Information details in early August, comparing the two in their stats last season.

Some key stats to consider:

Category............. Tim Tebow .. Kyle Orton
Points/10 Drives..... 17.4........ 16.8
Percent of TD Drives. 20.5........ 19.1
Percent of FG Drives. 10.3........ 11.5
Scoring Percentage... 30.8........ 30.6

On Third Down:
Category............. Tim Tebow .. Kyle Orton
Pass Attempts........ 37.......... 170
Pass First Downs..... 12.......... 55
Rush Attempts........ 10.......... 10
Rush First Downs..... 4........... 7
Conversion Percentage 34.......... 34.4
Yards Per Rush....... 10.2........ 5.3

Red Zone:
Category............. Tim Tebow .. Kyle Orton
Completion Percentage 30.0........ 43.5
TD-INT Ratio......... 3-1......... 13-0
Sacks................ 1........... 2
Rush................. 8........... 1
Rushing Touchdowns... 5........... 0

On third down, their conversion percentages were nearly identical. In the red zone, each averaged a passing touchdown per game. Tebow has the advantage of rushing touchdowns in the red zone, as the Broncos used him in various situations out of the Wild Horses formation to score on stretch plays, beating defenders to the spot on outside rushes. In scoring, Tebow had a slight edge over Orton as more of his drives ended in touchdowns compared to field goals.

When you look at these stats, it is hard to see why the Broncos front office and coaching staff have resisted deferring to Tebow as their starting quarterback.

The greatest difference between Tebow and Orton is not statistics.

It is the part of the game, which one cannot define with metrics or measures.

It is the attitude, the leadership qualities, the intangibles that won Tebow two national championships in college at the University of Florida and the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore—the only sophomore to ever earn that honor. Some called Tebow the greatest college football player ever. He is also regarded as one of the greatest leaders in all of college football history.

The Broncos front office won't have any of it.

Former Broncos great John Elway, now the chief of football operations at Dove Valley, believes that a franchise quarterback for the Broncos is one of the team's greatest needs. In a season preview put together by the Denver Post, he made remarks about what he is looking for in a quarterback:

Far and away the most important position. You need the guy to win you a championship from the pocket, to be a leader, to make it go. And you're looking for the athlete at the position who can operate from the pocket and get out when he needs to.

Tebow isn't a pocket passer. He doesn't have the immense arm strength Elway possessed as a Bronco. He improvises and finds ways to get it done.

He doesn't fit the mold Elway forged in his illustrious career.

On a season-opening Monday night, Orton took a long time to get the offense going. He looked shaky and uncertain. The pressure of the Raiders defensive front harassed him constantly and by the third quarter, it looked like they had gotten to him. He lost the grip of the football in the soggy conditions and the Raiders scooped it up.

The Raiders capitalized on the miscue by scoring moments later on two huge plays.

It was demoralizing.

Orton showed some determination and grit when he finally propelled the Broncos offense into the end zone late in the fourth quarter. But it proved to be too little, too late.

Too little, too late appears to be the book on Orton during his time in Denver. As Orton starts his third season as quarterback for the Broncos, his lack of production in the win column is wearing on fans.

The Broncos' new head coach has dodged the questions about why Tebow didn't see the field against the Raiders and why Tebow can't get a shot at quarterback.

Orton remains the starter next week against a run-heavy Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2. If Orton cannot guide the Broncos to victory against a fellow bottom-feeder like the Bengals, the pressure to make a change will soar through the roof.

If the losses pile up and no changes are made, EFX (John Elway-John Fox-Brian Xanders) will face some serious repercussions from angry season ticket holders, boycotting games, reversing a home-field advantage against the Broncos team.

Even fellow Broncos players like pro-bowl wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who has been an outspoken supporter of Orton, attacked Tebow fans in the media for booing Orton and chanting for Tebow, will likely face some backlash by paying customers.

Everything is coming to a head as the pressure mounts to make a decision about Tebow.

Fox needs to either start Tebow over Orton and see what happens, or the front office needs to trade him away and promise fans that they can make something happen next season at quarterback to make them forget about Tebow's stay in Denver.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is well aware of the situation he is in right now, and enraging the people who pay the bills is the last thing he wants to do.

Paige: With Kyle Orton at QB, Broncos have only a ghost of a chance - The Denver Post

Paige: With Kyle Orton at QB, Broncos have only a ghost of a chance - The Denver Post:

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Funny column by Denver Post sports opinion guy, Woody Paige.

Opinion about what head coach John Fox should do with the Broncos, instead of what he is doing: playing safe and conservative, backing Kyle Orton despite his ugly ineefficiencies, and trying to hold together a team that is downright awful right now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Denver Broncos Need a Lot More Than Tim Tebow to Win Big Games in the NFL

Denver Broncos fans, the chants for Tim Tebow to play need to stop! The Broncos need a whole lot more than Tim Tebow, a learning, growing young quarterback who has struggled with his mechanics to win football games.

The Monday Night Football opener was a glaring display of the gaping holes all over the field that the Broncos need to patch up in order to compete this season.

The first four preseason games for the Broncos were essentially meaningless. Coaches do very little game planning and really only want to see which players can really play and which players aren't good enough to cut it.

Some fans who were excited by the strides made in the preseason and ignored the deficiencies across the board for the Broncos must feel horribly mislead that the Denver Broncos had a real shot of contending this season.

The Broncos have lots of problems all over the field and if fans believe that just substituting in a new quarterback will fix those numerous issues, they are completely ignorant and delusional.

The brunt of the blame from fans will fall square on the shoulders on Kyle Orton.

Orton's performance Monday Night, in rain-soaked conditions, with "fans" shouting for Tim Tebow to replace him, against a top-tier defense, was pedestrian.

Orton was under immense pressure all game long. Defenders were constantly breathing down his neck as the offensive line struggled to create any kind of a pocket for him the entire game. Orton was sacked five times in the game. A few of those sacks Orton may be blamed for holding onto the ball too long.

Orton didn't handle the pressure very well. He appeared erratic and unsure of himself. The offense seemed to be stopping and starting constantly, and all around it wasn't a great performance.

Orton was asked to pass the ball 46 times. He passed for 304 yards scored a touchdown and tossed an interception on a mix up with Brandon Lloyd.

He can also be faulted for giving the Raiders the momentum to go 65 yards in 1:38 and score the winning touchdown. Orton gave up a costly fumble which appears to slip right out of his hands.

The blunder was followed up with big plays by Darrius Heyward-Bey (17-yard reception) and Darren McFadden (47-yard rush) to set up Jason Campbell for an easy one-yard QB sneak for a touchdown.

Orton didn't have his best game tonight.

But he did keep the Broncos in this game.

His impressive (and lucky) 12-play, 80-yard drive gave the Broncos defense the opportunity to make a stop and give the Broncos one last shot to win the game.

After connecting with Lance Ball on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 3:43 left in the game, Orton never saw the field again.

It remains to be seen whether or not the game would have gone differently if Tebow was in there at quarterback or even Brady Quinn.

The truth is that the porous middle of the Broncos defense was the biggest reason the Broncos lost. Brodrick Bunkley and Kevin Vickerson couldn't get it done. Joe Mays at middle linebacker wasn't making the plays to drop Darren McFadden for a loss. McFadden is one of the best running backs in the league and the Broncos couldn't stop him.

What will happen when the Broncos face Chris Johnson in Week 3? Or Cedric Benson in Week 2?

The Raiders didn't beat the Broncos with the pass. Campbell passed for just 105 yards.

Without a run defense it isn't going to matter who is in at quarterback for the Broncos. At least not on this roster. Would Tebow have gotten out there and passed for 400+ yards like Cam Newton did in Week 1.

It is very unlikely. Even if Tebow matched Orton's 304 yards, I doubt that it would have been enough to overcome the Broncos lack of a run defense.

The offensive line for the Broncos is another story entirely.

They looked overmatched and inexperienced. Their youth across the entire line showed.

Orton did his best to stand in there and complete passes with defenders hurrying him every snap. How would Tebow have handled that kind of pressure. He probably would have tucked it and ran the ball on a lot of downs.

While Tebow brings another set of intangibles to the game when he is in, he isn't going to out run defenders in the NFL. He isn't going to take on Richard Seymour and win that battle. He won't bulldoze Rolando McClain. Tebow's fate after taking on some of the Raiders huge defensive players would probably be similar to many of the Broncos top stars in the game—out with injury.

It is very evident that the Broncos' offensive line needs to come together and grow up as a group very quickly or else Quinn or Tebow might have to come in out of necessity if Orton goes down with an injury after one too many sacks.

The Broncos problems right now don't revolve around the quarterback position.

Let's face it the Broncos were 4-12 last season. After a dismal season like that, that would signal that a serious overhaul at positions all over the team must be addressed.

Without making those changes, trades, selecting draft picks, to improve the team at its core on both sides of the ball, the Broncos will be headed back to the bottom of the NFL no matter who plays quarterback.

Raiders vs. Broncos Monday Night Football: What We Learned from the Game | Bleacher Report

Raiders vs. Broncos Monday Night Football: What We Learned from the Game | Bleacher Report:

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Nice article on Bleach Report about what we learned in the Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders.

FINAL: Sloppy Broncos Lose Opener To Raiders 23-20 - Mile High Report

FINAL: Sloppy Broncos Lose Opener To Raiders 23-20 - Mile High Report:

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Sloppy. Painful. Ugly. This one really hurts. Broncos have a very long way to go if they want to see one more win than last season. ESPN's Power Rankings had the Broncos near the bottom. This loss will solidify their position at the bottom of the NFL. It was bad!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Denver Broncos Add Depth with Run-Blocking Tackle/Guard via Waivers

The Denver Broncos have added Tony Hills, a run-blocking offensive tackle, who can also fill in at guard if necessary. Hills was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers when teams made final cuts to reduce the active roster to 53 players.

To add Hills, the Broncos have released offensive guard, Herb Taylor.

Hills was drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL draft with the 130th overall pick.

Hills saw some action last season in the lineup with the Steelers for a total of four games.

Position: Offensive Tackle/Guard
Weight: 304 lbs
Height: 6'5"
Age: 26
College: University of Texas

Scouting Report:
Hills has a big frame and works most effectively as a positional blocker. In order to open holes and seal off edges for running backs to bounce outside, Hills positions his body between the defender and the ball carrier preventing the defender from making a play on the runner. As a positional blocker, Hills has been known more for his inside run blocking capabilities compared to outside. His wide frame and long arms have benefited him in the rushing game, opening lanes and holes for the back.

A downside of Hills game is his quickness and aggression. He is not a speedy blocker and fails occasionally to get outside quick enough to stop defenders at the point of attack. Bull rushers in the passing game have also been known to give him a hard time. He has been known to give up ground and be pushed into the pocket by a bull-rushing end.

Hills will be utilized in the running game more than the passing game. His large frame, long arms, and positional blocking style all work to his advantage when creating running lanes inside. He would backup either rookie right tackle, Orlando Franklin, or if necessary, left tackle, Ryan Clady. His versatility to also play guard makes him able to help out every where he's needed. There remains a concern with Hills on passing downs that his lack of quickness and susceptibility to the bull rush that needs to be addressed and worked on to become a more complete player.

Broncos should be happy to add more depth on the offensive line with the versatile Hills, who can open up lanes in the running game.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday Night Football: Broncos, Fox Need Fast Start vs. Oakland Raiders

The Denver Broncos 2011 season opener will be under the nationally-televised, bright lights of Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. It will be head coach John Fox's debut for the Broncos against the Broncos' No. 1 rival.

Fox will immediately be thrown into the fire at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, when he faces a Raiders team that embarrassed the Broncos last season in a blow-out 59-14 victory, one of the worst losses in Broncos history.

That embarrassment by the Raiders was the last straw for Broncos fans, as the cries for Josh McDaniels' head on a platter turned to angry shouts by an enraged fan base.

Historically, the Broncos have struggled on Monday night.

In 62 games, the Broncos have won 27, lost 34, and they tied the other.

On October 22, 1973, the Broncos played in their first-ever Monday Night Football appearance against, surprisingly enough, the Oakland Raiders. What is even more surprising is that the one game that ended in a tie for the Broncos was indeed this first-ever Monday night appearance.

In recent years, the Broncos struggles on Monday Night have been no different. While millions of viewers tuned in the last three years, the Broncos have received three horrendous whippings, and only mustered two wins in five tries.

On November 22, 2010, the Broncos got pounded by their AFC West divisional rivals, the San Diego Chargers, and lost the game 35-14. Philip Rivers threw for four touchdowns, and their backup running back, Mike Tolbert, torched the Broncos for 111 yards.

The season before that the Broncos were humiliated by the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Again the Broncos were shredded by the passing of "Big Ben" Roethlisberger, who tossed three touchdowns. Rashard Mendenhall also put up 155 yards rushing. Kyle Orton matched Roethlisberger's success with his own ineptitude when he had three interceptions, one returned by backup cornerback Tyrone Carter for a pick-six.

The only glimmer of hope for the Broncos comes just three short years ago when the Broncos opened the regular season on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders.

At that time however, the Broncos looked like a much different team.

Jay Cutler started under center, and the Broncos hadn't yet traded away rising stars Tony Scheffler or Peyton Hillis. The Broncos crushed the Raiders 41-14 in what appeared to be the start of something great in 2008. Instead, it was the start of Mike Shanahan's final season in Denver, which was followed by the departure of each of those young stars.

Last season, the Raiders swept the series against the Broncos, beating them in the second matchup of the season by a final score of 39-23.

In that game, Tim Tebow got his first NFL start at quarterback. His pedestrian 138 passing yards was boosted by his team leading 78 yards rushing. He had the only two touchdowns for the Broncos in that game: one passing and one rushing.

In that game, however, it was the Raiders dominant rushing game that overwhelmed the Broncos.

The Raiders cumulatively ran the ball for 264 yards on 41 attempts. Darren McFadden led the Raiders with 20 carries for 119 yards, averaging six yards per carry.

The Broncos' run defense was a consistent problem last season, something that the new ball coach has been asked to dramatically improve right away. The Raiders will be an immediate test to the progress that Fox has made with the defense.

The Broncos must shut down the run on the first drive.

The Raiders have a new head coach also, Hue Jackson, who will undoubtedly seek to rush the ball early and often against the Broncos.

If the Broncos can stop the explosive run game of the Raiders, they will be forced to beat the Broncos through the air.

Advantage: Broncos.

The Broncos showed off a swarming pass-rush in the preseason. The combination of standout defensive end Elvis Dumervil and rookie linebacker Von Miller has been a thrill to watch. They will be all over Raiders quarterback, Jason Campbell, who will attempt to beat Champ Bailey, a perennial shutdown cornerback for the Broncos, and Andre Goodman, a better-than-average back who consistently gets the job done.

If the Broncos can create pressure and sacks, force Campbell to throw picks, or generate fumbles, the Broncos' defense will create turnovers and get short fields to beat the Raiders.

The kind of momentum that the turnovers will generate will make the Broncos forget their misfortunes of last season's 4-12 record.

This is the start of the John Fox Era in Denver, and Fox needs to right the ship from Week 1, or else it could spell a continued downward spiral for a Broncos organization already at the bottom.

Friday, September 2, 2011

NFL Preseason: Denver Broncos' 5 Bright Spots Despite Ugly Final Preseason Game | Bleacher Report

NFL Preseason: Denver Broncos' 5 Bright Spots Despite Ugly Final Preseason Game | Bleacher Report:

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These guys should be given a shot to make the team based on last night's performance. All the other players vying for a roster spot were awful.

Cut them.

Tebow a lone bright spot; Broncos routed by Cards

Tebow a lone bright spot; Broncos routed by Cards

Tebow shines in preseason final rout by Arizona Cardinals.

New QB On Broncos Radar « Predominantly Orange | A Denver Broncos Blog

New QB On Broncos Radar « Predominantly Orange | A Denver Broncos Blog:

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Nice NFL career Adam Weber.

Hopefully the Broncos think enough of you to put you on the practice squad. Next year, there might be an opportunity for a real quarterback competition with Quinn and Orton likely leaving.

Your near touchdown run turned some heads too.

Syd’Quan Thompson out for the year - BroncoTalk

Syd’Quan Thompson out for the year - BroncoTalk:

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Oh no! Broncos lose key special teams guy, Syd'Quan Thompson with a torn Achilles tendon for the season.

This is very bad news for the Broncos and will open the door for a backup or two at the Safety position.. Probably Kyle McCarthy, or Darcel McBath.

This really stinks. I like Thompson and thought he could make a real impact this season.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Denver Broncos Preseason: Backup Brady Quinn Takes a Huge Step Backwards

Brady Quinn was believed to be the undisputed backup quarterback to Kyle Orton for the Denver Broncos this season. That was before he stepped onto the field for his final preseason game.

It wasn't until his third drive of the day that Quinn moved the Broncos with a pass to Matthew Willis for 13 yards. The pass was Quinn's longest pass of the first half.

In the second quarter, Quinn went on a streak of seven straight incomplete passes. His only completion in the second quarter came right before the two-minute warning. He hit Dandre Goodwin for 10 yards. He followed up his only successful play of the second quarter by abruptly passing the ball to Stewart Bradley, which set up the Arizona Cardinals for an easy field goal.

After leaving the game at halftime, Quinn left the Broncos in a huge hole. The Broncos had no points and were down by 20 points.

Quinn's stat line for the night: 4-12, for 26 yards passing, and one interception. His quarterback rating was a minuscule 7.6 percent. The offense put together zero points.

Quinn did enough on his own to relinquish the backup quarterback position. His utter futility to move the ball, put together any semblance of an offense and fail to do anything positive should earn him the No.3 spot in the quarterback rotation.

Quinn's performance set him back to the days when he quarterbacked the Cleveland Browns. He last two starts in Cleveland he had passer ratings of 27.7 percent against the Kansas City Chiefs and 48.1 percent against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The majority of the work Quinn was called upon to do was hand the ball off to his running backs.

Those weak performances prompted the Browns to complete a trade with the Broncos for Peyton Hillis. One of the biggest blunders by the Broncos in a long time.

All of that talk about who will clinch the backup spot for the Broncos is over.

Quinn is not the guy.

The guy who should be the backup: Tim Tebow.

Tebow had a 43-yard touchdown pass to Eron Riley. The pass was a perfectly lofted deep ball into the end zone, right in Riley's arms. Tebow's stat line was 7-11 for 116 yards and a touchdown. He showed that he could stand in the pocket, take the pressure and make the passes. The only scoring drive for the Broncos started back at the Broncos six-yard line, where they went 94 yards in 1:36.

Tebow's performance silenced his critics, while Quinn's performance may have stirred up new ones.

2011 NFL Predictions: Denver Broncos Playoff Contenders This Season? | Bleacher Report | Bleacher Report

2011 NFL Predictions: Denver Broncos Playoff Contenders This Season? | Bleacher Report:

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Denver Broncos are legitimate Playoff Contenders this season?!

Look through this season as I break down the games and tell you what to expect for the Denver Broncos in 2011.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tebow Traded To The Rockies | Inside the Colorado Rockies

Tebow Traded To The Rockies | Inside the Colorado Rockies:

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Ahh.. the poor Colorado Rockies.

This season has not been kind to the Rockies who have struggled to make any headway in the NL West standings and can't seem to put together any positive momentum.

Funny satire however about the Rockies trading with the Broncos for Tim Tebow.

Fox: Both Tebow and Quinn can and will be No. 2 QB - BroncoTalk

Fox: Both Tebow and Quinn can and will be No. 2 QB - BroncoTalk:

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John Fox has announced that he doesn't have to and won't name a number 2 quarterback.

This is because of the new rules for dressing 46 active players, instead of 45 active and one emergency third-string backup quarterback, Fox says, "It's a competitive disadvantage" to announce a backup quarterback. The rule changes help Tim Tebow who will possibly be used in short-yardage plays, in the red zone, or as a decoy on the field periodically this season. Brady Quinn will be the 'functional' backup number two guy.

Miami Football Scandal: Willis McGahee Among Broncos to Receive Subpoenas

Denver Broncos football players Willis McGahee, D.J. Williams and Orlando Franklin are expected to receive subpoenas for their alleged roles in accepting illegal benefits, money or gifts from the University of Miami's former booster Nevin Shapiro.

This was first reported by KDVR-TV Fox31 Sports.

The Broncos connected to the scandal at the University of Miami have mainly been mum concerning the allegations made against them, or have been defiant that their history at Miami is just that: history.

It appears like their past is catching up with them.

The Miami Herald has reported that players connected with receiving improper benefits may be subject to restitution for the services received at Miami from Shapiro.

The accused won't be able to ignore the allegations and remain silent about their roles in the scandal.

The Miami Herald reported that bankruptcy Attorney Gary Freedman warned former Canes that there would be consequences for players who do not cooperate.

“They can’t ignore it — it’s a subpoena issued by a bankruptcy court,” Freedman said. “If they ignore it, we will seek an order from the court to compel them to respond.

“If they don’t respond, they will face a contempt order.”

The bankruptcy judge can impose monetary sanctions or have any of them detained and brought into court.

As far as the desired restitution is concerned, the bankruptcy trustee Joel Tabas is seeking to recoup $111 million in investments for Shapiro's bogus wholesale food business. The bankruptcy trustee has recovered nearly $19 million.

Cooperation is key for these Broncos players, even if their reputations might be muddied with the dirt dug up on them. Better yet, if they have nothing to hide, why haven't they publicly denied Shapiro's claims.

Even if they were involved with Shapiro, it would be wise for these particular Broncos to start talking, instead of waiting for the media frenzy to catch up with them.

McGahee stands as the player with the most to lose.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported that McGahee received two custom-tailored suits paid for by Shapiro for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He also alleges that Shapiro paid for airfare for two female acquaintances to accompany McGahee to the ceremony. It also accuses McGahee of receiving bounties equaling $2,000 for rushing yards and touchdowns against the University of Florida and Florida State.

How much could that be for McGahee in restitution? Maybe $10,000. That doesn't seem like that much for a guy who signed a contract with the Broncos this offseason for a reported $10 million.

The evidence that the claims might be true seem reliable. McGahee should either confirm or deny his part in the scandal, cooperate and pay for what was received illegally.

Most importantly, he should put it past him by doing the right thing.

Denver Broncos: Black Hole in Josh McDaniels' Lingering Scheme May Limit Success | Bleacher Report

Denver Broncos: Black Hole in Josh McDaniels' Lingering Scheme May Limit Success | Bleacher Report:

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Fellow bleacherreport.com writer, Chaz Mattson has some great points about the Broncos' scheme on offense and he points out some key changes that need to occur quickly, or else the Broncos offense could struggle all season.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elvis Dumervil's small stature anchors the Denver Broncos' defense - ESPN

Elvis Dumervil's small stature anchors the Denver Broncos' defense - ESPN:

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Dumervil is a beast! He might be short, but nobody can stop him! I want to see Doom top his career high in sacks of 17 (if that's possible). Have an awesome season Dumervil! Stay healthy and knock down the quarterback!

NFL Predictions: Denver Broncos' Eric Decker, Julius Thomas Breakout in 2011

After three preseason games and the regular season less than two weeks away, there have been two players on the Denver Broncos' offense who have stood out from all the rest: wide receiver Eric Decker and tight end Julius Thomas.

Former head coach Josh McDaniels drafted Eric Decker in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft (87th overall pick) out of the University of Minnesota.

At Minnesota, Decker set school receiving records with 227 receptions and 3,119 yards receiving. Those records are rank sixth and eighth, respectively, all-time in Big Ten history.

Decker is known as a big receiver with small receiver skills. He reminds me of the New England Patriots’ Wes Welker or the former Bronco Brandon Stokley. He finds open spots in the defense to camp out and then vacuums up every ball that comes his way.

photo by Jeffrey Beall via PhotoRee

Last season, Decker had only six receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. Decker got most of his work in 2010 on special teams. He was utilized in the kick return game and racked up 556 yards on 22 returns, averaging 25.3 yards/return. His longest return went for 51 yards. He has eight receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown so far this offseason.

Decker should be a major contributor in this year’s lineup as a possession receiver. He should be a go-to receiver on short yardage situations or in tight spots, such as in the red zone, either to move the chains or put the Broncos on the board.

Decker’s game has only improved with time and experience in the NFL. I believe he will challenge the Bronco’s current slot receiver, Eddie Royal, for playing time this season. Decker has been a favorite target of each of the three quarterbacks so far this preseason.
Another breakout star in 2011 will be Julius Thomas.

He has already made waves in three preseason games, where he has made some spectacular grabs and shown off his big, athletic body, using it to shield defenders from the ball and haul in receptions for big chunks of yardage.

Before coming to the Broncos to play in the NFL, Thomas was a four-year basketball star at Portland State. He remained for a fifth year in Portland to play tight end for the Vikings.

Thomas has tons of raw ability and unmatched upside. He has demonstrated flashes of his true potential, making huge plays for the Broncos so far in the preseason. He has reliable hands and he has been able to position himself between defenders to make easy catches.

His detractors around the league were skeptical that Thomas could make the jump from college basketball star to a pass-catching tight end in the NFL. However, his play this offseason has warranted comparisons to a young Antonio Gates. Gates has been the gold standard when it comes to receiving tight ends, and there is an influx of former college basketball players that NFL teams have tried out in recent years, to replicate the success that the San Diego Chargers have enjoyed since acquiring Gates in 2003.

Thomas looks to make an immediate impact as a rookie this season and will be a huge contributor for the Broncos in 2011.

I am very excited to watch these guys play week in and week out here in Denver, they have been great bright spots for the Broncos during a few seasons filled with setbacks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

NFL Preseason Grades: Denver Broncos Defense Ferocious, Offense Unspectacular

The Denver Broncos had a lot of work to do with many questions about what the 2011 season would look like during offseason shortened by an ugly NFL lockout

New head coach John Fox offered some promise, but many questioned how long it would take to turn around a team who went 4-12 last season.

The Broncos benefited most immediately from the 2011 NFL draft, but how much the 2011 NFL free agents might add for the Broncos remains to be seen.

With only one game left in the preseason, the Broncos look forward to their season opener under the bright lights of Monday Night Football in exactly two weeks.

How did the Broncos do this preseason? I have preseason grades for the Broncos right here.

Passing Game:
Grade B-

Changes this offseason: None.

Kyle Orton is the unquestioned starting quarterback in Denver this season.

Orton outplayed the three other quarterbacks on the Broncos roster this offseason and has shown poise and veteran leadership in handling himself amidst the media frenzy concerning Tim Tebow. He held off Brady Quinn as well who looked much improved compared to last year.

I give the Broncos passing grade however, a B- because of the passing game's performance during preseason games. In Orton's most recent performance against the Seattle Seahawks, he looked out-of-sync with his receivers and it seemed to take him a long time to get comfortable.

Orton does a good job in the short yardage passing game, but hasn't really emerged as a quarterback who looks down the field to make plays.

Running Game:
Grade B

Changes this offseason: Added Willis McGahee through Free Agency.

Knowshon Moreno is in his third season in the NFL. In his first two seasons under head coach Josh McDaniels, he has rushed for 1,729 yards, has 585 yards receiving, and scored 17 touchdowns.

Those numbers are good, but not great. For a first round draft pick (No. 12 overall) the Broncos have expected more from him than he has done to this point.

This season Moreno needs to show he can carry the running game and break through the 1,000-yard mark, or else his time in Denver might be running out.

Good news for Moreno, he has shown a new spark and speediness that we haven't seen in Denver before. This positive sight gives fans reason to hope for the Broncos run game in 2011.

The major acquisition that the Broncos made in free agency to pick up Willis McGahee for $7.5 million over three years. McGahee has been utilized mostly in short yardage pick ups and red zone situations. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and pound it to the end zone.

If Moreno rushes for over a 1,000 yards and is a contributor receiving the ball out of the backfield, this grade would improve.

Offensive Line:
Grade B-

Changes this offseason: Added Orlando Franklin through the NFL Draft.

The Denver Broncos offensive line is a young bunch. Between four of their five starting lineman, there are only five years experience. Last year was an up and down season on the offensive line with injuries and inconsistencies and a myriad of penalties.

The O-Line is getting better with every game, but there will be growing pains again this season.

The Broncos need to help rookie Orlando Franklin improve with every game and avoid letting defenders into the backfield, giving rushing ends free shots at the quarterback.

The Broncos will rely heavily on their offensive line this season as it is head coach John Fox's intentions to run the ball early and often to control games.

Pass Rush:
Grade A+

Changes this offseason: Added Von Miller through the NFL Draft.

Von Miller already appears to be the best NFL player from this season's NFL Draft. He is a ferocious player with a knack to get to the quarterback.

Couple his addition with Elvis Dumervil back on the field following last year's pectoral muscle injury and the tandem makes the Denver Broncos the most feared pass rush in the entire NFL.

Dumervil had 17 sacks in his 2009 campaign. He came into camp after his injury in the best shape of his career with a deep desire to get back to football. From the camp's opening he has been far and away the best Denver Bronco on the field.

Von Miller is getting better and better. He is electrifying as he pursues opposing team's quarterbacks. Some people are already chalking up Miller as this season's defensive rookie of the year, he is that good!

The Denver Broncos are going to be the best defensive pass rush team in the NFL this season.

Run Stopping:
Grade B-

Changes this offseason: Added Brodrick Bunkley via trade with Philadelphia Eagles, added Derrick Harvey through Free Agency, added Jeremy Jarmon via trade with Washington Redskins.

Last season, the Broncos defense against the run was 31st. Head coach John Fox was brought in to address those issues in 2011.

After passing on top defensive tackle options in the NFL Draft, Fox looked to add talent to the DT position through trades and free agency.

The biggest defensive signing in free agency for the Broncos was the experienced Ty Warren from the New England Patriots. The Broncos suffered a huge blow when Warren went down during training camp a few weeks ago with a serious triceps injury. The Broncos are hopeful he will be back by the end of season after the news that the tear was only a partial tear.

With Fox's "next guy in" approach, the Broncos will rely on the reliable Brodrick Bunkley to fill the gap in the middle along with Kevin Vickerson who was brought in by the Broncos last season.

Bunkley and Vickerson have had mixed results stopping the run in the middle thus far during the preseason.

One bright note has been Elvis Dumervil's play at stopping on the edges. He has shown some ability to pull down running backs trying to get around the end.

Overall, there still remain several questions as to how improved the Broncos will be in 2011.

Pass Coverage:
Grade A

Changes this offseason: Added Rahim Moore through the NFL Draft.

One of John Elway's first personnel re-signing during the offseason was retaining Champ Bailey with a four-year $43 million contract.

This signing was one of the smartest moves by the organization in recent years. Bailey, a fan favorite, is still a dominating cornerback. He still shuts down half of the field every week.

Andre Goodman lines up opposite of Bailey for a third straight season. Goodman has been consistent and does a very good job breaking up passes. His biggest issue last season was injuries. If he can remain healthy the Broncos look good at corner.

He has been the most consistent, reliable player on the Broncos since he arrived in 2004.

Also, the front office re-worked Brian Dawkins contract to keep him at a significantly reduced rate in 2011. He will work with the rookie Rahim Moore who appears to be the starting free safety for the Broncos this season.

Moore has some adjusting to do: to the speed of the game, to opposing receivers who run much sharper routes in the NFL, and to more skilled quarterbacks who do not telegraph passes. He is the weakest link in defensive coverage unit right now. Overall, however, the Broncos have some of the best cover guys in the league.

Denver Broncos Overall
Grade: B+

Overall, the Denver Broncos have made several key personnel changes this offseason and I believe they are much better because of it.

Not only has the personnel changes made an impact, but the defensive mindset that John Fox has brought to the Broncos will give them a great edge this season.

The Broncos had a lot of great defensive talent the past few seasons, but the leadership that the Defense needed to thrive was remiss.

I believe that in 2011 the Denver Broncos will be one of the best defensive units in the league. If the offense can do what's necessary to get a lead against opponents, this season, the defense will have no problems holding a lead.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fantasy Football Sleepers: Breakout Stars Profiting Most from Change of Scenery

In Fantasy Football, the team around the player can drastically effect his output. With the flurry of free agency moves, trades, and offseason signings it can be hard to keep track of where key fantasy contributors have landed.

Even though their season last year may have been mediocre, a change of scenery with new teammates, coaches and schemes could dramatically boost their production.

Follow me as I walk you through a few key fantasy producers who are going to greatly improve their fantasy output with their new teams in 2011.

Lee Evans, Baltimore Ravens

Lee Evans was traded this season by the Buffalo Bills to the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth round pick in next years draft.

While in Buffalo, Evans showed brilliant flashes of greatness. However, the revolving door at quarterback for the Bills really stunted the complete potential he offered.

Buffalo dealt him to a team, and quarterback desperately needing the deep threat.

Evans is going to have a breakout year this season in Baltimore.

Joe Flacco finally has a home run hitter with better speed than Derrick Mason and better consistency than Malcolm Floyd, two other potential receivers the Ravens looked at.

Evans and the Ravens are the big winners here and if you are lucky enough to pick up Evans on your fantasy team, you too will not be disappointed.

Tim Hightower, Washington Redskins

Tim Hightower was acquired by the Washington Redskins from the Arizona Cardinals this offseason in a trade for Vonnie Holliday and a 2012 draft pick.

Hightower spent his three seasons in Arizona in a crowded backfield.

Hightower saw two top draft picks selected after his brilliant rookie season, the highly touted Beanie Wells in 2009 and Ryan Williams (2011). Williams selection was what prompted the Cardinals to finally deal Hightower.

Hightower though has gotten new life under the Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan has been known for his ability to create fantasy production out of running backs. In his prime, Shanahan would get late draft picks with the Denver Broncos and they would become the Broncos latest 1,000 yard rusher.

Hightower is also the main beneficiary of Ryan Torain's broken left hand only days after arriving in Washington. Hightower should have his best season yet under Shanahan's tutelage. He will be a breakout player in 2011.

Mike Sims-Walker, St. Louis Rams

Mike Sims-Walker was acquired through free agency by the St. Louis Rams on a one-year $3.7 million contract.

Sims-Walker has been limited in demonstrating his full capabilities by the offensive he has been in the past three seasons in Jacksonville. Head coach Jack Del Rio is content having Maurice Jones-Drew dominant the game on the ground as quarterback David Garrard stood in there as a game-managing QB.

Sims-Walker's stats tell the story. Over three seasons and 38 games Sims-Walker has accrued 1,648 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Fast forward to 2011 where Sims-Walker finds himself in a more balanced offense with a strong-armed quarterback and an offensive coordinator looking to open the field and utilize Sims-Walker in deep routes and goal line situations.

Sims-Walker will get a chance to make a huge impact in 2011 across from fourth-year player Brandon Gibson.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Greg Olsen was traded by the Chicago Bears to the Carolina Panthers this offseason for a third-round pick in next year's NFL draft.

Olsen was under-utilized in Chicago by offensive coordinator Mike Martz. He was a solid contributor in Chicago, but his move to Carolina will make him a breakout fantasy star in 2011.

Olsen will likely get lots of passes in a conservative offense that appears to be led by Cam Newton in 2011.

Newton, a rookie will heavily rely on Olsen a dependable receiver with great hands and athleticism. Olsen should surpass expectations in Carolina and should get lots of touchdowns and a ton of yards.

Plaxico Burress, New York Jets

Plaxico Burress was recently reinstated by the NFL after doing jail time and was picked up in free agency by the New York Jets on a one-year $3.017 million contract.

Plax might not be considered a "sleeper" pick because he has had a lot of success throughout his career. But after being out of football for over two-and-a-half seasons, his new home with the Jets sure beats his old residence, the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, New York.

The Jets got a steal in the acquisition and it appears like Burress will make an immediate impact for the Jets.

Burress should return to form in 2011 for the Jets and his fantasy production should soar.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tim Tebow vs. Cam Newton: Analysts Pick at Tebow & Praise Newton for Same Flaws

After Cam Newton's second preseason start in the 2011 season, analysts from ESPN and NFL Network loudly praised Newton's exciting game, however, his game looked surprisingly similar to Tim Tebow.

In the game against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, Cam Newton completed only 6 of 19 passes for 75 yards. Instead of critiquing the persistent inaccuracy he displayed in the game, the news programs highlighted his few completions.

A couple of weeks ago, in the Broncos first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys Tebow was 6 of 7 for 91 yards. Tim had a beautifully lofted 40-yard pass completion, which was glossed over by analysts.

In fact, one specific Tebow-hater, Merrill Hoge personally attacked Tebow's game explaining away the huge gain that it was an easy open passing lane. Hoge blasted Tebow saying: "Yes, he completes it, but that’s a perfect setting. In the National Football League, almost 50 percent of all throws are under duress. So you’re not going to have that every time."

Hoge went on to say (paraphrase): "Tebow has developed so many bad habits as a passer that it’s too late for him to change. And he said that any player on the Broncos can plainly see that Tebow has no business being their starter."

That was after a near perfect passing day, where he only had one incompletion. Tebow's quarterback rating was 118.8%.

Newton's passing accuracy is much worse than Tebow, but even the former Denver Bronco, Mark Schlereth glossed over the glaring passing accuracy issues and instead reassured Newton fans that the Panthers shouldn't force him to be a pocket passer right away:

"Listen, don't try to take this guy who is an exceptional athlete and make him a pocket passer right away. Obviously, that has to be a part of the repertoire but to me you have to get him comfortable. Get him outside of the pocket. Give him a run-pass option. Create some easy throws for him to get in a rhythm... The coaching staff has to put him in a situation where he can have success and he can get more comfortable outside the pocket because that's really what he is."

Talk about a double standard!

Every missed pass Tim Tebow throws is criticized and analyzed. Every critic in the league jumps at the opportunity to point out Tebow's development issues and unorthodox throwing motion. It's disgusting.

Newton, a no. 1 overall draft pick needs to be given time to develop, to learn and grow as a quarterback. But Tebow after three NFL starts and a couple of offseasons needs to already be a pure pocket passer.

Aren't no. 1 overall draft picks supposed to be players that are at such a high level that they only need minimal work to get them ready for pro football?

I see the same type of "flaws" in Newton that critics have attacked Tebow about, deeming him a long-term project.

Schlereth states that he needs to be given a run-pass option where he can look at the defense and tuck it and run if he sees things break down because that's who he is.

Is Tebow any different?

When Tebow tucks the ball and runs to try and make a play out of nothing when the pass blocking breaks down he is called reckless and impatient. When Newton runs for a 15-yard diving touchdown in the preseason he is called brave and courageous.

In the recap of the game on NFL network the commentators encouraged Newton when he took off towards the end zone for his rushing touchdown: "Do a whole bunch of this Cam! One read, two reads.. hit 'em with the left shoulder Cam. He could not be stopped."

On another play, Newton scrambled for 26 yards and the commentator exclaimed: "Look at him go!"

Are you kidding me?

Newton and Tebow's games are so similar but every one with a "credible" opinion seems to think that if Newton does it, then he should receive praise but when Tebow tries every says he shouldn't even be in the NFL.

I wonder what Merrill Hoge has to say about Newton's mechanics, his lack of touch with passes, airmailing the ball over receivers' heads. I wonder if Hoge's twitter account will be firing shots at Newton.

I doubt it.

Everything that the analysts believe about Newton should apply to Tebow. It's not Tebow's fault if the offense is designed for a different type of quarterback that he is still working at becoming.

Instead, it is the coaching staff's fault for failing to create an environment for Tebow where he can thrive, succeed, and utilize the special skill set that he possesses.

Everyone who thinks that Tebow isn't anywhere near ready to be a starter in the NFL had better not praise the Panthers for their decision to start Newton in Week 1 of the season because the two look very similar.

All this hypocrisy is ridiculous!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kyle Orton Named Denver Broncos Starting Quarterback, But For How Long?

Head coach John Fox has named training camp standout Kyle Orton the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos for the 2011 season. However, the coach has had problems sticking with his quarterback, especially when under pressure from a vocal fanbase. His naming of Orton as the starting QB for the Broncos, begs the question, “Yes, but for how long?”

I am not here to take away from the body of work that Orton has done in preseason thus far. Throughout the preseason, Orton has shown that he has the best command of the offense, he knows the reads, he looks the most polished and for those reasons, Fox has gone ahead and ended the debate of who will start in 2011.

In the Broncos' two preseason games, Orton has successfully led several drives, most ending in field goals, and has one touchdown thus far. He continues to improve on the field.

Orton for sure has the leg up on backups Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow; he has been the starting quarterback in Denver for the past two seasons, barring a couple of missed games due to injury and because the season was already “lost.”

However, the NFL is all about winning. Unfortunately for Orton, he managed only three wins in his 13 starts last season. Some may say that Orton had a career year in yards (3,802 yards) and touchdowns (21 TDs). He also had 12 interceptions and 10 losses.

The year before he came to Denver, as the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Orton had similar stats to 2010. He passed for 2,972 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Bears offense is similar to the type of offense Orton will run in 2011. It was run-heavy, and Orton was a “game manager” quarterback, a role that is best suited for him.

The Bears were 9-7 in 2008 under Orton. The year before, the Bears went to the Super Bowl and Orton watched from the bench.

Again, the NFL is all about winning.

Quarterbacks in this league are one of the most important factors in winning. Look at all the quarterbacks in the past seven years who’ve won rings: Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Besides Eli, who claims to be elite, few would dispute that these quarterbacks are the best of the best. Also, few would argue that the play of these quarterbacks is the reason why their teams won the Super Bowl.

Many fans forget how wretched the Broncos were last season. The Broncos did so poorly that they “earned” the No. 2 draft pick in all the league, ahead of only the Carolina Panthers, John Fox’s old team.

Fox has the task of transforming the worst defensive team in the NFL into a dominant defensive force. But, Fox also must show that he has some acumen on offense to lead the team to more than the measly four wins it mustered in 2010.

The lowly Panthers won only two games last season as Fox and the coaching staff vacillated between quarterbacks, starting three different quarterbacks: Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen and Brian St. Pierre. St. Pierre came in as a starter having only thrown five passes in his NFL career.

Now the pride of average Broncos fan would protest, “We aren’t as bad as the Panthers!” But in the win category, we aren’t much better—especially coming out of an era with a reckless head coach who was given full control of all personnel decisions, and did everything he could to completely dismantle the Broncos franchise.

I think that the bar is set low for Fox though, at least in terms of wins. The Broncos need to be competitive enough in the AFC West and maybe come away with six or seven wins overall before the front office hits the panic button on Fox.

Last season in Carolina, Fox was set on Matt Moore as his starting quarterback—so much so that the team cut Jake Delhomme, their starter for seven seasons. But when things went south quickly, Fox heard the cries of the fanbase for the “Golden Boy,” Jimmy Clausen. Clausen started for a few weeks and then Moore was again named the starter.

With the rise of the former fan favorite, Brady Quinn, in recent weeks in Denver, it’s very interesting how things seem to recycle around amongst the league’s bottom feeders. Quinn was acquired from the Browns for Peyton Hillis (one of McDaniels’ most infamous trades), when the Browns decided to go a different direction, signing Delhomme to a two-year deal.

Quinn’s ascent to the No. 2 slot on the depth chart was not particularly surprising with Tim Tebow’s struggles in training camp and then the second preseason game, where Tebow as the third-stringer had no chance to showcase any of his talents as he handed the ball off and was asked to run and slide to run down the clock in the one-sided preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

It is curious that a coach would run down the clock in a preseason game, basically a training exercise to see the talents your team possesses before the start of the regular season.

If the Broncos get off to a rough start similar to last season, look for Orton to receive the blame, as is the case for most starting quarterbacks in the league. In favor of Orton, Quinn would be Fox’s first choice, and if playing for more draft picks next season, Fox would turn to Tebow.

In my estimation, this will be Orton’s last stand in Denver as the starting quarterback. His contract ends this season and he will be looking for big-time money that the Broncos won’t want to pay him unless he is the reason that they put together a stellar season, which would be a shocker to the rest of the league.

I expect next offseason will be another quarterback controversy with Orton out of the picture and fans continually irritated by another below-average, playoff-missing season by the Broncos, calling to start Tebow.

Ultimately, the Broncos need to draft a quarterback or trade for a quarterback whom they believe can get the franchise behind them and really take the team to the next level.

Look at the Arizona Cardinals—they believe in Kevin Kolb. Do I think they will succeed with Kolb? No. But they do—they have given up a great deal to acquire Kolb, and they are going to get behind him to push him to succeed. Their franchise’s future in the short term depends on his development and achievements. If the project fails, like most NFL teams, they go back to the drawing board to find the next great quarterback.

Denver needs to go through this process and upper management needs to stick with it and see it through to the end, not give up on it after they fire the head coach—for example, see Tebow. Until they do that, they will be rotating through quarterbacks for the next 10-plus years or so.

John Fox's Denver Broncos Struggle to Run the Ball, Stop the Run

The Denver Broncos' point of emphasis on offense this offseason has been the running game. Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills, Head Coach John Fox and Co. saw the Broncos' top two rushers, expected to carry the load in 2011, pick up 34 yards on 11 carries. Stopping the run has been Fox’s point of emphasis on defense. However, right now, the defensive line has been struggling to bottle up opposing offenses’ running backs.

The Broncos backfield is going the wrong direction (on both sides of the ball).

Not only did the Broncos top two rushers, Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee, average only 3.1 yards rushing, but they faced the Buffalo Bills, the only team in the NFL last season, behind the Broncos’ beleaguered defense in opposing rushing yards allowed per game.

The backups, Brandon Minor, 6 rushes for 24 yards, Lance Ball, 7 rushes for 20 yards, Jeremiah Johnson, 5 rushes for 16 yards, didn’t fare too much better.

Fox wants to return the Broncos to balance in the run and pass games in 2011, however, he has his work cut out for him as although the Broncos did rush the ball 32 times compared to 31 pass attempts, the offense only rushed as a whole for 101 yards.

The Broncos' struggles stopping the run continued as they surrendered 126 yards on 24 attempts for an average of 5.3 yards/attempt by the Buffalo Bills.

The key to the running game is the point of attack: the offensive line.

There is only one offensive lineman among the bunch for Broncos with more than five years experience. Right tackle Orlando Franklin is a rookie. Center J.D. Walton is in his second season with the Broncos. Left guard Zane Beadles is also in his second season. Pro-Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady is a pass blocking specialist for the Broncos and is in his third season. Right guard is in his seventh season in the NFL.

The offensive line needs to work on opening holes and pushing the defenders off the line. That opens up running lanes for the speedy Moreno to burst through to the second level.

The second key element in the running game is once through the first level, make a defender miss at the next level. The two longest runs of the night were an 11-yard run by Minor and a 9-yard run by Moreno. The rushers are not making the linebackers and the cornerbacks miss. They aren’t shaking tackles and opening up huge gains.

Moreno has yet to break the 1,000-yard mark in his two seasons in Denver. McGahee is pushing 30-years old and has spent the majority of his career as a red zone and short yardage specialist. He has not been known for breaking off large gains throughout his NFL career.

The Broncos hope that history will not repeat itself again in 2011, but with the baffling additions by Fox, it doesn't appear like a huge run game will materialize for the Broncos at this rate.

In contrast, all of the top Bills’ backs had huge gains over 14 yards apiece. C.J. Spiller had a long of 14 yards in one rush and Fred Jackson had a rush for more than 20 yards. This is worrisome for a defense that ranked 31st against the rush last season with a new head coach preaching that he will improve the run defense in 2011.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos believed that bringing in the behemoth nose tackle, Ty Warren would close the gaping holes that filled the defensive line last season, but a partial tear of his triceps dashed those hopes, until at the earliest week 15 or 16 of the season. Marcus Thomas also went down with a pectoral muscle injury, another key piece to the Broncos defensive line re-build, and he is out for the remainder of the preseason.

With those key absences in the defense, the Broncos’ holes have returned; Fox will need to work his magic he has demonstrated with his defenses of yesteryear to bring the backups up to speed as soon as possible.

Although the main focus for the fans and media has been the quarterback controversy, the success of the Broncos in 2011 and beyond depends on running the football, and limiting the opposing offenses' rushing yards. If you can do both of those, you can control the clock, the ball, and the game. As evidenced by last season, when you cannot run the ball or stop the run, the game turns in to a shootout on offense, and none of the Broncos' quarterbacks will win that matchup this season.

Denver Sports Streaming - Streaming News and Commentary of the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Avalanche

Welcome to Denver Sports Streaming!

I am so glad you found me. My name is Jason Muckley and I love to write and I love sports! I live in the Denver Metro area and I follow many of the Colorado Sports teams. My favorite team in the Denver Metro area is the Denver Broncos.

I hope to publish team updates from all the major sports teams in Denver and to keep you up-to-date with what's going on!

Currently, I am very excited about the upcoming Broncos season, which is only three weeks away!

Make sure you bookmark my page and subscribe to my feed to stay connected to everything Broncos this NFL season.

- Jason