We have a guest blogger writing for us today! His name is Dylan Murphy and he’s a full-time writer for Pardon The Opinion. Before we turn it over to Dylan, I want to make sure you kids mind your manners. If I hear one bad thing when I come back, it’s no ice cream for you! Especially you, MuffDiver!
Remember the days when Jay Cutler sliced and diced defenses? When Denver’s zone blocking scheme opened up holes for every running back known to man? When Reuben Droughns ruled the earth? Well, those days are over, thanks in large part to one of the worst two seasons of management in a very long time.
Mike Shanahan is in Washington. Jay Cutler is in Chicago. Brandon Marshall is headed to Miami. Can anyone honestly say the Broncos have improved their team since the ’08-’09 season? And worst of all, everything was avoidable. Here are the Broncos’ main moves since they choked away the division title to 8-8 San Diego.
1) No defense.
2) Shanahan choked and has been to one AFC title game since Elway (thanks to the magical arm and legs of Jake Plummer).
Logical Solution: One of two possibilities:
- Fire Shanahan and replace him with a defensive minded coach.
- Keep Shanahan, fire the defensive coordinator.
I would go with option two, simply to avoid disrupting the offensive continuity Denver had. Cutler threw for 4,526 yards and 25 touchdowns that season. As an offensive mastermind, Shanahan supplied the genius behind the immense offensive talent. Plus, Shanahan managed to find a way avoid spending money on running backs through his zone blocking scheme. Seriously, when has a running back not succeeded in Denver? If Tatum Bell can rush for 1,000 yards, so can I.
Denver’s solution: Exactly the opposite of reason and logic. Fire Shanahan, hire a less experienced version of him in Josh McDaniels (Based on my coaching rankings, you can tell that I’m not his biggest fan). To make matters worse, he alienated the team’s budding superstar/franchise player by attempting to trade for a less proven but more familiar QB. Way to set back the franchise countless years.
Running back depth. They had more injuries than this year’s Portland Trail Blazers. Except with the NFL trade deadline at week 6, there was no Marcus Camby to somewhat salvage the season.
Logical Solution: Assuming they keep Shanahan, this isn’t really a problem. Just draft some backs in the later rounds, and address the more pressing need, team defense, in the early rounds.
Denver’s Solution: 6 out of 10 picks in the ’09 draft go to the offensive side of the ball, including Knowshon Moreno, a running back, with the 12th overall pick. At a glance, this strategy worked out since Moreno played well and the defense vastly improved anyway. But not including their unexplainable 6-0 start, the defense gave up a whopping 346.5 yards and 26 points per game, good for 20th and 28th in the NFL respectively (This is compared to other team’s stats for the whole season, not just the final 10 games.) After teams figured them out, the defense crash-landed back on earth.
Brandon Marshall. Wife beater? Maybe. Sketchy personality? Check. Dedicated to football? Possibly. But you can’t deny his talent. Only he and Wes Welker have caught at least 100 balls in each of the past three seasons.
Logical Solution: Trade him before last season. With the Roy Williams deal happening mid-season (Dallas gave up a 1st and 3rd round pick), the Broncos were guaranteed a 1st and 3rd round pick.
Denver’s Solution: Trade him to the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick this year and a second round pick next year.
I’m not a Broncos fan. I have never even been to Colorado. But while it’s easy for me to criticize decision making both from far away and after the fact, the right decision was smacking Broncos’ management in the face. Unfortunately for Denver fans, they turned the other cheek.
I know you want more. Go on over to pardontheopinion.com to read more from Dylan!► Read more articles written by Pardon The Opinion.
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