“Like I told our team, when you are minus four, you’re going to win 10 percent of your games. When you’re playing a good team, you’re going to win zero percent.”~John Fox.
The Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks last night 40-10. In Week 2 of the preseason, we saw a team that isn’t ready for the regular season. In a contest marred by missed Tackles mistakes, and missed opportunities (much less shoddy officiating), the Broncos find themselves face to face with adversity during the best time of the year to do so. This is why Broncos Country should not overreact.
Much of what we witnessed yesterday is correctable. A lapse of fundamentals, poor tackling, poor ball control, missed assignments and at times, a lack of discipline. And let us not forget, this is a time of player evaluation to fill the roster. This is what the preseason is all about.
Was it a sloppy game? For sure. Does it matter? Yes and No. It matters because there are jobs at stake, but it matters not in the standings. If you are under the illusion that the sky is falling, I tell you that it is simply a case of overreacting. If the team can build from this, and I believe they will, then why not the fanbase?
Believing the hype that the media “experts” have spewed about our favorite team being favorites to win the Super Bowl is utterly ridiculous. Really. If the team can take one game at a time, then so can the fans. Calling for players to get cut because they fumble once or throw an Interception is not only inane, but stupidity at it’s finest. That is Fantasy Football, not reality football.
Let’s go over a few items to put things into perspective.
Montee Ball is a rookie Running Back. Regardless of what he did in College, he is now in the NFL, where guys are bigger, stronger and faster. In college, maybe 3 or 4 players on any one team, have the talent to play in the Pros. Guess what? EVERY SINGLE PLAYER in the NFL has World Class talent. This young guy has talent and maybe he will be a starter by the end of the season, but if you didn’t see the missed block on Bobby Wagner that allowed Peyton Manning to get floored, then you weren’t paying attention. Again I say, the $20 Million Quarterback and the protection of him, trumps playing a rookie Running Back. In other words, if you are thinking of drafting any of the main 3 Denver RB’s for your Fantasy team, keep dreaming because that is wishful thinking. The Broncos coaching staff are throwing everything they can at Montee. When he absorbs it, he will get more playing time, but a Franchise Quarterback is more valuable than any Running back. Even adrian Peterson. Need proof? Look at the Broncos record and the Vikings record last year and see why the MVP went to the wrong player.
Yes, the Broncos have featured Julius during OTA’s, Training Camp and preseason. That doesn’t mean he is or will be by Week 1 of the regular season, the starter at Tight End. If you will recall, Julius one had one year of football experience in college. He is an extremely talented athlete. Guess what, so is Tim Tebow. And just as that doesn’t mean Tebow is a starting Quarterback, it doesn’t mean Julius Thomas is a starting caliber Tight End. It only means, like Montee Ball, the coaches are giving him all the opportunity in their power to let these kids grow. Joel Dreessen is the starter and will remain so at the beginning of the season. He is the best all-around Tight End on the team. Jacob Tamme is a pass catcher and pretty much another slot receiver. He wasn’t so much as Brandon Stokley’s backup, but Stokley is the one who came off the field when the Broncos ran package plays designed for Tamme. Virgil Green is a premier blocking Tight End who is working on his pass catching skills. He differs from Tamme in that Jacob isn’t going to improve his blocking. That is to say Virgil has a future on this team and if any of the four Tight Ends are expendable, it would be Tamme. The reason being, is Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker. Those three guys will take targets away from the Tight Ends.
Brock Osweiler and the “2’s”
Despite the fact that Osweiler has yet to lead a scoring drive this preseason, he has improved dramatically over this past year. He is making reads, calling signals and audibles at the line, his throwing motion is vastly improved and consistent and he is trying to make plays. He can throw on the run and is accurate passing out of a bootleg rollout. He does however, need to fix the time clock in his head on when to get rid of the ball by throwing it away instead of taking a Sack. Especially in the Red Zone. I was pretty disappointed that Trindon Holliday’s 73-yard Punt return could not be punched in for a Touchdown, but that wasn’t the only problem Saturday night. Those of you with the mindset on getting rid of Manny Ramirez will have to wait for Ryan Lilja to put him out of the starting job at Center. It may take awhile too, so be patient. Rookie Right Tackle Vinston Painter was a liability in pass blocking last night. Just in case you missed it. The 6’-6”, 309 lb., 6th round pick out of Virginia Tech is a likely candidate for the Practice Squad, where the coaches will be able to work on his pass protection technique. You may recall two years ago when the Broncos drafted Orlando Franklin. He was known as a road grader as a run blocker and deficient in pass blocking skills. Of course, Franklin had more talent coming out of Miami, but the coaches leaned on him and now he is pretty darn good at protecting the Quarterback. The front office likes Vinston Painter and I have seen flashes of potential in Camp, so let’s reevaluate this kid next year.
There were some good things happening yesterday. Other than a missed block by the rookie Running Back, The 1st string Offensive Line kept Peyton Manning clean. Clean enough to allow Manning to throw go 6 for 6 in one series and 5 for 5 on another. He finished 11/16 for 163 yards and a Touchdown to Wes Welker. Trindon Holliday’s punt return was promising, although he could have scored if not for a few missed blocks. The coverage team will get more than an earful from coach Jeff Rodgers, but like I said earlier, there are things that can be corrected.
For those of you with lofty expectations on a Super Bowl, Peyton Manning would like to address that:
“I think our team needs to improve and needs to use this week to get better. We have a long way to go. I don’t know who made those predications and what weight those really carry, but we had a lot of things that we need to fix and correct. I do think there are things that are correctable, but we have to do it. We can’t just keep saying we have to correct it, we have to go and do it.
– Kaptain Kirk