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Old 12-07-2010, 04:13 PM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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Default December Random Thoughts

I haven't done one of these in awhile, so here we go:

-The Patriots are a great example of how you don’t have to formulate a bunch of creative passing concepts to have a creative offense. They are as balanced an offense as there is in the NFL, and they are probably the highest scoring offense in the league. How do they do it? With balance in multiple formations. That offense is brilliant, and it revolves around the 2 TEs they have. Having Gronk and Hernandez gives this team tons of versatility in its formations. Remember, when a defense brings in their personnel onto the field, they do so based on what personnel is brought in by the offense.

So when the offense brings 2 TEs on the field, usually a defense assumes they’re going heavy and they bring in their heavy package. Simple right? You cannot assume this vs the Patriots. They can bring in their “heavy” package with their 2 TEs, and bc of their versatility, they can line them up in a bunch of ways that will isolate mismatches all over the field. They can come out heavy and pound it up the gut, they can line up both TEs wide and spread you out and pass on you, they can spread you out and run on you, they can line up heavy and PA pass on you. The versatility is a matchup nightmare for defenses and is very difficult to defend. Also, bc of the versatility of those TEs, Brady has many options with his audibles which will further exploit issues in the defense.

A perfect example is the Deion Branch TD last night. It was a spread set, the Pats lined up 2 TEs to the right and a WR to the right. Brady read an all out blitz, and had all the guys on the right stay in to block, and Branch ran the quick slant. Now that seems simple, but when you see it from the skybox you realize how impressive it was. The personnel on the right were spread but tight, leaving them in to block forced them to tighten up and form a wall of blockers very quickly after the snap to pick up the blitz and they did it to perfection. That’s impressive out of a spread set.

The versatility of their RBs also makes their formations difficult to defend. Bc with those TEs, they also have Woodhead and Green Ellis. Now you have no idea if Woody is in the game with those 2 TEs what the formation is going to be. They can line up heavy, they can go empty set and spread you out, they can go spread and line up Woody in the backfield, they can run various screens, the possibilities are endless.

So you can only imagine how confusing this is for the defense. If they knew you were in spread, they can go nickel. But bc these 2 TEs gives them the option to go spread or heavy on any given play, they can exploit the defensive personnel on the field in any way they please. And by mixing it up with the run and pass out of various formations, you keep defenses honest.
That’s why their balance is so key to their offense now. This offense wouldn’t work if they didn’t have you guessing so much on whether its run or pass. Isn’t that what offense is supposed to be about? What’s the point if the defense knows its going to be a pass 70% of the time? The Patriots found the perfect recipe on offense and the results are showing.

-I felt that Josh McDaniels got fired prematurely. I know he’s screwed up royally in Denver, but I figure you already made your bed with him, at least give him the proper amount of time to build the team the way he wanted before you fire him. Now you have to start all over again…again.

-It’s going unnoticed, but Robert Gallery has turned into a very good LG. Yes, I know he was an epic bust at LT and there’s no denying that, but I also feel that he’s become an underrated guard bc all people remember him for are his failures at LT. In fact, that entire Oakland oline isn’t as bad as we think. Is it great? No. But it’s not terrible either.

-I think the Bengals need to start fresh. Get a new coach, get rid of Palmer, TO, and Chad, and start fresh. This team has talent and with a couple of solid drafts, can be right back in it. They need a qb, and they need to draft another weapon on the outside, but the team is on the right track. The defense I feel can be one of the best in the league with the addition of a safety, I feel they can have the best dline in the league with more development from Johnson, Dunlap and Atkins, and I feel they have good building blocks with Gresham and Shipley on offense. The oline isn’t half bad, but they can clean that up. But get a real Qb and develop some offensive talent along with allowing that young defense to grow, and I think this team can bounce back with some new direction and a fresh start.

-An interesting team to watch out for is the Kansas City Chiefs. If they can make the playoffs, I don’t think it’s a guarantee that they are one and done. Many assume that they, along with the winner of the AFC South will lose to their wildcard opponents. If the Chiefs make it in, I think they can be a dangerous team. When you can play defense and run the ball, you always have a chance to beat anybody. And the Chiefs can do just that. Throw in that home field advantage, and it wouldn’t be crazy to see them “upset” their opponent in the wild card. Don’t sleep on the Chiefs.

-Oakland is going to be a pretty good team if they can get a quarterback. They have the run game, they have decent weapons, they have a solid defense, they just need a quarterback.

-I know the Falcons are the 1 seed, I know they have beaten quality opponents, and I know they are unstoppable at home….but for some reason, I just can’t buy into them. Every time I watch them play, I see a very beatable team. I wouldn’t be surprised if they prove me wrong, but I just don’t think the Falcons are that good.

-The emergence of guys like JPP, Michael Johnson, and Carlos Dunlap shows that when it comes to DEs, more often than not it’s worth gambling on athleticism. Athleticism is the most important quality a DE can have. At the end of the day, you can teach a guy how to use his hands, or how to run around a guy. You can’t teach athleticism. And let’s be real, it doesn’t take a genius to be a defensive end. Just get an ogre, and let him do his thing. Technique is overrated with pass rushers. You just need to teach a guy 2 moves and let him rush the passer. Not exactly rocket science.

-I think this was one of the best draft classes we’ve ever seen.

-I think passing yards are overrated. We all rave about it, but what exactly has it accomplished? Look at the passing leaders in the league: Peyton, Rivers, Brees, and Orton. Only 1 of those guys is in the hunt for the playoffs (assuming the Colts are out). Yay, great, you threw for a bunch of yards. Whoopidy doo. The fact that Kyle Orton threw for 100 yards less than Phillip Rivers this year is proof enough to me that passing yards is a meaningless stat. Especially since both of those guys have done it with no threat of a run game or any legitimate WR on their rosters. (Peyton and Brees both also have had no quality run game either). If we’re not giving Orton any MVP considerations for it, then we shouldn’t do the same for Rivers.

-Roddy White is one ugly looking man. Dude looks like a rat.

-The Steelers could very well go to the SB. But I see a flawed team. The lack of quality CBs on that roster could be the death of them in the playoffs, and that oline could as well. They can’t afford any more injuries to that oline. Ben can only carry that offense so far.

-Speaking of which, Ben is a top 5 qb in this league. When we talk about great quarterbacks, we always cite examples of a great throw they made, or a great game they had where they threw 4 TDs and 300 yards etc. You wanna know why Ben is a top 5 qb in this league? That throw away in the 4th when he muscled Suggs and tossed it out of bounds. Those are the kinds of plays a top 5 qb in the NFL makes. The kind that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Another example is Brady’s TD to Branch on 4th and 3 that I cited earlier. It wasn’t the throw that shown how elite Brady is, it was the audible.
That’s how you judge a qb. The little things. Some qbs make special plays, and some don’t. I don’t care about volume statistics, those details are what I look for in a quarterback.
The best plays I’ve seen elite qbs make are so simple sometimes. It’s usually a great audible, a smart motion to get a guy in a better position, a good manipulation of the safety, etc. The little things.

-I was on the “Albert Haynesworth to my team” bandwagon, but I am officially off of it. What a turd. There’s no way in hell I want that attitude on my team.

I can say more, but I probably already said too much.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:34 PM    (permalink
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Nice thread, i agree with pretty much everything...the only thing i disagree with is the Falcon's, Michael Turner and Roddy White alone give them a chance to win any game they play in.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:37 PM    (permalink
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Belichick's running the Urban Meyer offense minus the option. I know that sounds silly since the option is such an important part Urban's playbook. But everything from the formation versatility, position versatility, the route combos, and the balance between run and pass has a distinct Meyer influence.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:40 PM    (permalink
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The bear ran some sort of the spread out TEs with Olsen and Desmond Clark last year
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:40 PM    (permalink
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the bengals ultimate building block:

http://www.nfl.com/players/BrianLeon...e?id=LEO380682
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:48 PM    (permalink
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They say missing on a QB sets a franchise back 10 years and there are some golden examples in the NFL right now. You touched on this with the raiders, but there is also the 49ers, Cardinals, Browns and Titans as prime examples. If Jamarcus, Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and VY had worked out, these teams would be firmly in the playoff race. Instead, they are all probably gonna draft a QB top 10(minus the raiders).
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:52 PM    (permalink
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The Steelers are always flawed in the OL and the secondary, but they always find a way to get it done. This could be a different year, but I think they have as great of a shot to WIN the SB than anyone. Unless, of course, they draw New England in the playoffs.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by JETS5128 View Post
They say missing on a QB sets a franchise back 10 years and there are some golden examples in the NFL right now. You touched on this with the raiders, but there is also the 49ers, Cardinals, Browns and Titans as prime examples. If Jamarcus, Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and VY had worked out, these teams would be firmly in the playoff race. Instead, they are all probably gonna draft a QB top 10(minus the raiders).
Yup.

I think this could change, though, and hear me out on it.

There are many reasons drafting a bust QB in the first round hurts so much, mostly the monetary situation. These guys make so much damn money, that their teams are pretty much cuffed into making it work with them. The problem is exacerbated once all those other high draft picks you got start turning out good. Now, you have a talented team and a ****** quarterback, but you don't want to go out and groom another rookie for another egregious contract. So teams end up cycling through journeyman, trying to catch Trent Dilfer-like lightning in a bottle.

With a rookie cap in place, combined with how ******* easy it is to play quarterback anymore (all these young guys breaking out so early, plus Kyle Orton leading the NFL in passing lends credence to this), that teams will be able to cut ties with a guy and draft a someone new with little repercussion or turnover.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:33 PM    (permalink
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Nice thread, i agree with pretty much everything...the only thing i disagree with is the Falcon's, Michael Turner and Roddy White alone give them a chance to win any game they play in.
I readily admit I could wind up being wrong on this. I just don't see what's so scary about them. The oline is solid, but nothing to be scared about. Turner is a great RB and White is a great WR, but you can still stack the box and double White if you have a shutdown CB.

And that defense can be had. Like I said, I know they've beaten a ton of quality opponents and deserve respect, it's just that when I watch them play, I don't see what's so scary about them. They're one of those blue collar teams that's good in a lot of things, but not great in any.

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Originally Posted by yourfavestoner View Post
Belichick's running the Urban Meyer offense minus the option. I know that sounds silly since the option is such an important part Urban's playbook. But everything from the formation versatility, position versatility, the route combos, and the balance between run and pass has a distinct Meyer influence.
That's interesting. I don't know much about college football systems bc I just don't watch much of it. I don't have the patience to watch college ball. I only start paying attention around bowl game time to check out some prospects, and I go back and watch some games to see prospects after the NFL season, but that's about as far as my college football fix goes.

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The bear ran some sort of the spread out TEs with Olsen and Desmond Clark last year
When your oline blows, nothing is gonna work

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the bengals ultimate building block:

http://www.nfl.com/players/BrianLeon...e?id=LEO380682
Once they figure out he's a white RB and not a FB, they'll be ok.

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Originally Posted by JETS5128 View Post
They say missing on a QB sets a franchise back 10 years and there are some golden examples in the NFL right now. You touched on this with the raiders, but there is also the 49ers, Cardinals, Browns and Titans as prime examples. If Jamarcus, Alex Smith, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and VY had worked out, these teams would be firmly in the playoff race. Instead, they are all probably gonna draft a QB top 10(minus the raiders).
Yup. Can't consistently win in this league without a quarterback.

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Originally Posted by njx9 View Post
we had to regardless of whether mcdaniels stayed. bailey and dawkins are gone. there's nothing else on the defense. orton was gone after this season, extension notwithstanding. most of the offensive line still needs work. the backfield still needs work. WR is probably set no matter who's coaching (and might be better off with someone who actually understands how to use a good slot receiver in royal).

that's how thoroughly mcdaniels ****** this team up. he still had to rebuild the team after his own effort to rebuild the team.
The thing is, he spent his whole first year getting rid of most of the team, bc they didn't fit his structure. So really, this year was the first year of his rebuilding project, and he didn't even get a chance to finish it out. You have to give the guy at least 2 more years after this year to prove his idealogy was a failure. You can't cut bait now after riding with him. Why not fire him before he got rid of Cutler then? You can't fire a guy 1/4th of the way through his rebuilding program. You have to give him enough time to do what he wanted to do.

He had a good draft this year too. If he just had more time to develop his guys, who knows? I'm not against firing him, I just think the timing is off. You either had to do it right away with the Cutler fiasco, or give him enough time to let his program develop.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:34 PM    (permalink
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BBD, sometimes I think you are my long lost, significantly less lazy, twin. I find myself agreeing with you on pretty much everything.

The one thing I think I do disagree with is the firing of McDaniels. Maybe they could have waited at least until the season was over, but I think it's a move they had to make. He just stripped the team of all of the young talent it had before he got there, then brought in "his" guys and things have only gone downhill since then. I don't think he was going to get them turned around, and another year of him was only going to make it harder for the Broncos to eventually turn it around when they got someone new. Already their next coach is going to be saddled with Tebow, Thomas and an overall ****** defense. Not an easy fix...I pity their next coach.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:44 PM    (permalink
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BBD, sometimes I think you are my long lost, significantly less lazy, twin. I find myself agreeing with you on pretty much everything.

The one thing I think I do disagree with is the firing of McDaniels. Maybe they could have waited at least until the season was over, but I think it's a move they had to make. He just stripped the team of all of the young talent it had before he got there, then brought in "his" guys and things have only gone downhill since then. I don't think he was going to get them turned around, and another year of him was only going to make it harder for the Broncos to eventually turn it around when they got someone new. Already their next coach is going to be saddled with Tebow, Thomas and an overall ****** defense. Not an easy fix...I pity their next coach.
You, me, and YFS. Our parents have a lot of explaining to do.

That's the thing, the next HC is gonna need a while to redo this team anyway. So why not give McDaniels the opportunity to fail with his guys before cutting ties with him? Those guys are system guys, they would mostly only succeed under his system right?

So why not let him develop them and see if they actually wind up being busts before just throwing all of it away right now? I just think he deserved another year.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:45 PM    (permalink
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You're right, if you can run the football and play good defense in January, you'll be a hard team to beat. Unfortunately, as it looks right now, the Jets and Ravens would get wildcard spots and play us in Arrowhead if we were to clinch the West. They're very good defensive and running teams as well.

Homefield advantage baby!
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:58 PM    (permalink
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i dunno. if someone comes in and gets rid of 95% of your talent, then still fails to address any real positions of need (and, in the process, takes massive gambles), do you really give him 2 more years to not only run the ship on some rocks, but napalm the **** out of it, too? even if you take away his ability to make personnel decisions, he was a craptastic coach. there was nothing whatsoever that he's done that i think has been vaguely successful in denver.

he rebuilt a team that didn't need rebuilding to stroke his own ego, and now that same team needs rebuilding *again*. how many times do you allow the same guy to try to rebuild a team before you recognize that he's a talentless hack and that he's simply not capable of doing the job?

i know the next argument is "well he didn't even have two seasons!" but the problem is that the team is demonstrably worse than it was two seasons ago. every single part of the team is worse. and there's no part of the team with any real hope of getting better. his coaching has been ineffective. his personnel choices have been atrocious. at some point, a team needs to recognize that a guy is a joke and get rid of him.


i just had the weirdest deja vu. it's like two years ago, arguing with people about shanahan.
Before 07, you couldn't find a bigger Tom Coughlin critic than me. I hated him. I was furious that we brought him back. He was stubborn with his coaching, he was destroying the development of our franchise qb, and he didn't have a clue on defense.

But the Giants stuck with him, gave him time to develop his program, and now look. Sometimes you just gotta give a guy some time to weed out players who aren't on board, develop the players who are on board, and let the guys in the lockerroom know that its his way or the highway.

Josh deserved that chance imo. If he failed after that, then sure. But at least give him the chance first. It was only his 2nd year. And he spent his first year getting rid of problem child players. So really, it was only year 1 of his rebuilding project.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:59 PM    (permalink
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-I think the Bengals need to start fresh. Get a new coach, get rid of Palmer, TO, and Chad, and start fresh. This team has talent and with a couple of solid drafts, can be right back in it. They need a qb, and they need to draft another weapon on the outside, but the team is on the right track. The defense I feel can be one of the best in the league with the addition of a safety, I feel they can have the best dline in the league with more development from Johnson, Dunlap and Atkins, and I feel they have good building blocks with Gresham and Shipley on offense. The oline isn’t half bad, but they can clean that up. But get a real Qb and develop some offensive talent along with allowing that young defense to grow, and I think this team can bounce back with some new direction and a fresh start.
I agree. We've got enough talent to rebuild on top of it. A new coaching staff (I've always liked Marvin, but for better or worse we need somebody new to shake things up in here) and we need to allow him to find a QB he trusts and put him in place instead of Palmer.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:09 PM    (permalink
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yes roddy is def an ugly mofo
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:31 PM    (permalink
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The passing yards are ridiculous this year. And yeah Orton's are definitely inflated, not hard to rack up passing yards when you are constantly trailing by 20 points. The fact that he could even push 5000 yards is a joke. Donovan Mcnabb is having an awful season yet is on pace for his first 4000 yard season of his career. As many as 25 QB's could pass for over 3,000 this year.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:59 PM    (permalink
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BB and Urban are stuck at the hip football wise so it's no suprise that they would take systems and tips from one another. Also, not a suprise that BB took so many Florida kids in last years draft. I suspect that will continue.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:03 PM    (permalink
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I know you don't like him, but Philip Rivers is leading the league in yards per attempt by a pretty big margin. Michael Vick is almost a half yard behind him and the #3 guy (Rodgers) trails by 0.7 ypa. The Rivers/Orton comparison is really, really unfair to Rivers. Orton's ypa is 1.2 less than Rivers, he has four less touchdowns on 45 more attempts, and is completing almost 6% less of his passes. You claim that passing yards are overrated, yet they are the only stat you look at when implying that both players are playing at a similar level.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:10 PM    (permalink
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I agree. We've got enough talent to rebuild on top of it. A new coaching staff (I've always liked Marvin, but for better or worse we need somebody new to shake things up in here) and we need to allow him to find a QB he trusts and put him in place instead of Palmer.
I doubt it would happen, but Mike Brown should leave as well. It seemed like just as Marvin was trying to clean up the team, Brown would bring more character problem players onto the team. I think Brown has a lot to blame as well. JMO.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:16 PM    (permalink
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Adendum to the DE thing, you need athleticism and work ethic. JPP always had great work ethic, Dunlap tried hard even though he could get a sack to save his life and Michael Johnson has been busting his ass since his draft day slide. These guys have worked hard to use that great natural ability, that's why they're succeeding.
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:26 PM    (permalink
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As I said before the season about the Donkeys. I think they have a good set up on offense. Tebow and Thomas have a lot of potential and work hard. Now Tebow may still bust because of his intelligence and release, but Thomas is a guy I like a lot because of his intelligence and attitude. He's rawer than Dez, but has just as much raw talent, with a much better attitude. With Lloyd's emergence and Royal as a good slot guy he's in a good position to develop to his max. Moreno's been getting better and is another really smart/hardworking skill position guy. And the OL will look a lot better with a healthy Clady, a year older Beadles and Walton. THe question on O is if the new coach can work with Tebow, because if Tebow ends up hitting I think that O has wonderful upside.

Defensively they need a lot of work but Ayers and Doom at OLB is a good start. They'll need some good drafts, but they have a couple years of high picks while the offense comes together.

The Broncos are still a ways away, but like the Bills I think they've got some good pieces in some spots and if they continue adding hardworking talented guys through the draft, which they'll have the oppurtunity to do, it might not be that long, 2-3 years before these two perennial contenders from the 90s are back in the AFC playoffs and belong.

EDIT: It's sweet seeing the pats doing so well, I didn't want to gloat in their thread, but it's really nice seeing them validating my preseason pick of them to win the AFCE with a young D that looks better than we've seen from New England in years.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:06 PM    (permalink
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As I said before the season about the Donkeys. I think they have a good set up on offense. Tebow and Thomas have a lot of potential and work hard. Now Tebow may still bust because of his intelligence and release, but Thomas is a guy I like a lot because of his intelligence and attitude. He's rawer than Dez, but has just as much raw talent, with a much better attitude. With Lloyd's emergence and Royal as a good slot guy he's in a good position to develop to his max. Moreno's been getting better and is another really smart/hardworking skill position guy. And the OL will look a lot better with a healthy Clady, a year older Beadles and Walton. THe question on O is if the new coach can work with Tebow, because if Tebow ends up hitting I think that O has wonderful upside.

Defensively they need a lot of work but Ayers and Doom at OLB is a good start. They'll need some good drafts, but they have a couple years of high picks while the offense comes together.

The Broncos are still a ways away, but like the Bills I think they've got some good pieces in some spots and if they continue adding hardworking talented guys through the draft, which they'll have the oppurtunity to do, it might not be that long, 2-3 years before these two perennial contenders from the 90s are back in the AFC playoffs and belong.

EDIT: It's sweet seeing the pats doing so well, I didn't want to gloat in their thread, but it's really nice seeing them validating my preseason pick of them to win the AFCE with a young D that looks better than we've seen from New England in years.
Bey Bey was a ******** pick with Dez on the board.

McDaniels couldn't field a defense, screwed up literally every single personnel move he made, and hasn't consistently put out a competitive team since his first few games.

It's funny because if Tebow busts, no one will link him to McD necessarily. Yet, if he's NFL Jesus also, no one will remember that it was McD who wanted him...
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:14 PM    (permalink
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Chiefs will win at least one playoff game..or I never post again
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:15 PM    (permalink
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Falcons are 26th in yards per play differential (as of last week, anyways).

There's only so long you can continue to win like that.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:23 PM    (permalink
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I
Thatís how you judge a qb. The little things. Some qbs make special plays, and some donít. I donít care about volume statistics, those details are what I look for in a quarterback.
The best plays Iíve seen elite qbs make are so simple sometimes. Itís usually a great audible, a smart motion to get a guy in a better position, a good manipulation of the safety, etc. The little things.
What did you think of the 4th & 2 Brees freeze play to draw the Bengals offsides at the end of that game? At first it wasn't really working but then we shifted the formation around, and Brees started shouting the cadence louder.. and got a Bengals D-line to jump for a gift of a first down. I was amazed that anyone would fall for that, it ultimately led to the Win because had we gone for the FG we probably would have lost that game if the Bengals won the toss with how our Defense was playing in the 2nd half of that game.

Also what do you guys think of the Saints chances going down the stretch? I think they are getting hot at the right time... obviously I think Atlanta will take the Division, and take the 1 seed... their schedule is just way too easy... but we've had a great road record under Payton and the team is starting to get healthy.... I'm just hoping we finish out the season strong.
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