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Published on 11/04/2008 at Tue Nov 04 15:30.
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[Mike Shanahan]

Every week, it seems the Broncos lose two to three more players for a significant amount of time due to injury. This Sunday was no different. The Broncos lost running backs Andre Hall and Michael Pittman for the season on Sunday; they also lost linebacker D.J. Williams and safety Marlon McCree for three to four weeks each.

To offset these injuries, the Broncos added three players to their active roster Tuesday – outside linebacker Mario Haggan, safety Roderick Rogers and running back P.J. Pope. Head Coach Mike Shanahan discussed the injuries, along with the possibility of getting some of the other guys back, during his Tuesday presser.

“(RB) Michael Pittman was put on IR. A spinal cord (injury),” Shanahan told reporters. “He had some numbness in his hands and doctors recommended that he stay out. (LB) D.J. Williams has a third-degree MCL (injury). Four weeks of (missed) participation there. (RB) Andre Hall (has a) broken hand. (S) Marlon McCree (has a) high-ankle sprain—three to four weeks (he will be out) in that area. (TE) Tony Scheffler and (RB) Selvin Young, we will get a chance to evaluate a little bit later today.”

When asked if he could remember a time where he coached a team with so many injuries, Shanny replied, “I don’t know that I’ve ever had both captains out on defense before, so that’s a little bit different. But that happens during the season and there is no reason to use that as an excuse. That’s why you have depth on your football team.”

Shanahan went on to discuss his options for replacing Williams and Bailey on the field. “We are going to have (LB Wesley) Woodyard and (LB Louis) Green. Woodyard doesn’t have a lot of experience, obviously, but he has played well on special teams. Lou Green has a lot of experience. We will take a look at those two guys and make a decision on which direction we are going to go. Then you take a look at (CB) Karl Paymah—I think he played well during the game.”

I didn’t think we could be hit harder with injuries than we were last year, but 2008 is making a strong case. Hopefully Selvin and Tony can finally return, and we can get a good effort by our running back tandem (and Peyton Hillis. Then the 10-day break will be good to FINISH what we started on the bye week – getting healthy.

  • andy b.

    Don’t worry, Shannahan isn’t looking to use injuries as an excuse. I mean, they explain everything about what happened to the team, but he’s not making excuses. This is only the worst it’s ever been– but that doesn’t justify their playing lately. It would be impossible for the team to have been any better this year, but that’s not a reason to explain why they haven’t been any better. Nobody’s making excuses.

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Is this the worst it’s ever been? We had a massive injury bug last year.

  • andy b.

    Okay, I’m kidding, obviously, I know he’s actually been pretty straight-up about not using injuries as an excuse, but I just have this feeling that he has a way of inviting everyone else to do that for him. What’s really going on is what has happened each of the last 3-4 years: his team is psychologically unfocused. They can’t seem to get it together and focus. Turnovers, penalties, and just general inability to close the deal– these are not injury-related problems. I place the lack of mental preparedness & mental toughness on the one place it really can fall– the shoulders of the head coach.
    Shanny will continue to be a good evaluator of talent and an excellent tactician/strategist, but he’s clearly lost his command over this team’s psyche. I think this year is the end for him. He’ll move on and be successful somewhere else, but he’s never going to recapture the magic here in Denver.
    Wow, that was the longest post I’ve ever written. Sorry guys.

  • Kyle

    Sorry Earl for bumping your post – we published at the exact same moment…

  • Socal Den Fan

    Andy I can agree with the mental toughness and not getting them ready to play.We don’t have that player that everyone knows will come up and make the big play or drive us down to win the game.Is that guy cutler? I don’t know. I feel that this team needs that player they can turn to when the games on the line. What do you guys think?

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Kyle: An overabundance of posts is a probelem we want to have.

    andy b: It’s very odd because Shanahan’s teams are usually very disciplined. Look back through history and you’ll find that the Broncos are usually a very low penalty unit. Obviously, youth tends to have a way of creating penalties, and sometimes penalties are ok (a holding call is often better than a sack since you lose the yardage but keep the down, so if a sack is sure to happen they will want the guy to hold instead) but I don’t really feel like youth is to blame here. Lots of the penalties have been on veterans.

    The fumblitis, now that’s youth. The interceptions? Yes, I think Cutler is having some issues. He was flying high after 3 incredible games and reality is crashing in around his ears, and he has to adjust. I think people are sure coming down awfully hard on him awfully fast, but that’s pretty normal for fans. He absolutely needs to clean it up, and we don’t know when that will happen. But Shanahan has been saying from the beginning he expected mistakes and that there would be up and downs for him, and he’s in a down, and he has to learn from the experience and get through it.

    So why is this team unfocused and undisciplined? I really think it’s youth in the coaching staff, a smaller coaching staff than they’ve previously had, and possibly expectations were too high. Someone needs to teach discipline, that needs to start at the top. And in the past, Shanahan has been very good at that. Something is clearly wrong there.

  • kerry

    yeah whats wrong is that Shanahan is still the coach. thats why this team isnt disciplined at all. its not the youth of the staff that is the problem. its the staff from top to bottom. Shanahan all the way down. and when the leader is weak, the followers are weak.

  • Brent

    I follow Bronco news nearly every day. It seems like every year we hear the coaches and players saying “how special” the defense or offense or whatever will be and start strong out of the gate. However, every year they tail off. Outside of maybe a few additions to safety and d-line, this team has the talent to win – they just don’t have the mental toughness. I want a QB/WR/Defender who after tough calls, rather than ranting and whining and throwing his arms up in the air (or towel throwing), to go back to his huddle and challenge his team to beat the team lined up across from them and tell his team to ” ” the refs. All I’ve seen this year and in recent memory is a team that from top to bottom, when the going gets tough, pack it in. I will forever root my team, but they are need of a year long psych eval on the good old couch if you ask me. If we as fans boo or cheer, it won’t do much until the team self corrects from within. Until then, I will continue to cheer, root, and hope for drafts like we’ve had in the past 3 years. I told my sons prior to this year starting that we were a marginal playoff team this year but we had something special in the cooker in a year or two. I just hope that the players/teams psychy doesn’t get destroyed before this has a chance to happen.

  • kerry

    ive just read on ESPN that the Raiders may release DeAngelo Hall on wednesday. maybe a good pickup for us considering how battered we are in the secondary. maybe the mastermind will see this.

  • Roy

    Hall won’t clear waivers, and we won’t wpend the 16 mil it will take to pick up his contract. Not going to happen when there are lots of teams with a bunch of cap room to spend. I think the Bills and Saints both have some cash to burn, and Hall would provide an upgrade to what they currently have.

  • mikebirty

    I’m betting that Quick-6 Alridge would be fit about now if he wasn’t already on IR.

    How about Niko to MIKE and Nate to WILL?

  • flbronc

    d. hall is a locker room disease. that’s why he got shipped out of atlanta and probably one of the reasons out of oakland. i mean really, how bad do you have to be for al davis to want you out?

    i really hope we dont look at picking him up.

  • LorDog

    mikebirty: “How about Niko to MIKE and Nate to WILL?”

    I like this idea. I like Webster but have seen a lot of bad angles and he seems a little slow. I have not followed Niko too much so I’m not sure of his speed but I think he’s pretty smart and a hard hitter.

  • Kyle

    Webster at weak side? Not a fan of that idea at all.

    This is just my opinion, but the winner between Woodyard/Green would do better at Will, and Webster won the Mike battle straight up. That’s a stronger lineup at both positions.

  • Person

    Peyton Hillis needs to be used like a Reggie Bush/Brian Westbrook. He has amazing capabilities in the flat and will just truck over defenders. Peyton is now becoming an amazing pick up. I love Spencer Larson, but I believe him to be more suited as a special teams player, which he as performed admirably at.

    Unfortunately I believe we should keep Paymah at Bailey’s spot because he at least he has the experience where Jack Williams could easily get blown up. Williams however should spend some time in the Nickel to get some solid experience.

    However, has did anyone else notice Moss’s two sacks last game? I hope this a trend that comes. Moss playing OLB could turn him into a power house at 6’6 and 3/4 with 245 pounds on him.

    Right now I’m wishing we had Anthony Alridge for our depth. Quick Six would be a good compliment to a power runner like Torian, who needs to step up or our passing game will continue to suffer like has been.

    Most coaches take Brandon Marshall and the wideout gang into high consideration when approaching the Broncos because they see how lackluster our run game has been. This allows them to stop B-Marsh and therefore stop our passing game. We are team that prides ourselves on the play action and there is no way you can pull it off without a solid run game.

    Bottom line:
    Better coaching – Means better defense, Shanny is to blame… but mostly Slowik (you are so fired)

    Better running – Translates into control over clock (which we had 23:28 vs. 36:32 against Miami) and also means the set up of the play action which Cutler has out of this world stats with.

    P.S. – Kyle, if you ever want to try me out as a guest writer I’d love too.

  • T-Money

    Somebody call 911…Someone has stolen the Broncos dignity. We’ll got 9 players on life support with 7 causalities already. Someone for the love of god get a doctor down here to stop the bleeding. Live damn it live.

  • merc22

    we need to switch to 3-4 with the DL robertson-peterson-thomas LBs moss-webster-woody-dumervil and if hall clears waviers give him a year contract and put him as FS and manuel @ SS with bly and paymah at corners that would fix our D….and the reason our run game isnt the same, becuase our Line isnt meant for that, its meant for pass protection >_< i rather have our playbook when plummer was here than now

  • jchase8410

    Just a little something for all you Cutler bashers to think about, courtesy of
    “Gamedays, he gets so geeked to play that his adrenaline drives his blood glucose levels up, so he has to check himself after every first-quarter possession. He can do it in under 30 seconds. If he’s low, he drinks orange juice or eats chocolate. If he’s high, he injects himself in the stomach with insulin. All while coaches yell stuff at him. You think Eli Manning has to mess with this stuff?”

    How many qb’s could be able to do that and still perform at a high level…he has more TD’s than INT’s so far this season…everyone needs to get over it. Throw the ball 50 times a game, a few are gonna get picked off. Just ask future HOF Brett Favre, who holds the record for most career TD passes…and most career interceptions.

    Take some time to soak that in, and if you can still call for him to be benched then you don’t know your football, and have no place to talk!