Posted Sat Jan 3rd by Mr.East
There’s an age old debate about drafting versus free agency and for the Denver Broncos both have quite bad at both when it comes to the defense. This is the first of a two part series on the defensive players Denver has brought in.
As fans we all have noticed the random signings throughout the season such as Hernan-Daze Jones, Vernon Fox, Josh Shaw, and Calvin Lowry. Also it was noticed that they were less than ineffective. Anyone who has watched Sports Center for the last few days has seen the same highlight of Chargers fullback Jacob Hester plowing through the frightened Vernon Fox for the touchdown. Steve Atwater, hell even Browns safety Sean Jones (who is a free agent to ponder) would have made that tackle. As Broncos fans it is never enough just look at the surface, it is time we delve deeper.
Acquired: Summer 08′ Games Started: 6 Tackles: 40 Contract: 5 years – $17.5 million Summary: Boss Bailey has a lot of hustle… when he’s on the field. It seems like every other down the medical crew is attending to Boss’s injuries. Bailey is one of the quickest if not the quickest linebackers in the league which is not always a good thing because it causes him to continuously over pursue the play. Denver believed that Bailey could come in and fix the problems they had at the SAM position and Bailey didn’t seem to help. Grade: D-
Acquired: Summer 08′ Games Started: 15 Tackles: 22 Contract: 6 years – $24 million Summary: At the beginning of the season I believed Robertson’s performance to be one of the deciding factors of 2008. Most people have not noticed Robertson on the field due to his contract. It hasn’t been released yet if he played over 65% of the snaps but from what the field shows it didn’t seem like it. I had hoped he would give the young Marcus Thomas some veteran help but he only registered 1.5 sacks which the half sack came in the New England blowout and the full sack in the Chargers blowout. Robertson has cost Denver 4 million dollars of cap room in 2008 and could fill 3 million more in 2009. Grade: D
Acquired: Summer 08′ Games Started: 7 Tackles: 29 Contract: 1 year – $2 million Summary: McCree is known to be a hard hitter… I can’t think of one time this year when he hit someone hard enough for them to drop the ball. Also he didn’t force a single turnover in any of his games and defended only two passes. Uhh… thats like hiring a blind truck driver. Despite his injury rookie Josh Barrett would have eventually took his job. McCree signed a one year contract so his return is unlikely. Grade: F
Acquired: Summer 08′ Games Started: 14 Tackles: 83 Contract: 3 years – $4.5 million Summary: Manuel was just as effective as Marlon McCree the only difference was that he played more games. As a safety if you don’t cause any turnovers throughout the whole year what good are you? I guess Manuel could beg Ed Reed for one of his 10 turnovers or 16 defended passes. In the 14 games that Manuel started he had only 4 passes defended, the same amount of passes defended as Josh Barrett did in his 3 games started. Barrett actually managed a turnover in the form of a pick, something Manuel has done only twice in his career with 5 teams in 7 years. Unfortunately Manual is signed for 3 years with a contract up to $4.5 million… fortunately only $500,000 of that is guaranteed. Grade: F
Acquired: Summer 08′ Games Started: 0 Tackles: 12 Contract: 3 years – $7.5 million Summary: This guy was supposed to come in and put Nate Webster out of a job. He couldn’t even beat him out. There isn’t much to say about Koutouvides because he didn’t do much. There’s 15 letters in his full name and he registered 12 tackles on the year… good job Niko. To add insult to injury we signed him to a 3 year $7.5 million deal, thats an expensive mediocre special teams player. Grade: F
The 2008 season was the season of what-ifs. What if Boss Bailey can play solid SAM? What if DeWayne Robertson can cause presure? What if Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree can play solid at safety? What if Niko can cause ruckus at MIKE? None of those happened.
A lot of Denver fans out there are disappointed with the firing of Mike Shanahan, but his signing of these players are part of the reason why he’s gone. You can blame it on Bob Slowik but Shanahan made the choice to hire him. As a head coach you take full responsibility for the decisions made underneath you. If Denver has any chance of the playoffs next year the defense needs to step up considerably and the new coach cannot afford to sign players of this caliber.