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Published on 01/15/2009 at Thu Jan 15 12:10.
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Offensive Line

Offensive Line

As a fan who is interested in some of the more technical details of football, one that that has greatly concerned me is whether or not McJosh is going to retain or get rid of the zone blocking system.

Personally, I can’t see how we could possibly do better; the zone blocking scheme asks personnel to do a completely different job than a more traditional blocking system, with an emphasis on agility rather than on bulk. Our personnel are geared toward that.

And they’ve been very successful. Depending upon the statistics you look at, they were either the best offensive line in football or the second best last season, and that was with a rookie and a might-as-well-be a rookie on the ends. If there’s any single group on the Denver Broncos that you absolutely, positively do not want to blow up, it’s the offensive line.

During the press conference it wasn’t clear but it sounded like the zone blocking scheme might go. But McJosh turned around on that a little later:

“We use a lot of the same blocking schemes and run-game schemes that they’ve used. I know they get a lot of attention for that and it’s something you don’t look to pull the plug on unless you have something better to do. So we’re going to see.”

Now, in my eyes, I don’t see where you’re going to have something better to do, not with the personnel group we have, and why would you want to change out the personnel we have? Clady was named 2nd All-Pro, and that’s a big deal in a left tackle. And Harris got a vote for that team too. The only thing you have to worry about in the near future is how long Wiegmann can keep going.

(Here’s the full Denver Post article where I got this quote)

  • kerry

    we do not have the O-linemen to scrap the zone blocking scheme. that traditional blocking scheme of just mauling D-linemen requires bigger more powerful guys. and when 2 of our guys weigh less then 300 pounds (Hamilton, Weigmann) we have to stick with the ZBS (zone blocking scheme)

  • Danish Denver-fan!

    I agree!

    Wiegmann is the only concern (and he’s even going to Hawaii). That and Ben Hamiltons skull, basically… I can’t help but feel like he’s one blow to the head away from being done.

  • Dakota fan

    Kerry- I agree that we can’t scrap the zone blocking system. My opinion is that the traditional “pancake block” system is a dying thing. With the size, quickness, agility and strength of defensive ends and other D-linemen today, I don’t understand how teams can have a traditional blocking scheme unless they’ve got Jonathan Ogden sized players. Frankly I don’t know how these guys can get any bigger.

    ESPN headline ten years from today: “NFL Team Signs Its First 8 Foot Tall Player”

  • Dakota fan

    Also- Casey Wiegmann should be ranked in the league’s top 5 for last season’s free agent pickups. Without having been on the field with them, you can see how his veteran presence helped mold Clady and Harris. Even though there was a veteran on the line already, the center makes it happen.


  • jcampb72

    they better staying with the zone blocking scheme unless they plan on scraping the o line….maybe clady could stay though….idiots.

  • Richard

    Ok ladies, don’t get your knickers in a bunch. Nobody but a complete idiot would scrap the ZBS on this team when we run it as well as we do. That means that we quit fa**ing around and get Dennison on board ASAP. He’s certainly earned his position and deserves to stay.

    I will also put my vote in for Jim Ryan to stay as linebackers coach. I might be wrong but he might have been a 3-4 linebacker for us when Nolan was linebackers coach. Unless theres bad blood between them, Ryan certainly proved that he can coach up rookies (Larson and Woodyard) and get them to play well. He also deserves to stay. Other than Rich Tuten, no one on D should be retained.

  • Jordan C

    It was just annouced in the RMN that Bobby Turner, the Running Backs coach will stay. That’s a good sign. We may have to play a waiting game with Dennison since he’s interviewed for at least one OC position. If Dennison goes, then the zone blocking scheme may not with no one to continue to teach these young guys how to do it well.

  • Jordan C

    correction – “…the zbs may not work well with no one…”

  • Danish Denver-fan!

    Yes, Jordan – good sign. It wouldn’t make sense changing a scheme, Turner has spent hi entire career designing backs for…

    God, I hate changing coaches…

  • hercules rockefeller

    Wiegmann was better last year than Nails was at any point over the last five.

  • MikeY55

    dennison won’t be retained sorry fellas! it would be nice to see if we could find a guard in the mid rounds to train up to be hamiltons replacement… it looks like lichensteiger is the “future” at center but then again so was that bum who played in europe and was slowww as hellll to the second level man i can’t even remember his name!

  • MikeY55

    because if lichsteneiger turns out to be a good replacement and the hopefull rookie we get in the draft this year turns out okay then BAM good o-line for years!!… still hate the decision to trade chris myers he had a pretty good year in houston if we kept him he could have played center and lichsteneiger coulda been guard sighh…. and our trades this year made absolutly no sense! montrae holland our only real “bruiser” on the oline last year traded away for a 4th or 5th? chris myers traded for a 4th i think kerry colbert traded for a 5th to seattle to later be cut but we trade one of our solid up and coming guys for a 7th in foxy who played really well for atlanta oh waitt!!! if he resigns it goes up to a 6th!!!!!! still one round less then the cast off kerry colbert no sense

  • Richard

    Mike your panties are in a big bunch. The powers that be got what they could for the players you mentioned. I doubt that they need to explain it to you. Time to stop worring about the past it isn’t going to change. The important thing is what happens next. Unless you have phycic powers you don’t know whether Dennison stays or goes, and you won’t know any sooner than the rest of us.

  • dazbroncos

    The biggest thing now that Turner is on board is to keep Dennison.

    He learnt the zbs from Alex ” The Master in the blue Beanie” Gibbs and has done a great job passing it on. Now no one is indespensable – just ask Shanny – but with a newish system with new terms and wrinkles etc its important to get this done. Also, for the O Line to gel and get better (they are really good but will get even better) i think he needs to be a part of it. Also, we saw what happened when Harris was out and Kory had to cover for a few plays – he got murdered – and JC saw the turf.

    They all just need more time…. and Dennison will help that…

  • Kurtis

    McJosh, haha, I like that. Did you coin that one yourself? I agree though, there’s no way we can change our zone blocking scheme, that has been THE ONE constant over the years. I’m excited for this year, our offense will be even better and Mike Nolan is in charge of the defense so we should see some improvement on that side!!

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Kurtis: Yea, while I was writing that. Wouldn’t surprise me if I saw it somewhere else and just don’t remember, though. But I like it, I think I’m keeping it, at least for awhile. Coach McJosh.

    There’s not a lot of excitement for Nolan from a lot of the media, but head coaching is a lot different than being a coordinator. It’s like they’re two different jobs as near as I can tell. Woody Paige was going on about how his teams never won playoff games but it seemed like his defenses were always pretty up there. We’ll have to see.

  • jchase8410

    Wow, I read that Woody Paige article on Nolan. Woody had absolutely nothing nice to say about Mike Nolan…infact it was pretty brutal from the first sentence.

  • flbronc

    does woody have anything nice to say about anybody these days? i’m pretty sure he’s down on the whole world. must suck to have his world view.

    i’m trying to put myself in McD’s shoes, i guess he’d have to look at protection and run productivity before making a change from the system. given our stats last year, i would think he would lean toward retaining the system in place. the only reason he might scrap it is if he has someone in mind to coach the ol who doenst use the zbs. keeping bobby turner will help. if dennison leaves for a promotion, i cant say i blame him at all. replacing him will be difficult but not impossible. we’d hire for the ol part of his job, not the half oc position he held. there are plenty of guys capable of coming in and coaching the zbs… heck you could even go into the college ranks and pull someone from one of the programs who successfully use that technique to be the ol coach.

  • Anthony33

    If JMac can figure out how to weave his passing attack and qb coaching skills with our, what has been called by many broadcast teams,”vaunted” running attack, you now have the makings of an amazing offense. Turner is part one, Dennison is critical as well. Bates, not so sure.

    Woody has had a bug up his a** ever since Bowlen slam dunked him during the ‘firing’ press conderence when Woody asked him a stupid question that was intended to make Bowlen look like a fool. Bowlen answered the question truthfully and made Woody look like the fool.
    I’ve always liked Woody because he is a great writer and you feel like you know the guy with some of the heart felt articles he has done over the years. But damn Woody, lighten up a bit until they at least play a couple of games.

  • Jordan C

    If Dennison gets promoted to another team (except another AFC West team), couldn’t be happier for him. However, just because the zbs has become more ubiquitous in the pros and in college, doesn’t mean that there are a lot of options to replace Dennison. Alex Gibbs and then Dennison set the bar, defined the way a zbs should be run. If I were charged with finding a replacement, I would look at the Texans staff, someone currently being tutored directly be Gibbs now.

  • Dakota fan

    Legwold with the RMN just put it out that Dennison will be retained as the O-line coach. I’m glad they hung onto him. I wasn’t so sure about him early on, but he’s become one of my favorite coaches to have on the staff.

    I won’t make any predictions because I suck at it, but Coach McDaniels’ new staff members plus a few of the old favorites (Bobby T, Dennison) could make this a fun year to watch.

  • adam

    Rocky Mountain news is reporting that Dennison is staying put in Denver! That is a big deal.

  • Jordan C

    That’s a huge relief. I’m having fun imagining D-Coordinators trying to figure out what to do when they don’t know if the Broncos are going to line up in a spread formation or a jumbo package on first down!

  • Jordan C

    I’m curious if the Broncos need to hire a OC. They don’t have one do they? Does Dennison count? Will he retain the title? I’m curious to see what the leadership structure looks like with McD planning on a larger role with the QBs and with play calling.

  • MIAbronco

    i think mcd should run whatever he wants because i dont want to see him fail because he tried to make people happy by running the zone blocking scheme

  • MikeY55

    my panties aren’t in a bunch richard i’m just saying the the best player we traded last season we got the least amount for.. i mean its incomparable that domonique foxworth for a 7th compared to kerry colbert getting a 5th and this is an article i read

    don’t know how to link it but it says here

    Dennison was an assistant to former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan for 14 years, also coaching the offensive line. He won’t be retained on new Denver coach Josh McDaniels’ staff, but his interview with San Francisco was set up before Shanahan was fired.

    The 49ers added two assistant coaches

  • Steven

    I believe dennison was the oc last season(in title anyways). Bates was qb’s coach and passing game coordinator.

  • broncoNM

    Peppers wants out of Carolina. What are the chances that we land him?

  • steve

    i hope we do whatever we need to get him. talk about a game changer..

  • broncoNM

    ESPN blog is reporting that carolina’s QB coach Mike McCoy will join the broncos coaching staff. Possibly as OC.

    I have no idea who this guy is?

  • hercules rockefeller

    Another Mac?

    Well, that’ll just about do it for Dennison.

  • Jordan C

    Dennison is staying. Why would you hire a QB coach from Carolina. They didn’t exactly coach up anyone when Jakey was out. And I haven’t seen a good QB in Carolina since…yeah.

  • Richard

    Now that it’s a done deal that ZBS is here to stay, shouldn’t we start seeing some progress on assembling a D staff.

    If we’re serious about a 3-4, how about Rubin Carter for line coach? He’s been coaching on a lower level but it’s still coaching. What about Pepper Johnson for linebackers? Any thoughts on Db coach?

  • MikeY55

    if carolina slaps a tag on him offer them our first round pick for him… we won’t find anyone better then peppers to step right in at 12 hes still pretty young to under 30

  • dee

    Hey Guys here is a question for you agree or disagree… considering we are in a new era for the broncos and there is change all over the organization I say it is time for Jay Cutler to get rid of the mop on his head and get a proper haircut … your thoughts ? Agree/Disagree… I think he should go for a new look …

  • Roy

    Yeah, Cutler should shave it all off.

  • T

    What about goin to the Plummer mountain man look?

  • Jordan C

    I think the DC that was fired in Dallas has a history of coaching DBs, but I don’t know if he’s any good. It may be taking longer because they haven’t decide if they want to run a 4-3 or a 3-4.

    They only will pursue Peppers if it’s a 4-3. His down year last year makes me question him.

  • Jordan C

    I take that back about Peppers. Did you know he’s 6-7 280?! Maybe he could play in a 3-4 at DE. What beast he would be at OLB?!

  • CJ

    Stick to the topic no man in the right mind would get rid of the zone blocking scheme! A great example TERREL DAVIS over 2000 yards! if denver can get a decent back they could do it all over again! if we want to make it to the promise land you need a running back

  • MikeY55

    jordan c i’m pretty sure peppers wants to play OLB because he is such a freak athlete he could probably put up demarcus ware sacks numbers

  • Jordan C

    Heck yeah, but he’s going to cost a few bucks!

  • KirkA

    Man. All these questions regarding Mike McCoy. We Broncos fans should be ecstatic that we’ve landed him . If that guy could turn Jake Delhomme into a decent quarterback imagine what he’ll be able to do with our boy.