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Published on 03/02/2010 at Tue Mar 02 08:45.
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The Darrent Williams trial continues this week and the prosecution is using everything they have. Let’s hope it’ll be enough.

  • “Drug Dealer Testifies that Clark was the lone shooter in Darrent Williams’ death.” [DPO]
  • Another witness testifies that he saw Willie Clark shoot as well. [DPO]
  • Frank Schwab weighs in on Josh McDaniels’ comments at the combine. [CSG]
  • Is Chris Simms on HGH? Really? [PFT]
  • Josh McDaniels has “high hopes” for Tom Brandstater. []
  • The Broncos 2009 fourth round pick Seth Olsen is expected to get a shot to start at left guard. [DPO]

Around the League

  • Jay Cutler needs to take out a wanted ad for a new left tackle now that Chicago has cut Orlando Pace. [ESPN]
  • The Jets are expected to release RB Thomas Jones despite just having a career season, putting up over 1,100+ yards for five straight seasons, and tallying 6,378 yards since 2005. [ESPN]
  • Apparently Jets players aren’t too happy about Jones’ imminent release as well. [NY Daily News]
  • Shawne Merriman is expected to receive the highest tender a restricted free agent can get, and he’s not too happy about it. [PFT]
  • The Redskins are expected to bid on Julius Peppers. Which makes one think if Mike Shanahan would have pursued Peppers last season if he wasn’t fired. [Washington Post]
  • Jeff McLane thinks that the Eagles will take part in the Peppers war as well. []
  • Could LaDanian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles possibly end up on the same team next season? Dan Synder might provide the financial means. [ESPN & PFT]
  • Kyle

    Interesting point about Shanny-Peppers

  • herc_rock

    Ponytail Harris is the only witness ID'ing Clark.

  • Hope

    It is a trip to see Mike Shannahan on Redskins T.V..I guess its hadn't sunk in yet but it's realy strange.It's kind of sad realy.

  • Gary R.

    First Josh says that Mike Nolan RUN-blitzed too much. Then, a few weeks after the Nolan firing's bad-press has dissipated, we hear that McDaniels thought that the Broncos blitzed too much OVERALL last season (which the facts simply don't bear out, as we actually blitzed the QB much less in the latter weeks of our collapsing 2009 season).

    Meanwhile, Shanahan may have Orakpo, Peppers and Haynesworth to rush the passer (while we have half-a-pass-rusher and his nearest pass-rushing collaborator……….. wait, I'm still thinking…….. still ruminating…… Kenny Peterson?)

    Why do the lyrics of The Who keep resonating in my head (“meet the new boss, same as the old boss”).

    As much as Mike and Josh would publicly bristle at the comparison, the similarities are way more than their differences WHILE IN DENVER (much like Obama won't be readily admitting that he's the same as Bush on 98% of the issues).

    Boy, do I ever hate it when things don't change in this naive and easily-manipulated cow-town (with the mostly-symbolic exceptions of drafting a RB in round-one, never calling a single Sprint Option Right call– despite our pathetic red-zone offense– and switching to a 3-4).

    You either bring in pass-rushers, as Dan Snyder is overseeing, or you have to supplement a meager pass-rush with blitzing. Say what you want about Mike, but he's learned from his Denver experience and is getting paid more than any other coach to be bankrolled by a free-spending owner while adding the pieces he lacked in Colorado (which will allow him to avoid blitzing too much, now that he can bring the heat naturally).

    But, here in Denver, we seem to be returning to the mindless embrace of another decade with option #3 (whose only advantage is making it harder for D.P. columnists to blame a loss on a blitz that was picked up and led to a touchdown).

    Meanwhile, the countless plays when agonizingly slow-but-steady, take-what-the-defense-gives-you TD drives– from Cincy in week-one to JM Russell's at the tail-end of the season– escape scrutiny for how easily they capitalize on Denver's prevent defense.

    Does Pat Bowlen not understand that coaches should be judged by the results on the field? That changing faces at head-coach while doing nothing to fundamentally alter our non-aggressive and non-effective pass-defense will only trick the fan-base for so long?

    Not only did well-timed blitzing– especially from our defensive-backs– lead to at least two of our first six-victories, when our offense wasn't putting up over 24 points a game. But, without adding Orakpo to bookend Dumervil last Spring, we will probably go into 2010 without adding anyone to pressure the quarterback (and won't even have Nolan to supplement the situation by dialing up some added-pressure).

    I hope I'm wrong, but Wink Martindale has been handpicked by McDaniels (much like Xanders was handpicked by the head-coach Bowlen hired before the new GM).

    Can't Bowlen ever acknowledge the benefits of not vesting all authority in one unaccountable individual (whose pride and inability to acknowledge mistakes may continue to guarantee the same errors being repeated)?

    For Nolan, at least, had enough independence to send an extra pass-rusher. But Martindale may be the new Jim Bates, just like Xanders may be the equivalent of Ted Sundquist.

    In other words, the same conservative defensive approach, the same “control-freak” lack of pressure and the same predictable results (except now there's a new, easily-manipulated, hand-picked fall-guy in waiting to buy the head-honcho another spin at the slots-machine).

    If Bowlen ever seriously considered hearing about alternatives to simply changing the face behind an inexpensive read-and-react defense– that the media and fan-base are annually assured will be more “aggressive” THIS season– why didn't he even interview Rex Ryan?

    I mean, when's the last time an organization vowed that the coming season's defense would be “more passive”???

    It reminds me of ego-maniacal head-coaches who think that their reliance on high-percentage passes somehow makes them a genius (unlike the 95% of other offensive play-callers who share the same exact propensity).

    Therefore, they don't have the stomach to stand for the game's outcome being determined on the other side of the field with defensive dice-rolling (led by an independent and highly-regarded D.C like Dick LeBeau).

    Which would be fine, and hardly worthy of comment, is said organization had the ability to pressure the QB occasionally with a normal 4-man pass-rush (whether from the 3-4 or 4-3 alignment).

    For switching to a 3-4 is simply arranging deck-chairs on the Titanic if the personnel don't exist to bring the heat (and fans only see more blitzes, since the OLB fourth-rusher makes it cosmetically more apparent that you are rolling-the-dice). In actuality, the 3-4 change could end up changing nothing in this regard, except Dumervil no longer starting the play with his hand on the ground! Big whoop, Josh.

    I hope I'm reading in too much from McDaniels's subtly-adjusted latest comments. But Nolan could hardly be blamed for blitzing the QB too much during our second-half unraveling. If anything, he blitzed too little (especially considering how it would have been foolish to utilize Ayers and Dumervil for anything other than rushing the QB, as fourth and fifth rushers).

    So, it smacks of scapegoating that our conservative offense and its over-reliance on Moreno is shifting blame on Nolan for anything other than run-blitzing too much.

    If we don't acquire a productive bookend pass-rusher opposite Dumervil and the pass-rush is supplemented less-and-less by a blitzing defender– while still lacking a double-team absorbing DT– I will feel just as misled as I now feel by Obama's promises to change the fundamental equation in the Wall Street money-controlled Capitol.

    And that is probably what will happen, since they are committed to Ayers providing that pressure (now that we invested a 1st round pick for him). The only possible agent-of-change to disprove my skepticism would be the immediate benefits of a DT, whose presence might free-up Ayers to finally start producing more pressures and sacks (unlike last season with Ronald Fields).

    I suppose getting double-teamed attention from a physically-dominating DT– like only McCoy and Suh may currently guarantee- could be the missing ingredient to allowing Ayers to flourish in his second-season (and provide a balanced pass-rush like Pittsburgh has with Harrison and Woodley consistently supplying pressure behind their stouter front-three).

    If so, we may be able to skate by without adding another pass-rusher on the outside. But that depends on getting an immediate-impact DT (that Cody, Odrick, Price, Houston and maybe even Dan Williams may not be strong enough to provide).

    Thus, trading-up to draft McCoy or Suh may be the best low-risk move for a franchise that desperately needs to acquire a DT to build around (as contractually counter-intuitive as it may first seem) .

    Even if we have to trade Marshall to acquire him, I'd rather go into the season with an over-reliance on double-TE's and an assortment of #2 receivers (like Royal, Lloyd, Gaffney, McKinley and a player to be named later).

    For Orton isn't going to be lighting up the scoreboard with a 4,000 yard passing-campaign anyhow and it seems far preferable than risking another positional-need motivated REACH-PICK by drafting a WR too high (in a shallow WR talent-pool draft, when we should be trying to capitalize on the availability of McCoy and Suh).

    Thus, reaching too-high for a WR or dropping too low for a DT– who may end up tying up our salary-cap and therefore preventing us from re-addressing the position until 2014 or beyond– are my two biggest and most-likely-to-happen fears.

    We can already see how drafting Ayers will handcuff us from drafting a pass-rushing specialist at OLB like Northwestern's Jason Taylor'sh Wootton (or one of the highly-rated attacking TCU OLB's in the coming draft). The only thing that would exacerbate that error, is wasting a lower first-or-second-round pick on a DT, who ends up providing no more impact than Monsanto Pope, Ronald Fields or Carlton Powell.

    Leaving this draft with McCoy or Suh would, at least, guarantee that 2010 left us with a seven-year building-block (instead of seven question-marks that we can't even begin to build around, like last April).

    If we have to go into 2010 without as strong a receiving corps, It'd still be worth it (especially compared with last year's harvest that seems closer to bust-ville than bumper-crop).

    Sorry for the length, but my regular blogging-spot keeps shortening the available KB for broncos emails (and simply suggesting names to be drafted doesn't allow a Broncomaniac like me to unravel the rationale and reasons for such a risky move up).

  • Plato

    It wasn't that there was too much blitzing, it's that the blitzing was at the wrong times. Time after time Denver would get blown up by a DB blitz. Hence the reason why Brent Celek had over 100 yards in the first half. All of a sudden Nolan was told stop blitzing as much and then the defense shut McNabb down.

    Same thing happened in the Colts game.

  • Gary R.

    Well, Plato, you are indeed correct. So perhaps the DP article was simplifying McDaniels complaints (while sacrificing the nuance that you and I agree with).

    I, too, was frustrated with the way we throttled Peyton Manning by not blitzing between the second-quarter and the late fourth-period (only to lose our nerve and blitz on those three key Dallas Clark receptions of 20+ yards on their victory-clinching drives).

    Just like you noticed how open Brent Celek was down the seam when we sent Safety blitzes after McNabb at Philly.

    So, perhaps I was making too much out of a poorly-implied restating of McDaniels' ostensible critique about Nolan (whom we both noticed didn't really blitz all that much against opposing QB's once those dramatic Goodman and Hill blitzes were mostly shelved after the bye-week).

    But I sympathize with Josh's frustration with the Colts game, since blitzing Peyton Manning only seems to work 1% of the time. Now, the Saints victory-clinching Tracy Porter INT did come on a blitz, but part of the credit goes to Porter and DC Gregg Williams preparing the swivel-hipped Saints DB's to anticipate Indy's money-routes (that they correctly surmised would be dialed-up by Tom Moore and Manning while trying to even the score).

    The Rex Ryan-led blitzing, however, stopped paying dividends by the end of the second-quarter (as have a great many teams that have tried blitzing Peyton).

    So, I hope Martindale chooses whom to blitz more wisely than Nolan (as making things as easy as possible for a JaMarcus Russell is hardly advisable). Not only that, but it harkens back to how Shanny's defensive-coordinators did the same thing to mediocre QB's in the last decade (by basically daring them to take what the defense readily gave them).

  • MrEast

    “But I sympathize with Josh's frustration with the Colts game, since blitzing Peyton Manning only seems to work 1% of the time.”

    Haha indeed.

    When I was at the first preseason game against the 49ers I started to notice the ineffectiveness of the DB blitz.

    Damon Huard (yes Damon Huard) threw a touchdown pass to a wide open Britt Miller (a rookie LINEBACKER) because Vernon Fox was sent to blitz instead of covering.

    That kind of play plagued Denver for rest of the season, and to give McDaniels credit, it was Nolan's fault.