Denver Broncos blog, news and rumors



Tom Brandstater throws a pass as Kyle Orton and Mike McCoy look on during 2009's training camp. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Tom Brandstater throws a pass as Kyle Orton and Mike McCoy look on during 2009's training camp. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

In a move that’s not going to be news to most fans, the Indianapolis Colts have signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Tom Brandstater.

What does this mean and why would a quarterback, of all the draftable positions, not be good enough for the Broncos, but good enough for the Colts?

Yes, I know, the Colts employed Curtis Painter as their back-up last season. The guy played six quarters last season and ended up ruining what could have been another 16-0 season in the NFL.

Well, that’s six times as many quarters as Brandstater has played in the NFL.

Well, at least Brandstater landed on his feet.

Brandstater, as my colleague Dave Krieger (who am I kidding, I blog, Krieger is a consummate professional and a gentleman) pointed out in one of his last musings at The Denver Post the Brandstater watch is over.

Fans expected young Brandstater to ride the bench (and the Orton era out), until he was ready to take over. Fans ultimately gave it two months and even I was calling for Brandstater about three minutes into the first Chris Simms performance of 2009. I don’t see how Brandstater could have done much worse, but what would be said about Josh McDaniels had he started Brandstater over Simms against the San Diego Chargers. The risk outweighed the reward, but I can imagine he gave it heavy thought following the Washington Redskins.

Now Brandstater’s a Colt and by default a perennial Super Bowl contender, but why him? Hundreds of Broncos fans said the words ‘Brandstater’, ‘Super Bowl’, ’2012′ with the word ‘Madden’ inserted in between last year around this time… Maybe I was just talking to myself one-hundred times.

Hey, I was wrong once (but it was just to see what it felt like), I couldn’t see Denver giving up on Brandstater this quickly. Heck, mark my words, the Broncos will sign another quarterback before training camp starts. Despite McDaniels saying that he can only see carrying two quarterbacks on the active roster this season. There are just too many receivers in Denver for three quarterbacks to throw to during training camp.

The really troubling part is this; once again, no one expects the Broncos to do anything this season. Yes, this is a very fair assessment, Denver’s heading into their fifth season since they’ve been in the playoffs. They’re in the second year with a young coach, no 1,000-yard rusher, three Pro Bowlers on the roster (a tackle, a cornerback and a safety), Kyle Orton at quarterback and not a single receiver that anyone outside of Denver could name.

You know what though? I pointed it out in my last long article did anyone give the Colts more of a run for their money than the Broncos last season outside of the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl? Here’s the long list of who in the AFC could match up or beat the Colts this season:

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (with Ben Roethlisberger)
  • New England Patriots
  • Houston Texans

…and the Denver Broncos.

The Texans, Patriots, Chargers and Broncos all play the Colts this in the regular season this year. The Texans, the Colts can’t avoid, they play them twice a year by default, the Patriots and Chargers, they seem to pull every season as well. The Broncos typically only get the Colts following a less than first place finish by the team. During the regular season games the Colts and Broncos seem to flip-flop wins and losses (I said regular season, not playoffs).

And now… As my childhood radio hero Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story…

Brandstater was hand-picked by McDaniels, then hand-picked by him to be cut in favor of better choices: Orton, Brady Quinn and rookie Tim Tebow. However, Brandstater was good enough for the Colts.

Why?

The move for Brandstater says two things about the Colts: they either respect McDaniels choice and scouting of quarterbacks or they’re worried about the Broncos. The later makes much more sense, reminiscent of when Mike Shanahan picked up Brandon Stokley following the 2006 season after falling so much in love with coaching Peyton Manning following the 2005 Pro Bowl. Either one should mean a lot to Broncos and their fans.

The Colts are worried about the Broncos and McDaniels is 1-0 against the Patriots. That’s not mathematics, but it is two of the three teams (other than the Chargers, whom the Broncos have split with games with over the last two seasons) that control the AFC and the road to the Super Bowl.

I can hear it now from the comments section reach! Yet, it’s undeniable, McDaniels may not have the respect of the writers, sports commentators or fans, but he’s got it from the coaches of the NFL.

  • hope

    Your just now writing about Tom Brandstater were have you ben.Lost in some kind of jungle or somthing.
    Broncos should of kept tom and got rid of Kyle Orton.

  • Dan

    Colts are one of the best player/personnel management teams in the league. Hopefully they took Tom because he came cheap relative to his arm strength and intelligence, they have back-up QB weakness on their team, and Tom spent 1 year training under McD which like him or not means something in this league. Plus, when we face the Colts in week 3, Tom will give them a very good inside consultant to further increase their chances of beating us. I hope Tom makes the team and wish him all the best.

  • Nisse

    when manning quits playing, the colts will be the new bills.

  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    We wrote about him before, but him being claimed off of waivers is fairly more recent. It's more about the team that picked him up and why they'd want him..

  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    Dan, exactly. It's an effort to get a win against the Broncos. That had to have at least factored into it a little.

  • rcsodak

    How do you figure he'll help them out? He was lackadaisical in practicing, and couldn't pick up the system. Not to mention, he threw more passes to the defenders than to wr's, and that was just during passing camp.
    He's a warm body. Period.

    And maybe, just maybe, the colts had him on their radar last year when McD picked him up.

    But to say he'll help them beat Denver? LMAO! Indy hasn't needed help doing that since…..well……..Q ate them up.

  • herc_rock

    We haven't beat the Colts in six years. They don't really need some scrub QB's help to kick our heads in.

  • Dan

    HR,

    A well coached team can beat the Colts. Just ask the Saints. We can beat the Colts. The Colts have been getting away with murder in a BS division and with weak schedules for too many years. Are they good…Yes…But do you think they would have had that record playing our schedule last year? No way.

    In fact, I think the AFC West is going to give them a lot of trouble this year. I love the Chiefs draft this year, and I love their coaches (Haley, Weiss, and Crennel will not make it easy for us or the Colts) and don't forget that Pioli is also a stud…They are quickly becoming a problem not just for us but for other teams too…They can beat the Colts…you watch.

    Same with the Raiders to a lesser extent because of their lower quality coaches, but they just had a good draft too, and they finally got rid of JR.

    The Chargers will give the Colts trouble too. There were hints of the AFC West giving teams trouble last year, but teams like the Colts are going to get a taste first hand this year! They will be lucky to win 2 of the 4 games. I am just sorry that we don't face them later in the season, but at least we get them at home. In addition, at least we don't have to face their fast defense with a zone blocking scheme…That went no where that last few times that we played them…Please let us have a healthy o-line and a stronger Moreno so we can see if we can run on Bob “All Man” Sanders, Mathis, Freeney, and Bethea…Holy crap that would feel good!

  • Lanlandingstrip37

    Good piece, Ian. I'd add that Tom's height and ability to buy time by stepping into the pocket– yet, like Manning, not being a running-threat– assures that he'll be a prospect to groom that the offensive-line and receivers can adjust to in an emergency (unlike Sorgi-fish or Painter's Wagon).

    He may also clue in the defensive-staff about some Broncos audible-type lingo (which, I presume, is what you were alluding to with the Brandon Stokely reference the other way around). Of course, we must play the Colts every season (it seems).

    I know you meant head-to-head in your point, but I'd also list the Dolphins as being capable of beating the Colts (for the first time since young Peyton faced off with Dan Marino in his final seasons).

    Add Brandon– 21 catches against their secondary– Marshall, both Chad's at QB and Karlos Dansby at ILB and you have an even stronger team (with many under-rated prospects who will now be suitable for their more-realistic roles).

    To wit, WR's Greg Camarillo, the under-valued young Rod Smith-like Davonne Bess and even flanker Brian Hartline make a nice bunch of #2 thru #4 wide-outs (now that Brandon Marshall's Dwight Howard-width shoulders are carrying the load as the X-Man).

    I see both wild-card spots coming from the competitive AFC East this season, and I shouldn't even have to specify which Northern-most clime is out-of-the-running for this expected triumvirate. Which is why Denver may need to go six seasons before the fruits of Josh's rebuilding begin to be harvested.

    Of course, if Jamal “The Manster” Williams plays like he's capable– and Ryan Mathews plays like he's not– the difference between us and the Chargers may not be be so vast as to be un-bridgable.

    One can always hope. But I like a head-coach who isn't afraid to think long-term and invest in guys like Decker, Thomas and Tebow (who are more likely to pay deferred dividends instead of immediately plugging holes in the Shanahan-like patch-and-go paradigm that Redskins GM Bruce Allen should be awfully familiar with from his Dad's veteran preferences).

    Granted that Brandstater was only playing in pre-season– and we didn't see him on the practice-field or handling situational queries in Josh's classroom– but one would have to be willfully blind to not see his potential in last years instinctive exhibition performances.

    I wanted him to land on his feet– but in the NFC– when I heard he was cut. Hopefully, we'll never have to regret cutting him loose for nothing (unlike the Chargers who developed Charlie Whitehurst and got some compensation when Pete Carroll took a “Dixie Flyer” on the young, third-year ex-Clemson signal-caller).

    That's a musical reference from last night's “Treme” on HBO, J.K.K. Great Randy Newman song, b.t.w. (“outta New Orleans”).

  • Sptsfan22

    I agree but Tebow is slowly moving up the list…..magical things WILL happen

  • Jackfnburton

    I think it is as simple as McDaniels put it. It wasn't that Brandstater was bad, it was that Orton, Tebow and Quinn were better. You could do worse than to feel like you're that deep at QB this early in the year.

    Good luck to Tom. He deserves it.

  • Scott Clark

    The Denver Broncos are like any other type of business. They have to pay there employees with the money they earn from denver brono ticket sales and spend on players. If a business had too many employees they would have to cut somebody, which is what the broncos did with their quarterbacks.

  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    Sorry that I'm not able to address this as well as your post deserves, let me simply refer to you as Lan =)

    Thank you, you understood my exact point. If the Broncos are some how able to replicate last season's fast break and go 6-0 out of the gate, (Jacksonville, Seattle, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Baltimore and the Jets) then we have a Super Bowl contender… The Colts are likely seeing the same red as I am, but not as urgently as at the hand as the Broncos have been dealt (Houston, Giants, Broncos, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Washington). They are looking at a season that could have them starting at 0-3…

    Don't laugh! The Texans are always capable of beating the Colts, the Giants no one ever knows how good they'll be, but play much better at the beginning of the season then at the end.

    And the Broncos… Well, fans, you never know… I'd rather play the Colts in week three than week fourteen, that's for sure.

    As for the Dolphins, I'm still not worried until they pick up a Kyle Orton type quarterback (or actually Kyle Orton) next season. The team that scares me the most in the AFC in 2010 is the Baltimore Ravens, they did nothing but get better this off-season. The Jets (ditto) can have the same said for them, followed by the Colts and the ::cough:: Chargers and finally the Patriots. The Jets still need to prove it and the one thing that I'll hold against San Diego all of next season is that playoff game.

  • http://nation.theorangepage.com/blog Ian Henson

    Sorry that I'm not able to address this as well as your post deserves, let me simply refer to you as Lan =)

    Thank you, you understood my exact point. If the Broncos are some how able to replicate last season's fast break and go 6-0 out of the gate, (Jacksonville, Seattle, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Baltimore and the Jets) then we have a Super Bowl contender… The Colts are likely seeing the same red as I am, but not as urgently as at the hand as the Broncos have been dealt (Houston, Giants, Broncos, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Washington). They are looking at a season that could have them starting at 0-3…

    Don't laugh! The Texans are always capable of beating the Colts, the Giants no one ever knows how good they'll be, but play much better at the beginning of the season then at the end.

    And the Broncos… Well, fans, you never know… I'd rather play the Colts in week three than week fourteen, that's for sure.

    As for the Dolphins, I'm still not worried until they pick up a Kyle Orton type quarterback (or actually Kyle Orton) next season. The team that scares me the most in the AFC in 2010 is the Baltimore Ravens, they did nothing but get better this off-season. The Jets (ditto) can have the same said for them, followed by the Colts and the ::cough:: Chargers and finally the Patriots. The Jets still need to prove it and the one thing that I'll hold against San Diego all of next season is that playoff game.