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December 28, 2008 11:24 PM

Broncos Fold at the Finish


Going, going, gone

And so this season of frustration is finally over. Much like all of 2008, get it over with, put it out of it's misery and leave us all alone to enjoy the rest of our winter of discontent. Let the debates begin. Shanahan stays or goes, Cutler is good or bad, is there a running back in the house, the Champ Bailey trade was a bust, can Brandon Marshall stay out of trouble, and will the Broncos ever rise again? Suffice to say it's over, finished, cooked, out of here. Good riddance, Broncos. May 2009 be a kinder, gentler season. And, look at it this way, we don't have to sit through a sure blowout against the Colts in the first round. I'll hang my hat on that. I'm a glass half full kind of guy.


  • December 29, 2008

    4:51 AM

    dude writes:

    Well folks, as Drew so eloquently put it the race horse that is the 08 Broncos has been put out of its (and our) misery, THANK THE LORD!

    It would have been nice to see the Bronco make the playoffs, but they GAVE UP!! If you looked at the faces of the players during the ENTIRE 4th quarter you could see they had given up the game already. THere was no fight, no abbition, no spark, no leaders, basically NO HEART!! Thank you Drew for hitting the nail on the head.

    Now, everyone together, who are we going to blame? Should it be the management, the coach, the QB, the defensive coordinator????? I have complete faith in the usual commentators on this site that there will be a lot of firings required but I for think that the team has promise for next year. We need some help on defense, a lot of help on defense. We need a solid and healty running back. Guess what the team is not that far off of being REALLY good, it just needs to make good choices in the off season. Let's find a couple of GOOD, consistant corners, two consistant players for safety and another linebacker like Webster can be. The offense (and I know there are a lot of you that will disagree) is good the way that they are and even show signs of being GREAT (minus the running back problem)! Cutler needs to take control but his errors this year are not that unexpected. What is a shame is that the offense has to put of 40 plus points to win cause the defense is so bad.

    Bottom line..... GO BRONCOS '09!!!

  • December 29, 2008

    7:39 AM

    Thrawn writes:

    I agree with everything Dude says, but he forgot to mention defensive line. If we get one of those, our secondary will improve by a good margin since they no longer have to cover receivers for an eternity.

    Considering that most of our offense is made up of second and third year players with a few exceptions, I would agree that they could really be something in a year or two.

    This thing about the Broncos having no heart goes back long before this game. It became evident against Kansas City the first time around once they were finally behind the eight ball when they quit doing what they were doing. This happened all year. The Jacksonville game got away from them after a good start once they started fumbling, they got skiddish on offense. It seems once they fall behind, it is rather easy for the game to get away from them. From the inability ofthe defense to actually stop anyone, and the offense sputteruing and stopping. This happened in just about every loss with the Cleveland game being the exception where they came back.

    Too many times after a loss this year, we'd see a parade of players saying they did not play their best game. I've given Shanahan a longer leash than most on this blog, but sooner or later, we have to start looking at Shanahan's ability to prepare the players and motivate them. I have not seen it for a couple of years now and too many blowouts in that time are the evidence.

  • December 29, 2008

    9:18 AM

    scott baker writes:

    Well i have been saying this for almost the past decade mike must go when a team quits like they did last night and previous games this year . Its time to start over Pat Bowlen must finaly see thats its time . Other teams have done it we can too. Im tired of being embarrased by the heartles performances by this team and im tired of being ashamed of this team. Mike Shanahan gave us some great super bowl wins which I will never forget but times change. He has had his time its time to move on GOD BLESS YOU MIKE AND GOODBYE

  • December 29, 2008

    9:44 AM

    Martin J. Juarez writes:

    So long Mike S. It's time for you to seek a different life that does not involve my Broncos. Ya you had the two Super Bowls wins. But nothing follows. Being a fan of this Team for more than 45 years, I still have my heart with the team I call "My Broncos".

  • December 29, 2008

    10:28 AM

    David writes:

    Just curious who are all of you who call for Mike Shanahan's head going to replace him with? That is a question I never really see an answer for. Also I'm sorry but when the Broncos go thru as many people as they have gone thru this season do you really expect that a superbowl berth is guaranteed? As for the no heart statement here's an ides to Drew and the rest of the armchair analysts feel free to submit your resume to the Broncos for the 2009 season if you think you can be a better coach than Mike.

  • December 29, 2008

    11:15 AM

    Chris writes:

    A firing is not what's needed here. It's a HIRING!! As in someone else to make personel decisions. Shanahan did not forget how to coach. Slowik is not the worst coordinator in the world. But the defense is full of guys that can't play at this level. Unfortunately for this team it's best and brightest up and coming defensive player is resting in peace.

    Also... the most embarrasing part of this team(more specifically, the defense) is the trash talking. Nothing irritates me more than the 28th defense in the league talking trash after making a tackle when they are trailing 21-6. Sign of the times I guess.

  • December 29, 2008

    11:25 AM

    Jordon writes:

    The team has no discipline! This is the reflection of the HEAD MAN. They are completely undisciplined on Defense and on offense at times. The future does indeed look bright on offense. They would have been 3-13 this year without the young talent that they had this year offensively. Cutler( Legit PRO BOWL regarless what Al Micheals says last night bout RIVERS.) Royal = stud, Marshall = Stud. Clady = Stud (who got the short end of the stick when it came to the Pro Bowl also). The issue still was that they didn't have a consistent running game this year and it does stink when you have to go through running backs every week. The problem with yesterday is that Shanny didn't stick with the run game. 2 TD's on the ground, that's what was working and he totally went away from it. Ok so your down and throwing the ball is an explanation but it wasn't consistently getting possitive yards the ground game was.
    Defense as I said is totally in a rebuilding stage. We desperately need a Mike Backer, Al Wilson was the heart of the defense all those years which is what is needed again. Sorry Webster just doesn't have the instincts of a great linebacker. The D-Line is still terrible and your right it doesn't help out the secondary at all when there is no pressure. What makes a good team is defense. You can have all the offense in the world but if the other team don't score they don't win. We put Up 48 and they put up 50 we lose. Shanny has to do some serious long building defensively to become a contender or 09' will be just another 08'

  • December 29, 2008

    11:47 AM

    Rickety Cricket writes:

    Mike Smith, John Harbaugh, Tony Sparano what do they have in common? Young QBs (excusing Pennington)with TEAMS around them, running games and defenses, and oh yeah, going to the playoffs! And they are FIRST year head coaches, new voices, with a fresh approach, and they got it turned around FAST. Shanny obviously cannot draft and develop defensive talent or find it in free agency, this defense couldn't stop my kids running the ball, it's time for us/him to move on, thanks for the memories!

    Cutler is not the problem, Royal, Marshall & Sheffler are not the problem. 4 guys cannot make all the plays, and scoring 21 points should at least keep you in a ball game, not get you blown out by 4 1/2 TD's

    The Eagles embarrassed the Cowgirls yesterday, and they did it with a play-making defense, McNabb was a footnote. (by the way Broncos fans, at least we can rejoice in not being the BIGGEST gag job in the NFL this year)

    Parcells is rumored to be going elsewhere next year. Do we really want him fixing the Raiders or Chiefs while we stand still and go after some more horrible defensive players?

    We need a GM who knows how to draft some talent on the defensive side of the ball.....BADLY!!!!!

    Hope the Chargers have fun getting their a** handed to them by Indy next week, glad it's not us!

  • December 29, 2008

    11:58 AM

    Jacob writes:

    The Broncos had one of the lowest team salaries in the NFL this season (about $95 million) and the salary cap should go up to about $120 million. The defense could be fixed with a few signings, here are some of the free agents this offseason: albert haynesworth, julius peppers, terrell suggs, bertrand berry (remember him?), ray lewis, karlos dansby, jonathan vilma, james farrior, willie mcginest, bart scott, nnamdi asomugha, mike brown, brian dawkins, dawan landry, chris gamble, rodney harrison, bryant mcfadden, lawyer milloy, and darren sharper. With 3 big signings (haynesworth, vilma, and asomugha?) and a solid draft this defense could at least be respectable in 2009.

  • December 29, 2008

    1:53 PM

    Jerry H writes:

    Injuries played a role this year, Running backs, linebackers etc. In reality though this defense was horrible last year and they were just as bad this year before the injury bug hit.

    When they were 13-3 three years ago they were agressive and attacked blitzing 9-10 players. Not this new sit back rush 3 and hope the quaterback misses the wide open receiver, not in this league. A by product of the passive nature of this defense is the lack of causing turnovers. It is just not happening; I am just amazed at how few this defense has created over the last few years. They basically need a new defensive line, two new linebackers, and new safeties especially one who can come into the box and stuff the run AKA..Atwater.

    Jake made some dumb mistakes, but I can live with most of those. The aggressive nature he has. I think the offense was good this year, good enough to be a championship caliber offense.

    Do I think Mike needs to go? Not really as long as he is willing to just COACH and help out with player personnel. Too big of a job for one guy ask Mike Holmgren.

    This years team was undisciplined and made stupid mistakes at crucial times, last nights game was evidence of that. And yes the trash talking after making one tackle is over the top, I love excitement and enthusiasm but at least act like you have tackled someone before, because these guys need to go back to tackling 101. The worst tackling defense I have seen in a long time.

    Maybe next year...hard to stomach one playoff win in 10 years, guess we got spoiled in the Elway years..

  • December 29, 2008

    2:08 PM

    syd s. writes:

    Speaking about free-agents!! Darren Sproles could help us out instead of burning us twice a year. Think what it would be like to start a drive after kickoff around the 40 or maybe run one back for TD???

  • December 29, 2008

    2:13 PM

    Casey writes:

    This game was completely predictable. The Broncos have absolutely no defensive line, and with a running back like Tomlinson you have to be able to stop the run. Once all the players are spent on trying to stop the run, the pass game becomes completely open. Get rid of the entire defensive line, and put some big mean guys in there that know how to tackle. That's what this team needs most.

  • December 29, 2008

    5:18 PM

    Atomicleo writes:

    Shanhan has to go!

    He is a terrible GM. If Miami can turn around from 1-15 to division winner in one of the toughest divisions in football we can turn around too. But we need a good GM. Shanhan is a horrible GM.

    Fire Shanhan OR tell him his GM days are over.

    Hire a GM and start loading up the D side of the ball

  • December 29, 2008

    11:56 PM

    Utenavajo writes:

    Fire Mike Shanahan now! This is getting old. Mike you need to go now, your unaccountability makes me sick for past Bronco debacles.....SF 2 seasons ago. Whats next your enaged to Pat Bowlen. The writings on the wall please front office pull the string!

  • December 30, 2008

    9:32 AM

    IdahoCharger writes:

    God forbid you guys pick up Sproles. Seems like everytime he touches the ball something exciting happens.

    You guys are way too hard on Shanahan. Any semblance of a defense whatsoever and you probably would have ended the Chargers season about 12 weeks in.

    Here's to many years of watching the Rivers/Cutler rivalry grow.

  • December 30, 2008

    11:40 AM

    Thrawn writes:

    From DAVID: "Just curious who are all of you who call for Mike Shanahan's head going to replace him with?"

    I myself have asked that question many times. But the more I examine this possibility, the more I come to understand the radical change this team will have to go through no matter who it is. This team has had the same philosophy since the mid 90's due to having Shanahan call the shots for that whole time. Who replaces him all depends on the direction Bowlen decides to take this team once Shanahan is gone. Once they figure that out, they can pick the best guy they can find to take them in that direction.

    I've stuck up for Shanahan for years, even this one, but eventually you are going to have to accept that his philosophy just isn't working anymore. Has it not become more obvious? I'd love to see someone else in charge of personnel and leaving Shanahan to coaching, but I am not sure Shanahan is willing to give that up. Are you fine with the status quo?

    Sure, his philosophy has kept them in the middle of the pack for a long time, and it has gotten them into the playoffs in several of the last 10 years. (Even if they did get their butts kicked in those playoff games.) I can appreciate that there have only been 2 losing seasons during his tenure. That is surely better than having a bunch of 4-12 seasons like Cincinatti or Arizona, but even that has started to slide as now the Broncos have not been to the playoffs for 3 years. Why? Because they can't seem to finish. They had that debacle against San Francisco, then the one against Buffalo when they had 3 chances to clinch the division. Too many times I see a team that looks like it quit out there and that seemed to be the theme all year

    It has been clear for years that aside from the 2005 season, the Broncos really have not had a decent chance at winning the super bowl. All I have seen over the years is denial. What do we have to show for it? A schizophrenic offense, and possibly the worst defense I have ever witnessed as a Bronco fan. A team where players after every loss looking like they were unprepared and saying they did not give their best effort.

    Getting kind of tired of hearing that every year. If not by now, then at what point do you finally realize that maybe it is time to cut bait and go into a new direction?

  • December 30, 2008

    3:11 PM

    Michael writes:

    It would be idiotic to get rid of Shanahan. I am sick of hearing people call for his firing. He is the best coach in the NFL and the fact that we won 8 games with seven running backs being put on IR and a defense that couldn't stop anyone is quite amazing – even if you consider the sad ending to the season.
    I like the idea of getting a new GM or an assistant GM in charge of defensive personnel decisions, but Shanahan has built an offense that, when healthy, can tear apart any defense. If Shanahan goes, this team will take many, many years of building and re-building to get back to being a Super Bowl contender. I believe Shanahan has a plan that was set in motion after the 2005 season and we are one or two years from seeing the fruits of that plan. It is clear that any analysis of the Broncos has to start after 2005 since the team was essentially dismantled after it was clear that it was getting old and would not be able to make a serious run at the Super Bowl.
    With a full draft committed to defense, especially an Atwater type safety, and some good defensive free agent signings, this team will be poised to make a serious run. I think the 2009 Broncos will win the AFC West and one or two playoff games and that the 2010 Broncos will make a real run at the title. That’s just my prediction.

  • December 30, 2008

    5:28 PM

    David writes:

    Thrawn You never answered my question
    Now that Mike is gone WHO do you replace him with?
    I want some names not a long speech.
    The ONLY quality coach that I can think of is Bill Cowher. but other than Bill I don't know who else would be out there.

  • December 30, 2008

    6:13 PM

    Mike writes:

    Broncos owner Pat Bowlen stunned people across the NFL Tuesday by letting Mike Shanahan go.

    And count a surprised, angered quarterback in Jay Cutler among them.

    “I’m disappointed, I’m shocked, I’m not happy about it, I’m not pleased with it at all,? Cutler said by phone Tuesday. “We had zero inkling this was going to happen. I didn’t have a clue.?


    Hey Jay, the reason you're not pleased is because you know as well as everyone else that your head is the next on the chopping block. Unless Bowlen's master plan is to promote Bates to head coach, then you're as good as gone by the end of next season and more likely, training camp. And you're right, you didn't have a clue. You've never had a clue about anything, you big freaking baby.

  • December 31, 2008

    7:49 AM

    Thrawn writes:

    Okay, since I don't think we can get Cowher, and I'm not interrested in the other head coaches that got the axe. (Not shottenheimer either.) How about Jason Garrett?

    He's an up and comer who coordinates an offense that is at least similar to the Broncos, so they may not have to reinvent the wheel with him. (Good receivers, a decent young QB, and a none too shabby offensive line.) He can't do a whole lot worse on defense than what we already had.

    He very well could be available since Jerry Jones said he wasn't firing Wade Phillips.

  • January 2, 2009

    1:56 PM

    Jon Krause writes:

    Wow Drew Litton your acrtoons are awesome! I would like to post some on my blog, I'd give you all the credit you'd like, I know with all the copyright stuff and whatever it's probably unrealistic, but if I can let me know,
    Thanks Go Broncos!!

  • January 2, 2009

    1:56 PM

    Jon Krause writes:

    Wow Drew Litton your acrtoons are awesome! I would like to post some on my blog, I'd give you all the credit you'd like, I know with all the copyright stuff and whatever it's probably unrealistic, but if I can let me know,
    Thanks Go Broncos!!

  • June 25, 2010

    1:49 PM

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