February 25, 2009 4:29 PM
I can't wait to see what Pat Bowlen does with your money and his football team in free agency.
I can't wait to see what Pat Bowlen does with your money and his football team in free agency.
How can anyone be against the Broncos using their first-round pick (12th overall) to select linebacker Rey Maualuga if he's still on the board?
Broncos fans so passionate about the physical and financial well-being of today's players might want to take a few seconds to heed the call of a former team member.
Remember running back Rick Parros? He was drafted by the Broncos in 1980, gaining a team-high (and career-high) 749 yards rushing in '81.
Today I learned that Parros, who turns 51 years old in June, is suffering from a life-threatening neurological disorder. Doctors believe he is need of a stem cell procedure in Germany.
Only in Denver can the release of players named Dewayne Robertson, Marquand Manuel, John Engleberger and Jamie Winborn stir up so much reaction in the blog comments.
Another tid-blitz of tidbits, starting with the Pro Football Hall of Fame's election process.
Time for change. Allow at least three Hall of Famer members to voice opinions during the final selection process and cast a vote, as well.
The Boss has left the building. Bruce Springsteen gave it his all in a ballyhooed set during halftime of Super Bowl XLIII.
Can't wait for next year's show at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. After all, it's almost as big a deal as the game itself.
I was hoping former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe would be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2009. But "Sharpie" didn't make it.
Rod Woodson, Bruce Smith, Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Derrick Thomas and Ralph Wilson Jr. are the six men who will be enshrined at a ceremony on Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.
For me, Super Bowl XLIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals is all about the number nine.
Numbers, especially around Super Bowl time, will consume you -- if not overwhelm you.
And I'm not talking about the digits on the gambling boards in Las Vegas.
Here is a well-timed coincidence.
Arizona, the last of our 50 states to sign a bill acknowledging
You think you know who's going to win the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday. But you don't. I know I don't. But I've got guesses.
New head coaches in football always seem to say the right things. Especially the first-timers. They are positive, enthusiastic, confident and just plain excited.
They offer thanks to their mentors, respectfully acknowledge their predecessors and take pride in being the new "chosen one" for the organization. They're confident that problems will be solved, performances will improve and games will be won.
It appears that New England Patriots offensive coordinator
Some believe that one day former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan could be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Here's the thing. McDaniels, an Ohioan who attended Canton McKinley High School, already has more traits that fit the path of a coach already in the Hall of Fame.
Offense wins games. But watching the Baltimore Ravens play defense on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins sure was fun.
It is a first worth noting.
Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan is one of only six men to lead a franchise to Super Bowl championships in consecutive NFL seasons.
But Shanahan also is the first of those six coaches to be formally fired from the team he led to back-to-back titles.
My smooth drive into the high country on Tuesday afternoon was interrupted by a string of cell phone callers, each telling me that Mike Shanahan had been fired by the Broncos.
Stunned? For sure. Like many, I figured the man once deemed 'coach for life' by owner Pat Bowlen was untouchable.
The final Tuesday tid-blitz of tidbits in 2008 which begins with a final visit inside the Broncos locker room to figure out the team's motto for 2009.
The theme for the demise of the Broncos season, coming from players as they cleared out their stalls, seemed to be consistent.
Injuries, inexperience and inconsistencies.
The San Diego Chargers went ahead 38-13 in the third quarter when I felt the need to flip the channel . . . to
Basically, from one criminal case to another.
My line of questioning, much like the Broncos during the game against the Buffalo Bills, was a bit off afterward on Sunday.
I asked Broncos cornerback
All the Broncos had to do was protect a 13-point lead from the Buffalo Bills, and the AFC West championship would be won in front of the home fans - 67,042 of them who braved the cold weather at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Easy call. Except these Broncos don't do "easy" very well. Especially not at home.
Jay Cutler is going to the Pro Bowl. So is Brandon Marshall. Hawaii in February will be a nice trip for the Broncos' top passing combination.
But the man in charge of keeping pressure off Cutler's backside this season so he can find time to throw, rookie Ryan Clady, was not named to the AFC squad.
Another Tuesday tid-blitz of tidbits, starting with that sub-zero degree chill up your spine that is the Buffalo Bills.
You, Bronco Fan, probably have concerns that the Bills -- losers in seven of their past eight games -- could deal the Broncos an upset loss at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday.
The ball left
At that point, it wouldn't have hurt my feelings if CBS had switched to the smash-mouth derby between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
It feels like I was in the delivery room for the birth of the Carolina Panthers in 1995.
At the time I lived in North Carolina, working as a college beat bureau reporter for
Do you realize that
Lately, the Broncos have been the NFL's equal to America's Guest.
They come to your stadium, rip up the grass, drink all the Gatorade, drop a 30-spot on the scoreboard, leave mud stains on the locker room carpet and board the plane home with a burp and a winner's grin.
It's a Tuesday tid-blitz of tidbits, starting with a suggestion for a new reality show.
"Who Wants To Be A Broncos Running Back?"
At one point during the second quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs led 17-7. My binoculars spied a smattering of fans, 30 or so, seated in section 542.
Arms folded, with lips poked out of frowned faces. Their body language pretty much summed up how most of Bronco Nation had been living of late. That would be disappointed, if not fed up, with little to cheer about during a three-game losing streak at Invesco Field at Mile High.
I will throw out a stat, give a prediction for Sunday's Chiefs-Broncos game, tell you a story and then step off into the weekend.
Time is running out for you to contribute a candidate for Denver's Sports Ring of Shame. Got a player, coach, owner, team or local sports personality that deserves shameful consideration? Start tapping the keyboard.
Are the Broncos going to blow it?
The thought swirled through my head -- and probably yours too -- at the end of the third quarter, with Denver gripping a slippery 27-17 lead over the New York Jets.
Fourth quarter. Time for Brett Favre to reach into his 18-year-old bag of NFL magic tricks, right?
While some of you shoppers were out emptying wallets and purses during Black Friday, I was in the office real early working on a final pick for Sunday's Broncos-Jets game.
Just when I needed a break, comedian and Sports Soup host Matt Iseman stopped by for a visit.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has released its list of 25 candidates for the Class of 2009, and former Broncos Shannon Sharpe and Terrell Davis have made the cut.
Now comes the task of chopping 10 candidates off the list.
For the record, Denver's Sports Ring of Shame is the result of some guys in our office tossing ideas around during a routine morning brainstorming session.
Then it was tossed to me. I'm off and running.
The Oakland Raiders, smelly 2-8 record and all, came ready to fight at Invesco Field at Mile High, where the first-place Broncos team hadn't shown much of a punch in recent games.
With 9:42 shining on the stadium clock and fans streaming for the exits, Oakland held a 31-10 lead. The Broncos, soundly beaten, were being booed off their home turf by those who stuck around.
Listen to talk about the powers-that-be amongst NFL division leaders, and there's nary a peep about the Broncos.
Know what? Nobody gives much credence to first place in the AFC West right now - especially when that team ranks No. 27 in points allowed (27 per game) and No. 29 out of the league's 32 teams in yards allowed (387 per game) on defense.
I really don't give a damn whether Brett Favre plays in the NFL -- or any other football league -- in 2009.
For that matter, I could care less if, in 2010, Shaquille O'Neal winds up the Los Angeles Lakers or LeBron James is suited up with the New York Knicks.
Time to unleash this week's tid-blitz of tidbits, starting with the number three.
The Broncos on Sunday will seek to avoid their first three-game losing streak at home since, well, 2006. Where's the home-field domination? Denver has gone 12-9 in games played at Invesco Field at Mile High since '06, with a 43-18 record (including two losses to Oakland) since the stadium opened in 2001.
Twenty years ago, Mike Shanahan was named head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders. It was just the beginning of a carousel that has spun way out of control.
Art Shell replaced Shanahan five games into the 1989 season. Since then, the Raiders have made eight coaching changes -- all of them since Shanahan became coach of the Broncos in 1995.
Admit it. You are not quite sure what to think today about the Broncos. Are they legitimate playoff contenders, or pretenders primed for another late-season collapse?
For 11 consecutive weeks now, the Broncos have held onto first place in the AFC West. Their record is 6-4 after Sunday's 24-20 road win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Back in April, the Broncos game against the Atlanta Falcons had 'gimme' written all over it, as in gimme the Broncos to win, 30-16.
Mike Smith is enjoying success in his first year as an NFL head coach, having led the Atlanta Falcons to a 6-3 record this season.
Last week in Cleveland, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan picked up his 151st win as an NFL head coach (playoffs included) in 250 career games.
So you might expect a grizzled, experienced and playoff-tested coach such as Shanahan to hold a distinct advantage over a rookie, right?
The Broncos are one of 19 NFL teams with a record of 5-4 or better after Week 10. Eight of those 19 teams, including Denver, didn't make the playoffs last season.
Five of those teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, already have equaled or surpassed last season's win total.
Figures I'd end up at a place called the "Fowl Line" on Sunday to watch a resurgent bunch of dirty birds -- a.k.a. the Atlanta Falcons.
First it was two small steps in the end zone for
Give the Broncos credit for showing the heart and determination in the face of adversity. Denver got its biggest road win with Jay Cutler at quarterback, and to this point, the biggest win of the season, 34-30 at Cleveland.
Fate must own a boat near Lake Erie. Here are the Broncos, going to Cleveland once again with hopes of creating a defining moment to their season.
Admit it, Bronco Fan. When the 2008 NFL season began, you didn't think tight end Tony Scheffler was the most important piece to Denver's offense, did you?
They should have been rejuvenated and motivated after a bye week. Instead the Broncos got out-hustled, out-worked and beaten, 26-17, by the Miami Dolphins at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday.
That's three straight losses now for the Broncos, your leaders in the AFC West.
A season that began with strokes worthy of a masterpiece is turning into a familiar piece of abstract Broncos art.
Remember the 2000 NFL season? The Broncos probably do, and are hoping history might repeat itself.
In 2000, Denver played at Cincinnati and gave up a whopping 407 yards rushing to the Bengals -- 278 of them to running back Corey Dillon in an NFL record-setting performance.
What exactly did former Broncos head coach Dan Reeves do to turn Bronco Fan against him? Reeves must have done some pretty awful things, because no one around here seems to be trumpeting his candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A transcript of the Open Mic chat on Oct. 29.
How is this for a scary statistic - since 1988, no Broncos team has reached the playoffs after posting a record of .500 or worse in games played after Halloween.
According to the solar-powered Sam-culator, if the Broncos win at least five of their remaining nine games, they stand a good chance of qualifying for the postseason.
Don't think that I haven't read all your e-mails, or listened to all your voice mails since the Broncos' 41-7 loss to New England. For some people, curing the Broncos is a much more important issue than, say, improving our sagging economy.
And I thought we were done with the whole "on pace to be one of the NFL's worst ever" talk about the Broncos' defense. Apparently not.
With all due respect to the injured finger on the throwing hand of quarterback
The Broncos' offense, deemed by some to be the next great thing in pro football, stumbled, bumbled and literally, fumbled its way into oblivion against the Patriots during the first half.
It says right here, Broncos lose to New England Patriots 30-23 Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
No need to explain this pick.
Just so you know, I extended an offer to Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler to settle this whole 'My arm's stronger than yours' thing with John Elway once and for all.
Cutler politely declined. I was told he would prefer to see the whole thing fade away, and his point is well taken.
Former Broncos linebacker
Yes, the Broncos are 4-2 and you've got some things to get off your chest. Or computer keyboard, any way. Mind as well bring them to me. We're chatting -- Broncos, New England Patriots, NFL . . . Three o'clock this afternoon . . . Here's your link (click here to chat) . . . Be there or bee square -- and bring your friends . . . No cover charge, but there is a "Do think" minimum.
A transcript of this chat is available here.
The scenic autumn-orange backdrop is a reminder that New England is Broncos Country.
How else do you explain that the Broncos, have won five of their past road games played against the New England Patriots. During that same period of time, the Broncos have beaten New England 14 times in 17 regular season games.
Some random observations, with no apologies, from my notebook onto your computer screen.
If you're not familiar with my QBR Index by now, then shame on you. This formula is sure to tell you who's on top -- and who's on the bottom -- in the NFL.
Is it flawless? No. But QBR is pretty close in its accuracy.
The Jacksonville Jaguars ran 70 plays against the Broncos last year at Invesco Field at Mile High. If there was any consolation, the Jaguars needed every one of them to score 23 points.
Jacksonville was the more physical team from start to finish. Even so, Denver gave the game away.
If anyone in Denver knows the inner workings of football's 3-4 defense, it's former Broncos defensive coordinator
Collier, considered one of pro football's all-time masters of the 3-4 defense, believes Denver's intermittent use of the 3-4 can present problems for opposing coaches in game preparation.
In a perfect world for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, he would account for five, maybe even six touchdowns on Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium.
But Garrard knows two things.
Time to talk Broncos. Same chat time (3 p.m.), same chat channel ((Click here to connect to Broncos chat) ... We'll talk about Sunday's opponent for Denver - the Jacksonville Jaguars, injuries to key personnel and the position change for 2007 first-round pick Jarvis Moss and upcoming games around the league.
With each victory, the Broncos increase their flex appeal on the NFL's prime time television schedule.
Excuse me while I whip out a string of numbers from the Broncos' 16-13 win over Tampa Bay Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Let's start with an odd number -- 137.
So which is better -- the American Football Conference or National Football Conference?
If you go by Super Bowls won, the NFC holds a slim edge.
The Broncos average 121 rushing yards per game -- sixth-best in the AFC, 14th in the NFL. Pretty good numbers for an offense that appears committed to a pass-happy approach.
So why are some people questioning Denver's running game? To put it in baseball terms, fans have grown accustomed to seeing home runs. Right now, the Broncos' backfield isn't hitting many of them.
I think I have this right: Raiders boss Al Davis fires Lane Kiffin after 20 games, just like he fired Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who this week faces Jon Gruden, the coach Davis traded to Tampa Bay for draft picks.
Oh, it could get even better.
Got some issues or concerns to raise going into this week's Broncos home game against Tampa Bay? ... Just want hype your favorite team or Fantasy Football League player? ... Ready to coach the Raiders? ... Talk to me during our weekly Broncos chat, tomorrow (Wednesday Oct. 1) on the Web site, starting at 3 p.m. . . . Tell your friends to stop by - and please take time to check out Part I of an Open Mic video (CLICK HERE) with former Broncos safety John Lynch!
Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler could set a regular season NFL record for passing yards -- if his right arm doesn't fall from its socket.
Now we know the Broncos aren't good enough to win on the road scoring less than 20 points with four turnovers. Not even against a winless team with a plodding offense like the Kansas City Chiefs.
At the start of Broncos training camp I developed my own rating system to track NFL teams during the season. It's called the QBR Index.
I figured former Bronco Shannon Sharpe would be revved up, considering his NFL record for most receiving yards (10,060) by a tight end is on the verge of being surpassed this weekend by Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez.
Will the Broncos score 50 this weekend? ... Is this the best Broncos offense ever? ... Is the Broncos defense the worst in the NFL? ... Are the Tennessee Titans really the best team in the AFC? ... Throw your questions my way during our mid-week online chat, this Wednesday and every Wednesday during the season at 3 p.m. ...
One wears jersey No. 6. The other wears No. 1 plus 5, which equals 6 -- as in points for a touchdown.
Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are emerging stars in the NFL, a pair of jewels in the Broncos' Class of, uh-oh, '06. Can you name many outstanding QB-WR combinations that were selected by the same team in the same draft?
Be honest. You want to see more of the Broncos offense because it means their defense is not on the field.
If it weren't for the Broncos defense I'd pick Denver to breeze past the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan gave his team the "2-0" speech on Wednesday morning.
Later, when I asked Shanahan during his press conference how much he speaks to the team about establishing home-field dominance, he answered with excerpts from his "2-0" lecture.
Want to reflect on the wacky ending of Sunday's Chargers-Broncos game? How 'bout looking ahead to the Brees that's about to blow in from N'awlins this week?
Well, let's chat about it. Online. Tomorrow. Wednesday, at 3 p.m. on www.rockymountainnews.com.
For one night, John Lynch and Champ Bailey were teammates again.
The Broncos will attempt to increase their winning streak to three games on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Last season Denver failed to post a win streak of at least three games. It was the 20th time in the franchise's history that the Broncos couldn't piece together a three-game winning streak.
The whistle blew. The visitors complained. The home team survived - and played for the win.
One of the most memorable days in my life coincided with one of the most depressing home games in recent Broncos history.
A year ago on Oct. 7, a man escorted me to a room tucked inside Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs. Legendary comedian Bill Cosby was waiting.
It's really late -- or real early ... The Broncos beat Oakland 41-14, scoring 40 points on the road for the first time in a regular season game since 1985.
Depending on the view, a 2-0 start in the NFL is either a good omen or an evil mirage.
You can't give a prediction around here without an explanation. So here are my reasons for why the Broncos will beat Oakland on Monday Night Football.
Grab your pen and paper, and get this lesson.
Attention, Football Fan. Warren Sapp has a NFL Network microphone. Watch. Better yet, watch out.
The Broncos haven't appeared in a playoff game since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the 2005 AFC Championship Game played Jan. 22, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Domonique Foxworth was a starting cornerback for the Broncos in the game. Today he officially will become an ex-Bronco.
Three syllables are causing some controversy in Broncos Web Nation. If you've been to a Broncos home game, you know them well.
The Broncos learned today that the NFL has reduced Brandon Marshall's suspension from three games to one game. How does this bit of new change your view of the team's prospects as the regular season draws closer?
Time to feed some food for thought to football fans -- local, as well as those visiting for the Democratic National Convention. So open wide for this spoonful of tidbit.
The Broncos have the making for one of the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver tandems ever selected in the same draft. Not good, but prolific. You follow me?
The Broncos' backfield was in motion -- and productive -- against the Green Bay Packers on Friday.
Friday night was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for the the Broncos first-team defense at Invesco Field at Mile High. No rave reviews here.
NFL teams like to go vanilla during the exhibition season, but the third game usually is the "dress rehearsal" for the starters. So I'm wondering what flavor you're expecting to get from the Broncos starting defense against the Green Bay Packers.
Vanilla? Neapolitan? Orange sherbet? Or maybe last year's flavor -- Rocky Road?
In July Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen told me that he wasn't ready to put Jay Cutler in his "Fave Five" of young NFL quarterbacks.
One thing is certain about the Internet -- you readers always have something to say.
It's been a long time -- try the days of Mark Jackson and Vance Johnson in the early 1990s -- since the Broncos opened a regular season with two of their own draft choices starting at wide receiver.
Anybody want to play 'Bet on Brett'?
If size matters, then the Dallas Cowboys certainly are big enough to win the Super Bowl.
America's Team lists 1,620 pounds worth of starting offensive linemen out to protect quarterback Tony Romo.
The on-field comparisons between Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Dallas Cowboys star Terrell Owens are inevitable. Both are tall targets with the ability to break tackles and make big plays.
Owens is at the peak of his career. Marshall is on the rise.
It was the first exhibition game of 2008 for the Broncos. They lost.
OK. First game. Exhibition season. Meaningless. Got it.
Now fellas, show us something in Game 2.
Sorry, but it's hard to stay off the blog -- even when I'm taking time off. Brett Favre could be headed to the New York Jets. Hallelujah! ...
In April the NFL released regular season schedules for 2008. I reviewed the Broncos' schedule and announced a 10-6 finish. It's August now. I'm still going with 10-6.
What about you?
Breaking news: Brett Favre. Do I need to say more? Probably. Here goes.
BrettFavre,BrettFavre,BrettFavre,BrettFavre,BrettFavre,BrettFavre . . .
It must've been a treat for a lot of Broncos fans who hadn't heard Gary Zimmerman's voice. Zimmerman stood in front of a microphone on the podium, clad in a yellow jacket that symbolizes his status as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I stood real close to former Broncos safety John Lynch as he told the media on Thursday that he was parting ways with the team.
The impression, to me, is that Lynch would rather be carried off a football field on his shield rather than be told to watch most of the game from the sideline.
What do they say -- NFL means "Not For Long". Cornerback Champ Bailey is used to the revolving door that has become the Broncos' roster.
Never mind the changes made since last year's 7-9 finish. Go back to the 2005 AFC Championship Game, when the Broncos were a 13-3 team in the regular season needing one win to reach the Super Bowl.
Last season the Broncos went with bulk on defense, adding a number of big, beefy lineman to the roster. Turns out size didn't matter when it came to being able to shut down the opposition.
This season it appears the team has addressed the defense's need for speed. What the Broncos lose in leadership and veteran presence from the likes of
That speed was evident on Thursday when rookie safety
Andre Hall once beat football great Jim Brown in a chess match. Now Hall is searching for the moves that will win him the Broncos' starting job at tailback.
Several times now, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan has put veteran stars on the practice field, to allow that player to realize his athletic fate. If he still has "it", the player makes the roster. If that "it" isn't quick enough to keep up, the player has to make a career decision - before Shanahan makes it for him.
It's probably wasn't the way head coach Mike Shanahan was thinking, but perhaps the Broncos set free kicker Jason Elam for a reason. The reason? Well, let's just say Elam had become the offense's equivalent of Linus' security blanket.
At first, the plan here was to tell you how Broncos tight end Daniel Graham would like to catch more passes but has learned to block out his frustrations.
I get the same question every summer - 'Sam, how are my Broncos going to do this season?'
Turnover margin is one of the key statistics used in the NFL to measure a team's success rate. Teams that force and recover a high number of turnovers while managing to avoid turning the ball over usually do well in the standings.
What about the QBR Index?