Sunday, September 13, 2009

McDaniels earns first win as coach

Denver needed a Cincinnati to play to get the wolves away from new coach Josh McDaniels' doorstep. The Bengals have talent -- see Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco amongst others -- but they are a notoriously bad or underachieving team.

The Broncos controlled Palmer and Ochocinco, limited the Bengals' running game, got a solid game from quarterback Kyle Orton, a huge highlight from Brandon Stokely and enough running from Correll Buckhalter to win and do so on the road.


Even if for but a week, it was encouraging and exciting.

Enjoy it. There won't be many moments like this in 2009.

Broncos in-game blog

Denver is winning in Cincinnati while looking mostly inept offensively. Knowshown Moreno can't run, Correll Buckhalter can, a little, and Kyle Orton and his receivers are barely making plays.

The defense is surprisingly good, holding it's own against the run and not being shredded by Chad Ochocinco and Chris Henry.

As is the case around the league today, Denver, with limited quarterbacking skills, is playing it close to the vest offensively. Minnesota, Cleveland and Detroit are also doing the same, as is Kansas City.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Broncos decision overly risky

Brandon Marshall is reportedly close to getting a contract extension.

Now Broncos Sideline is a big fan of Marshall's consistent production and him being underpaid isn't right when he's done what he's done on the field but Marshall's off-field nonsense and his selfish ways this offseason should not earn him an extension. He's too big a risk.

The only way the Broncos should pay him large and extend him is if the union rules allow for heavy behavioral stipulations in Marshall's contract that would essentially make the deal null and void if the Broncos wideout hurts the team or organization on or off the field.

The immediate question that comes to mind now is how do the players look at management if Marshall's act won him a big extension when the rest of them were playing good soldiers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Orton has to be the man to start

A Denver writer believes Chris Simms should start over Kyle Orton in week 1 of the season at Cincinnati.


Simms is big, has a strong arm, was a prep All American, star recruit for the University of Texas, a highly productive player in Austin and a very unremarkable pro. Orton was a touted recruit and a gunslinger at Iowa and for as unimpressive as he's been in the preseason in 2009 has more pro accomplishments than Simms.

Simms looks the part but hasn't played up to the potential. Maybe with some more grooming by coach Josh McDaniels the son of Phil Simms, Super Bowl MVP, can be someone but not now. Orton is the man. He's no Jay Cutler but he's the best of the lot for now.

For those who want to throw a rookie in there -- Tom Brandstater -- he's not ready. His work against the Cardinals doesn't qualify him as a pro success.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Broncos upgrade depth with Holliday

The Broncos needed defensive line depth and think they found some in Vonnie Holliday.

Holliday is capable of starting but if he is then you know your line is hurting. Best case scenario is Holliday providing backup on game days.

The big tackle from North Carolina is not much of a pass rusher anymore but he's always been a fairly productive player (509 career tackles to go with 55.5 sacks).

Don't expect big things from Holliday. Instead, look for more than a Marcus Thomas, Nic Clemons or even Tim Crowder were giving you.

Broncos cuts breakdown

Defensive line/linebacker disappointments Tim Crowder and Marcus Thomas both get rejection letters from the Broncos.

Crowder was a prep star in Texas, matriculated to the University of Texas, and was a high draft pick who did regrettably little. He was overrated, lacking explosion and didn't make plays. Thomas, a Florida Gator with real promise, never proved former coach Mike Shanahan's faith in him was justified. He had size but didn't show on game day.

Linebacker Jarvis Moss somehow has made the team, maybe based on some flashes against the Cardinals. The potential has always been there, the production, however, has been absent. The Broncos must see something most media and fans don't. Maybe Moss is a late bloomer but the odds of success for him are slim. Here's hoping Moss, who has overcome many physical problems in his life, proves us wrong.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Broncos get positive feedback

The Broncos won a game, a preseason game but it was still a win and it was a shutout and it came over a team that should be competitive in 2009. Beating Arizona is the bright light that new coach Josh McDaniels needed. It was some kind of confidence confirmation for the players too.

Rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater showed he can play. In a preseason game. He's got a long ways to go but he does look coachable and with hard work he could develop. Just hope that starter Kyle Orton and backup Chris Simms don't get hurt at the same time during the regular season.

The defense gets a solid grade in this one.

The season opener is next and the Broncos will have to run the ball better, play the same kind of defense and hope the quarterbacking doesn't doom it's chances of competing well and having a chance to win.

Hold on as it promises to be a rough go in 2009 in year 1 of the McDaniels regime.


The Broncos running game looks like a weakness unless the line gets healthy and unless Knowshown Moreno has a smash debut.

Rookie Kenny McKinley looks like a real find as a third or fourth receiver. He won't be a star but he could be a productive part of the offense.

I think, but I'm not sure, there was a Jarvis Moss sighting. Will it be enough for him to make the roster, I'm not sure.

Rookie DB David Bruton looks like a contributor to be and the secondary and special teams needs some rambunctious youth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Surprising trade rumors on Marshall

Some surprising trade rumors are being reported regarding unhappy Broncos' receiver Brandon Marhsall.

The Jets are in the market for a big, productive receiver and are supposedly interested in Marshall.

Bottom Line -- No way the Broncos trade that much talent, even if he's dysfunctional, for less than a high draft pick, such as a second rounder or a third rounder with a conditional pick also attached. Chances of a deal are slim at this time.

There are also rumors that the Cardinals might be interested in moving equally unhappy receiver Anquan Boldin and disappointing golden boy quarterback Matt Leinart for Marshall.

Bottom Line -- Not impossible but unlikely. Kurt Warner is of biblical age and Leinart has been working harder, playing better and has much invested in him. Boldin for Marshall seems more likely but really, why would either team trade one angry man for another? Both teams should seek more assurance that they would be getting a team-first attitude plus other enticements.

You have to be selfish -- Mark Kriegel quotes Jerry Rice saying just that "you have to be sefish" when talking about being an elite receiver. Rice was interviewed about Brandon Marshall and receivers in general. An excellent piece (click here).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marshall, McDaniels and Bowlen failing

Will Brandon Marshall be traded?

Some reports say Denver is shopping him. Shopping him and moving merchandise without losing your shirt are two different things.

The Broncos can't give up his talent without getting hurt on the field.

They would love to rid themselves of his attitude.

They wouldn't get much at this time, much at all, if they attempted to trade him.

Bottom line -- Marshall's not going anywhere.

Bronco fans would explode if the mouthy, troubled Marshall was sent packing for little in return after the sublime Jay Cutler story. Cutler is going to have a solid career in Chicago and maybe even a special one. If Marshall resurfaces elsewhere to be productive, McDaniels legacy is going to receive a challenge by his start in Denver.

Coach Josh McDaniels is in over his head. He might be a smart football mind and might prove his coaching accumen but you can bet he doesn't have many fans in the locker room nor does owner Pat Bowlen right now.

Moreno back on field

Rookie running back Knowshown Moreno, a non-factor this preseason is back on the field, healthy enough again to compete.

Denver needs him.

Time to show some toughness and pro production.