Thirty-six years I’ve sweated, bled, cried, celebrated, and enjoyed Denver Broncos football. I’m not a professional athlete, but I have played a little, and I have studied the game I do so enjoy. Please accept my comments in the spirit of loyalty and faithful fandom, or at least with an understanding of the need for some of us to vent a little.
The lack of consistency in the roster is disconcerting. If the injury issue is a result of a lack of preparation, conditioning, strength, or flexibility, please revisit the prep. All over the field, we’re seeing new faces every week. What can we do to maintain a more consistent starting lineup? Violent games beget injury - understood. We have become a patchwork team over the past few seasons. Patchwork, does not a champion make.
Offensive play-calling is an art and a science. Far be it from an interested observer to question the pro’s (ok, maybe just this one time…), but if the same screen, run over and over and over is only successful 15% of the time in the prior two weeks, what makes anyone think it will be successful after the current opponent has studied it… in depth?
Defense is an obvious strategic challenge – more science than art, but more than strategy, it is a facet of the game that relies on execution. Filling the gaps, covering the receivers, containing the end, and more than anything else, tackling, are the assignments that must be executed to win. The art, as I see it, lies in the setup. Is an 11-yard cushion, on a 3rd and 6 a prudent cornerback setup? Art and strategy aside, pursuit and tackling are things that can and must be learned… at the college level.
You are a good, young quarterback. I’m happy you’re on the team, and I do see potential for greatness. Don’t let anybody tell you there’s only one receiver on every pass play. It’s simply not true. You don’t have to lock your eyes on your intended receiver the moment you get the ball on every pass play. Look ‘em off. Explore the strange new possibilities of throwing to an open receiver when your primary is covered. It is painfully obvious that, despite your strong arm, d-backs are anticipating your passes based on your eyes. The more they key on your eyes, the harder it will be to sneak those frozen ropes into those tiny, ill-advised spaces. Keep up the good work!
DEFENSE and SPECIAL TEAMS:
If you make a play, be happy about it. If you make a truly exceptional play, be happy, and take extra pride in your execution. Regardless of the level of the play you’ve made, please act like you’ve done it before. (This applies to offense also. see: Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Randy Gradishar) There are enough vets on this squad to explain this concept to the younger members. And for God’s sake, when the opposition is ramming the ball up your defense every time they take the field, DON’T celebrate one play on your end of the field. Instead, take that moment to figure out why you were able to make the play, and why you didn’t make it on the other 8 plays of the drive that’s about to score on you.
Certainly, you know you’ve got something special at QB throwing those ropes. Please catch them when they are thrown to you. If it takes and additional 3 hours each day of off-season practice, in pads, all routes, with defenders, hot or cold, day or night, do it.
TEAM - general:
You are professional athletes. Please act like pro’s, not like children. Things go wrong – get over it, quickly. Ego has to be left outside the stadium. Don’t let it even enter the locker room. Play like crazed maniacs when necessary, but play within your abilities the rest of the time. Strive to improve those abilities and skills every day, on and off-season. You’re paid exceptionally well for the service you perform. Live up to the contract.
Be healthy, Champ. I still think you are the best player on the field, every play you’re out there.
If we don’t see you again, Godspeed. You’ve done a spectacular job in your years with Denver. Thank You!
Very impressive season. At draft time, I was unconvinced you were ready to play NFL football. I don’t know when I have been more happy to have been proven wrong.
Go ahead… quit your day job.
PEYTON HILLIS and SPENCER LARSEN:
Thanks, Guys, for an AWESOME breath of fresh air this season!