I read Blindside this past weekend, which if you don't know is the story of how Michael Oher went from a very large, quiet homeless kid toa prototypical left tackle, and the 1st round selection of the Baltimore Ravens. It is a great, heartwarming story, but also the author, Michael Lewis, goes into depth on how the NFL game has changed to make great left tackles (like Ryan Clady) so highly valued.
A lot of those changes revolve around the passing game, the west coast offense, and of course Bill Walsh. The author points out that Walsh turned weak-armed Bengals QB Virgil Carter from someone who never completed half his passes into the league leader in completion %. He the turned Ken Anderson from Augustana college into an all pro QB before leaving for San Diego where he did the same for struggling Dan Fouts.
Walsh then left for Stanford where he had two quarterbacks that led the nation in passing in Guy Benjamin and Steve Dils.
He came back to the NFL with the 49ers and Steve DeBerg went from 45.4 percent passing to 60 percent in one season. And we all know what happened when Montana was drafted, although when Montana was injured, 5'11" Jeff Kemp stepped in for 10 games and completed 60% of his passes, and when he was injured, Mike Moroski having been on the team for two weeks completed 57.5% of his passes.
The point is that great quarterbacks were great in Walsh's system, but average QBs were really, really good. So what does this have to do with the Broncos? Other than confirm that John Elway is indeed the greatest QB ever, since Joe Montana would have seemed pedestrian on some of those Broncos offenses. But it also bears similarities to last years New England Patriots when all world Tom Brady was injured and they didn't miss a beat with Matt Cassell.
Finally this may bode well for our current Denver Broncos if the system is indeed more important than the Quarterback and we make the leap that:
a - New England's Offensive success the last four years is due to the Belicheck system
b- Josh McDaniels is able to bring that to Denver
If it is the system, having a good QB that wants to be here, wants to work, and be part of a team would be better than a very talented QB who doesn't.
just a thought. Time will tell.