I am very excited heading into training camp this month. We know the headlines. We've seen the bad turn ugly. We've seen fan favorites "turn" against it's fan base. I am excited about the potential of playing winning football. You remember those years in the mid to late 90s. Running game. Two sometimes three runs in a row. Play action. Big first down. Amazing individual plays. The root of the success was the run game.
I don't have hours of research and data to iron out any bias. What I do have is this fact here. Clinton Portis. The last Denver Bronco to start back to back years for the Orange and Blue. One could argue that the trade had benefited both the Redskins and the Broncos. In hindsight, well we know neither team has won the Super Bowl let alone dominated the defense. What it did do was hurt both franchises in a position of what was their strength. Redskins had both Bailey and Smoot. Denver had the philosophy that any RB can fill the void. Well Hall is now a Redskin, w/a nice raise at that (the same hall that got lit up like a Xmas Tree in Royal's first game as a pro), and Denver's "coach for life" given the pink slip because of many personnel choices.
We now have Moreno. Not very popular to many since Maualaga was a fan favorite to man the middle of the defense. Truth is this. The history of the NFL has always been secured w/successful running teams. Then evolved the title of the "Big Three". If Moreno can be that special player w/the same ceiling as Adrian Peterson, Royal evolve as a team lead AND evolve as the face of the franchise, all Orton has to do is develop in this new offense and be the "quiet" leader Aikman was w/the Cowboys.
The best thing that can happen right now for this team's defense is to play football the way its meant to be played. Success isn't measured by looking over your shoulder and worry about your job or minutes on the field. I think if Denver can manage 7-9 minutes of possession per quarter, we will see some special football. A defense fresh in the 4th and players such as Woodyard, Smith, and Williams shining as they can allow plays to come to them instead of trying to make plays.
Don't get down on this group. There are alot of unknowns but this is part of change. I bought into the scheme of change and though I may not agree with how some things played out, I do believe. My expectations are: Moreno rushes for 12 touchdowns 2 receiving. Hillis rushes for 600 yards and 4-6 touchdowns. Orton throws for 24 touchdowns and Royal contributing to 6-9 touchdowns. These are not loud expectations, just the basics.
If Denver's offense can manage 28-34 minutes of ball control, I think the defense will be in the middle 14-19. Sorry if I don't have the diagrams and countless hours of data to support my view. What I do have is Moreno as my RB, Royal as my WR, and Orton as my QB. Trust me, it is more than just Cutler and Marshall, its about team players and we're slowly winning there.