Watching the game today I kept being struck by the way things just looked and seemed so familiar to me.
When the announcers Ian and Rich Gannon started discussing the 3-0 start being only the second time Denver started 3-0. Then they followed it with the fact that the previous team to start 3-0 was the 1977 team with Robert "Red" Miller as the Head Coach I jumped from my seat and hollared "Oh Yeah".
For months I have mentioned about history repeating itself. The facts that I pointed out and comparisons were more or less blown off by many of my fellow Broncos Fans. So for those of you who did, I repeat myself.
Robert "Red" Miller was the Offensive Co-Ordinator of New England who Denver played the season before his hire (1976) and helped to defeat Denver along with causing mass consternation among the owner and fanbase that not all was well in Broncos Country.
McDaniels came to Denver after being the Offensive Co-Ordinator of New England who Denver played the season before his hire (2008) and helped defeat causing much consternation among the owner and fanbase that not all was well in Broncos Country.
In 2008 it was the total whooping of the Broncos on national TV including the total exposure of the defense by McD's offense. In 1976 it was the defeat that kept Denver out of the 1st playoffs in Denver history and Steve Ramsey's laughing as he walked to the sidelines after throwing the interception that ended the quest for the holy grail.
McDaniels came in with pressure to rebuild a defense that was a disaster. Red Miller came to a Denver team that had an offense in disarray.
Red Miller brought in pretty much a new offense with QB Craig Morton, a fat OG named Andy Maurer claimed from Waivers, a converted OT named Mike Montler to play OC, an insane OL named Glenn Hyde for Special teams. He did not ignore the defense, fine tuning it with players like FS Bernard Jackson, LB Godwin Turk and a small left footed Punter named Bucky Dilts whose strange punts drove returners crazy. Red Miller traded away the previous season's starting QB Steve Ramsey and a 4th round draft choice to the NY Giants for their starting QB Craig Morton.
McDaniels brought in pretty much a new defense with S Brian Dawkins, S Renaldo Hill, CB Andre Goodman, NT Ron Fields, LB Andra Davis and LB/DL Darrel Reid. He also brought in a few offensive players like WR Jabbar Gaffney and RB Correll Buckhalter. McDaniels traded away the previous season's starting QB Jay Cutler and a 5th round pick to the Chicago Bears for their starting QB Kyle Orton and two 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick.
McDaniels wants a run first, efficient offense with a group of Running Backs setting up the passing game. Few turnovers by the offense.
Red Miller used a run first game with a group of Running Backs and an efficient passing game. No runner in 1977 had 500 yards rushing and the passing game was efficient. Few turnovers by the offense. Craig Morton whose career was said to be over after two years with the NY Giants had 14 TD's and 8 Int. for the regular season.
McDaniels has built a successful 3-4 Defense with Mike Nolan as Co-Ordinator. Shanahan had toyed some with the 3-4 during the 2008 season.
Mike Nolan was an Assistant Coach under Joe Collier (in the 1980's) who was the Co-Ordinator under Red Miller. Red Miller kept Collier from the previous regime and allowed him to run the Defense. Miller wanted assistant coaches who could not just coach, but also teach the players the new 3-4 style defense. A defense Miller saw in action in New England under then Coach Chuck Fairbanks. Denver, out of necessity had converted to the 3-4 during the 1976 season because of injuries to the DL.
Denver in 1977 won their first three games, over the St. Louis Cardinals 7-0, Buffalo Bills 26-6 and Seattle (led by current Redskins HC Jim Zorn at QB) 24-13. They were blown off then by the MSM and the DP because they had played one "good" team in St. Louis, but the "meat" of their schedule was yet to come. Oakland (twice), Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Houston and Dallas were later in the schedule, plus a high powered and improving San Diego (twice) team.
To make a long post short, the 1977 team went 12-2 and shocked the NFL by going to the Super Bowl, which they eventually lost.
So I must echo the sentiments of 13-3 until we ain't.
Sound familiar yet?