While driving into work today, I was thinking about the second part of post on the defense that I'm preparing, and my mind naturally wandered to the offensive line. Go figure. It occurred to me that a fair amount of blame for the Broncos' offensive woes in 2009 were laid on the shoulders of the offensive line. Some members appeared to take the stance that McDaniels and Orton's shortcomings last year were due in large part to the poor play of the offensive line -- in particular, the untimely, drive-killing penalties. Other member viewed such claims with varying degrees of incredulity -- asking how an O-line that has been highly regarded for years, and absolutely dominant in 2008, could suddenly become such a liability, and argued that the blame needed to fall on McDaniels and Orton. Personally, I tend to believe that the reality lies somewhere in between those two extremes. All of this pondering led me to a question for which I had no answer. So, I thought I would pose it to those MHR staff and members with coaching experience:
Given the fact that our dominant offensive line -- i.e. only 11 sacks given up in 2008 -- had worked with Cutler under center for 1 year + 5 games, how much of the issues experienced by the line -- such as untimely false start penalties -- were a result of simply unfamiliarity with Orton's cadence and style at the line?
I'd be very interested in hearing some coaches' perspectives on this one.