1. Blind Homerism - So for the last month or two, myself and other MHR members have been pounding the podium stating that our biggest need was to remake our defensive front seven. I based this idea on the numbers (i.e. 26th in the NFL against the run), not my emotions. Almost shockingly, other members said I was wrong and said things along the lines of "the answer to our defensive line is already on our roster" or "we need a minor tweak, not a major overhaul." I also said our biggest offseason needs were defensive line first, offensive line second. I was criticized for this as well. I had the temerity to assert that Ronald Fields was not the answer at NT. For this, I was castigated. Judging by free agency, I think it is safe to say I, and many other MHR members, were in accord with McX. I say this not to rub it in, but instead to generate further conversation.
There are two common problematic themes when it comes to fans, one is specific to Bronco fans and the other is common to fans in general.
A. Bronco fans tend to be offense offense offense. Obviously, being spoiled by John Elway for so many years and Shanny's fun offensive system are the likely culprits. Not being able to run the ball and convert 3rd and short pissed me off as much as anyone. However, the Chiefs and Raiders running the ball up our ass pissed me off as much, if not more. Go by the numbers to determine need.
B. Fans in general tend to fall in love with their players at the expense of the team. I love and respect the Bronco players who fight and bleed in the trenches for my team. I am loyal to them. However, I am loyal to the team first, and that means I do what is best for the team. Most of the time, being loyal to players also happens to be what is best for the team, thankfully. Sometimes, being loyal to the team means you have to kick a player to the curb, hopefully gently. This is a man's game, not the glee club.
- Predicting feedback - Some will say the players we obtained in free agency were a reflection of the best free agents available and not necessarily a concerted effort to improve and overhaul our defensive line. Some will say there weren't many good interior offensive linemen available, and they may be right. Obviously we are not done with free agency and roster shakeups, but I think you can say with certainty that the Broncos have, so far, approached this offseason with the idea that our defensive makeover was the #1 priority.
If you are 26th against the run you either lack talent or have injuries. We didn't have too many injuries with our defensive front seven so I'll allow you to draw conclusions.
2. Brief aside. How good does Alyssa Milano look in those commercials constantly on the NFL Network modeling NFL clothing? Too bad she is wearing a Giants hoodie at the end.
3. As I have said before, I don't think we can infer too much from free agency as it relates to who we will draft. I suspect a couple of our newly acquired free agents will start but I think some of them, even the defensive guys, will be for depth. I have been a Dan Williams guy for quite some time and I think having Jamal Williams will decrease the chances of Dan being drafted by the Broncos. However, the Packers had Johnny Jolly and drafted B.J. Raji. They played together often and had mixed reviews. My overall point is this, some people are saying that our defensive overhaul is complete. I am saying it is just beginning and I am predicting some surprising cuts, trades, and drafts. We are not there yet.
4. Like it or not, Brandon Graham might be the best player available with the #11 pick. The guy, as everyone knows, is a stud. He is not a one year wonder and has shown consistent production. He is just as good against the run as he is at rushing the QB. My favorite statistic is that he led the nation in tackles for loss! The only reason I don't have him penciled in for our pick is Robert Ayers. They would play the same position, most likely. The idea of Graham and Doom both rushing the QB is salivating. I am more open to drafting Graham but I haven't jumped on board yet. Drafting the best player available is the long-term best answer for our team. I would like to hear arguments for or against this.
5. I was just about to make a point that said Mario Haggan would be a logical choice to start next to D.J. Williams someone else stole my thunder. Oh well. If I had to say how we will address MLB I think it will be through trade or draft, not free agency. Sean Lee and Brandon Spikes intrigue me, but not any earlier than the third, and they will likely be gone by then. I am not opposed to draft Rolando McClain but I will leave that decision up to the doctors. As far as a trade, I don't know. It seems like the middle linebacker position in the NFL is evolving. The idea of Taylor Mays as a middle linebacker is interesting. His coverage would be good enough for a linebacker. He probably doesn't have the size to disengage from blockers too well. His speed would enable him to run down everything that goes to the outside. I have seen him blitz effectively. Definitely something to consider.
6. Can I please stop seeing Lagarrette Blount mock drafts? Hahhaha. Just kidding. Mock away, I like to read them. As I have said before, Blount does not fit the type of player we are looking for. Not only is he a problem with punching people and missing or not missing pro days, he was out of shape prior to the start of the 2009 season. He was coming into his senior year and showed up out of shape and slow. Next.