I want to first say I am not criticizing anyones judgements or mocking an beliefs, but I do not agree with a few of the mainstream ideas that are going around Broncoland as of late. Like...
1. We need to draft a reciever early or at all. Wrong.
A)Brandon Marshall is a Bronco now and will be until McD and Xanders say otherwise. He has been a consistent playmaker for us and will continue to do so until he is on another team. Drafting a receiver out of fear for losing Marshall would be a risky and expensive move when our current receivers are more than capable to fill in. Why try and replace someone that could very well be a Bronco for years to come?
B)Eddie Royal seems to have gone through a sophmore slump but are we so quick to forget what kind of production he showed during week 1 of 2008 in Marshall's absence and the rest of the ensuing season? He will be a larger part of our offense and can be the burner/ deep threat for our offense.
C)Jabar Gaffney was a starting caliber player for the Patriots offense in his time there. He too showed the ability to step in for Marshall's absence in week 17 of 2009 as a number 1 option. Why would it be so wrong to ask him to step into a solid starting role for us?
D)Behind these three we also have the ever reliable Brandon Stokley and once spectacular Brandon Lloyd who showed valuable in the limited playing time they received last season. Kenny McKinnley is our current project that will continue to develop. Possibly into the next big time receiver...?
So another rookie drafted this year would only further the dilution of talent. I believe we should let the receiving corps that we have come into their own and shows us what they've got. There are much more pressing needs to address than receiver.
A)Orton is a beast. Period.
B)Brady Quinn could hardly beat out Derek Anderson for the starting job half the time in Cleveland. Derek Anderson=released by the Browns. Orton=1st round tender from the Broncos. What about that is indicative of Quinn's talent being superior to Orton's?
C)Quinn went through 3 years of different coordinators and couldn't catch up to any one of those schemes. So how can anyone reasonably expect him to not only pick up another new scheme, but also beat out Orton since he already has a year of experience under McD.
D)Orton had his best statistical season under McD's tutelage last year. I fully expect him to come out of the gates fast this year with that much more confidence behind him. He had a new receiving corps, new o-line, new system, and new coaches to get used to. He broke his finger early and then ended the season fighting an ankle injury. He still put up better than average numbers and only has room to improve. His time to gel with the offense has passed and the offense should begin firing on all cylinders at the start of next season.
E) Quinn ended both of the last seasons on IR. Orton finished both of the last seasons on a broken ankle. Which is more reliable? Orton is better than Quinn.... no doubt in my mind.
3. We can afford to fix anything on our team right now before the o-line. Delusional
A) Our running game in 2009 was painful to watch at times because our guys could not open up holes against bigger d-linemen. If Moreno wasn't getting hit behind the line half the time, he would've had a much better average. His ability to break tackles in the open field relies solely on him actually making it out into the open.
B) Our guards aren't exactly probowlers and aren't getting any younger. Our starting center is no longer around and going into the season without a starting caliber center may just cause us a few problems. I don't think age or veteran leadership on the o-line is what we need so much as we do some bigger bodies.
C) McD wants to continue moving away from, if not eliminate entirely, the zone blocking schemes of old and complete the move towards his own power blocking scheme. To do this we need to beef up the o-line like we recently did to our d-line. If we do not create a bigger o-line in the middle, our own d-line will end up dominating them in practice scrimmages. And that's just embarrassing.
We are bound for contention this year if we upgrade our o-line. Our inability to run out the clock or control the ball on extended drives is what finally did us in last year. In turn we then need to continue to upgrade our linebackers. Mario Haggan and Andra Davis were mediocore starters for us but leave much to be desired. If we ended the offseason with a new middle of the o-line and replacements for Haggan and Davis, I think we will have a strong chance to go deep. If you disagree, please inform me of the err in my ways. But this is just how I see things.