Two of the more repeated quotes from Josh McDaniels came from the Week 4 game versus the Dallas Cowboys. McDaniels had been wearing a microphone during that game and the following two quotes were noted:
To QB Kyle Orton: "I'm not talking about my bad anymore. Just make the play!
Right after that, to the entire offensive unit: "Get in here! When we quit (bleeped) around and just do our job and quit worrying about everybody else's job and doing your own thing. That's what's killing us right now! Do! Your! Job! and quit making (bleeped) up. We haven't seen what we can do because it doesn't even look like a football team out there. Let's Go!
These two quotes became a recurring theme during the 2009 season. In our first installment of this series, we looked at the truism of keeping your eyes on the ball. In the second, the focus was the importance of pocket awareness. The third looked at the defense and controlling the gaps in the line of scrimmage. This time, we're going to turn our attention to the color "yellow" which is, IMHO, the ugliest color in football.I feel compelled to offer up an explanatory comment here: When declaring that the color yellow is the ugliest color, I am not, in fact, referring to those atrocious mustard and brown throwback uniforms sported by the Broncos last year. Although, I suppose they could quite easily qualify for that statement. No, I'm referring to a different shade of yellow. That ugly shade that appears whenever a member of a football team engages in what my students affectionately call a "brain fart." Yes, we are going to be looking that some penalty flags, a great number of which appeared in the Denver vs Dallas game.
I don't think too many of us would disagree that untimely penalties can be drive, and even game killers. In the Dallas game, that was the thing that leapt out at me most dramatically. There were 13 flags thrown in the 1st half of that game -- 8 of them going against Denver -- and almost all of which affected the rhythm and flow of the teams. Five more penalties were called in the 2nd half, but only two of them went against Denver. Both teams had drives stalled by penalties, and had drives extended by the yellow flag. By the time all was said and done, Denver had drawn lost 81 yards on 10 penalties, while Dallas lost 70 yards on 7 penalties. Below is a list of those penalties along with a short thumbnail of what happened afterwards.
13:45 - Denver's Robert Ayers had just hit Tony Romo forcing an incomplete pass. Unfortunately, a Defensive Holding call on Brian Dawkins gave Dallas a 1st down. The drive eventually ended in a punt.
10:42 - Eddie Royal made a fair catch at the Denver 15. During the punt, Peyton Hillis was flagged for Holding which moved Denver back to the Den 7. The drive continued.
10:08 - Denver had the ball 2nd & 5 at their own 12 yard line when Ryan Harris was flagged for a False Start, moving the Broncos back to the 7 and giving them 2 & 10. An incomplete pass was followed by a DB hitting Royal just as the ball got there bringing up 4th and 10. Denver had to punt
9:15 - Dallas had the ball, 1st & 10. An Offensive Holding call on Mathis, forced Dallas into 1st & 20. This was followed by a pass that went for a first down. The Cowboys marched up the field, before stalling out and having an Offensive Holding penalty declined which brought up 4th down. The drive ended in a 49 yard Field Goal.
5:02 - Denver had the ball 3rd & 5 at their own 35 when Ryan Harris was whistled for a False Start, bringing up 3rd & 10. After Dallas almost intercepted an Orton pass, Denver had to punt the ball.
4:20 - During the punt, Mario Haggan was flagged for a Holding penalty which added 10 yards onto the end of the punt return, giving Dallas a 1st and 10 at their own 39 instead of 29. The drive ended in a Dallas Touchdown.
0:40 - Denver had a 1st & 10 at their own 20. During a 5 yard run by Buckhalter, Dallas was flagged for Defensive Holding, adding 10 yards to the end of run giving Denver a first down. The drive eventually ended in a punt.
11:31 - Dallas had the ball, 2nd & 10 on their own 25. Center Gurode was flagged for Tripping, bringing up 2nd & 20 from their own 15. After a 6-yard pass completion, Romo was hit in the backfield and stripped of the ball by Renaldo Hill on third and 14 at the Dallas 22. D J Williams recovered the fumble and returned the ball to the Dallas 9. Denver scored a Touchdown on a pass from Orton to Moreno.
7:43 - Dallas had the ball 3rd & 5 on their own 48 yard line. Romo was flagged for Delay of Game, bringing up 3rd & 10. Dallas could only gain 2 yards on a pass play bringing up 4th and 8 and the Cowboys had to punt.
5:27 - Denver was facing a 1st & 10 at their own 40. Orton and Scheffler misconnected on a pass 25 yards up the field. Scheffler was called for Offensive Pass Interference, setting up 1st & 20 from the Denver 30. The Broncos overcame this to get a first down. The drive continued.
4:16 - Denver had the ball 1st & 10 at the Dallas 46. Moreno broke off a 13 yard run, unfortunately, Wiegmann drew a flag for Offensive Holding, negating the run and bringing up 1st & 20 at the Denver 44. The drive continued.
3:03 - After a 1 yard pass play, Denver faced 2nd & 19 at their own 45. A 6 yard completion to Marshall was negated by a Tripping penalty called on Ryan Clady. This put Denver in a 2nd & 29 at their own 35. The drive finally ended in a punt.
11:07 - Denver lined up 2nd & 12 at their own 20 yard line. Under pressure, Orton tried to move upfield, but was pulled to the ground by Anthony Spencer who grabbed Orton's facemask. It was called as a Personal Foul Face Mask which gave Denver 15 yards and a first down. Drive eventually ended in a punt.
6:26 - On a Dallas punt, Eddie Royal returned the ball to the Denver 15, unfortunately, Peyton Hillis drew a penalty for an Illegal Block in the Back which backed the ball up to the 7 1/2 yard line. The drive ended in a punt.
11:14 - Dallas had the ball, 2nd & 10 at the Cowboys 20 yard line. Defensive Pass Interference penalty was called on Andre Goodman. The drive continued.
10:32 - Later on in same drive, Dallas faced a 2nd & 3 at their 39 yard line, RB Choice broke a 17 yard run which was recalled due to an Offensive Holding Penalty by WR Bennett. The drive eventually ended in a punt.
8:31 - Denver was facing 2nd & 5 at their own 46. A 10 yard completion to Eddie Royal received an additional 15 yards after a Roughing the Passer penalty was called on the Cowboys' Ratliff. The drive eventually ended in a game-tying Field Goal.
As we look at this list we can see how much penalties can affect the game. Dallas overcame an offensive penalty and moved on to score a field goal. They later capitalized on a Denver penalty during a punt that shortened the field and scored a touchdown. However, Dallas gave some of those points back when Romo fumbled after a Cowboys offensive penalty had moved his team backwards and Denver capitalized by scoring a touchdown. Dallas had two drives that stalled out, one following a penalty on Denver, the other caused by a penalty against the Cowboys. Denver had 7 drives that stalled out after penalties called against the Broncos. One of the those drives had two Denver penalties on it, and a 2nd had 3. Denver did have a drive that capitalized on a Dallas penalty by scoring the game-tying field goal.
These instances of brain-freeze on the parts of some of the Denver players may have played a role in Coach McDaniels calling the offense together on the sideline to deliver the tirade quoted at the beginning of this article. And which gave us one of my favorite quotes: "Just! Do! Your! Job! and quit making (bleeped) up!"