I haven't posted in awhile but, as the season is about to begin, I thought I'd weigh in and predonculate (best noun ever -combination of predict, prognosticate, calculate and either donkey or ridonculous - either way, can't miss).
Keys to the Season:
1. Our O-line - Honestly, this is my biggest concern, period. JD and Zane look solid but . . . starting two rookies at C and G is really pretty crazy. I know that Hochstein and the Olsen twins (ha) are in there, too. Still, with injuries to Harris and Clady still looming a bit, I'm concerned. This is especially scary given that we will probably have to be a running team to win this year - at least we'll have to establish the run to control the clock, open up play action and keep our bad - a## yet aging defense off the field. This could be fine - Clady and Harris could be healthy, Kuper heals up and Zane and JD turn out to be studs. Still, there are A LOT of "ifs" there.
2. WR Corp - I'm concerned here. I might be in the minority in that respect and, trust me, I'm as glad as anyone that what's his name is gone, but . . . we don't really have a "LEGIT" #1. Lloyd? Willis? Eddie? Gaff? Stoke? No, No, maybe, No and too old. The rooks (at least one) has to step-up here or Kyle could get killed (given the O-line situation and a lack of weapons) This will also put pressure on the running game b/c teams can load the box and not fear any deep threat. I was REALLY disappointed when McKinley went down again. I was really hoping he'd step into a role this year.
2. Health - I know, I know. But Doom aside, how our new front three, especially JWill, and our secondary, especially Dawk, hold-up will determine how good our defense can be. Also, given recent losses at linebacker, we can't afford any more injuries at that position. I think Ayers and Mario will step it up in Doom's absence, but we're getting thin.
3. Sophomore Surges Must Happen - Darcel McBath, Robert Ayers, Knowshon Moreno, Alphonso Smith, Richard Quinn and, to a lesser degree, Bruton and Olsen. These guys are keys to our future and to depth on our team. If these guys all step-up and play to their potential, I think we have a chance to do some special things. I'm really going to be watching guys like Phonz, Quinn and Ayers in the preseason. I've heard good things, but camp can be deceiving.
4. Rookie Contributions - I would love it if all of our rookies were gods . . . but they won't all be good. We know that. What we need is for several of them to step-up and contribute, in all phases, at some point when they're needed. One of our big weaknesses, in my opinion is wide receiver. As much as you all want to get excited about Mathew Willis and Brandon Lloyd, remember that Lloyd has done the stud in camp, invisible during the season act MANY times before. Either Thomas or Decker needs to have an Eddie Royal-like rookie year or we're in deep, deep trouble. Sure we have Gaff and Stoke, but we need a young weapon in there - a guy who can take pressure off of eddie (especially b/c he's going to be returning kicks).
5. Coaching - Wink, let's see it, bro. I like what I hear. I like the "aggressive" stuff. Now, let's see if he can call a 3-4 D and make adjustments as well as Nolan did last night. This might also cause a stir, but I'd also like to see some development in McD's playcalling. We know he can do it when he's got nothing else to do (see '07 Patriots). I wasn't exstatic with what I saw last year and I'd like to see some maturing and some more creativity this season.
I'd love to write more, but the wife is calling me. All feedback is appreciated. Go Broncos!!!