I gotta start this off with Kyle Orton. Last year I was in the mindset that trading Jay Cutler and starting Orton was an epic mistake. I felt justified during the first preseason game and for most of the 2009 season since I felt the Defense was carrying the team more than the offense. This year is a different story, Kyle Orton so far has been dominant. He's showing tremendous poise and vision in the pocket; Kyle is clearly comfortable with offense and it shows. To me the cherry on top was the excitement he showed when he got his modest extension. As a Nuggets fan waiting for another player to sign is his max extension, Kyle's enthusiasm was welcome. Sorry I doubted you dude!
When Roger Goddell announced that with the 25th pick of the 2010 Draft the Denver Broncos selected Tim Tebow my heart sank. I heard about the good things he did down in Florida but I don't really watch that much (if at all) college football. What concerned me the most was the religious attention he would bring to my beloved Broncos' (I'm not religious). But to my happy surprise Tim has managed to put the team first and has kept that seperate from the team. If the worst extent of this will be a couple of "Focus on the Family" commercials during the game I'll be a happy camper. I liked what I saw during the first preseason game, Tebow showed flashes of improvisionation, decent pocket awareness and excellent mobility. He came off as a bigger yet slightly slower version of Michael Vick. His throws had good pop and accuracy, with enough reps and time learning he will be a force to reckon with.
Nostalgia and Mike Shanahan
Last night I caught the replay of Redskins/Ravens game and I couldn't help how weird it felt to see Mike Shanahan donning a Washington Redskins shirt on the sidelines. I'm 26 years old and I'd say that 90% of my lifetime Broncos' viewing Mike Shanahan was coach. It was hard when he was fired but it was necessary, he message and philosophy at Dove Valley got stale. He appears to be refreshed I'm sure not being the GM is helping out matters a lot and Mike seems to have been recharged. Mike will always be a Bronco to me and should be inline for a spot in the Ring of Fame a Mile High (After Rod Smith). Look for the Redskins to be one of the better improved teams this year. I wish him all the luck and who knows maybe next year it'll be a Denver/Washington Super Bowl (With the Broncos coming out on top naturally).
Camp surprises and disappointments
Here's a list of the positive surprises.
1. Kyle Orton - If you would've told me Kyle would be dominant this preseason I would ask you who your supplier would be. He must have put fairy dust in his Wheaties because he's awesome.
2. Matthew Willis - This guy is quick! His tries on every play to make the catch and is a good hustler. Matt will make the roster probably as the 5th receiver (Thinking Brandon Lloyd is the odd man out).
3. Perrish Cox - Not a bad way to burn a 5th round pick, He's shown flashes at CB but what's most impressive is the punt returns. Cox is quick like Eddie Royal but I believe he has better burst speed to his those gaps for big gains.
4. J.D Walton and Zane Beadles - These two guys are big like 30-40 lbs (Love me some hamburger helper) bigger than the guys they replaced and it shows. Pass protection up the middle has been pretty good so far. When Iron Clady and Kuper return I expect pass protection to be muchbetter compared to last year. Run blocking looks like a mess right now, but when Kuper and Clady come back I believe it will improve.
5. Jarvis Moss and Robert Ayers - Or as like to call them the "I told you guys we weren't busts brigade". These two are a nice surprise this camp, Moss especially. In each of the preseason games I liked what I saw from them and more importantly how they were improving each game. The Pittsburgh game should be fun to watch, their offensive line is in shambles and they should have their way with it. It'll be a nice confidence booster.
Here's the list of disappointments.
1. Alphonso Smith - I'll refer to McGeorge's imagery of going for a block on a kickoff on that matter (It was absurd). Smith hasn't really shown any flashes of being a servicable cornerback, he always looks like he's out of position to a make a play or blows it (see dropped Int from Saturday). I do feel bad for him as he was thrust into a high pressure situation due to McDaniels/Xanders blowing a 2010 1st round pick on him when he was more or less a 3rd round prospect. He'll make the team (out of pricipal) but a better CB will be cut (Tony Carter) because of it. I see him trying, hopefully it'll click eventually and he'll salvage his NFL career.
2. Brady Quinn - Holy cow Brady, what's going on? The 1st preseason game it wasn't a QB in the huddle, it was a Deer with looking at some headlights. The 2nd game was better. Brady didn't look like a QB with experience in a similar system as this. He regularly overthrew his receivers and held on to the ball way to long. Hopefully some time will get him settled in.
3. Injuries - Man, lots of tweaked ankles and hamstrings this preseason. Maybe some hot yoga will do them some good with their stretching. Elvis' injury was a freak thing, just wish him to get better.
I went in the preseason thinking that this would yet again be a 8-8 team hoping that they would show promise towards the end. With the new found awesomeness of Kyle Orton the outlook looks a bit better. I really think they have a shot at the wild card with a 9-7, 10-6 record. If they're able to steal a win against the Jets and the Ravens then I think this is entirely possible.
What do you guys think?