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This report attempts to make some sense of the transition from the old regime to the new, with the loss of the summer schedule, and how some of the circumstances may have affected the team. If you missed any of this "I Spy" series, you may check them out by clicking the appropriate name(s) that follow. John Fox, Mike McCoy, Dennis Allen.
John Fox, Dennis Allen and Mike McCoy are my biggest surprise of the year! Tim Tebow showing what he can do is no surprise. I knew that it would happen this year for two reasons.
1) Kyle Orton and the team, were starting the year under a totally new system, with no OTA's and I would have bet on the results.
2) Tim had proven that he is a winner, at every level that he had played. My stubborn nature wouldn't even begin to allow me to believe the host of "reports", readily available, that tried to convince us he would fail.
Starting any season with a new HC, DC and supporting staff, who have been robbed of the time durring the off season to get to know their players, is a recipe for disaster, and yet we are seeing a run of wins that many are calling a miracle. Is it miraculous, or is it the results of exceptionally good coaching?
I believe it is the latter, and I will do my best to explain my take. It all starts with John Fox, but what is he doing, and what are McCoy and Allen doing to affect the results?
John Fox is not a Head Coach, and he may be the first to admit that! Head Coordinator fits his Management Style much better.
Coordination is something that all three of these coaches have plenty of, having played the positions that they did in the game, but that physical attribute doesn't automatically transfer to a management mentality.
All great managers have it, and upon accepting his position with the Broncos the first thing that Fox needed to do was to find intelligent men with the right mind set so that he could coordinate that collective savvy. Fortunately, half of the search was over from the start.
Having worked closely with McCoy in Carolina, Fox knew what he had in Mike. He also knew that removing the strait jacket Josh McDaniels had placed on him would release his creative mind, along with all of the last two years of dreams and skemes that he had saved up. That shows the wisdom of a true Head Coordinator. Now all he had to do was find Mikes twin brother on Defense! He did it! What a stroke of luck, cunning or genius! (or just having the right friends in certain places)
Call it what you like, but when you look at the comparisons between Dennis Allen and Mike McCoy, you realize that they are twins from different mothers! Okay I'll admit one thing. They aren't Identical Twins, although they both are endowed with exceptional creative intelligence. You see, having different mothers must have given one the defensive mind while the other got the offence. Aren't WE lucky!
Mike was born (on April 1st, but he's no fool) 5 months and 21 days before Dennis, and this has to be a total riot for the two! They are like two sibling rivals competing with each other all week long, but then when it comes to push and shove on Sunday, they will stand back to back and kick anyone's butt who wants to take them on!
All great managers must be excellent communicators. Our players have been outspoken (especially Champ & Dawk) about Dennis Allen's exceptional abilities in this area. Getting a point across to a large, diverse group of men is one thing. Being able to communicate ideas that inspire and motivate that group is equally important in this business. We are fortunate to have three such men at the top of our organization!
Every Great Coordinator knows how to delegate. Once all the responsibilities are assigned to the individuals whom they have faith in, they are able to coordinate the activities and focus them to reach the common goal. This describes John Fox to a tee, and I'm betting that Mike and Dennis are following his lead.
The flip side is micro management, and we have all seen the results of that. It may start off with a bang, but the micro manager, when faced with to much detail to manage, will eventually fail. A good coordinator trusts his staff. That frees up his time allowing him to effectively manage. That is the single most impressive reason why I believe that we are seeing the success that we are this year.
First, you must find good people to help you manage, and second, you must let them do their job! John Fox has accomplished both of those criticle details in an impressive manner. If you read my peice on DC Allen you read this statement.
"Fox coaches like a CEO; he manages his staff, giving input during the week and managing it all on game day, but he gives his assistants great leeway in concocting schemes and strategies." That shows the maturity and wisdom of a coach who is in his 33 rd year of coaching college and professional football teams.
The Beauty of NO OTA's: (The second biggest reason for our success!)
No, that isn't a typo! We all know the negatives from the lack of OTA's this year, so I want to do something that many fans have not been doing. Lets focus on the many possitive things that happened as a result.
First off there were absolutely no distractions for the new group of coaches. Imagine turning down the stress meter! Imagine six months of grabbing a coffee and entering the meeting rooms to work on the direction you want the new Broncos to go, knowing that this was your entire obligation at the moment!
What a relaxing atmosphere. What a luxurious way for a new group of coaches and management to exchange ideas, experiences and to game plan for the coming season. How much extra time did that give the various departments to review film, and discuss responsibilities and strategy?
In my opinion, not having OTA's was a huge advantage in that sense. I beleive that it also had a positive affect on other teams in the same situation. (San Fran comes to mind) The obvious disadvantage that all these coaches will give is the physical time lost. The one on one.
Getting to know the guys and their tendencies. Practicing with them. Seeing and learning the varied personalities along with that of the group as a whole. As we all know, team personality's vary a great deal from city to city, and like any new relationship, it takes time for the coaches and players to get comfortable.
I am beginning to beleive that this was one of those times where the good outweighed the bad. What I see is not just a neucleus of coaches who are "on the same page." These guys are "Gorilla Glued" to the page. The unity and camaraderie is unmistakable.
The obvious clarity of purpose, and the way that the entire team is equally focused says a lot to the unified approach taken by this brand new staff. Would they have jelled this well, with out that atmosphere and additional time, interrupted by OTA's? We will never know, but the thing I do know is that it really didn't hurt Our Team at all, and I'd be surprised if it didn't actually benefit us in the long run.
What do you think? Did the loss of the OTA's hurt us? In what way(s)? Do you feel like the first six games was equal to our OTA's and now we are ready? Give it your best shot!
I'm Douglas Clancy Hale, (alias metalman5050, don't trust this guy, he's a spy!) and that's just my opinion.