FanPost

Some Clarification is in Order: Mythbusters Edition

So this off-season, more then ever, people seem to being saying things that are false and passing them off as truth. Now I don't think a site as awesome as MHR should sink so low as to start believe false truths. MHR revolves around growth and learning as a community, and that can't happen when members start trying to pass off lies. So this episode of Some Clarification is in Order will debunk some myths as well as issue a call to all members to rely on facts. And since that was what the original Some Clarification is in Order was created to do, we're getting back to our roots.

So in this post, we will be resolving these common myths:

  1. Tebow outplayed Orton on 3rd downs and when the game was on the line.
  2. The offense sucked last season
  3. Fox and McCoy's offense and the TE position
  4. Leadership on the Broncos

So lets get to work:

Mythbusters_medium

Orton and Tebow on 3rd down

1. Orton's struggle on 3rd downs was common knowledge, and with Tim's excellent and well researched post, we saw why, Orton and the Orton lead offense struggled on 3rd down. Because of this, Orton has been labeled "not clutch" because of his play. But my question was, did anyone actually pay attention to Tebow on 3rd down. Well it seems no one has because Tim didn't do another post covering Tebow and no one else has either, so I wanted to compare the two in a similar way to how Tim did it in his well rec'd post.

Now I will be covering how Tebow himself did on 3rd downs as well as the Tebow-led offense, because this is first and foremost a team sport. Now I wanted to look at the offense under each quarterback, exactly how Tim did it. Here's how he broke it down:

The first set of data is the largest and most common. I simply named it the Regular Game Action category. This category basically has every single drive in the first half (even the Oakland game), as well as most third quarter action in games that were either close or a Denver Broncos blowout.

The second set of data is categorized as Garbage Time Action, which contain any drives that took place when the Broncos were down by three or more scores in the second half. I had to include the Rams game in this category even though Orton led the Broncos back into this game, simply because the Rams were running the prevent defense during that rally and returned to their base defense on the final drive.

The last set of data is likely to be the most contentious group of data, which I have dubbed Clutch (Game in Doubt). This includes any drive that took place during the late third and through the fourth quarter of any game where the Broncos trailed by a single score.

I also threw out several so-called drives that resulted from the victory formation or very short drives that resulted in instant turnovers - such as the Orton pick six and Demaryius Thomas fumble from the Raider game. Also, I did my best to get 100% accuracy, but if I am off by a number here or there please refrain from crucifying me. If any mistakes are found, let me know and I will fix them. The data set is too large for any minor error to change anything, so I am not too worried about that.

The same disclaimers apply to me as well, if I'm one number off, please email me so I can fix it rather then ranting and throwing the post off topic. Since Tebow had more limited playing time, I excluded points, yards and run and pass plays because those would be so low for him. Instead I put in the total percentage of pass and run plays to see how the offense was broken up. This is done due to the small sample size. I also included the completion percentage of the quarterback as well for that time frame. So take Orton during regular game action, the offense passed 61% of the time, ran 39%, they converted 49 out of 125 3rd downs, and Orton was 57% accurate during regular game action. I also included the percentage of 3rd downs converted for the calculator disabled.

Regular Game Action:

Orton

Regular Game Action

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

61%

39%

49/125 (39%)

57%


Tebow

Regular Game Action

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

43%

57%

4/22 (18%)

60%


Garbage Time Action:

Orton

Garbage Time Action

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

77%

23%

7/27 (26%)

66%

 

Tebow

Garbage Time Action

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

46%

54%

4/9 (44%)

49%


Clutch (Game in Doubt)

Orton

Clutch

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

74%

26%

4/17 (24%)

53%

 

Tebow

Clutch

Pass %

Run %

3rd Down Con.

Comp. %

40%

60%

1/5 (20%)

41%


Now I realize Tebow was a rookie, and because of that, I can excuse his play, so this isn't a critical review, just making the point that if you say Orton sucked on 3rd downs, which he did, so did Tebow. It should also be noted that this doesn't take into account the opposing defenses, like I said, this isn't an indepth review, just a short summery showing how both did in general. I'm not trying to say one is better then the other, just that both had major issues. Anyone who thinks this is an indepth review needs to reread the post.

Now I don't have the space to do as thorough review as Tim, but to be concise, the offense lead by Tebow struggled more on 3rd downs, Tebow himself struggled more on 3rd downs, and both seriously struggled during clutch time. Now this isn't to say Orton wasn't bad on 3rd downs and in the clutch, but many need to realize that Tebow and the Tebow lead offense was even worse. Tebow is a rookie, and will likely improve next season, and I'm really, really excited for that, but that change what he did not play or lead well last season on 3rd downs and in the clutch. This really leads me to believe that other factors, such as lack of running game, long 3rd downs, and poor line play, had more impact on 3rd downs then we think.

The Offense Sucked Last Season

2. Many people look at last seasons offense and just say it plain sucked. Well I wanted to review the offense as a whole and discuss why that is a myth. First of, there is the statistical proof. We ranked 19th in scoring in the league, scoring more points then the Bucs (10-6), Bears (11-5), Seahawks (7-9), and the Dolphins (7-9). We ranked 7th overall in passing offense and scoring, and ranked 13th in overall yards per game. So overall, our passing and scoring game was very average, not bad, not terrible, average. But the downfall of our offense was the running game. We were ranked 26th in terms of rushing yards and were among the worst in rushing success in the red zone. 

Now I bring this up because many people look at our offense as the reason for our losses last season, but I look at our offense as saving us from a much worse fate. I say this for one major reason, our defense, that allowed 29 points a game, was on of the worst of the decade. Since 2001, only three teams have allowed more points per game then us. Of those three, two were the Lions of 2008 (0-16) and 2009 (2-14). The other was the 2001 Colts (6-10). None of the three had winning records and the three averaged 3 wins. Since the merger in 1970, the average wins for a team that allowed 29 points a game was 2 wins. Only one had a winning season, the 2000 Rams, who had one of the greatest offenses of all time. So we beat the average by two wins. To say our offense lost us games is a true fact, but they are the ones who played much better then many here give them credit for. Our offense last season beat history's average, and allowed us to be one of five teams since 1970 to win more then 2 games while giving up 29 points a game. So was our offense great last season, no way, but they were hardly as bad as we remember them, especially the passing game, and when put into perspective, like all things should be, they did a good job.

Fox's Offense and the TE Position

3. Rodney A did a great mock a short time ago, and in it he pointed out something that most people on this site seem to ignore, John Fox doesn't draft, trade for, or use receiving tight ends. Here's a quick except from his post:

Some of you want a tight end and would maybe make that the pick here. Don’t feel bad, I actually advocated once that we should take a young buc TE in free agency and make that our major expenditure.  Boy was I wrong. One day, last week I think, I decided to learn a little about the echo of Fox not using TEs much. And for once, the echoes were true. Fox drafted lots of TEs, but only one time did he ever draft a TE prior to the 5th round. And he’s never taken a big name TE in free agency either. Panther TEs include;(a)  Jeff King, who’s started all but two games over the last four years and has only passed the 200 yard mark one time in his career, (b) Gary Barnidge, who’s played in all but one game for the Panthers over the last three years and has a grand total of 242 career yards, and (c) Donte Rosario, who’s played in all but four games for Carolina over the past four years and barely passed the 300 yard mark just once. All these guys are between 6’3 and 6’5 and weigh between 247 lbs and 260 lbs. Fox drafted all three of them in the 5th round and all three played in a substantial majority of games in their first season.

So there you have it. If somebody says we need a TE in the 2nd round. Tell them I said it’s not going to happen. I’m sure that should carry some weight. No? Well anyway, we might take a TE in the 5th (even if we have to steal a pick to do so), or we might grab a Johnny Nobody out of free agency. Or we might just pay Daniel Graham (or get him to take less money). In any event, we’re not going to draft Kyle Rudolph in the 2nd round. It’s just not happening. In fact, Richard Quinn might turn out to be a God for Coach Fox, so maybe we stand pat, just adding a little camp fodder.

Now I wanted to look into this a bit deeper and review it further. This is just a historical review, many will take it one way or another, but  this his just a historical perspective.

In Fox's nine years as the Panthers head coach, John Fox has selected six tight ends, none came before the 3rd round, and only one came in the 3rd round. Of those six, only three stayed with the team for longer then three seasons. Of the six, only one (Jeff King) caught more then 400 yards (King had  406) and King was also the only TE to catch more then two touchdowns in one season (he had three).

Of all tight ends the Panthers have had that caught at least one pass a season, they averaged 167 yards per season. Only four times did the team have a tight end reach 300 yards receiving and only once did they top 400 yards. John Fox's offense just doesn't use tight ends in the receiving game, plain and simple.

Now many will say, this is McCoy's offense, not Fox's, which I'd disagree with, but for the sake of appeasing those who say McCoy will design the offense, lets take into account McCoy history.

McCoy's offensive history is tied closely to two head coaches, John Fox, and Josh McDaniels. We've already covered how little Fox uses tight ends, Josh McDaniels is also well known for not using receiving tight ends. So between having familiarity with both Fox's and McD's playbooks, his understanding of tight ends is that you don't really use them in the passing game much. So from reviewing McD's, Fox's and McCoy's history, it's is more then obvious that neither McCoy or Fox really uses tight ends in the passing game.

So could we draft a receiving tight end, yes, but history shows that both McCoy and Fox don't use tight ends that way. The likelihood of us drafting a tight end is slim, the likelihood of us taking one like Kyle Rudolph in the 2nd is almost impossible.

Leadership on the Broncos

4. The last myth I wanted to debunk was the Orton wasn't a leader on the Broncos. Now this isn't to say Tebow isn't a leader, we've already seen that he is, but I find it strange how quickly people forget, or choose to ignore, all the evidence from the locker room and during the mini-camps and TC that say Orton was the leader of this team. Tebow's leadership is well known from his work at Florida, and is slowly making it felt here, so there is no denying Tebow has the potential to control the locker room and lead this team. But my question is, why does Tebow being a leader stop Orton from being a leader?

So lets just review a few quotes from players who discuss Orton's leadership and work ethic:

 Josh McDaniels

Kyle (Orton) has been the perfect example of what we hoped to get out of a lot of our players which is, he's come out, he's had a great training camp, he answered a challenge, he's responded perfectly to a competitive situation - that's all it is - and he's been a very solid leader and set a great example for the team." Link

Certainly (Orton) earned the respect of his teammates and coaches last year from what he did and it's a competitive group now - that's what it is. Link

He works extremely hard. He put in a ton of time last week. He was here late, real late, every day. He threw himself right at it as soon as he got here. Link

Eddie Royal

He was the leader that we needed. Link 

Ryan Harris

I just think he's far more competitive. He's got an edge to him, you know, and I think that helps us as an offense because the stronger our quarterback and the more confident our quarterback is, the more confidence we feel we have in each other. That's been one of the things through all the change and everything that's been going on. (It) has been a great thing for us offensively to make sure that one of our key components, our quarterback, is improving and he's doing a great job. Link

John Bena, from what he saw at TC and pre-season

Kyle Orton came out and played with the sense of urgency I was looking for.  Not because his job is in jeopardy(which it is not), or because he is in a contract year(which he is).  It was nice to see because Kyle Orton knows, and accepts, that he will have to carry the Broncos, especially early in the season.  Be it injuries to the running backs, or youth on the offensive line, Orton is the unquestioned leader of the offense - and to me, the question was would he embrace that.  It is Orton's team, Orton's locker room. Link

Eric Decker

Kyle Orton is really taking the leadership role and from my experience, I feel really comfortable with him in there and (QB Tim) Tebow is coming along, (QB) Brady Quinn is throwing a good ball and all three of did a good job I thought today and we're clicking as an offense.

Yeah, he (Orton) was out here with us during the rookie (practices) - soft opening they call it - and he was kind of teaching us through all the routes and what he wanted and he really took that role on and I think as a receiver you have a lot of confidence in your quarterback when he does something like that.

Link

Tim Tebow

(QB Kyle) Orton comes out here and work hard every day and those are great leaders for everybody else to watch. Link

I think (he's a) high-character guy. Goes about his business, works hard and come in here and compete. A great guy to learn from and to be around. Link

Brandon Lloyd

Just his overall intelligence and his knowhow, you know. Not just what he knows about the game of football, just what he knows about the offense and how he just applies both - his film study - and he just goes out there and he executes. He does such a great job. Link

so we're comfortable and it pretty much starts with (QB Kyle) Orton and his confidence and what he's learning, and he kind of shares it with us. Link

Andre Goodman

I think most guys would come in and tell you that Kyle has been very impressive during training camp — and even OTAs. His leadership skills (are one thing), but also just the confidence that he's walking around with now — he seems like a different guy, and I think the competition brought the best out in him. Link

Brandon Marshall

When talking about work ethic and preparation: "Kyle Orton is definitely No. 1, he's always in the lab." Link

Brandon Stokley

He showed a lot of heart in the last few weeks, playing through a tough injury. We know he's been hurting, (and his heart is huge to play this way). Link

Brian Dawkins

He is a competitor. Kyle is a competitor. He wants to get that thing done the first time, especially in the game. He is wired up during the game. You guys probably don’t get a chance to hear it, but when he comes onto the sideline, he sometimes says a couple of things to me. He is pumped up by getting that ball back. link

Knowshon Moreno

He is a leader on this team, and we are grateful to have him. Link

No one on this team doubts Orton's leadership, so why should you? This isn't a pissing contest, the more leadership in the locker room the better, and if both Orton and Tebow are leaders and hard workers, that's awesome. No one doubts Tebow's work ethic and leadership here, but no one doubts Orton on the Broncos. Orton is one of their leaders, that is a fact. No coach is going to complain he has more then one hard working quarterback, let alone more then one leader.

Now many sensitive members may take this as a knock on Tebow or as Orton-homeritis or something, but I want to make this clear, like I said in the beginning, this is about clearing up misconceptions. Especially the last one, is meant to show how strong this team is in terms of leadership. On defense we have Dawk, Champ, Doom and DJ. Offensively we have Orton, Tebow, Kuper, Clady, and others. It's not a bad thing to say Orton is a hard work and is a leader on this team, it doesn't take away from what Tebow has done, heck Orton has commented on Tebow's work ethic and Tebow has commented on Orton's.

 

Now in conclusion, I implore fans to look up facts and links before saying something that is questionable. And if someone disagrees with them, prove them wrong with facts, because opinions are just that, opinions, and don't carry much weight. So I issue a call to MHR, research, learn, grown, and educate yourself, because really, what is it going to hurt.

For those of you who made it, have a reward video:

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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