FanPost

Forgotten Strength

As the off-season progresses, I have noticed a trend in topics, mostly focusing on the quarterback situation as well as on the defensive side of the ball, and I think that's where most of the focus should be. But I wanted to look back on last season and look at a few key players on this team that are either overlooked, underrated, or ignored in this off-season talk. This is meant to pay tribute and enlighten members here about what some may not know about these great contributors to this team.

As I've taken a break from Some Clarification is in Order, I've had the itch to get some ideas and thoughts off my chest without going into statistical research mode, so this post came out. Last season didn't have a lot of bright spots, but hopefully this will provide some light on some of the good things that happened last season and some hope for next season.

Syd'Quan Thompson

Gal_jets_broncos10_medium

Thompson

Year

Sacks

YdsL

Int

Yds

Solo

Ast

Total

2010

0

0

2

20

7

3

10

 

- Tied for 1st on the Broncos for the interceptions, tied with Renaldo Hill and Champ Bailey, despite having very few snaps.

- Tied for 8th in the NFL for all rookies in interceptions, ahead of Cox,

- Tied for 6th on the team in passes deflected, ahead of players like Jones, Burton and McBath.

- One of 41 7th or later rounders who have had 2 interceptions their rookie years.

- Led Bronco corners in Win Probability Added per play by Advanced NFL Stats.

So in short, Squid, in very, very limited time, was very successful. I went back and watched him in action, while hardly on the field a great deal of the time, when he was on the field, he was almost always near the ball or the ball carrier. While he does have a few aspects to work on, he was actually quite spectacular when given the chance, and while his size may play a factor in his future, it should be noted he is possibly the best corner we have, outside of Bailey, in terms of instincts. What he lacks in size to make great tackles, he makes up for in playing very, very smart football, reading the quarterback, and making plays. I loved what I saw in 2010 from Squid.

Jabar Gaffney

439x_medium

Gaffney

Year

Rec

Yds

Y/G

AVG

Lng

TD

2010

65

875

62.5

13.4

50

2

 

- Ranked 44th in DYAR at Football Outsiders.

- Best catch rate of receivers who caught at least 10 passes.

- Ranked 17th in YPR for receivers with over 50 receptions.

- 25th ranked in Win Probability Added by Advanced NFL Stats for wide receivers with 20 or more receptions.

- 27th ranked in Expected Points Added by Advanced NFL Stats for wide receivers with 20 or more receptions.

Now many people will say that Gaffney isn't being overlooked, but he is hardly being given the credit he deserves. Jabar, this past season, was actually very successful. Leading the team in catch rate, made almost no mistakes, played smart, and was successful. He was hardly the playmaker Lloyd was, and he's no fan favorite that Royal or DT are, but he performed fantastically last season, playing better then both Royal and DT and made a great compliment to Lloyd. After watching some of his game from last season, I'm really hard pressed to see any real flaws. He can't make the big catches Lloyd can, and he's no speedster, but other then that, he's lacking any real weaknesses. Either way, any talk of him being traded just shocks me, because considering what he's done, he's among the top #2 wide receivers a team could ask for.

Eric Decker

Brady_quinn_eric_decker_detroit_lions_v_denver_wtequhhccatl_medium

Decker

Year

Rec

Yds

Y/G

AVG

Lng

TD

2010

6

106

17.7

17.6

38

1


Kick Ret.

Yds

AVG

Lng

TD



22

556

25.2

51

0


 

- Ranked 11th in the NFL for returners with over ten kick returns, with 25.3 YPR.

- 4 out of the 6 receptions were for 1st downs, and 1 was for a touchdown.

- Tied for 1st in NFL for kick returners in fumble rate per return, 0%.

Decker's resume is short so far in the NFL, but in his limited time, he was very, very impressive. He was able to stay healthy, return kicks, and make his effect as a receiver felt later in the season. Decker's speed, size and vision make him idea to catch in traffic as well as return kicks, and at this point, if you were to compare him and DT in terms what what they accomplished in respective time and just compare the two in a physical perspective, I'd bet any man Decker is the better of the two at this point. Decker will hopefully see more time on the field next season, especially on special teams, and as he battles his way up a very deep wide receiver corps.

Renaldo Hill

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Hill

Year

Sacks

YdsL

Int

Yds

Solo

Ast

Total

2010

0

0

2

67

63

9

72

- 4th on the Broncos in tackles.

- Tied for 1st on the Broncos in interceptions.

- Had the best yards per interception on the Broncos.

- Tied for 6th on the Broncos in passes deflected.

- Top safety on the Broncos in Win Probability Added per play by Advanced NFL Stats.

- 5th ranked Bronco defender in Win Probability Added per play by Advanced NFL Stats.

- In the top 3rd in Win Probability Added per play for all safeties by Advanced NFL Stats.

- 2nd ranked safety in the AFC West and 9th ranked safety in the AFC according to Pro-Football-Focus.

Hill isn't a playmaker, he isn't flashy, and he doesn't stand out, but he gets the job done. While he will be remembered in 2010 for one huge mistake, people often mis-remember how well he played the rest of the season. Hill was ranked highly on every stat site I went to, and after rewatching him play, almost never, every gave up a big play, the key job he has. He wasn't called upon to rush the passer under past coaches, that was more of Dawk's job, so he was often called to play in a Cover 1 set, where his job was to prevent the big play, and he did that job with flying colors. Hill, while often not given much respect here, and with people calling for his replacement, quietly put up a fantastic season, ending up being one of the top safeties in the AFC. Hill isn't going to change games often, but he's saved a few this season, and people saying that we need to upgrade him should look at what he's done, it's impressive.

 

In conclusion, let's not forget what a number of players did and what they provide for the future. While the season did suck, let's honor those who did what they could for this team.

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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