Just got a tweet this morning from Bob Papa, the NY Giants play-by-play guy. He says "As a Giants fan I learned to trust Reese. Every move is Kosher with me. We don't have the big picture." Interesting thought. Do we as Broncos fans have any trust in the current leadership of the team?
My best friend Steve once said to me, trust is like a bank account. You make deposits and withdrawls every day. One day you call in sick, you make a withdrawl from your employer's bank account. You bring in a new client, you make a deposit, maybe a big deposit. As long as the balance is in the black, you're good, with your employer, your friends, your wife, your kids, etc. Even if you get in the red, a lot of times they will cut you some slack if in the long run you've always maintained a good sized balance.
I used to trust in Mike Shanahan for many years. He would make moves and some of them I would think, "Huh?" but often they would work out. Hey, he won two superbowls. Then he started to get rid of the guys who got them there. In fairness, some of them, like John Elway got old and retired. Some like Terrell Davis and Al Wilson got hurt and retired. But there was some coaches, who got tired of his antics, or wanted to break out on their own and left. There was guys like Trevor Pryce who he clashed with and he got rid of them for a song. Can you imagine where we might have been with some of those guys on the roster the last couple of years?
The running game stalled. The defense just got worse and worse. I've read some of the posts here on MHR where they detail how as soon as Al Wilson got hurt and retired, the defense just caved. The Mastermind was drafting guys like Maurice Clarett, George Foster, Terry Pierce, Ashley Lelie and Deltha O'Neal. Big withdrawls. The trust account was emptying out fast. He hit 2006 and drafted Cutler, Scheffler, Marshall, Dumervil, Kuper and Domenik Hixon (who I always thought he gave up on waaaay too quickly). And I remember thinking, "Hey maybe he's got his mojo back." The next year he drafted Clady, Royal, Torain (who is now back with him in Washington), Larsen the human cannonball and Peyton Hillis. I loved the picks, loved how they played (deposit, deposit, deposit...)
But we lost games at the end of the season and Shanny's account hit the red with Pat Bowlen and he was all out of trust with the big guy. I was with a lot of you and thought we needed to get a defensive minded coach and I was rooting for Steve Spagnuolo from the Giants, but we never seemed to even go after him. Now look what he's done with sad-sack St. Louis.
Instead they grab the one-year wunderkind from the Patriots who take a career back-up QB (hell, he was a career back up for his entire college career) who made Matt Cassell look like the second coming of Tom Brady. I didn't like the move. But, he picked up Mike Nolan as his defensive coordinator who I had great respect for (deposit). He immediately mishandled the Cutler situation and we all watched The Feud progress until Cutler was traded (major withdrawl, although looking back we got a bunch of draft picks, an OK QB and got rid of one of the biggest whiny-babies in the league). We watched him start purging the team of Brandon Marshall (withdrawl, again, now looks like genius move with all of Brandon's off-the-field issues) Tony Scheffler and Peyton Hillis (major withdrawls - Hillis went on run everyone over as a Cleveland Brown, most of us would have predicted that).
But, we started out 6-0, looked unbeatable due to Nolan's defense (Cha-Ching, huge deposit) and I thought, Hey maybe I was wrong about the guy. And then we collapsed. And the Minimind pissed off Nolan so bad with his interference and know-it-allness that Nolan left at the end of the season. And you know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. More stupid personnel moves (withdrawl after withdrawl) until the huge account-closing withdrawl with his connection with the Video taping saga and subsequent firing. Good riddance.
So, the question is, have the Denver Broncos earned your trust back? Is there a positive balance in the account?
This is how I see it. They hire John Elway to oversee football operations. (Hmmm, not sure about this one initially, but OK, small deposit). They hire John Fox as Head Coach. (Again, not sure about this initially, but the guy is defensive minded, has turned around horrible teams in the past, so OK small deposit. I would like to note here that this move has been a larger and larger deposit as time has gone on for me as I've gotten to know the guy better and seen how he handles things.) They bring in Dennis Allen to fix the defense (small deposit). They keep Brian Xanders around (who I actually think is one of the few highlights over the last couple of years-deposit), they keep Eric Studesville and Mike McCoy to keep some offensive continuity (small deposits).
And then the draft. I love the pick of Von Miller (Ka-Ching). He is a beast and IMO the stud of the draft. Yeah, yeah, I know we needed defensive tackles, but they take years to develop and there just wasn't a Ndamukong Suh lurking around this year. They picked up the best safety in the draft in Rahim Moore and it looks like he's going to start from day one. They pick up Orlando Franklin and my jury is still out on this one. They grab the best middle line backer in the draft in Nate Irving, the next best safety in Quinton Carter, Julius Thomas who looks in camp to be the second coming of Antonio Gates (yeah, I know it's early, but I'm excited), and some supporting cast members (cha-ching, cha-ching cha-ching).
We get rid of a boat load of dead money. Nice X-man (deposit) We re-sign Vickerson to a 2 year. And then we wait, and wait and wait...
Then, fiiiiinally comes free agency. We sign a nice backup/scout team QB in Adam Weber, we grab Mario Fannin who unfortunately get injured and may be out all year (I just read somewhere he was cut). We grab D'Andre Goodwin who might be Demaryius Thomas' replacement until he gets better. And a few more nice filler pieces. We re-sign our strong-legged kicker Matt Prater, Wes Woodyard and Marcus Thomas. We trade away an aging wide-receiver (and Minimind free agent) Jabbar Gaffney for DT Jeremy Jarmon and trade a 5th round pick to the Eagles for Broderick Bunkley who looks to be our starting (at least, so far) DT and at the very least some depth at our weakest link. We replace Gaffney's spot with David Anderson. We grab Willis McGahee, who while he may not be my first choice, comes at a much more reasonable price than some of the other free agents and might be the best running back to don orange and blue since Clinton Portis. We grab our (for the time-being) starting TE in Daniel Fells and another good blocking TE with Dante Rosario to push Quinn and Gronkowski (maybe it's a Minimind/Sheffler lashback thing, but I don't like either of those guys). We grab a backup DE in Derrick Harvey. They sign Ty Warren who, along with Bunkley should fix the swinging gate that has been our run-stopping ability. The whole time the media is screaming about no Defensive Tackles being signed and who should start at quarterback there's this constant Cha-ching, cha-ching sound going on in the background. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm liking the deposits I'm seeing.
I don't think we're done. This insane free agency period isn't over. Everyone has to drop to the 53 man roster and I think there's some gems still waiting to be plucked off the waiver wire by the front office. I don't think they are done yet.
I read the papers, the blogs and everyone's opinion including Rick the douchebag Reilly and Merrill Hoge (who I normally respect, but who shoved a fence post up his... whatever) and I think Bob Papa has it right. We don't see the big picture. We aren't privy to the grand plan. Jerry Reese has done a pretty good job over the last few years for the Giants and added a lot of deposits to his bank account and so Giants fans can relax a bit and know that Jerry has the big picture and will do OK by them.
Can we say the same about our team? Has John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders added enough deposits this off season, that we as fans can take a Valium, relax, and trust them that they are going to go OK by us going forward? They've got the big picture and maybe we need to cut EFX a little slack and just wait and see what happens with this QB thing. Let the media scream and holler about who should be starting and trust that the powers-that-be have our back and will start the best QB come the start of the year. Do we have enough faith that Elway and Fox, who ought to know something about whether a QB is ready to play yet, will mentor Tebow and give him his shot when he's ready? How many QBs have we seen thrown to the wolves and mentally destroyed/sacked silly/pulverized before they were ready (think David Carr and probably Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Andy Dalton this year)?
Personally, I wouldn't say the bank account was overflowing yet, but it's in the black for the first time in a really long time. In EFX I trust. At least until I see some seriously huge withdrawls...