CORNERBACK PLAY - I am surprised that Chris Harris hasn't gotten more ink. The guy, from day one, has played like a first or second round draft pick. I won't beat the dead horse about him being undrafted and all that, you guys already know. The best word to describe Harris is "solid." I love a cornerback who can tackle, and Harris fits that mold. I see his ceiling as a starting #2 cornerback, possibly as early as next season. I feel he is just a little too slow to cover elite #1's. Harris is quicker than fast, good ball skills, great instincts, and a very good tackler.
I was dogging Andre Goodman at the beginning of the year because he was playing extremely poor. I'm not sure if it was a new defense he had to get used to or what but now he is playing much better. It certainly looks like Goodman and Bailey have another year or two in the tank and with the emergence of Chris Harris, maybe we should rethink our draft mantra of absolutely having to draft a first round CB. What say you? I definitely have backed away from it. We are not going to get a #1 CB, unless we are lucky, picking so late in the draft.
DEMARYIUS THOMAS - There really is not too much to say about him that hasn't been said. However, I don't know if people can appreciate the character and professionalism it takes to rebound from such a serious injury (achilles), so fast. I don't remember an athlete that was, on one hand, so apparently injury prone, but on the other, such a quick healer. It seems like an odd combination. Hey coaching staff, please don't use him on special teams or in the slot and we might be able to get some mileage out of this amazing horse. It is also fair to say that his career was definitely headed in the trajectory of "bust." There is such a thing as being a bust not only for failure to perform, but also for injuries, and not living up to your draft position. I don't know of anyone who seriously questioned the physical abilities of Thomas. For me, it was always health related. I'm a Portland Trail Blazers fan, so I know a thing or two about medical busts.
MIKE MCCOY - There has been a fair amount of "see I told you so" by the "elite" Bronco commentators about McCoy. Sidenote - these are the same commentators who were wrong about Tim Tebow. Anyway, the popular line is that McCoy is now an elite play caller who is head coaching material. I'm sorry if you guys weren't capable of a nuanced disagreement. I have always felt that McCoy calls decent plays. Noticed I wrote "decent," not great. My problem has not necessarily been the type of plays that he calls, it has always been the timing of those plays. Specifically, McCoy's first down play calling is as predictable as any OC in the entire league. Against the Steelers, it was almost as if he made a pre-game agreement with them that on first down he would only run for two yards, nothing more, nothing less. Mike, all I'm saying is mix in a play-action pass on first down every now and then! It is tough to march the ball down the field when you only have two downs to do it!
JOE MAYS - I'm no sage, in fact, I'm mostly wrong about everything I write. However, I remember getting chastised early on for suggesting that MLB is currently our weakest starting position on either side of the ball. I don't want to bag on Joe Mays but is there any doubt that he is our worst starting player? You people who have an unreasonable love affair with Nate Irving should start thinking twice. If Nate Irving, who is healthy, is unable to sniff the field while a back-up to our worst starting player, then something is wrong. One of my biggest pet peeves is when fans fall in love with their roster to the point of being unreasonable. You know who you are. My biggest example of this was when McD was switching us to a 3-4 defense and we signed Chris Baker as an undrafted free agent. Some MHR members were giddy and proclaiming that he was our nose tackle of the future. During this era, I was barfing often. Let me suggest that our MLB of the future is likely not currently on our roster. I hope I'm wrong.
FREE AGENCY - One underrated aspect of free agency is the appeal of a team to prospective free agents. Judging by the makeup of our team, I would assume we would be very appealing to free agents who play SS, MLB, DT, TE, and RB. I would assume we would not be appealing for free agents who play OL, QB, (who wants to compete with Tebowmania?) WR. I would also assume that Eddie Royal is going to be very hard to retain, if we attempt to. I think Tebow is going to have to prove he can give WR's some decent #'s in order to draw them in. Also, is there any chance we go for any bigger free agents? Ray Rice, Matt Forte, LaRon Landry? Do any salary cap guys know what we have to do to maintain what we have and possibly go out and get some more?
EDDIE ROYAL - Speaking of Eddie Royal, is there any way the following theory is right: Josh McDaniels misused Royal by trying to turn him into a slot WR (Wes Welker part 2) and not take advantage of his 4.3 down the field, spread the field speed? Why can't Eddie Royal's 4.3 speed and utilization be similar to Mike Wallace from the Steelers??? It seems like Shanahan used Royal completely different. Can someone who knows more than me (probably most of you) tell me how I am wrong?
LATEST AND GREATEST NEED CHART - This list is not based off of future need. It is my opinion about what are currently our biggest needs, without regard to age, contracts, etc.
5. DE (Hopefully something has finally clicked with Ayers)
Where am I right? Where am I wrong?
TIM TEBOW, 2012, & DRAFT OPTIONS - There should be little to no doubt that Tim Tebow has earned the starting job for next season. However, he hasn't earned the job for the next ten years. As big of a fan of Tebow as I am, I still don't think we should draft players that "only" work with a Tebow-like offense. I think we should draft players that are scheme diverse and not too specialized. For example, I wouldn't pick someone from the Oregon Ducks offense primarily because they have spread experience. I'm all for drafting LaMichael James, not because he can play in the spread, but because he is a good overall player.
Other than a great running back that would help Tim sell the play-action, I think a stud tight end would be the next best thing to increase Tebow's effectiveness. The final nail in the coffin for opposing defenses against Tebow would be a dynamic playmaker in the form of a Percy Harvin. I'm not sure how much of this is currently on our roster.
AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE - As I said several posts ago, I have had the opportunity to have a world-renown Christian Author come to my house this season and watch Bronco games. This author is a neighbor of mine and is very good friends with the Tebow's. Several times, I have been with him as he texts Bob Tebow during games. I have NFL Sunday Ticket, he doesn't, so he and his wife come watch. I thought I was going to have an opportunity to meet Bob and Pam Tebow this weekend but it didn't work out because the Broncos made the playoffs (thankfully)! Anyway, check out the link to this Christian Author's blog and it will give you a pretty funny backstory on the Tebow's and my neighbor's dealings with them. Additionally, the author provides some pretty cool behind the scenes pictures with the Tebow's. I hope I am sufficiently vague here because this is a Bronco site and not a Christian site. I try to be pretty good about not posting my personal beliefs, politics, etc. That's why I will only provide you a link. Here it is: How Tim Tebow Messed Up My Plans
2012 DRAFT - I am a gigantic college football fan and I just finished watching the last game of the season. All combined, I probably watched several hundred games (thanks to the DVR for fast forwarding etc.). Here is a brief list of players I would target given our draft slot (late first). The only player I would trade up for would be Trent Richardson, and I wouldn't sell the farm for him. Luke Kuechly is someone who I can see slipping into the twenties because of a poor Combine performance. I would draft Kuechly in a heartbeat if he fell to us but for now, I will assume he is gone. Overall, the talent in this draft, with defensive front seven players, is pretty bad. These lists are not necessarily in preferential order.
Mark Barron SS
Lamar Miller RB
Coby Fleener TE
Jerel Worthy DT
Kendall Wright WR
Stephon Gilmore CB
LaMichael James RB
Josh Chapman DT
Chris Polk RB
Doug Martin RB
Derek Wolfe DT
Sean Spence SS
Brandon Boykin CB
Kendall Reyes DT
Kawaan Short DT
Is this week dragging or what? Can we play this game already???