A Question of Success

I was reading over some of the comments on Rodney's post on Second Round QBs. Something someone said struck me and I started to write a reply. After six or seven paragraphs, I decided that perhaps it needed to be it's own post, mostly because I have a question that I want to ask MHR. Not to start something, but because I really feel that the question is at the core of whether we make large strides forward as an organization, or continue to muck around in the shallow end with the like of the Cleveland Browns, the Washington Redskins, the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, etc.

There are some teams that have made some strides or are poised to jump out of cellar of the NFL having been perennial cellar-dwellers. The Detroit Lions tossed Matt Millen, cleaned house and are nearly a powerhouse. The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bungles Bengals have both made some great progress the last year or so. It looks like getting rid of Al Davis and Todd Haley is going to really help our nemeses in Oakland and Kansas City respectively. It's too soon to tell yet, but I think the combo of Les Snead and Jeff Fisher is going to be good for St. Louis.


The Mad Goblin Al Davis via

Why are some teams able to stay consistent and dominate year-in and year-out? Why do some teams like Cleveland stay down no matter how many high first round picks they get? Some of it's drafting, certainly. But even when good coaches and players go there, they drown in the crud that is the organizational mire there. Even with Mike Holmgren there, there seems to be little he can do to pull a rabbit out of a tattered, flea-bitten cap. I saw Jeff Garcia go from Pro Bowl QB to the dumpster in Cleveland and when he finally got back on a good team in Philly was good again. Now, you can make the argument and I'd probably agree with some of it that perhaps Holmgren is overrated and so was Garcia. But, you can pick out 20 more guys just like him (Belichick, anyone?) that couldn't make it in Cleveland. I'm not sure ANYONE can make it in Cleveland. The poor Browns had to move to Baltimore to get to the Super Bowl for crying out loud.

Part of the equation, in my opinion, is the corporate culture. The basic tenets and beliefs of the organization is inherently responsible for whether the team is a success or not. Is the team given the tools, assets and people to succeed?

I look at the culture in Green Bay, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. If you want to get sticky and whine about the Ravens only winning one Super Bowl, fine. But they and their brethren are successful every year. They are not subject to the normal whims of the NFL, where you win for a couple years then get mediocre, then lose until you get enough first rounders under your belt to make another run at the Super Bowl after a decade of losing. They just win.


Ozzie Newsome via

Some of that is great draft evaluators. Ted Thompson (and Ron Wolfe before him) in Green Bay, Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore and Kevin Colbert in Pittsburgh. I think you'd have to add Bill Belichick in New England and until he got fired last year, Bill Polian in Indianapolis. Probably Jerry Reese of the Giants and Mickey Loomis in New Orleans belong in this group as well. They draft well, they don't go crazy in free agency (usually). They evaluate their teams well and keep the guys that are irreplaceable and pay them and let the guys walk that they can replace. And replace them they do. They usually have drafted good guys ahead of time that are coming up that take the place of the guy the fans are screaming about, "How come we didn't re-sign Player X!!!!" And the next year, they are nearly forgotten.

In Rodney's post, we were discussing the reason and strategy of drafting second-round QBs. What got me going was the discussion on whether sitting behind a future HOF is a good mentoring program and there was valid points made for and against.

In my opinion, it's not so much sitting behind a future HOF and learning from them (because as we know from both Favre and Manning, they didn't care to mentor their guys), it's more who is the QB coach or offensive coach on staff that can coach and teach a raw QB into the real thing. Steve Young wasn't "mentored" by Joe Montana, Joe wanted nothing to do with Young, but he was taught by one of the greatest offensive minds ever in Bill Walsh who taught him to stay longer in the pocket, who adjusted his throwing mechanics and footwork.
Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, all tutored by the Green Bay system whether it was Mike Holmgren or Mike McCarthy. They have good teachers up there in Green Bay.
It's not just drafting the right guys or getting lucky with injuries, although having a good scouting/drafting system is important, the places like Green Bay, Baltimore and Pittsburgh get it done on smaller payrolls, more consistently because they have great coaches and instructors. They teach their guys up, teach them to block, to tackle, go back to the basics if necessary. I think that's one the things that overlooked. It's one thing to get good guys, its another to teach them up to the next level.


Mike McCoy via

I want the Broncos to model themselves after these successful franchises. I see some things heading in that direction. All rumors to the contrary, our drafts are getting better IMO. The Broncos let our old conditioning coach go and brought in one of the best workout guys in the country. They are trying to make the Bronco system better.
One question I have (I don't really have an opinion as of yet), do we have the right coaches/teachers/instructors on board to do the job? I think the world of John Fox and I have seen what Jack Del Rio did as a defensive coordinator (IMO he was over his head as a head coach in Jacksonville but a hell of a DC). Do we have the right guys on offense? We used to have that kind of cutting-edge world-class coaching with Alex Gibbs and company, but I don't know if our OC is THE GUY. What do you think?

I take heart in the fact that PFM signed on with us, I don't think he would've if we'd had bunch of retards running the offense.

This is not a rant or a attack-piece on Mike McCoy. I was impressed last season with his ability to change the entire playbook on the fly to create something that would work with Tim Tebow. I was also frustrated by his play-calling, but I don't know if that was just Mr. Ultra-conservative McCoy not giving Tebow a chance to throw it, or was he just as frustrated with the inability of his left-handed QB to be able to run anything more complex.

I really want to know what the football-wise fans here at MHR think of our OC, and if he is the guy to take us to the next level. More importantly than that, do we have the coaches here overall to get us there?

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

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