I've been long trying to think of a way to do my own version of Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" and with ESPN Page 2's "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" already being out there, I figured I'd look at this all from the perspective of the kicker. If you think about it, the kicker see everything, they stay quiet on the sidelines, make the clutch kick here or there, but really, you just never hear from the guys.
I'll bet they have some cool stories to tell though. Either way, the fact that this story is called the "Monday Morning Kicker" has nothing to do with the actual content, so we will be on with it.
How to be Super
To me, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers just showed the NFL that great scouting and smart drafting can make you one of the most dominant teams in the NFL, and make it a consistent thing. They are two teams that sign very, very few free agents. They are two teams that usually are picking near the bottom of the first round. Yet they are always seemingly in the thick of things when the season ends.
Two things these guys have? A great defense and a quarterback who is tough as nails. On Super Bowl Sunday, you saw two quarterbacks who would have laid anything on the line to win the game for their team. That is something I want from my quarterback. Whether it's Tebow, Orton, or someone else is completely another debate and one quite frankly that I will leave for later, but I have been craving that for the Broncos for a long, long time.
So how did these teams get there?
Well, just look at the Green Bay Packers' roster. They are the definition of depth in the NFL. They have so many good players, that they literally do not have enough spots to get them all on the field. They suffered various huge injuries throughout the season, and then in the Super Bowl, and they really didn't skip a beat. You wouldn't have known that Charles Woodson was absent from the game, because the Packers still had a pick-six and game-sealing play by a cornerback.
It's a combination that includes a little bit of luck, but from top to bottom, I think the Green Bay Packers are the most well-run organization in professional sports right now as it pertains to on-field performance. They are simply second to none in my book, and I want the Broncos to achieve that sooner rather than later. You could point to a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, a team that is just leaking NBA quality talent. The Packers are doing that in the NFL right now, and they should be the standard right now. Just a fantastic organization.
Okay, so these are fun, and no one does them around here anymore, so I'm going to give it a shot. We'll throw it at the wall and see if it sticks.
"Hey Sayre, with the CBA situation uncertain and the Broncos needing to move forward with a youth movement, I think Champ Bailey needs to move on to greener pastures. The Broncos have to move on from him. Do you agree?
Domonique, Baltimore, MD
Well, Domonique, I think I have to agree to a point. I mean, the labor uncertainty could or could not have a big impact on this. Do I think the Broncos should pay $40 million for a guy who is going to be 32 when the season starts? Not right now, I don't. Do I think the Broncos should pay upwards of $15 million for a one year rental? Again, I don't see it right now.
The best thing for the Broncos to do would be to franchise tag Champ Bailey or place the transition tag on him and try and trade him for a 2nd round pick or something of that kind of value. Let's not kid ourselves--Champ Bailey is still one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and is undoubtedly the most talented defender on the Denver Broncos.
It would be hard for Broncos fans to deal with losing one of their most beloved players, but think of how tough it must have been for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cut ties with All-World linebacker Derrick Brooks. The Broncos need as many draft picks as they can get, and this is where a new CBA could come in play. They cannot trade Champ if there is no new agreement for picks in this draft if it's not done by late April, so that could be a huge issue.
I can tell you one thing--they are not going to let him just walk via free agency, so you can forget about that. Simply not a good idea.
"There's been a lot of talk that the Broncos will trade the 2nd overall pick. Do you think this could happen?"
Well, Nick, I think there are a lot of things that go into that decision. For one, the pick is not very attractive if it comes with multiple high price tags. By that I mean if there is a rookie wage scale, the value of the pick is driven up significantly. If there is no rookie wage scale, I think the Broncos will be "stuck" with the second pick, and everything I've heard indicates the Broncos really like Patrick Peterson in that slot, but you can't believe everything you hear at this time of year.
Certainly the Broncos and Panthers will be entertaining trade ideas with a rookie wage scale, but the Broncos are really in a win-win situation either way. There are a number of directions they could go with the second pick, which is a reason why trading down has been discussed. The goal has got to be to get the best player while making the best use of the pick, and taking a guy like Da'Quan Bowers or Patrick Peterson might not be as good an idea as trading down, picking up a bounty of picks, and taking Robert Quinn or Prince Amukamara.
So to answer your question, yes, I think it could happen, but I also think that a new CBA needs to happen to make it more likely.
"What's this BS talk about taking A.J. Green in the first round? People think of the craziest things these days."
Josh, St. Louis
Thanks for your concern Josh...Taking a wide receiver is not of paramount need for the Broncos, but I can tell you a couple of things about A.J. Green.
1. He is the best WR to come along since Calvin Johnson.
2. He is arguably the clear-cut best player in the draft.
Now, based on those two factors alone, I could easily see him as a candidate. The Broncos lost Eddie Royal for the whole offseason to hip surgery. They lost Demaryius Thomas for 8 months with a torn Achille's tendon. Brandon Lloyd has one year left on his original deal, and is approaching the wrong side of 30.
Now, in the short term, the Broncos are "fine" at the receiver position. In the long term, you can only count on Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas being there, and who knows if he will ever be 100 percent again. I'm sure this is just a minor setback for him compared to his foot issues, and I think he will be back and a force in the NFL.
All this said, I don't think taking A.J. Green is out of the question or unheard of. The Broncos should be taking the best defensive player available, but can they pass on the best player in the draft? This is where trading down becomes a bigger factor. Some team will want Green, and even if the Broncos legitimately don't, they should make it look like they are something of a threat to take him for trading leverage.
If they do decide Green is the best fit, more power to them. Tim Tebow needs help as he develops, and can you imagine a receiver corps including Eric Decker, Thomas, and Green? The possibilities are exciting, but the Broncos being a power running team like they are going to be, I think a running back in round two is more likely than a receiver in round one.
If you have any questions regarding the Broncos, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com, and I will answer them in next week's feature!
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