Since we(mostly me) love to turn simple arithmetic into real word predictions on MHR, how about: New Coach + No Offseason = Success!
If one lesson can be gleaned from the past several years, through both head coaches and a multitude of assistants, is that things have just been too complicated.
Offensively, both schemes under Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels were tremendously complex. Also, successful...between the 20's. The more complex the system, the more reps the players need in order to succeed where it counts - on third down and in the red zone. In a way, Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton were hamstrung by the ambition of their own coaches.
Of course, there was some success with the offense and this post isn't really about the offense.
Think over the past couple of years to the one time the Broncos displayed a solid, consistent defense for more than a single game.
It was under Mike Nolan early in 2009. What did he do differently? He kept it simple stupid! There was no complex scheming involved. It was Josh McDaniels who insisted on playing a more traditional 3-4, and the result was a 2-8 finish.
Which brings me to my point. Perhaps having no offseason will mean John Fox will be forced to keep everything simple/vanilla. This plays to both Kyle Orton's and Tim Tebow's strengths (or whoever it may be under center) and it also plays to the strength of our beleaguered defense. I think this team needs some early success and a gradual rise in complexity. Putting it all in at once will work in the long run, but for 2011 it would mean another abysmal finish.
Hopefully, John Fox will focus heavily on the fundamentals and less on installing a 40 pound playbook. After all, poor tackling played a bigger role in the awful run defense than did poor performance along the defensive line. Also, poor play calling played a large role in Orton being unable to do more than take a sack on third down - maybe - and play calling certainly played a huge role in the offenses failure in the red zone.
The players need to just play football. Put the thinking to a minimum for now. Let's just play.