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On to 2015: Lessons for Broncos via Pete Carroll, Bob Marley

After watching Pete Carroll rein in his imploding team hours after a mind-blowing Super Bowl loss, the Broncos and their new coaches could learn a good lesson on losing - own it, relive it, move on quickly from it.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

I'm going to open up this Horse Tracks with something I hope to never do again - lay down a little truth from Pete Carroll.

Yes, the Seahawks coach I don't like a whole lot, said something I like quite a bit.

Talking to Mike Florio yesterday, Carroll was asked how he'll get on the same page with his players after the baffling play call in Sunday's Super Bowl to pass instead of run from the one, which ended in a goal-line interception.

"By getting to the truth, by getting there, talking about it, facing it up," Carroll said.  "Everybody's cleared their minds.  When you finally gather and you're ready to take that next step, we're gonna go places that are extraordinary."

In his myriad of interviews and comments regarding "the play" that ended Seattle's hopes for a consecutive Super Bowl title, Carroll mentioned "Tell The Truth Monday" meetings.

There is very little from the Seahawks' locker room I would highlight as emulation-worthy. But this struck me as a really good move.

Had Russell Wilson connected with Ricardo Lockette for a game-winning touchdown, Carroll and his QB would be SB49 heroes. Instead a heads-up play from Patriots' rookie corner Malcolm Butler cost the two a glorious finish. And earned Carroll the ire of his players and fans.

It was a gut-wrenching end for the Seahawks and their coach. But Carroll owned every bit of it - both publicly and privately with his players.

"I wanted to make sure that they went through the whole process of what happened at the end - went through the whole thinking and everything and reminded them how we had prepared, and how we've done things," Carroll said.  "So they realize that whether or not - even the players [who] want to agree - know that this is the way we have practiced and prepared ourselves to execute in this moment."

With the loss still raw and only a few hours old, he made the players relive it and understand that call. They could accept as legit or reject as the wrong choice, but they had to face it.

Some docllv truth

Remember when the Broncos reported in Training Camp watching Super Bowl 48 for the first time?

Training camp!?! SIX long months after one of the most maddening losses in our storied history of epic defeats.

Broncos, get your act together. Go watch that Colts game. Then watch it again. Then for good measure, watch last year's Super Bowl too just to fully exorcise that demon. Then I dare you to go extraordinary places.

That should have told us everything about how this season was going to go. We were afraid to talk about the most embarrassing Broncos game in ... probably ever. Afraid to own our mistakes, our fear, our poor play. Afraid to say we flat-out stunk.

And therefore afraid to address it before moving forward.

Instead we shoved it aside, suppressed the humiliation and thought a few "35" signs around the weight room would motivate us not to ever let "43-8" happen again.

That worked well.

So here's a little docllv truth: Broncos, get your bloody act together. Get off the ski slopes, the golf course, SNL and Twitter and go watch that Colts game from three weeks ago. Then watch it again. Then for good measure, watch last year's Super Bowl too just to fully exorcise that demon. (And no more reports of being afraid to play anybody, anywhere; no more quitting plays just because it's 4th and 1; no more talking tough but playing soft.)

And then I dare you to do as Carroll said - "clear your minds, take the next step and go extraordinary places."

/rant over (but sentiment stands).

And a little Bob Marley truth

Truth is, I'm getting excited about this upcoming season. So many unknowns, innovation on the horizion, much more realistic expectations (OK, a little more realistic...still 19-0 but maybe no blow-outs).

Bob Marley's 70th birthday would have been today, and since my 5-year-old is a big fan, I've been jammin' the reggae tunes a lot of late.

It occurred to me, Marley has some truth of his own for Broncos fans:

On Peyton Manning's return or Brock Osweiler's starter debut:

"Don't worry about a thing. Every little thing's gonna be alright."

On C.J. Anderson's role in next year's offense:

"To the rescue, here I am. Want you to know, just if you can, here I stand."

On the Broncos-Patriots game at Mile High next season:

"Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom, 'cuz all I ever have is redemption songs."

On Broncos' GM John Elway hiring Gary Kubiak as head coach:

"Is this love, is this love, is this love that I'm feeling?"

On Broncos' D-line stuffing the run:

"We're jammin' and I hope you like jammin' too"

On playing the Patriots at Mile High next season:

"The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. Make you want to move with dancing feet."

On players holding each other accountable:

"If you get down and you quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devils, I say."

On having the greatest owner in professional sports:

"I know in life there's lots of grief, but your love (for Broncos) is my relief."

Horse Tracks

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Turning the page
Jim Saccomano discusses moving on from a difficult loss.

The 10 Most Painful Losses in Super Bowl History -
The Seahawks’ defeat in Super Bowl XLIX, with the team trailing by 4 points at the 1-yard line in the final minute, was painful, but there are several other candidates for toughest loss to swallow.

Pete Carroll realizes Seahawks aren’t on the same page about play call | ProFootballTalk
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll continues to own the play call that he didn't make, which becomes even more admirable in light of the fact that he doesn't call the plays on offense.

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The Broncos have a Pro Bowl-level roster on several levels, but that pressure-packed performance level is what they must locate.

Bill Belichick on Pete Carroll criticism: 'Out of line' -
That Patriots coach defended his peer at the Seahawks on Wednesday, decrying Carroll's critics as unqualified to comment. Find out what else the Patriots coach had to say about the second-guessers.

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Kyle Shanahan made 32-point presentation on why he wanted to leave - Business Insider
"And after much deliberation among lawyers and negotiation, in a bizarre precedent, a statement was crafted and Shanahan was a free man."

#SigningDay: Broncos as high school recruits
Check out photos and the profiles of current Broncos players from their high school days. All photos courtesy of

Chargers' Nick Hardwick is latest retired lineman to drop massive weight | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Nick Hardwick went from 293 pounds to 208 in a little less than five months.

49ers' 2015 defense fit for a 3-4 scheme | CSN Bay Area
Eric Mangini has not spoken publicly about his vision for the 49ers’ defense, but it appears the 49ers will be sticking with the 3-4 scheme he inherits after four seasons of Vic Fangio running the show.

NFL Power Rankings: New England Patriots reign ... then what? -
The 2014 NFL season is in the books. The New England Patriots have claimed the throne, but how do the rest of the teams stack up? Elliot Harrison reveals his final countdown (with an eye toward 2015).