Posted on: April 18, 2009 12:50 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2009 8:03 pm

Needs vs Wants

 2009 Broncos Draft – Needs vs Wants

The Broncos have a real opportunity this year to improve the team with ten picks overall, including five in the first three rounds.  The sediment in Bronco nation is that the offense is in decent shape and the draft will focus on improvements to the defense.  Several mock drafts have suggested the Broncos will trade up or keep the number 12 pick for a Quarterback.  The Broncos schedule a work out for Mark Sanchez.  Interestingly, several of these mock drafts that were updated on Friday now have Sanchez as the Broncos first selection.  What is interesting is that only a few (very few) prior to Friday had Sanchez available when the Broncos make their first pick.  Makes me wonder what changed.  Just because he scheduled a work out doesn’t mean his value changed.  I understand the Broncos wanting to evaluate him in case he is available.  But, I seriously doubt this will happen in the 2009 draft, but don’t rule it out for the 2010 draft.    I think this will depend entirely on how well Kyle Orton plays and how Chris Simms performs as his reserve.  Optimally, if Orton works well in the new offensive scheme, perhaps we don’t select a QB in 2010.

Mock drafts speculate who will be taken when based a person’s opinion of what the needs are for a particular team and who is available.  The Broncos war room just like every other NFL team is going through this same drill.  What position(s) do we need to improve, how do the individual players rank in our system and what impact they will have?  Then, who are the likely players to fall to the team when it’s time to make a selection?  That’s the need.  If the war room consensus is a targeted play will be off the board before it time to select, then that’s a want and the team will package a deal with one or more teams to trade up to select a targeted player.  Take the Sanchez situation for example.  Do we need a quarterback or do want a quarterback?  I contend that if we select quarterback first it’s a want because we already have two quarterbacks and we need to shore up the defense.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading the Broncos message boards concerning who to take when.  It confirms my belief that the Broncos fans are passionate about their team and like to defend their selections to the end.  As a matter of fact, even though we may want a player, we are not in the war room evaluating the needs of the team.  For the first time in a long time the war room participants are new.  We don’t know much about the new staff only what tendencies they carry with them from a former team.  For example, will the Broncos trade up to pick a targeted “must have” player or will they stand pat?  As stated above, the Broncos have a number of draft picks to package a deal.  So as much as I would like to jump into the mix and speculate on who the Broncos select, it’s not up to me.  It will be what it will be.  I can only sit back and watch as the draft unfolds.  I like to be able to say that we will all get what we want or need but in the end it is what it is.



Category: NFL
Tags: Broncos
Posted on: April 12, 2009 11:36 am
Edited on: April 12, 2009 11:36 am

Broncos & Bears Trade Outcome

The Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Bears for Kyle Orton, a first and third round pick this year, and a first round pick next year.   It’s natural to look at the deal and speculate who came out on top.  The Bears received a Pro Bowl quarterback and have something to build around.   The problem is they sold their draft picks to Denver for the next few years.  The Bears still can add some protection for Cutler and pick up quality receivers through free agency or late round draft picks.

What the Broncos received will depend on how they use their draft picks this year and next.  It also depends on how Orton fits into the new offensive game plan.  So the result of the trade may not be realized for a few years.  The speculation on how each team did depends on your perspective.  The Bears could have just added the player that gets them to the playoff.  The Broncos have enough draft picks to retool a Defense that was near the bottom to the league last year.  If Orton works out then they can spend even more draft pick next year on Defense.  If he doesn’t then they have enough fire power to pick up a quality quarterback in the first round.  If history has taught us anything its that not every Pro Bowler is a first round draft pick.

While I think Cutler was a quality quarterback, relationships deteriorated with the Broncos and ultimately he didn’t want to play in Denver any longer.  With that in mind, the Broncos received quite a bit from the Bears in the trade.  I think in the short term the Bears are better than last year due to the trade.  But until the Broncos make their draft picks, I don’t think we can evaluate them.  The Broncos Offense was ranked fairly high in the NFL last year.  I can only assume we were going to put in a new Offensive game plan with the new head coach.  How Cutler, now Orton will adjust and execute that game plan will determine if there has been a slip in the Offense.  The draft pick the Broncos make in the first few rounds of the draft should tell the fans how long something about where the organization is going.  If they bundle draft pick and trade up for a quarterback I think we are in for a long rebuilding period.  If we get some quality Densive players, the road to recovery should be shorter. 

What I’m going to miss is the Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers rivalry.  Now the Bears fans have that with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. 






Category: NFL
Posted on: March 12, 2009 12:53 am

Cutler & McDaniels Conflict Thoughts

It has been well publicized in the media that Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler is not happy about the thought of being traded.  The follow up teleconference nearly two weeks later, between the Cutler camp and Broncos management left Cutler feeling the discussion didn’t go well.  However Coach McDaniels thought it did go well.  So like many Broncos fan it was difficult to understand why McDaniels would trade their Pro Bowl QB for Matt Cassel.  The terms of the deal just didn’t add up.

We all understand the NFL is a business, and any one can be traded for the right deal.  Still the deal didn’t make since out side of the obvious, that Cassel has run the Patriots offensive scheme we believe McDaniels plans to run.  But still, why wouldn’t you expect Cutler to learn, understand, and run a new offense?

I came to two plausible conclusions.  First, McDaniels doesn’t have a clue as to Cutler’s value in a trade, has no interpersonal skills, or is in way over his head.  Second, maybe he is Mastermind II.  That’s probably a big leap from what you have been reading lately so let me elaborate.  McDaniels is young and in his first head coaching job.  He is replacing a coach who had a long tenure with the team and who had brought the Broncos two Super Bowl Championship.  That is a big task in itself to live up to and filling those expectations.  So, one of the things he has to do is establish credibility with the team.  What better way to establish who is in control than to take on the highest profile member of the team with his first act.  What McDaniels is doing is challenging Cutler.  It’s likely that out side of a few QB competitions, Cutler has not been treated this way before.  McDaniels has a management style that is much different than Shanahan’s and he is expecting Jay to step up to the plate and show everyone that he is the franchise player we all hope and expect him to be.  McDaniels is going to break down individuals and build a team concept from the ground up.  He’s telling Cutler the train has left the station; you are either on it or going to be run over by it. 

I've seen this management style before, it works on some but not all people.  Will Cutler take the challenge?  Only time will tell.  If he sulks around like a spoiled kid and under performs, we could see Chris Simms late in season.  If he lives up to his billing, then I see a nice long term contract coming his way and all this nonsense will be ancient history. 

As a Bronco fan all I can say is I hope the second conclusion is the probable out come and not the first.  I would like to see these two professionals work out their difference, preferably behind closed doors and not in front of the media.




Category: NFL
Posted on: February 16, 2009 4:34 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2009 11:06 pm

Taylor a viable option at RB for the Broncos?

The Broncos ended the 2008 season with 11 players (see list below) who were listed as Running Backs.  Since the end of the season, three players have been released and two are still questionable for the start of the 2009 training camp.


Ryan TorainTorn ACL, expected to be back for mini-camp.

Alex Hanes - Released 2/12/09.

Andre HallIR in Nov 08, and is listed as probable for the start of 2009 training camp.

Peyton HillisIR in Dec 08 with torn hamstring, and is listed as probable for the start of 2009 training camp.

Michael PittmanPlaced on IR in Nov 08, re-aggravated a stinger in his neck and is listed as questionable for the start of the 2009 training camp.

Anthony AlridgeReleased and claimed off waivers by the Redskins.

Andrew Pinnock - Didn't see much action.

Slevin Young - IR with Neck injury, and is listed as questionable for the start of the 2009 training camp.

Cory BoydActivated off the practice squad late in the season.

Tatum BellPlayed the last 7 games at RB.  No significant yardage and only two rushing TDs came in the last game against the Chargers. 

P.J. PopeReleased 2/12/09.

The Jaguars released Fred Taylor today.  Is fragile Fred a viable option for the Broncos?  Would he happy in a reserve role and would he fit into the Broncos running game?

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 24, 2008 12:38 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2008 5:21 pm

Fantasy Football Draft Strategies

Just wondering how your draft strategy worked at the end of the season.  I’ve played in 5 leagues last year but cut it down to 3 this year.  To make it interesting I tried out 3 different draft strategies.  The first strategy I used was the Stud Running Back Theory (SRBT).  This is self explanatory as you pick the best RB available, ect.  The Second strategy I used was the best player available based on their projected Scoring Value (SV).  This may also be known as Value Based Drafting.  The final theory I used was the “X” factor.  This theory takes into account the projected scoring and past history over the last three season to come up with an average SV.  Then for example at QB, it assumes there are 12 starting QB in your league.  So what ever point value or SV the number 12 QB has is then subtracted from the remaining QBs to get the X Factor.  This year Marc Bulger was number 12 so his X factor was 0.  Ideally, this theory would let you know when any player would be taken too early or is a steal. 

Now that I’ve finished my leagues I thought it would be interesting to post the results.  In the SRBT draft, I won the division and was the number one seed in the play offs.  But poor coaching decisions in the first round caused me to lose to the wild card team.  I ended up taking fourth in that league.  I was very disappointment in myself that I over thought the situational matchups.  It didn’t help that M. Barber was a game time decision and I picked him over Choice.  My second team never had a chance.  I was fortunate to have Tom Brady slip to me as the number 11 pick, so I snatched him.  Once, he broke his leg I was not able to recover and finished out of the playoffs in fifth.  In my X-Factor draft I made it to the Championship game, but lost.  In this league I was ranked number one all year until the last week when I slipped to second.  That was fortunate as the wild card team posted the high score and knocked off the number one team, who I lost to the following week.   In hind site, injuries seem to be the key factor on how your team performs.

What was your strategy and how did you make out?

If you want to discuss this more check out the group I set up Boozers Fantasy Football Strategy and join in.

Posted on: December 23, 2008 12:39 am

AFC West Show Down

Its prime time Sunday night where the 8-7 Denver Broncos having lost their last 2 games take on the 7-8  San Diego Chargers winners of their last 3 games.  The winner will most like face the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs and the loser gets to think about the season that could have been.

Stats:  The Broncos have scored 349 points and given up 396 while the Chargers have scored 387 points and given up 326 points.  The Broncos are 4-3 on the road where they have beat the Browns, Jets, and Falcons.  The Chargers are 4-3 at home.   The Chargers have a one game advantage against divisional opponents while the Broncos have fared better against non-conference opponents.

Matchups:  Offensively the Broncos scored an average of 23.3 (17th) with 395 yards of total offense ranking 2nd in the NFL (277 yards passing and 118 yards rushing).  Defensively the Broncos give up an average of 26.4 points a game with 366 yards which ranks them 28th in the league (230 yards passing 136 yards rushing).  For the Chargers offensively they average 25.8 (7th) points a game with 339 yards of total offense (13th).  The Chargers pass for 243 (7th) yards and rush for 95 (28th) yards a game.  Defensively, the Chargers give up 21.7 (17th) points a game and 346 (25th) yards.  The Chargers yield 242 (31st) yards passing and 103 (11th) yards rushing a game.

Individual Matchups:  Jay Cutler is ranked 3rd in passing yards and Philip Rivers is ranked 5th.  Rivers has thrown 5 more TD and 6 less interception than Cutler.   At the Wide Receiver position the Broncos have Brandon Marshall (3rd) and Eddie Royal (9th) ranked in the top 10.  The top Chargers receiver is Vincent Jackson (32nd).  The Broncos have Tony Scheffler (21st) ranked Tight End while the Charger have Antonio Gates who is ranked 6th in the NFL.  The Chargers have LaDainian Tomlinson who is ranked as the 16th leading rusher this year.  It is difficult to rank the Broncos running backs since they have started 5 or 6 back due to the injuries.  (See also Key Injuries)

Analysis:  The Broncos should have the edge in the passing game against the 31 rated Chargers pass defense.  The Chargers have a good matchup too against the 28 ranked Broncos defense.

Key injuries:  Selvin Young was placed on IR Monday.

The Bottom Line:  Chargers are favored by 9 points. projects the final score to be Broncos 17 Chargers 30


 – Boozers.

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 17, 2008 9:23 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2008 6:19 pm

Bills at Broncos Pregame Thoughts

The Broncos can lock up the AFC West with a win this week or a Chargers loss.  Personally, I would like to see the Broncos win the title vs. backing into it.  Playing conditions this week in Denver are expected to be in the 20’s.  Snow is in the forcast on Saturday, but that shouldn’t be an issue for either the Bills or the Broncos.  One issue for the Bills is who will be starting at QB, Gibram Hamdan or J.P. Loseman?  If it’s Hamdan I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of passing yards even against the Broncos Defense.  But now we find out that Trent Edwards will start.  I think he's the best bet for the Bills.  He may be a little rusty in the first half but I would expect to see him turn it on in the 2nd half.  Lee Evans and Josh Reed should get the majority of the 150-200 yards.  Marshawn Lynch should get 17-20 touches this week but I don’t expect him the break 100-yards.  More likely to see Lynch in the 70-85 yard range.  When the Bills get to the Red Zone, Lynch will likely be their best option to score.

For the Broncos, I expect Jay Cutler to pass for 220-250 yards with 1-2 TD and an INT.  Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal will get most of the looks with the majority of the yards going to Brandon.  Tatum Bell, Selvin Young, and P.J. Pope will all split carries this week and total around 120 yards.  Tatum, Selvin, and Brandon should be the favorites to score once the Broncos hit the Red Zone.  It is time for Pro Bowler's Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler to step it up a notch.

Final score:  Broncos 24 Bills 17

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 16, 2008 9:05 pm

AFC Pro Bowl Selections

The Pro Bowl selections have been released and the AFC West has three starters and reserves on Offense, one starter on Defense, and the Punter.  Congratulation go out to AFC West's Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, Tight End Tony Gonzalez, Guard Kris Dielman, Conerback Nnamdi Asomugha, and Punter Shane Lechler.   Interesting to note that rookies Steve Slaton and Ryan Clady were not selected. Another notable left out was Chargers QB, Philip Rivers. Rivers finished behind Cutler and Manning in total yards passing but has 4 more TDs than Cutler and 5 more TDs than Manning. Not to mention he has the higher passer rating. Another obvious snub was Steve Slaton who is right behind both Jones and Johnson in yards rushing. Just goes to show there is a lot of basis in the voting and the best players at the position don’t always make it to the Pro Bowl. The AFC North sent a total of 10 players, AFC South sent 12 players, and the AFC East led all divisions sending a total of 13 players to the Pro Bowl.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or