View Full Version : A Work In Progress

Broncos Mtnman
08-10-2008, 12:21 AM
As a team in transition, this year's pre-season games are possibly more important than they normally would be.

Defensive coaches will lay the groundwork for a new defensive philosophy that will hopefully pull a defense that ranked 30th against the run and 28th in points allowed last year out of the basement of mediocrity.

Offensive coaches will attempt to expand the playbook for their 3rd year QB and 2nd year running back in the hopes that they will once again be a top 5 offense in points and yards (they were 21st and 11th respectively last year).

Special teams coaches will work on improving the battle for field position with an improved kickoff and punting game.

And all of this will be done with more new faces at each position than we have seen in Broncoland for quite some time.

While scores don't matter in the pre-season, how players play is something that does. With one pre-season game under their belt, all we can conclude at this stage of the game is that this team is a work in progress.

This week's :2thumbsdown: (this list is longer than the regular season list due to the nature of pre-season).

1 - Offensive line play was below average. New faces at left tackle and center, along with a backup at right tackle, created an environment that made for a tough night for the "A" team. However, even the "B" team struggled.

2 -Defensive line play was also below average. As was the case last year, the front four of the defensive line was unable to provide any pressure on the QB.

3 - Lack of a consistent running game. As I mentioned above, the offensive line play was sub-par, so this obviously contributed to the ability to establish the run. Selvin Young only had 3 yards on 4 carries.

4 - Penalties. 12 penalties (mostly from the offensive line) were responsible for killing several drives. One came on the last drive with the Broncos having a first and goal at the 3 yard line. The drive would stall and the team would have to settle for a field goal.

5 - Patrick Ramsey. 6 of 11 with two INTs and only 32 yards. While his second INT was from a Hail Mary pass, he looked uncomfortable and his passes were off-target all night. He also only managed one scoring drive of 4 yards for a FG.

6 - 276 yards of total offense. Not a good start for a team that trying to move in to the top 5 in the league. When you factor out the team's only TD drive of the game, the Broncos offense only had about 200 yards in 7 drives.

This week's :2thumbs:

1 - Jay Cutler. With absolutely no running game, he was very comfortable with taking control of the offense, moving the ball 74 yards in the team's second drive, culminating in a 15 yard scramble for a TD. He would complete 8 of 10 for 58 yards in his limited playing time.

2 - Tony Scheffler. He was the leading receiver even though most of his playing time came from the "B" team QBs. His foot problem appears to be in his past.

3 - Anthony Alridge. The story on him was his speed and it showed when he was on the field. He's too small to be an every down back, but his smaller size and great speed should make him a great change of pace RB.

4 - Wesley Woodyard. Another "B" team player who showed some stuff. He lead the team with 8 tackles. I didn't notice any missed tackles and he always seemed to be where the ball was. With the unfortunate injuries to Boss Bailey and Louis Green, he could find himself being counted on sooner rather than later.

5 - Blitzing. With it being pre-season, we didn't see alot of the blitz packages, but they were effective when they were used. Both of the sacks scored by the defense came from blitzes.

6 - Matt Prater. Yeah, I know he missed his first FG attempt of the night, but he would make the next three. In addition, 3 of his 5 kickoffs made it to the end zone with the other 2 being inside the 5 yard line. It's been a long time since we've had a place kicker who could kick off as well. All in all, I think he did a great job.

Just a little FYI for those who shouted for Jason Elam when Matt missed his first FG.... Jason was only 1 for 3 in his Atlanta debut.

7 - Louis Green. When you see a player carted off the field in a stretcher, it's a good thing to find out that he will be OK. His MRI was negative and it appears he only suffered a concussion. He was released from the hospital and got to fly home with the team.

As the title of this article stated, many areas of this year's team is a work in progress. Hopefully, that work will be completed by the time they face the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football.

08-10-2008, 06:20 AM
Nice article, broncos_mtnman! :salute:

I didn't see the game, and I was looking for an overall assesment of the team's first outing, and this was that.

Glad to see Jay's in charge, and that some of the rookies made some impressions. I also agree about Prater; the pressure on him replacing Elam was great, and hopefully, he just needed to get that miss out of the way. The longer he plays, the more automatic he'll become.

In the case of Clady, could he have a rougher first time than one of the top ends in the league? I think he'll turn out okay too, specially by mid-season.

08-10-2008, 09:00 AM
Great write up Broncos_mtnman.

I thought Clady did well at LT. He made some good blocks and looked good after the first 5 minutes of the game. It's hard for a rookie LT to come in and play straight away, but he handled it well. Harris at RT was below average, he made alot of mistakes, but he held up fairly well on running plays. I guess the next pre-season game will tell us all we need to know.

Thanks for the article Mtnman.


08-10-2008, 11:09 AM
Good article mtnman. Clady's gonna be a good one. Woodtard was all over the place, Scheffler looked good as did some of the newbies. Niko was a complete nonfactor, was never around the ball, I sure hope he's better than he showed last night or the critical mlb spot is going to be weaker than ever-I just don't feel like Webster is the answer.