Age of first-time head coaches

A friend and I were talking about the hire of Fangio, and one concerned he expressed, was that Fangio was old and had never been selected as a head coach in his 40-year career. There’s no denying that Fangio is old. Next year, Fangio will be the 5th oldest coach next year, trailing only Mike Zimmer (63), Bill Belichick (67), Pete Carroll (68) and Bruce Arians (67).

This prompted me to do a little research and see how this compared to previous first-time head coaches. I used PFR and looked at the 80 head coaches who started their coaching career in 2001 or after. I ignored coaches who I knew were only Interim Head Coaches, although I could have missed some. The data PFR compiles isn’t great, and I had to manually enter everyone’s birth year, so I was a little limited by what analysis I could do. Note that throughout this article, I’m referring to a coach’s age on December 31st of that year, or essentially their age at the end of the season (it made collecting data much).

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A look back at 2016 Roster Cuts

For fun, and to gain perspective, I thought I’d look back at the Broncos training camp cuts with two years of hindsight. Like every year, roster cut downs were a contentious topic, with fan favorites who emerged with strong performances in the preseason who didn’t make the cut.

I went back to our predict the roster competition, and listed everyone who received votes at some point along the way, yet who didn’t make the team. I listed the final # of votes each player received in the final round of voting, shortly before the 4th preseason game (IE 10 of 12 participants thought Sanchez would make the team). I italicized players who made the practice squad, and bolded players who are still in the league

Here’s the In-ThinAir article with our initial 53 man roster, and our initial practice squad.

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Update after Signing of Case Keenum

After the Keenum signing, I thought I’d try to give a quick overview of where I thought we stand. I had a long day at work so this will be shorter than I had hopped, and sorry for any errors or typos.

Cap Space:

After the Case Keenum Signing today, our effective cap space sits at 6.7 million for 2018, and 22 million for 2019.

2018 Cap space

Starting per OTC 29.9 million
Case Keenum (Net) -17.5 million
2018 Draft Class (Net) -5.7 million
Remaining 2018 Cap Space 6.7 million

2019 Cap Space

Starting Cap Space 59 million
Case Keenum -18 million
2018 Draft Class (gross) -14 million
Getting roster to 51 -5 million
Remaining 2019 cap space 22 million

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Cheers to the greatest QB Coach of a generation

I think we all know that Kubiak has been able to get a lot out of his QBs, but I think few of us realize just how deep and impressive this accomplishment is. I did some research and looked up the stats of every QB who had started at least 4 games when Kubiak was either the HC, OC or QB Coach, and compared that QBs stats while playing for Kubiak, to the rest of their career. The results astounded me, and I found quite a few interesting bits of trivia along the way. It is incredible how Kubiak was able to elevate the play of so many different QBs, from the all-time greats (Elway, Steve Young), to the talented underachievers (Plummer), to the career backups (Frerotte, Brister, Rosenfels), to the first round busts (Carr), to the stagnated Veterans (Flacco), to the downright awful (TJ Yates), and everything in between.

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Turning back the clock to October 2014

To take our minds off a disappointing loss, I thought I’d share a piece looking back at a moment in recent Broncos history, that many fans seem to have already forgotten, October 2014.  I’m using IAOFM as a bit of a time machine, and will link to their content throughout the article.  (Many thanks to them for not only writing this content, but continuing to leave it up).

Setting the stage:

The Broncos were only 8 months removed from the disappointing end to the 2013 season.  The offense that had set records for most points and yards in a season had remained largely intact, losing only Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, and Zane Beadles, and filling those holes with Emmanuel Sanders and a returning Ryan Clady.  The defense that despite some overachieving performances had been called soft after the super bowl, had been retooled with additions of Bradley Roby, TJ Ward, Aqib Talib and Demarcus Ware.

The Broncos started the season well, opening 2 and 1 with wins against the Colts and Chiefs and a hard fought OT loss on the road against the Seahawks (who were in the midst of a 28-2 stretch at home.)  JT was off to a hot start with 5 TD catches in 3 games.

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A closer look with Pro Football Reference

I thought I’d try out what might be a new series for me, taking a closer look at the most recent game and trends using Pro Football Reference’s tools to look at Snap Counts, play by play data, and historical data.  Let me know what you think and if you have any feedback and I might make this a regular occurrence:

 Looking at the Broncos Run Plays

Run plays

The Broncos had quite a few long runs that accounted for most of their yards.  They broke off runs of 10 yards or more 6 times (22% of runs), and that accounted for 66% of their rushing yards.  I’m very excited about their ability to break off big plays.  On the flip side, they were stopped for 2 yards or less 12 times (44% of runs), and 1 yard or less 9 times (33% of runs).  Two of those plays were successful short yardage conversions (CJ’s 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 conversions). Continue reading A closer look with Pro Football Reference

A look at possible special teams contributors for the Broncos

In light of the moves today (particularly the Bibbs over Hillman move), I thought I’d take a stab at projecting who the Broncos special teams contributors might be this year.  I’ve never coached or played organized 11-11 football, so I’m probably not the most qualified to look into this niche topic.  But I’m armed with special teams snap counts from Pro Football Reference and going to give it a shot.

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Thin Air’s 2016 Broncos Roster Predictions – Updated

I received updates from a few players, so here is the updated roster breakdown.  Let me know if you see any errors. I updated these manually rather than use excel, so I could have missed something.  Nothing changed too drastically, but it was interesting to see what changed after Saturday.  Hopefully this is a decent guide for what to watch for on Thursday.

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