Scouting 2016: Offensive Tackle

Hello Broncos fans!

I am introducing a new column I will be writing weekly, in which I scout the top 3 at every position in the 2016 draft. I know this is looking way ahead, but if you are a draft geek like me, it is still good to get a feel for what next offseason has in store. I also would like to mention at this point that I will not be scouting kickers or punters, sorry Marshall Morgan. Continue reading Scouting 2016: Offensive Tackle

Debunking the “Wide Receivers are Overrated” Myth

Often times, when something becomes really popular, members of the media have a tendency to swing the pendulum too far towards exaggeration, and then instead of moving the narrative closer to the truth, they spin it all the way in the other direction. For instance, Justin Bieber or Nickelback had meteoric rises to stardom, and then, when the media got tired of praising them, they fell to the level of punchlines. In truth, the narrative should probably be somewhere in between, as competent (ish) musicians who were overrated and are now underrated.

The same principle applies to football. For instance, Tim Tebow went from the best thing since sliced bread to, well, the worst thing since plain sliced bread. In reality, he’s a decent athlete and a good leader, but probably not an NFL starting QB.

Wide Receiver has been one of the most valued positions in the NFL for a long time. They were in the spotlight even to the point of being divas. Keyshawn Johnson was the number 1 pick in the draft, and then immediately began complaining about his touches. We saw Randy Moss’s various shenanigans. Brandon Marshall was a nightmare at times. I think this quote pretty much sums up the insane inflation of the collective egos of the NFL receiver:

“I love me some me.”

-Terrell Owens

Continue reading Debunking the “Wide Receivers are Overrated” Myth

Eagles Release Evan Mathis; Would Broncos Be Interested?

I share this mainly because I’m sure there would be questions about whether or not the Denver Broncos would be interested in his services.

Briefly, while Mathis is a good fit for a zone-blocking scheme, he is 33 years old. Thus, the Broncos would likely only want him if he was willing to take a low-cost deal, and very likely a one-year deal.

Considering that Mathis was holding out for more money from the Eagles, it doesn’t sound like he’d take less money to play for the Broncos. I suspect Mathis, considered one of the best guards in the NFL, is looking to cash in while he still can, because he might not have get a better deal if he waits a year or two (he had two years left on his deal with the Eagles).

If Mathis was willing to take a one-year, low-cost deal, I would have just two words: “Sign him.” But that appears highly unlikely to happen.

Therefore, I wouldn’t expect the Broncos to pursue Mathis. He’s more likely to sign with a team that has more cap space and/or has the “win now” mindset and doesn’t care what it does with its cap space… and the latter is definitely something we don’t want the Broncos to become.

The New Orange Crush

Hello Broncos Fans!

I absolute love In Thin Air. With the unfortunate demise of IAOFM, a gigantic void was left for many fans. Fortunately, and I can only speak for myself, In Thin Air has saved me from the Mile High Reports of the world. Since this is my first article on this site, I’ll start with a brief bio. I’m currently living in Philadelphia, and although I am quite a bit younger than your average contributor, I’ve bled orange and blue since I was old enough to turn on ESPN. My father, who is one of the few bigger fans than myself, transferred his VHS tapes of every Broncos game from 1982 to 2000 to DVD, so I could watch them in my room at night. So, while I admittedly do know more about the more modern teams, I can still hold my own on 80’s and 90’s Broncos knowledge. Anyways, enough about me.

Everything that I’ve read online about the 2015 Broncos has been largely pessimistic. For instance, Bleacher Report ranked John Elway’s off-season a paltry 23rd in the league here. They also predicted that we will go 10-6 and finish second in our division. Much of the reasoning makes sense. Manning looked off (to put it lightly) towards the end of last season. Our O-Line may return only one starter from last season, pending the RT position battle. We lost one of the best scoring tight ends in the league, as well as a great defensive tackle. I look at our new group however, and I see plenty of reasons for excitement.

Defense Wins Championships. This is a tried and true saying.

It’s that time of this article where I make a bold prediction. The Denver Broncos will have the top defense in the NFL in 2015. I realize that seems bold. Bleacher Report ranked our defense 10th in the league, despite finishing 3rd in total defense last year. I honestly believe that we have the coaching and the talent to achieve that lofty expectation. Continue reading The New Orange Crush

Brock Osweiler: Player Analysis


Hello all. Hope all is well and your week is going well.

I just got done with my Politics of Coaching piece a couple of days ago but then opted out after how much I thought it would bite me in the rear if one of the coaches at my program saw it. Even though it’s highly unlikely that any of them know about this site (no disrespect to you, Nick) and will never see the article, I didn’t want to take any chances with it. It’s sitting in my hard drive if I want to post it but for now, I will hold onto it until I’m sure I want to dispense it.

Today, I will be analyzing Brock Osweiler of the Denver Broncos. Although, I will analyze him by myself, I wanted to get creative with it a little bit.

I will be analyzing him through John Elway’s, Kevin Gilbride’s, and my own lens. Each person mentioned in this piece has their own perspective about what a QB should look like. I think one way, Kevin thinks another, and John thinks another way. I think I have a clear view of what each person thinks of Brock and what his ceiling is which will hopefully be captured through the writing of this article.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Continue reading Brock Osweiler: Player Analysis

So How About the Offensive Line?

Mike Klis tweeted out some information about the Broncos offensive line as it currently stands.

However, bear in mind this is not set in stone, as Klis makes clear in this tweet.

Only time will tell if the current starting lineup remains the same to start the season… and more importantly, how those who eventually win the starting jobs fare as a unit.

Remember What Elway Said: Win “Now and in the Future”

The other day, Nick shared some thoughts about what might happen between Demaryius Thomas and the Denver Broncos. I shared a few thoughts there, but wanted to further examine the realities the Broncos are faced with in future seasons.

We know that John Elway has talked about how he wants to build a team that will win “now and in the future.” The problem many pundits and fans have is, when they talk about playoff contenders who have notable aging players, they drop the words “in the future,” as if all that matters is getting the aging players a Super Bowl ring at the expense of everything else. Dropping the words “in the future” is a dangerous practice, because that is how you harm your team in future years, and make it not only many years between Super Bowls, but many years between playoff trips.

It’s true that the Broncos have not always delivered their best games in recent playoffs, but the Broncos made the playoffs each year because they had teams that were built well. Everyone wants to win a Super Bowl, but if I were to tell you I could structure a team that could win a Super Bowl this year, but it would come at the cost of failing to make the playoffs in eight of the next 10 seasons, and be one-and-done in the two seasons the team goes to the playoffs, I would think most people would say it’s not worth winning the Super Bowl for that.
Continue reading Remember What Elway Said: Win “Now and in the Future”

Defending the RPO: The Scrape-Exchange, Bracket Coverage, and Cut Corners


The RPO is one of the hardest to defend in football. Primarily because the constraint is added into the play like an option off a bad look. The offense can adjust to the defense even after the defense has already adjusted to the offense. And now with the development of packaged-plays, or more famously known around the coaching circles as RPOs (Run-Pass Options), they can now play with the defense among three axes of direction in one play call. The amount of stretch that an RPO can create on a field is hard for a defense to cover using a traditional coverage. And then offenses have the capability to get the play off in thirteen seconds after the last play has occurred. Not only are defenses struggling with stretches in space, they are also dealing with fatigue, a disastrous element in a game that averages 10 more plays per game than twenty years ago.

As offensive schemes keep attacking the weaknesses of traditional coverages, they are in danger of becoming obsolete. RPO’s stretch zone coverage, provide an outlet against man, take advantage of a light box versus Cover 4, and get the quick bubble vs Cover 3. All defensive coordinators can do is teach their players the fundamentals, install the packages, and hope their players are aware enough to recognize what is happening. It’s a pickle to say the least.

Thankfully or unfortunately, depending on which side of the ball you are on, there are ways to combat the RPO.

Continue reading Defending the RPO: The Scrape-Exchange, Bracket Coverage, and Cut Corners

PFF Examines Broncos Depth Chart

Pro Football Focus updates the depth chart for teams each offseason. You can find the Broncos’ depth chart here.

I suspect there won’t be too many disagreements over how PFF views each projected starter, although one may disagree over the definition of “elite” versus “high quality.” There are also several players who have been praised by those of us who migrated from IAOFM, who PFF is not as high on.