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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Denver Broncos Offseason

Denver Broncos – The NFL is a fickle place. With their off the field drug conflicts with the league. The deaths of Darrent Williams and Damien Nash in separate off the field incidents were devastating. Then add in the complete disappointment of having an under achieving running game, when everyone has always believed you could stick anyone in that backfield and they would rush for a thousand yards. The fact it was disappointing becomes even more pronounced when you take into account the fact they brought on Travis Henry with all his baggage to improve that run game.
The Broncos also had the third most porous run defense in the league. If you can’t stop the run and can’t run the ball you don’t have a prayer. The Broncos have one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the league. You just can’t ask him to carry a team, for a whole season, this early in his career.
The Broncos seem to be the only team to make a rare big trade in the NFL. Now they have Dre Bly and Champ Bailey. Likely the best corner tandem in the league. They are very average everywhere else though. While in the past Shanahan, one of the few Coach/GM combos in the league, has traded away pick to move up for talent. They need to keep their draft picks this year and look to up grade reasonably across the board instead of going for the big splash.
They also have great young talent at wide receiver with Brandon Marshall and Brandon Stokley. You can expect that Javon Walker will be gone after his little tantrum recently. When he stated that the Broncos and himself should part ways. I don’t think they will look at this as a first round need. They will likely address this through a reasonable free agency pool. If not then they will look to later rounds for help; they aren’t in the market for a #1 receiver.
I really think they need to look for a strong middle line backer, in order to get DJ Williams back into his natural outside linebacker. With Williams talent really showing a lot more at the strong-side spot, you would almost be getting a player and a half, by filling the middle spot, and freeing Williams.
The best available linebacker at the Broncos spot will likely be Kieth Rivers (LB-USC). Rivers actually played outside linebacker through college, and would be a smaller linebacker in the middle, but Denver traditionally goes for a smaller quicker defense, so he would be a nice fit. If James Laurenitis were to slide to the Broncos, which I doubt. He is a natural inside linebacker and an even better fit than Rivers.
This is less off-season and more next season. Should the Broncos make no strides forward in their production with the talent that they have, you have to start wondering about the stability of Mike Shanahan’s job. If he were in almost any other city we would have been having this talk a lot sooner. Denver is a somewhat different situation, one because of the storied success, the Elway years, and Pat Bowlen always steadfastly backing Shanahan.

Outside Shot
From the EWWWWWWWWWWW department. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080111/wl_uk_afp/britainchildrenadoptionmarriage

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