Blog Entry

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

Posted on: June 5, 2009 3:35 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2009 4:37 pm

Ever since John Elway paraded around Denver with his second Lombardi trophy, the Bronco faithful have followed this team blindly hoping to get another championship. Every year, we were told how good we would be...I remember in 2001 I was ecstatic to see that ESPN had us as the favorites to win it all. Of course, the dream went up in smokes.

The year after, I followed the team and heard of offseason signings, how great our draft was, and followed blindly again to another mediocre season.

Year after year, I watched my Broncos storm out of the gate only to fall on their faces. 9-7, 10-6, 10-6. First round exits from the playoffs. No championships still.

We finally seemed to be back to Championship form when the Jake Plummer-lead Broncos reached the AFC Championship game with a 13-3 record. But we were pummelled, and then our team was ripped to shreds. We would have to start over. Again.

After 3 years of rebuilding, high hopes, and more falling on our faces, Mr. Pat Bowlen has finally called this crazy ride to a hault. This crazy, 12-year spin to nowhere. Even though I'm sure many Bronco fans are in disarray, wondering what to think about what is coming next, one thing is finally a sure-thing.

It's going to be different. The 12 years of nothing are over. This year we can expect some of the same, high hopes, new free agency moves, following the team that many of us grew up with. But this year, the end result will be different. All or nothing is the new theme at Dove Valley. Whether the result be good or bad, we do have one thing to thank Josh McDaniels for. He is changing Broncos football as we know it. The same expectations, different approach, different results (whether good or bad). And the town, the team, all of Bronco Country can feel the excitement and the change. We're all paying attention, wondering what these crazy kids will do next.

Josh McDaniels is poking all of Denver with a stick. Whether he has breakfast ready or not is a mystery, but one thing is for sure. After 12 years of sleeping, the same ole' routine, the same ole' Broncos, we have woken up. We are alert, we are skeptical, excited, critical and we are ready for what's next.




Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2009 3:37 am

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

I just don't understand how it can reasonably be said that we weren't going anywhere.  This is homerism at it's finest, no offense.  People want desperately to be on board with everything the Broncos do, so they're looking back in hindsight and trying to justify Mike Shanahan getting canned.  Maybe some of the people on these boards who are highly supportive of Josh McDaniels were also critical of Shanahan towards the end of his run in Denver, but I don't think most were.  I don't ever remember hearing a large amount of people calling for Shanny's career.  People criticized things he did, that's natural, no coach goes uncriticized.  But now that he's fired people are coming out of the woodworks with every argument they can conjure to try and act like this was just an inevitable thing that everyone knew was coming and most people wanted.  I don't agree at all.  I think it was unexpected and extremely imprudent.

How were we sitting still?  Shanahan made agressive moves in drafts and off-seasons to pick up the players we needed.  We one 2 Super Bowls on the backs of a bunch of veterans.  Within 5 years of winning our titles, nearly every influential player who had been apart of that run was no longer in the league.  That's not an easy thing to come back from.  It takes time and hard work, and I genuinely believe we were finally making our way out of it.  Shanahan tried to do big things with Jake Plummer, a somewhat Elway-style quarterback, and when it didn't work out he had no problem pulling the plug and putting in the young gun.  Our defense was stagnant, but you can't revamp an entire team at once.  I think Shanahan did it right and was well aware of the talent at the collegiate level.  Last year and this year's draft were heavy with offensive players.  Over the next two years some of the finest defensive players the college game has seen in a long while will be entering the draft.  Last year we made big moves and had one of the best draft classes in Broncos history.  Our offense was revamped.  We pulled our passing game out of the ashes, and established ourselves as a team that could legitimately toss the rock.  In another year or two, with the way our drafting had gone, we could very well have made similar growth on the defensive side of the ball once the right players became available.

We were anything but stagnant.  We were putting together the winning pieces and getting rid of the guys who weren't able to get it done.  I saw nothing that looked like complacency, and I think all of the attempts to try and demolish Shanahan's record in Denver after-the-fact are just people allowing their unbridled loyalty to fog their perception of reality.

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2009 5:25 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

I agree. It should say 10 years of nothing. And by nothing, I mean of mediocrity. Too good to get high draft picks, not good enough to make any splash in the playoffs, the same 10-6 every year it seemed like. Which is not bad, it's consistently decent and consistently competetive. The problem is, at some point a 10-6 team has to be willing to make the commitment to move up into that elite group. Which Pat Bowlen was MORE than willing to do. He opened his checkbook and asked Mike Shanahan to do whatever he needed to do to get us back there. We had ONE year that we were a true threat in all that time, and then it was gone. Maybe Shanahan was complacent, maybe it had everything to do with his terrible GM'ing, or maybe he'd lost it a little bit as our coach. Either way, we weren't going anywhere.

I'll match your analogy with my own. If you are in a car and you run out of gas, you can sit in your car trying to start it, enjoying the scenery, or taking a nap. It's still a perfectly good car, it just won't move. But after a while of waiting, eventually you're going to have to hike up to the nearest town and put in some effort in order to get it moving. Even if it's a perfectly good car.

This is the hike. It's 105 degrees outside, and no one is going to pick us up. It's not as safe or comfortable as it was to sit back, but hopefully we can get the car moving again by wandering out of our comfort zone.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: June 25, 2009 10:07 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

TD, I usually agree with you, but I can't say I do on this one.  I don't think it's fair to call Shanahan's tenure in Denver "12 years of nothing."

I thought you were talking about just the time since the two Super Bowls, but that was only 10 seasons ago.  So in the last 12 seasons we've actually had 2 Super Bowl wins, and 3 appearances in the AFC Championship game.  In that time span the only other teams with more than one Super Bowl win have been the Patriots with 3 and the Steelers with 2.  Along the same lines, the only other teams who have been to the AFC Championship game more than twice are again the Patriots with 5 and the Steelers with 5.  Even though everyone wants to act like the last dozen years have been a massive disappointment, we're in rare company.  If you list off the most successful teams in the AFC over that time period, the list runs, Patriots, Steelers, Broncos, and then there are a handful of teams that are all even at the fourth spot.  Maybe we haven't had the success of New England and Pittsburgh, but we've done well enough to separate ourselves from the rest of the conference as one of the truly elite teams.  I think at some point Broncos fans would be wise to take a step back and contemplate whether or not their expectations seem reasonable.  The NFL is built on disparity, what the Steelers and Patriots have done is incredibly unique.  If you look at the history of the sport, particularly the modern era, there are very few incidences of teams being that consistently dominant.  It just doesn't happen.  Even what we've achieved is rare.  To write that off and call it nothing seems slightly unreasonable to me.

I guess it just makes me think of an old saying that when there's a hole in the boat, you should try to patch the hole before you put on a vest and jump overboard.  There were some leaks in our boat, but I think we just decided that instead of waiting to see if we could fix them we put on a Josh McDaniels life-vest and jumped overboard.  Now we're floating at sea, hoping that rescue comes.  If it does we'll be safe and sound, but if not, we're sure going to miss that boat of ours.

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2009 10:59 am

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

I wont get in on anyone for being positive....nothing wrong with cautious optomism.

Not like this thread was an outright endorcement of McD....just saying

My major problem with the situation is that Shany had an amazing Offense...... that would be intact if McD wasn't such an arrogant, cocky, pretentious, piece-o-shiite tough guy.

Shany really wasn't that bad at drafting...... Our D sucks, but look at the players we have gotten lately:

1 11 (11) Jay Cutler QB Vanderbilt (from St. Louis)
2 29 (61) Tony Scheffler TE W. Michigan
4 22 (119) Brandon Marshall WR UCF (from Washington)
4 29 (126) Elvis Dumervil DE Louisville
4 33 (130) Domenik Hixon DB Akron (Compensatory Selection)
5 29 (161) Chris Kuper OG North Dakota
6 29 (198 ) Greg Eslinger C Minnesota

That is an amazing draft, on both sides...Especially Kuper in the 6th...some scouts say he is the premiere guard in the AFC

not so much....but we did get a bookend tackle in Harris

08 is still under review but, we got Clady and Royal and both set the bar for draft picks. Clady is one of the greatest rook OL of all time, and every single reciever under 6' in the 09 draft was asked who they see themselves a man they all said "Eddie Royal".

I would be happier w/ Shany and Cutler, but what choice do I have?
Go Boncos

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2009 3:07 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

This is a great post!  For those of you that are the nay-sayers, go back and read it again.

The Broncos were just like he said "a crazy ride".  We were the definition of insanity, "doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result".

He did not say Josh was going to take us to the Super Bowl this year (I can hope though).  He said things were going to be different.  I'm good with that, ecstatic actually.

Josh is addressing all areas of the team (read team):

He is not satified with our 2nd rated offense (in terms of yards).  Why? Yards don't translate into points and in this catagory we were 16th. Hence the interest in running backs, tight ends (new T.E. coach from the Chargers no less), and yes QB.  I think we are a better team in offense now than at the end of the year.

He is not satisfied with our defense (who would be?).  He has brought in a proven D.C., with a new L.B. coach (from the Raiders no less), new players (although some are up there in years) and a new scheme.  I don't know how much better the defense will be yet I'll go out on a limb here and say the defense will play with more fire and intensity as a team .

He is not satisfied with our special teams (a much overlooked part of the game).  How much field position is either given up or taken?  Once again, new players and coaches.  Once again, I think we will have more fire and intensity as a team.

Will we win more games this year?  Who knows, who has that magic crstal ball?  However I do think the team as a whole will be better this year than last.

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2009 2:31 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

I never said I agree with what McDaniels is doing. I won't know if I do or not until we see what kind of players these guys turn out to be that we got. I'll say that I'm nervous, I have no idea what's in store for this team, and I have no idea what Coach is going to do. Part of me thinks we're going to be really good in the future and average this year, part of me thinks we're going to be really bad and this whole thing was the worst thing that could've happened. The point of the article is that we just don't know. But at least we're not sittin on our couches applauding Mike Shanahan for at least keeping us out of the cellar and going through the motions of another 10-6 season.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2009 1:12 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

Tony Dungy is a one of the best coaches in history.  Under him he changed teams from being losers to consistently competative teams, indeed one of the only coaches to really match what he has done currently has been Bellicheck. 

He defended Daniels on the move.  He realizes that physical tools aren't everything, sometimes you need to have smarts.  THAT IS WHAT MADE MANNING SO GREAT!

He didn't have wonderful feet, and his arm isn't that great.  Yet he is one of the most consistent and best QB's in the league
Brady the same, he won because he is able to keep his composure and limit his mistakes.  THAT is what makes a good QB.

Jake Plummer made us 13-3 with a worse offense and a slightly better defense either.  Why?  He didn't make 18 mistakes.  He was near perfect the entire season, most people lauded his low inteception rate.  Did he have a rocket arm?  Far from it.  Did he have good feet?  Ok they were good but honestly the guy was much older.  Not near compareable to Cutler in talent.  What he did do was he played wwith his head.
History has proved that pretty QB's with nice arms don't always win, it is the smart ones that do win. 

Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2009 12:52 pm

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

Sorry guys, I'd much rather have a cry babyy qb with all the physical tools than one that can merely "manage" a game.  Y'all are screwed this year.  Your defense will be awful and you won't score enough points without Cutler as your qb.  I predict 3-13.  The firing was ridiculous.

Since: Aug 16, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2009 10:50 am

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

You two are wildly missing his point. I as a True DIEHARD Bronco fan agree completely with him....what are people doing? THEY ARE TALKING AGAIN AND THERE IS A BUZZ AGAIN ABOUT THE BRONCOS! I was both shocked and relieved when Shanny was fired. I was one who drunk the punch and believed we needed just one more piece. McDaniels (who by the way I think is a NUT JOB for the offseason handling of our beloved team) is at least trying something new. As for Cutler was anyone truly sold that he was the second coming? Rocket arm...CHECK, Mobile QB...CHECK, CRYBABY...CHECK! You have to wonder why NO ONE ( even off the record ) came out to defend him. McDaniels may very well lead us down a path of destruction, but at least he's not trying to sell us the same ol' song and dance. Good or BAD it will be DIFFERENT this year!

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2009 9:59 am

The Same, but Different for Bronco Fans

I couldn't have said what I believe any better than what you just did. McDaniels will help this team on the day he cleans out his office and walks out the door--for the last time.

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