Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Mar 2007

Bly Signs Contract with Broncos

Well, any of the talk of Dre Bly going can stop. He's signed a five-year, $33 million deal with the Broncos which is pretty nifty considering (at least in initial value) his deal doesn't remotely approach Nate Clements.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 28 Mar 2007

72 comments, Last at 08 Apr 2007, 1:08pm by Sid

Comments

1
by Bronco Jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 9:21pm

With this signing, the Broncos have secured the best CB tandem in the league for years to come, and in the process have caused the other quarterbacks in the AFC West to become even more nervous about playing the Broncos. Not only will it be harder to throw on the CBs, the blitzes will come fast and furious with Bates as the DC.

They'll be fun to watch next year.

2
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 9:24pm

I'd attack the Broncos by playing 4 wide a lot. That forces two of their excellent linebackers off of the field, and lets you pass against some weaker DBs.

3
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 9:44pm

What are the odds on Bailey for DPOY now that teams will be (presumably) throwing more to his side of the field?

I also think it's funny that "anti-spam" got content-linked.

4
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 9:47pm

I've always liked Dre Bly, but I think one is getting too caught up in the excitement when one says that a 30 year old corner secures anything for years to come.

5
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 10:20pm

Their pass rush is still pretty god awful. Without adding some impact guys who can get to the passer, I still wouldn't be that scared. Even against the best CBs, players get open if they have enough time. and if you have to blitz 6 and 7 guys to have any sort of effect, players will get open.

6
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 10:21pm

Also, what's with the anti-spam word thing all the sudden?

Is there some way there could be an optional way to just register for the site so you don't have to type it in every time?

7
by PaulH (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2007 - 11:36pm

#5 is right.

As the FO guys say, good pass defense can either be good coverage by the DB's, or a good pass rush.

Granted, if both Bly and Bailey stay healthy, they may have the best defensive backfield in the NFL, their pass rush still isn't that good. That's not to say the overall pass defense won't be very good, but I think it should be come in mind when people act like it will be impossible to move the ball through the air on these guys.

And #3, I'm not sure it will really create that many more throws towards Champ Bailey. Even if you have a guy like Bly opposite Bailey, I'd still much rather throw at Bly than at Bailey. I'm not an expert on the matter, but I think that it would probably create more throws to the backs and tight ends than towards Bailey.

Call me crazy, I like the spam thing. From my experience, it has FO type words as the anti-spam word. For example, for this message it was "dpar."

8
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:13am

7-not a lot more throws, but I could see 1-2 more a game.

9
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:14am

Well, it looks like the Skins are stuck hoping that at least two of: [Springs can stay healthy, Rogers improves, and Smoot's struggles in Minny were an aberration] come to be.

As for Denver, yeah with those corners you could just transplant Cleveland's D-line over there and... OK that joke is two years old.

10
by cd6 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:16am

Having two decent corners means you can defend the receivers for another second or two longer than other teams' corners can, which will give your less talented d line time to get to the QB and get the sack.

Most teams attempt to protect their weak secondary by having a good pash rush... Denver appears ready to defend their weak d line with above average secondary coverage.

I don't know how that will work out for them this season, but should be interesting. The AFC West may be one of the weaker divisions in terms of receiver talent on the other competitors' teams (KC, San Diego) so I suspect this will work well for Denver.

11
by kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:32am

Re #7: And #3, I’m not sure it will really create that many more throws towards Champ Bailey. Even if you have a guy like Bly opposite Bailey, I’d still much rather throw at Bly than at Bailey. I’m not an expert on the matter, but I think that it would probably create more throws to the backs and tight ends than towards Bailey.

The thing is, it's not just a question of Bailey or Bly... it's a question of would you rather throw to, say, Hines Ward (covered by Champ Bailey)... or would you rather throw to Santonio Holmes (covered by Dre Bly). Suddenly, it's not such an easy choice.

The disparity is even greater in the AFC West, where #2 WRs are pretty much rubbish across the board. Dre Bly spent more of the past 4 seasons matched up against #1 WRs than anyone else in the league, and acquitted himself very well. Now you're going to have him covering Sammie Parker, or Eric Parker, or Ronald Curry? There's a mismatch, if ever there was one.

Also, I'm going to wait until after the draft before commenting on what Denver's passrush is going to look like last season. Gerard Warren played with injured toes on both feet last year, but was a disruptive force the season before. Elvis Dumerville was one-dimensional, but showed a real knack for rushing the passer, and should improve in his second season. If Denver goes out and gets one of those elite 1st-round DEs in the draft, and maybe spends a second first-day pick on a DT, I could easily see them playing with an above-average passrush next season. Not great, by any stretch, but with a secondary like that, above-average should be more than enough to suffice.

12
by Podpeople (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 5:41am

The Raiders number 2 guy will probably still be Jerry Porter, Kiffin is pretty deadset on not letting Moss go anywhere.

13
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 7:52am

Bly was very good in Detroit, but as #4 points out, he'll be 30 when the season starts so it's possible that he could decline considerably over the next few years. He tends to play off his man, but he breaks on the ball like lightening. If he loses a bit of that explosion....

OTOH I think #1 has a fair point about Denver's willingness to blitz. Given Bly and Bailey will be primarily playing man (and not likely to get beat deep) why not consistently rush five+?

14
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:48am

*Off-topic alert*
Sorry, I don't know where else to ask, but what ever happened to the "recently commented extra points" box on the top left of the page??

15
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:51am

Although there d-line is not that good, I think this move makes them the AFC favorites, if not SB favorites. Just a solid built team all the way around. And I say this as a Pats homer.

16
by Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:08am

I think this will give Denver the best pair of cover corners in the league. I think it is amazing that they got Bly at such a good price even if he is 30. That should allow them to play this pair for several years. Also, I think both of these CBs is willing to tackle.

Denver's LB's are very good, but they need to address the defensive line. Return from injuries and a good draft could help there.

However, I am actually more concerned about depth at QB and WR and a good receiving TE. We shall see if they can do that much better than San Diego.

I like the anti-spam if it helps keep spam off the thread.

17
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:22am

15- You really see Denver as a SB favorite with a 2nd year quarterback?

How come Bailey will be on everybodys #1, and Bly will be on everybodies #2?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I never saw Bailey on the left side of the defense. From what I can remember it was always Baliey on the right, and Darrent Williams on the left.

Who knows how Bates will run the D next year, but if you want to matchup your favorite receiver on Dre Bly, it might be as simple as lining him up on the left side of your offense?

18
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:32am

Chris,
Tom Brady won the SB in his 1st year starting (2nd in the league). And correct me if I'm wrong, but was Kurt Warner a 1st year starter when they won the SB? I could be wrong, but I definately think they are top three (with the Colts and Pats). I think SD will have a big drop-off with all the coaching changes.

19
by Theo, Holland (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:36am

Given Bly and Bailey will be primarily playing man (and not likely to get beat deep) why not consistently rush five+?

Because sometimes teams run the ball or throw screens.

If I had to attack a team with 2 superior (or 1 superior and 1 above average) cornerbacks, I'd run the single wing at them.

20
by hooper (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:45am

I haven't been following the off-season too closely due to school (I know, FO heresy to not follow closely), but I feel that the strong CB tandem will hide a weakness in safety coverage more than it will hide a weakness in D-line. With Bailey/Bly, Denver can run man coverage for almost every play if they really wish. If it works as advertised, that would take a lot of pressure off the safeties, who wouldn't have to pickup the #1/2 receivers in a zone as often.

I don't mind the Denver safeties against TEs or RBs in coverage, but I don't like them matched up against WRs.

As for the anti-spam word, I can't imagine it would slow conversations down much, other than during the infamous officiating calls during playoff games...

21
by Theo, Holland (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:50am

18.
Remember most of the times Chris is just finding arguments to disagree with someone.
No spamfilter can save us from that I'm afraid.

(people forget that Roethlisberger thingy sometimes.)

22
by Aaron N (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:54am

Re: Bates bringing the blitz.

Don't get too excited. Bates is very judicious w/his use of the blitz. He relies on the DE position for the majority of his pass rush. He lines them up a yard or two wider than normal defensive sets to aid them in this regard. He blitzes every once in awhile, but anyone looking for a blitzfest is going to be disappointed.

23
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:59am

Re: 19

As long as they stay reasonably disiplined in their rush lanes, I don't think the blitz gives up much vs. the run. Screens are a slightly greater risk, but guys can be schooled to recognize them.

24
by Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 10:54am

The Broncos may have shored up the cornerback position but that defensive line is still suspect. Without a decent pass rush someone is going to be open in the secondary. I have always felt that in most cases
pass defense is linked to pass rush. The faster the rush gets to a QB the easier it is to play pass defense. Even a great secondary in many cases will struggle if a QB has 5,6 or 7 seconds to read a defense and make decisions.

25
by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:06am

#22

Good call on Bates and the blitz. As DC in Miami he had Surtain and Madison in their pomp, and didn't blitz much. Off course he also has Ogunleye and Taylor at DE so getting to the QB wasn't a real problem.

26
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:25am

14-I think they were one of the things that was consistently causing WordPress to implode.

27
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:25am

I agree about the corners hiding other parts of the secondary as much as they will hide the D-line, and with the sentiment that a bad D-line still will doom Denver to a mediocre defense. An elite defense requires either a killer pass rush or a rock solid secondary, but to just get an above average defense, you need to be at least solid on both. And I'm not sure Denver is.

Actually, the strength of the Denver defense will rest with two players now--Wilson and Lynch. Lynch isn't getting any younger--Denver fans, didn't he have an off year last year?--and I'm not sure who Denver has in the wings behind him. And now there's talk of Wilson maybe being more seriously injured than people think (hence Denver trying to trade him, and other teams not biting because he's failing physicals). If the safety and MLB play is (relatively) weak, and the D-line can't generate a lot of pressure, it doesn't matter how good the CB's are. Teams will just go with multi-TE sets and throw over the middle a lot, to slot recievers and TE's on crossing routes.

28
by Mr. Beefy (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:31am

He has 33 million reasons to be happy in Denver now. :).

29
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:31am

Let's not get carried away. At best, this move puts them in the same bracket as New England, Indy, and San Diego (if AJ Smith hasn't run the team into the ground with his coaching changes). I wouldn't go so far as to say "SB or AFC favorites". Indy just won the SB, and has lost very little of importance this off season (except for some defensive parts, but their defense needed upgrading anyway). New England was two minutes from the SB, and has improved in the off season.

And even the AFC West's suctitude is probably exaggerated. San Diego is, on paper, still the best team in the AFC (they should have beat the Patriots, and I believe they would have beaten the Colts and the Bears). KC won't be giant killers, but should be a solid, average or slightly above average team. And Oakland has nowhere to go but up. It's not like Denver plays in, oh say, the NFC south or west.

30
by SMD (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:46am

Interesting that Denver is bulking up on the corners when the Chargers killed them with the Gates/Lynch matchup last year. On the surface, the move appears to be pointed more at Indianapolis & Cincinatti than Denver's competitors in the AFC West.

31
by rageon (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:56am

Fixing the defensive line problem is simple. Just move DJ Williams and Ian Gold to defensive end, and play the Dime most of the time. Hey, it works on Madden!

32
by Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:20pm

RE: 30

You are certainly correct on that point. It is well known that Mike Shannahan traded Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey
to better combat the Colts trio of wide recievers. In fact, after the first playoff loss I believe Denver drafted several cb's and safties, including the late Darrent Williams. So Indy and Cincy without a doubt have Denver's
attention.

33
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:34pm

18- Maybe Brady won the SB as a first year starter but it's rare.

I'd agree that Denver is "up there", but I think you got a little carried away when you pegged them as the favorite in the AFC. There are some books that have the Pats at 3/1 to win it all right now which is riddulous.

34
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:54pm

I'm not trying to imply winning a SB is a common occurence, nor an easy thing to do w/a 2nd year QB.

My rational for pegging them as the AFC favorite is; as a Pats fan, they're the last team I would want to see in the playoffs. All of their recent moves have been geard toward the colts (their paper, to the pats broncos/rock). The Pats still have some issues/weakness'. The Broncos haven't concerned themselves w/beating SD head-to-head because the 2nd place team in that division likely won't make the playoffs, like last year. Kind of like how the yankees used to build their teams for the playoffs, not the regular season. Although, we don't have the draft to add to discussion yet.

Admittedly, I haven't really "crunched the numbers" to see who has the strongest schedule, ie easiest road to the playoffs.

I can't wait for the season to start already.

We need Rothlisberger to come through for us and provide some excitement, like last year.

35
by PaulH (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 12:54pm

Maybe people are prematurely crowning Denver a bit, but just having a young quarterback doesn't seem to hurt you that much when it comes to getting to and / or winning a Super Bowl.

Just look at history. Roethlisberger won it in his second year as a starter, and came close to making it in his first. Tom Brady won it in his first full season as a starter, and so did Kurt Warner.

Beyond that, young quarterbacks aside, the fact is that plenty of teams make and / or win the Super Bowl with some pretty crappy quarterbacks in general. Just look at the Bears this year with Rex Grossman.

Honestly, I imagine Cutler will do pretty well in his second year as a starter. It's not like he particularly struggled in the time that he played as a rookie. After all, he completed almost 60% of his passes, had 9 touchdown passes to 5 picks, and a QB rating of almost 90. That's not shabby for a rookie.

36
by Dennis Green (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 1:24pm

You want to crown them, go ahead and crown their asses!

37
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:11pm

Yeah but I saw a book with the Pats a 3/1 favorites to win it all! There are 31 other teams, and right now that payout is pure crap.

Brady won a SB in year 2 but could go down as the best ever.

I know it's a technicality, but Warner wasn't as YOUNG as most rookie or second year quarterbacks. Remember, he had to earn his stripes bagging groceries at one time.

A lot of people will argue the cliche that big ben "managed" a super bowl and didn't win it. Then there is the whole question of the officiating in that game ( and big ben still played a horrible game).

38
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:44pm

Re: 37

I don't think anyone is saying that a team with a young QB needs them to play exceptionally well. The point is that having a young QB doesn't automatically kill your chances.

39
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 2:49pm

As a Bronco homer, I'm still terrified about our pathetic D-line. Until Warren returns to '05 form and we get another decent pass-rusher (I like Dumervil, but we still need more), we will be exposed on deep routes.

Remember in '05 we had to blitz all the time to get a pass-rush. Bailey consequently got beat often times deep (I remember many folks here on FO screaming overrated... what a year difference makes) because he'd cover the short-route man-to-man, and if they picked up the blitz he was beat. Same thing will happen with Bailey/Bly in '07 if they rely on man coverage too much.

Of course, that was good enough for 13 wins too, so I'll take it ;-)

Also, Cutler does have to prove himself for us to truly be considered ahead of NE/SD/Indy.

40
by ammek (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 3:17pm

The question mark against the Broncos is surely now its offense, anyway. Only 23rd in DVOA last year. In particular the O-line, so long Denver's forte, regressed to average in 2006. A one-year blip? Or a trend? Too early to say.

Do we agree that successful inexperienced QBs have usually benefited from fine lines (Roethlisberger, Rivers, McNabb, etc.)?

41
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 3:22pm

Bronco's 2007 opponents: Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit

I suspect Bly/Bailey can be dominant next season since Denver will be going up against so little wide receiver talent. Indy clearly has the best receiver talent, but going with four WR's is not much of an option for them now since they have little depth at that position. Other than that its Chicago and Pittsburgh, not exactly gunslinging teams. You think Shanahan is scared of Northcutt in Jax?

42
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 3:30pm

41- Not just the WRS but what QB's scare you in the crowd besides Manning?

They will be facing Jacksonville ( crap), Minnesota ( crap), Houston ( 1st time starter), Grossman ( inconsistant), Oakland ( rookie), Buffalo ( not very good), KC ( new starter), Tennesse ( still hasn't developed as a passing threat).

I'm not saying all those guys are trash, but they aren't exactly facing the QB club. Even if a couple of these guys emerge, it's not that bad of a schedule.

Then there are Rivers, Favre, and Kitna. Not outstanding, but at least average.

43
by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:06pm

41,42

Sounds like you're disrespecting Lee Evans!

(sad bills fan)

44
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:10pm

That's not fair to call Leftwich crap and Grossman inconsistent. Grossman is way, way crappier than Leftwich.

45
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:16pm

#43 - Yeah, I be playa-hatin'.

46
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:30pm

The point isn't what WR's Denver will face next year...I would expect them to match up well against any WR's with Bly and Bailey. The problem is that Bly and Bailey can only cover two guys.

One thing I see in those opposing teams is a number of very good TE's and RB's, who are NOT covered by Denver's corners. Like I said before, I think Denver's defense next year will go according to how well Lynch and Wilson play.

47
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:31pm

Denver was actually pretty good in the nickel, according to the 2007 FO stats. Being good in the nickel doesn't automatically mean your #3 CB can move up a slot and be effective. Besides, Denver played in the receiver-weak AFC West. They seem to have more liabilities against TE's and RB's as receivers. Conceivably, a Brad Johnson dink-and-dunk offense could cause considerable damage, but the Denver D was adequate/average against the run in '06.

48
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:34pm

Basically, the problem is that you get diminishing returns as you improve a position, especially if you're a defense, because the offense can choose what part of the defense to attack. Improving a part of your defense from no-Sanders-Indy-06 to average gives you a huge return. Improving an already above average pair of CB's to a very good pair of CB's has far less of an impact, especially if other parts of your defense stay the same or get worse.

It's kind of like building static defenses in a war. Having any kind of a wall helps quite a bit, but building one part of a wall really strong and thick and leaving another part weak does nothing, because the enemy chooses to attack the weak part (just ask the French).

49
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:35pm

#46 - You are right. Some good/experienced receiving RB's - Jones-Drew, Dominic Rhodes, Addai.

50
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 5:09pm

48- Good point. Sort of like how people say " your only as strong as your weakest link".

44- Leftwhich isn't a very good quarterback. Piss poor mechanics, slow release, slow wind up, constant injuries, and the Jags run such a basic low risk offnese that he doesn't really do anything Garrard couldn't do. In fact his fat ass was still on the bench when he came back from injury and Garrard was in there.

It seems like the Jags are always either intentionally dumping it off to the RB or throwing a jump ball to one of their tall receivers.

Grossman on the other hand still doesn't have a lot of experience. His coaching staff allows him to take more chances down field, and sometimes they work ( 4TD performances) sometimes they don't ( 4 INT performances). I'd suspect that a lot of his "inconsistancy" reflects back on the same Rex, but better opponents.

The throw that sums him up was that skinny post he threw in the NFC championship that was caught for about a 30 yard gain. His WR was covered and there was good coverage ( the ball could have easily been picked) but the defender didn't make the play and it resulted in a long gain. Now that same (risky) throw could have just as easily have been picked off and everybody ( including Joe Buck) would have been bashing Rex for making such a dumb throw. Instead, it's a 30 yard gain and it was a "great" throw to those Joe Buck types that call his picks dumb.

51
by Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 5:23pm

I would agree with your assesment of both Leftwich and Grossman. Although I wonder what kind of coaching Leftwich has recieved. He does have a slow wind up, long throwing motion and actually pretty bad feet. I just wonder how much of this could have been corrected if he recieved decent coaching.
Assuming he would accept said coaching.

As far as Rex goes, he does lack experience the question with him is what is his ceiling? He too has bad footwork, and his mechanics break down under duress plus he is short. And he takes some crazy risks. Just wondering who has a higher ceiling: Grossman or Leftwich???

52
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:44pm

I believe that a player is responsible for his development. Do you think Peyton Manning is who he is because of that passion and desire inside of him, or because Jim Mora, Tom Moore, and Tony Dungy MADE him who he is?

On the other side of things, when a guy like Lendale White puts on 30 pounds in 3 months, who'se fault is that?

I'm not picking at you, just saying that professionals need to take their job seriously and work hard.

Now there is one school of thought that says " let Byron be Byron". He made it this far with his mechanics the way they are, and to chance those habits might make him WORSE off.

The counter argument is that he survived with those mechanics at Marshall with a Marshall schedule.

With all of that being said, I think Del Rio ( the defensive minded head coach), wants a conservative offense that won't take a lot of chances ( maybe some timely chances), but that can stay in games and showcase his D.

Sort of like how the 2000 Ravnes wouldn't beat you with their offense, but their defense would force you to lose the game. So I wouldn't assign it 100 percent to Byron, but his mechanics really are piss poor.

He takes a lot of hits not because of his line, but because he holds onto the ball forever, slow wind up, long follow through.

The scouting report on Byron is that he really gets frustrated when he has pressure right in his face. Do you remember that playoff game a few years ago when the Jags went to New England and BB had all that pressure right in his grill? Byron was horrible and I believe Garrard came in at the end in relief.

I also seem to remember the colts game at indy maybe last year where his long follow through had his hand hit the D-tackle as he was following through. That's not bad blocking, that's just bad mechanics.

53
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 8:54pm

I'd agree that I'd ideally like to see Grossman stand taller in the pocket and step into this throws more. He doesn't appear to have a lot of size for that though.

For a player his age, in that situation, I'd say he makes above average reads.

I understand he had bookoo picks, but his coach allowed him more freedom to throw. The best way to describe it is saying Rex was allowed to throw more, where as some quarterbacks are more "game managers" as much as we hate to use those words.

I didn't see the Bears as much as I'd like to, but it seemed like a lot of those picks were trying to thread the needle and make those perfect throws. It didn't seem like a lot of those picks were from terrible reads ( yes some were), but everybody does that occasionally.

I'd have to say that Grossman has a higher ceiling ( but who knows if he ever maxes out). The fact that Del Rio still has the training wheels on Byron speaks volumes.

Grossman did throw 23 TD passes in his first full season as a starter and his team did reach the super bowl ( although more in the Trent Dilfer role), and Byron Leftwhich still hasn't suited up for a full 16 game season yet so they both have injury concerns. Byron might have put up some decent QB ratings, but like I said, a lot of his game has been very low risk/ low reward.

54
by OMO (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 10:04pm

(Grossman) "For a player his age, in that situation, I’d say he makes above average reads."

Great point. That must be the reason he ranked 31st in DPAR and 24th in PAR behind such world class Quarterbacking talent like: Jake Plummer (Out of football) and David Carr (out of football).

"I didn’t see the Bears as much as I’d like to"

But yet your analysis is so spot on about Rex Grossman and his quarterbacking abilities.

"but it seemed like a lot of those picks were trying to thread the needle and make those perfect throws"

Another great point Chris...and bravo on your analysis. I mean...come on...who would have thunk it that Bob Sanders of all people would have been able to hide under a blade of grass and totally fake out Grossman on his last INT in the Super Bowl. That really shouldn't be counted as a pick...Rex was just trying to be TOO PERFECT.

"I’d have to say that Grossman has a higher ceiling ( but who knows if he ever maxes out)."

More decisive analysis from you Chris, bravo....bravo. So what you are saying is that Grossman has more potential than Leftwich, unless he doesn't "max out", then Leftwich has more potential than Grossman. Hardhitting. Next thing you know you will be telling us that Rex Grossman "just wins games".

"Grossman did throw 23 TD passes in his first full season as a starter and his team did reach the super bowl ( although more in the Trent Dilfer role),"

Oh know he didn't.

And let me get this straight...Grossman has "his coach allowed him more freedom to throw" and "His coaching staff allows him to take more chances down field" but he did it in "more in the Trent Dilfer role"...quite possibly the greatest "game manager QB" in the history of the NFL.

"Grossman did throw 23 TD passes"

Along with 20 INTs, one blown Super Bowl and 7 fumbles. Oops. Isn't selective stat quoting fun!!!

"Byron might have put up some decent QB ratings, but like I said, a lot of his game has been very low risk/ low reward."

As opposed to Rex Grossman who is just high risk/low reward.

55
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:20pm

that is crazy money for Bly. But since this is not the Lions or some other bad team, I guess its a great deal.

The biggest thing is for Bly to stay healthy-which he never did in Detroit.

56
by pharmboyrick (not verified) :: Thu, 03/29/2007 - 11:32pm

As a lifelong Bronco fan I am glad to hear some of the optimisom towards Denver this season. The jury is still out on Cutler. IMO Denver would have been better off last year and this year drafting one of the RBs (Maroney or Addai) and sticking with Plummer. His demise last year was due to the lack of a running game and added pressure of CUtler being drafted. Both of these situations likely would not have occured if picking a RB. While he was not great he was good and don't forget he won 75% of his games in Denver.

In regards to teh addition of Bly, having great CBs is a huge advantage but it only makes Denver an above average defensive team against the pass. Pass defense in the AFC West is all about defending the great TEs(Gates and GOnzalez). Brandon has had success, but is coming off a major injury and Lynch is a savvy player and great blitzer/run stopper, but he gets torched against the pass.

The down year by Warren was perhaps the most important reason for last season's demise. He forced offensive lines to double team him on every play, which opened up a lot of advantagous blitz situations. Additionally Shanahan's decision to keep Courtney Brown instead of Trevor Pryce was another reason.

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by islandbob (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 12:09am

OMO- you are a piece of poop. I am pecking at my keyboard in fury.

58
by Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 11:11am

RE: 52

I agree that a player needs to take improving his game seriously. But his coaches should observe him and when they see weaknesses they should
inform the player and then set about helping that player correct whatever flaws he has. Byron has a ton of mechanical flaws but it seems to me that his QB coach should have figured out a way
to shorten his throwing motion, work on his footwork, etc. Don't get me wrong Byron is most responsible for improving his game but since most NFL teams have a bevy of coaches what do they do? ( And of course this assumes that Leftwich is " coachable ")

59
by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 5:17pm

Re #17: Correct me if I am wrong, but I never saw Bailey on the left side of the defense. From what I can remember it was always Baliey on the right, and Darrent Williams on the left.

In 2006, Denver lined Bailey almost exclusively on the defensive left side (offensive right), although there were a few games where he shadowed a WR instead (first game with Oakland comes to mind). In 2005, Denver lined Bailey up almost exclusively against the other team's #1, although there were a few games where he played on a specific side of the field, instead. Of course, neither really means that much- it remains to be seen how Bates will use Bailey.

I think Bailey/Bly is a comparable duo to Madison/Surtain (at the least). Does anyone remember how Bates generally used Madison/Surtain when he was in Miami (especially during the early part of his tenure, before both players declined)?

Re #30: Interesting that Denver is bulking up on the corners when the Chargers killed them with the Gates/Lynch matchup last year. On the surface, the move appears to be pointed more at Indianapolis & Cincinatti than Denver’s competitors in the AFC West.

Gates has had only one good game against Denver in his 3 seasons of studhood. If he becomes troublesome, Denver can always match up Bailey against him (which they have in the past), in which case getting Bly *DOES* help out against Gates (because Bailey can go on Gates without weakening the coverage of SD's #1 WR).

Re #54: Great point. That must be the reason he ranked 31st in DPAR and 24th in PAR behind such world class Quarterbacking talent like: Jake Plummer (Out of football)
Hahaha, this cracks me up.

Jake Plummer just came off a 3-year run where he was easily one of the top-5 QBs in the NFL, and he's only out of football by CHOICE- in fact, Tampa Bay was willing to send Denver a draft pick just for the right to try to convince him to come back to football. I suppose Brian Griese didn't have to be that good in 1999, either, because that guy he was replacing was out of football- what a bum!

Prior to last season, Grossman had 7 career starts. Yes, I'd say he played pretty much average for a player who came into the year with 7 career starts under his belt. Unless you want to demonstrate that the majority of QBs with 7 career starts do significantly better than Grossman did last year, of course.

Re #55: that is crazy money for Bly. But since this is not the Lions or some other bad team, I guess its a great deal.

The biggest thing is for Bly to stay healthy-which he never did in Detroit.
I was just thinking that this deal was ridiculously cheap for Dre Bly. Dre Bly is making about half the money that a Fred Smoot or an Antoine Winfield got in free agency, despite being a better CB. That's a real steal, if you ask me.

As for staying healthy... according to the scouting report when he came here, one of Bly's biggest strengths is his durability. Missing 9 games in 8 years is pretty darn good, all things considered.

60
by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 6:27pm

He may not have missed a lot of games, btu he was always knicked up as the season went on...I guess thats true about everyone, but when its the Lions only guy in the secondary-we get worried.

61
by Bjorn (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 7:02pm

Well, luckily the Broncos have a much better secondary than the Lions.

62
by OMO (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 7:04pm

Re: 59

"Jake Plummer just came off a 3-year run where he was easily one of the top-5 QBs in the NFL"

2006 DPAR/PAR: 30th/37th
2005 DPAR/PAR: 6th/6th
2004 DPAR/PAR: 11th/9th
2003 DPAR/PAR: 8th/7th
2002 DPAR/PAR: 45th/42nd

I have a hard time believing that a guy that can't crack the top 5 in DPAR/PAR once can be considered "easily one of the top-5 QBs in the NFL".

Plus...last time I checked...Plummer didn't ask Shanny to bench him for an unproven rookie (which blows my mind that Shanny would bench a "easily top 5 QB in the NFL" for an unproven rookie)...so I guess that really wasn't by choice was it?

Also, lets put some perspective into the 7 stars comparison theory.

Grossman got in 8 games in 3 years. Other QBs that we are "comparing" him to put up those "7 starts" in their rookie year. No clipboard, vicarious learning for Leftwich, Manning, Linehart, etc...these kids didn't have the luxury of 1-3 years of NFL time like Grossman has had.

Is he a 4 year starter...no...that's not fair...but he was no "7 start 2nd year player" either.

63
by OMO (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 7:05pm

Sorry...make that 7 "starts" theory.

64
by Rob (not verified) :: Fri, 03/30/2007 - 8:55pm

62
Plummer also ranked 5,12, and 6 in DVOA. As you pointed out, quote all the pertinent stats. DVOA, in this case, is more important than DPAR, since DPAR is cumulative and partially a function of how many passes were called for Plummer. I think it's a stretch to say he was 'easily one of the top-5' but he was easily top 10 and one could make a good argument that, when his mobility/rushing is factored in, he was top 5.

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by pharmboyrick (not verified) :: Sat, 03/31/2007 - 12:03am

thorpe, great point.

Plummer wis not one of the 5 best in the league, but he is certainly a top 10. The one caveatt w/ him is being in the right offense. His game was near perfect for Shanahan's system (w/ Plummer being a poor man's Steve Young), but his skills would not match well with other offenses. His play action skills, mobility and accuracy throwing on the run did make him the perfect QB.

Shanahan pretty much gave up on the season when he drafted CUtler in the 1st round.

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by pharmboyrick (not verified) :: Sat, 03/31/2007 - 12:06am

brandon did a pretty fair job on Gates as Gates never really hurt Denver except for this year when he was out. I think safety is a major need and with so many good prospects around when Denver picks, i would go there in the 1st.

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by OMO (not verified) :: Sat, 03/31/2007 - 1:18pm

Thanks for the add Rob...trying to get out of work on a Friday night.

How does a guy who has a 50/50 TD/INT ratio and has been replaced by an unproven rookie merit a mention as one of the top 10 QBs in the league.

He was in the top 10 in the league in TD passes once.

He's never made the PB...which I know is a popularity contest...but wouldn't a top 10 QB get in there once in 10 years?

I'm sorry...but I don't see top 10...for any stretch of time. 2004 season...absolutely...but other than that...maybe 2001?

Sorry...I don't see it.

68
by Eddo (not verified) :: Sat, 03/31/2007 - 4:53pm

OMO:
I agree that it's a stretch to call Plummer a top ten quarterback, but I also object your classification of Rex Grossman as "high risk, low reward."
I'm done defending Grossman, and I just hope that he gets consistently better, but I would say Grossman is a poster child for "high risk, high reward."
A simple summary of his '06 season would be: a handful of very productive games (albeit against poor defenses) and a handful of very poor games. When he's good, he's high-reward. When he's bad, he's awful.

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by Chris (not verified) :: Sun, 04/01/2007 - 3:16pm

Eddo-

Your right, don't listen to him. He never makes any original comments, he only jumps in and starts bashing people.

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by Eddo (not verified) :: Sun, 04/01/2007 - 8:32pm

Chris, I don't want to get in the middle of your battle with OMO, but OMO has made some good comments in the past. No offense, but you seem to bring out the bad in him.

71
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 04/08/2007 - 9:43am

RE: 21

Could you link the Roethlisberger thing?

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by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 04/08/2007 - 1:08pm

pass defense is linked to pass rush. The faster the rush gets to a QB the easier it is to play pass defense.

And the longer your defenders can cover, the more time it gives the rushers to get to the QB. It cuts both ways.

KC won’t be giant killers, but should be a solid, average or slightly above average team.

Disagree. KC should be pretty bad next season. I'm predicting 6 wins.