Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Jun 2009

Broncos to Honor Marshall's Trade Request

(*Sigh*) Broncos fans, we feel for you. KDVR.com in Denver is reporting that after a meeting between receiver Brandon Marshall and team owner Pat "When exactly did I lose my freakin' mind?" Bowlen, the team will do everything possible to honor Marshall's request for a trade. Marshall wasn't exactly a stat king last year, but he did lead the NFL in targets with 181. He runs boxy and inconsistent routes, and his Catch Rate is a little scary ... still, you'd think that after the fleecings this franchise has taken at the trade table in the last year, teams will be lining up on this one.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 16 Jun 2009

149 comments, Last at 20 Jun 2009, 4:49pm by Mr Shush

Comments

1
by MarkV :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 3:49pm

Bowlen seems determined to see if its actually possible to not sell out a game.

on the plus side we still have great, promising, young, bookends.

25
by James-London :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:01pm

Right up to the point where one (or both) ask for a trade. At which point Bowlen will say "sure, why not?".

Is there any other franchise in the NFL which looks like it's preparing to hire MAtt Millen? (The Raiders don't count for obvious reasons.)

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

2
by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:02pm

All you naysayers will be eating your words when he unveils his 10 Halfbacks and 1 Center SUPERWING formation.

6
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:07pm

I like that. Allthough I must say that it would be silly not to have Orton on the field... You can't have playmaking talent riding the pine like that.

10
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:15pm

Orton's the center.

19
by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:01pm

I made that exact joke in 2007 when the Patriots kept signing receivers.

33
by Theo :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:44pm

I understand what you mean, I even remember that particular post.
But that's like the Belgian joke we tell here in the Netherlands.

The Dutch guy orders a potato fries with curry and for desert a vanilla ice cream.
Then the Belgian guy says, "I'd like to have the exact same thing, except instead of the potato fries with curry I'd like a macaroni cheese and instead of the vanilla ice cream I want an Irish coffee."

116
by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 5:05pm

Color me confused. Not a bad joke, though, I'll take it. You might be trying to say something more, but all I was saying was, we laugh now, but watch them turn around and actually use it and actually the destroy the league with it.

3
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:03pm

Yeah. That Championship caliber offense fell apart pretty quickly.

Snyder's on the phone as we speak.

Bowlen has just, over night, lost his mind.

MarkV: Yes. Thank the heavens for that. Moreno, i guess, has some value too, but that's it. Which reminds me: Fantasy uptick: Moreno, Fantasy downtick: Orton, Royal.

Better not play any poker tonight - I'm already steaming...

5
by Bobman :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:07pm

Maybe you can invent a poker/go-fish hybrid in which you trade away your face cards for twos and threes.... (some guys play low-ball and some regular) "Okay, let's see your four kings beat my ace-two-three-four-six!"

90
by Kibbles :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:23pm

I'm assuming that by "overnight" you meant "over the course of the last 6 months", unless of course the night to which you were referring was the night when he decided that firing Shanahan was a good idea.

4
by billsfan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:05pm

In case it hasn't already been said in the "worst off-season move" thread, I nominate the entire Broncos. The AFC West is now half-full of owners with half-empty minds.

7
by Marko :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:20pm

Can we come up with a new award similar to "Keep Chopping Wood" to recognize the disastrous offseason the Broncos have had? As Emmitt Smith might say, they have gotten debacled.

8
by Duke :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 4:59pm

Send him to the Bears! Combine the Broncos offense with the Bears Defense! IT'S A SUPER BOWL COMBINATION!

9
by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:01pm

Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, Brian Dawkins counts his dollars, and weeps quietly.

11
by Bernard Bernoulli (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:16pm

An inconsistent yet talented player who's had discipline troubles? Send him to the Cowboys!

12
by Theo :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:47pm

I won't mind to see him at the Steelers.

13
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:49pm

Is it horrible to say I really am glad about this, as a Bronco fan? I hate Marshall, seriously. I always have. I felt bad that I couldn't root for him to fail in Denver, so I'm glad to see him go elsewhere.

I hope he ends up in Oakland or Dallas and falls on his face. (Not literally, because then we'll have to hear another strange story to explain it and I'm frightened of what he might come up with.)

14
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:50pm

Just to point it out, none of that is to say that he's not good.

28
by rageon :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:16pm

As a (former?) Broncos fan, I'm a little glad too. Not because I dislike Marshall, but because I hate McDaniels more than just about anyone in sports and want to see him fall on his face.

It's been amateur hour in Denver since the day Shanny was fired.

29
by MJK :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:32pm

Other than the Cutler thing, which was only partly his fault, what exactly has McDaniels done to earn your hate? He hasn't even had one season, make that one offseason, to run the team. He has had no opportunity to show that he is a good or bad coach. He was never a head coach before, so you can't hate him for running an evil team. And by all accounts I've heard (I don't know him personally, but I actually have a friend who does), he's a really nice and friendly guy in person.

Boy, Broncos fans are even tougher than Eagles fans!

30
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:42pm

Other than the Cutler thing? Isn't that like saying "Other than killing people, what did that serial killer ever do wrong?"

34
by Theo :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:48pm

I like the way you put things in the right perspective. Not that killing people and handling the QB position is the same, but you make the right comparison.

Seriously, more people should do that.

36
by MJK :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:54pm

Actually, I think it's more like saying:

"Other than leaving his flank exposed at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, what did George Washington do wrong in the American Revolution".

Washington made a mistake (that was not entirely his fault...he didn't have enough men, the British had superior intelligence due to Tory sympathizers, and the commander that was supposed to hold that flank screwed up) that cost him pretty dearly at first. But it did not cause his utter defeat. He learned from his mistake, rallied his troops, and went on to win the American Revolution.

McDaniels made some mistakes with Cutler, and they will certainly hurt him, but it remains to be seen how badly, or if he might actually turn out to be a good coach.

38
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 10:01pm

"But it did not cause his utter defeat. He learned from his mistake, rallied his troops, and went on to win the American Revolution."

Well, yeah, and Bill Belichick certainly learned from his mistakes with the Browns, but that didn't exactly help the Browns any. McDaniels might turn out to be a good coach - he might even turn out to be a good coach for the Broncos - but he's certainly not getting off to a good start. And it's entirely possible that the Broncos' owner might not give him a long enough leash to work through his growing pains.

40
by Independent George :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 11:54pm

Isn't the joke supposed to go, "Well, other than that, what did you think of the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

49
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:47am

That's what I was trying to remember!

45
by rageon :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:13am

There's been plenty beyond "the Cutler thing," but I do think the way that went down demonstrated McDaniels' incompetence/inexperience in a number of ways (some of which others already mentioned below), such as:

- He's a lier
- He can't evaluate talent, apparently thinking Cassell is a better QB than Cutler
- He didn't get another QB to replace Cutler -- well, I guess I'm not sure I consider Orton a "real" QB

As to the other reasons McDaniels has earned my hate, the draft is probably next in line. We take a RB at #12, despite: (1) the fact the team already had about seven from last season; (2) the team signed another four or five in the offseason as free agents; (3) the team had far greater needs at defense; and (4) plenty of highly rated defensive players were still available. I can deal with Ayers with their own pick, but trading next year's first rounder for a mediocre player in the second was moronic -- particularly given that I can't imagine Denver will be picking outside the first 10-15 picks or so, even with some breaks.

Free agency was basically Denver signing Dawkins, tons of so-so RBs, and some guys not good enough to play for their past teams.

Maybe wanting McDaniels gone means I'm not a "real fan." But that's where I'm at, and other Broncos fans I know feel pretty much the same way. No one knows who to root for, and everyone hates McDaniels. Part of it is anger of Shannahan being fired, but McDaniels was done absolutely nothing to alleviate those concerns. The team is worse with McDaniels than with Shannahan. Some of that is on McDaniels, some on Bowlen.

61
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:15am

Agreed. To be honest, McDaniels looks like a Raider kind of coach -the anti Shanahan.

15
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:09pm

Thank goodness. Now if they can find a way to run off Clady, Harris, Royal, and Williams (and replace them aging, broken-down mostly former Patriots), they can really turn things around. Remember, they did invest $5.3 million in a long-snapper.

16
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:29pm

But a damn good longsnapper. Besides it's not like the former longsnapper had been on the roster for 15 years or anything...

119
by zerlesen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 6:29pm

Yeah, after the Cutler trade talk started - and to my horror and astonishment, progressed towards an actual trade - my assumption was that Clady would be next out the door. The terrible thing is, it wouldn't even totally surprise me at this point.

There is a subset of the Bronco fanbase who were vocally displeased with Shanahan for going 7-9 or 8-8, and it will be very interesting to see how these people feel about, say, 3-13. (And not even getting a high draft pick out of it, for God's sake.)

17
by jackgibbs :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:35pm

just keep him away from the giants and jets, please

18
by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:01pm

Seahawks' draft pick just keeps rising up the boards. They play their cards right, they'll have TWO top 5 picks next year!

26
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:06pm

But, you see, they'll trade one of them away for Marshall sometime soon.

46
by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:15am

Hope not. I'm a Seahawks Fan and would prefer Taylor Mays next year to Marshall now.

85
by dangerdonkey (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:23pm

Yes Jacob, quietly we Seahawks fans are wetting themselves.

20
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:07pm

brandson Marshall good Wr so if broncos tarde him team going to suck even worse. broncos alrady looking at 4-12 seaosn. if trade Marshall broncos going to be 2-14. spilt with Chiefs and beat Browns. If keep Marshall could be 4-12. win vs Cowboiys and chargers. broncos if healthy could split games withChargers. Raiders sure to be roting for that becuause will probably be in division race for 1stplace with Chargers

broncos, browns= biggest jokes in league

even Chiefs a little bit better now

50
by Anonguy :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:15am

The scary part here is that in all the bad drunken grammar, there is a good point.

58
by Dean :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 9:08am

Welcome to the world of Raiderjoe. It took a while for it to sink in, but there's some football knowledge scrambled up in there.

Raiderjoe - are you really John Madden?

135
by Longtuckian (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:19am

me no think marshall too good. marshall fumble, drop passes, run wrong routes and bad friend. mcdaniels establish winning culture. weed out head cases.
modern NFL team need develop young talent. Denver behind curve, will take year or two.

21
by Brian (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:23pm

Amazing what a "disastrous" off-season many think the Broncos have had, without having played a down.

22
by Eddo :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:29pm

As opposed to the other teams out there that have played downs? Should we never judge anything, just congratulate the Super Bowl winner in February? That would make for a boring site.

41
by Kevin Eleven :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 11:59pm

How else would you characterize their off-season?

We've all seen both Cutler and Orton play, and we know who the better QB is.

23
by drobviousso :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:33pm

I guess we won't get the petri dish experiment of Orton throwing to Marshall and Royal vs Cutler throwing to a converted corner and three people picked up at the bus terminal.

27
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 8:08pm

Oh yeah. I was really looking forward to a signifigant data-point in the QB vs. the system discussion..!

24
by tornadot :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 7:38pm

Couldn't they just pull a Cincy/Arizona?

31
by MJK :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:43pm

Seriously, what's going on in Denver? I can think of three possible alternatives that could explain things:

1) Pat Bowlen is as interfering as Al Davis, less intelligent, and has lost his mind. I don't know enough about the Broncos to evaluate this. For the record, I tend to think it's a very very bad idea whenever an owner steps in on personell issues and makes comments like Bowlen did with Cutler and is now doing with Marshall. This interference hamstrings any efforts the coach and GM could make at either reconciling with the player, or getting good value in trade for him.

2) The recent Broncos under Shanny were actually a motley crew of dis-satisfied or troublesome players, and McDaniels is cleaning house to build the team up with good character guys. Don't know enough about Marshall to pass judgement on him, but by all accounts and from the evidence I saw, Cutler had maturity issues. Have other players the Broncos have lost this offseason had maturity or discipline issues in the past? McDaniels isn't really known as a Coughlin-esque disciplinarian (in New England, he was more of a "player's coach"), so I don't know how likely this is.

3) McDaniels is trying to make sweeping changes to the offensive system and, whether because of his youth, unpopularity resulting from Shanny's popularity, or his personality, some of the more ego-focused offensive skill players are not buying in and are trying to jump ship.

What do people think?

Incidentally, I haven't been following the Broncos thoroughly. Other than Cutler, their long snapper, and potentially Marshall, have they lost anyone else notable since Cutler took over? If not, I don't see that this is as disastrous as folks are making out. Cutler to Orton is certainly a downgrade, but that's already been discussed to death. Besides, I'm not sure that a lot of Cutler's success wasn't due to the Broncos exceptional O-line, so maybe Orton will look as good as Cutler. Swapping long snappers hardly makes a difference. Losing Marshall straight up is obviously bad, but what if they trade him for an equally good WR or, better yet, some badly needed defensive talent?

35
by MJK :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:49pm

Sorry for the double post, but I had one other thought.

The Broncos were a team that functionally went 7-9 last year (if Hochuli calls it right). They were 7-9 the year before that, and went 9-7 the year before that. They have missed the playoffs the last three seasons. It's hardly like McDaniels is dismantling a superbowl champion here. I don't see how a mediocre team that decides to change coaching staffs and front offices can be said to have "the worse offseason ever". By definition, such a team is in rebuilding mode, and one should expect some turnover.

39
by Marver :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 11:16pm

I agree that the Broncos rebuilding is a necessary step, but every move thus far has had plenty of question marks. They spent their highest first round pick in an area in which they already have thirty players, their second first round pick on a player with incredibly lackluster collegiate numbers, and dealt -- assuming Marshall is gone -- (arguably) their best two offensive skill-players. I don't think anyone is questioning why the Broncos are rebuilding; they're questioning the direction the rebuilding is going.

63
by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:49am

I like the Broncos and watched a bunch of their games last year and what I saw was pretty simple:

They needed to totally rebuild the defense. Dumervil is pretty good and Champ's still got it (I think) but they were getting totally run over by teams like the Chiefs.

The offense was very good. If they had caught a break or two with injuries at RB and had shaped up on ball security they would have been straight up great. They seemed to fumble a LOT and at the worst possible times. I think Marshall is a fantastic receiver (he was stellar in 2007, seemed like he was un-tacklable at times) but he had drive killing fumbles / drops constantly in 2008.

So you're right, they were in a rebuilding year but the issue is they totally rebuilt the wrong side of the ball. Although as a Pats fan, I do like Gaffney a lot.

109
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:27pm

It's all well and good to talk about rebuilding, but it's tough to make that case when you traded away next year's #1 pick. How are you supposed to get better if you can't reap any benefit from making yourself worse?

48
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 2:38am

As a Bronco fan, I think 2 and 3 are both accurate. From what I'm understanding, it seems that Bowlen is really being pulled into these situations by the players and he was conspicuously silent until well into the Cutler situation (leading to much criticism), plus it has never been his style before to be so meddlesome in football decisions--he's more like just a big fan and leaves most things up to his football people.

However, Shanahan was a known collector of malcontents and "bad character" guys (Travis Henry, Maurice Clarett, Todd Sauerbrun), and Marshall has had incident after incident. (Remember Cutler saying, "It's always something with him . . . Brandon is definitely not one of my favorite people right now." after the famous "McDonald's wrapper" injury incident?) Marshall has been arrested for DUI, suspicion of domestic violence, driving without a license or insurance, battery, and disorderly conduct just in the last 2 years (And isn't it just a bad sign when I have to look up the list of all of his arrests because there are too many to remember?) and was arrested once in college.

I also think McDaniels is running into people just being angry about changing systems, especially because, from what I understand, Shanahan's system was relatively easy to understand and run. I obviously can't really vouch for that, nor do I know at all what McDaniels's system is going to be like or what players think of its level of complication, but it's possibly an issue. Beyond that, players just don't like changing systems, especially quarterbacks, and Shanahan has had his system in place there for a long, long time.

McDaniels is also discovering something most people don't realize about Denver fans: They don't know what it's like to lose. Since 1976, the Broncos have not had back-to-back losing seasons. They've only had 5 total losing seasons in that time. Denver fans never even really respected John Elway for what he was in his career--I was constantly listening to people say that Brian Griese was awful because, "He can't do what Elway could." The implicit assumption is that Elway is what you should expect. That attitude follows through to the entire team--they don't accept average performance because they're so used to winning. No one seems to recognize that the outside expectations happen in Denver, largely because of their lack of Super Bowls for so long, but Denver fans haven't gone through losing periods since 1976--a span of 33 years. Anything that suggests it's possible that the team could have a true down year just makes the fans go nuts.

108
by Andrew B :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:25pm

>Shanahan's system was relatively easy to understand and run

"It's either run left, run right, or Jake keeps it on a boot." (Michael Strahan, describing the Bronco's offense).

The Original Andrew

53
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:23am

I don't know about 1 and 2. But it can't be 3. Lets face it: What offensive scheme will Marshall and Cutler not be able to function in?

This offseason has been atrosious because: Comming in, yes, the team was rebuilding, but it was basically only rebuilding on one (two, including ST) side of the ball. Do you know the (this is what it's called in Danish, anyway) "barrel principle"? Old barrels are made from a lot of vertical sticks. If you were to make a barrel of unevenly long sticks, it wouldn't be able hold more water than up to the top of the shortest stick. It basically says that no system/unit/organism can be better that it's weakest point - similar to the "weakest link in the chain" saying. So what the Broncos have done so far is taking a motorsaw and chopped off the longest stick in the barrel. The team (=Barrel) will hardly be any worse but it will certainly not be any better.* Still: Lack of improvement (when you only have to fix one unit) earns the "atrosious" tag.

*I know this doesn't completely translate, obviously a worse offense hurts your chance of winning, but the figure of speach still serves well.

66
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:18pm

I think Marshall would have trouble in a traditional west coast offense. He's too imprecise in his route-running and he has inconsistent hands. However, it is true that either one of those two would seem to be a good fit in a spread-style offense like they ran last year and McDaniels will presumably be bringing with him from New England.

However, oddly, Cutler is essentially a diametric opposite of Tom Brady, who obviously had some success (that is intentional understatement) in McDaniels's offense. Brady is a great and quick decision maker and very accurate, but he doesn't have the strongest arm in the world and he's not particularly mobile. Cutler has an incredible arm, is accurate (though less accurate than Brady), and moves well; but he's an awful decision maker. Is Cutler perhaps, though no one seems to think so, a bad fit for McDaniels?

67
by Jimmy :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:31pm

However, oddly, Cutler is essentially a diametric opposite of Tom Brady, who obviously had some success (that is intentional understatement) in McDaniels's offense. Brady is a great and quick decision maker and very accurate, but he doesn't have the strongest arm in the world and he's not particularly mobile. Cutler has an incredible arm, is accurate (though less accurate than Brady), and moves well; but he's an awful decision maker. Is Cutler perhaps, though no one seems to think so, a bad fit for McDaniels?

I would most humbly suggest (OK this isn't particularly humble at all) that your summaries of the relative merits of Messrs Cutler and Brady are simply theories plucked out of the air with little evidence to support them. Let's look at the total of Brady's first three years as a starter compared to Cutler's.

Brady - 1541 attempts, 61.9% complete, 6.7% sacked, 3.3% turnover
Cutler- 1220 attempts, 62.5% complete, 4.2% sacked, 3.7% turnover

I have included fumbles lost along with interceptions (I suppose in FO style I could have used fumbles *.5, but I can't be bothered going back).

Manning and Favre come out as follows (again first three years as a starter).

Manning- 1679 attempts, 60.4% complete, 3.3% sacked, 3.8% turnover
Favre - 1575 attempts, 62.4% complete, 6.0% sacked, 4.1% turnover

I would agree that Brady, Manning and Favre all improved as their careers went on but to assume that Cutler will not make a similar improvement is probably wrong. When you call Cutler's decision making 'awful' you probably need to find a decent explanation for how he has managed to complete a higher percentage of his passes than these three future HOFers over a similar point in their careers whilst generating sack and turnover numbers that compare either equitably or favourably to them.

FWIW Culter also leads them all over a similar career period in yards per attempt - Cutler 7.4, Manning 7.3, Favre 6.6, Brady 6.6. Touchdown percentages are - Manning 5.1, Brady 4.5, Cutler 4.4, Favre 4.4.

So when you said Cutler is the diametric opposite of Tom Brady what you meant to say was, 'Brady makes better decisions as he is 31 and has played QB for nine NFL seasons.'

89
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 9:41pm

I really, really wouldn't bring up Brady's first 3 years for comparison. Brady got way, way better after the 2003 season, lowering his sack rate, improving his decision making, and in general making the "Brady/Manning" debate much more complicated. But most guys who start out like Brady pre-2004 don't turn into Brady post-2004.

106
by Jimmy :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:47am

A fair point but I only botered replying because I am sick of reading about the 'terrible decisions' Cutler makes written in comments (or in whole articles) by folks who don't seem to understand that QBs in their third year in the league aren't going to be as savvy as guys who have played eight or nine years. I have had a look at some of Cutler's numbers from last year and it seems to me that playing from behind with a terrible defense is what caused some problems last year more than poor decision making.

57
by justanothersteve :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:58am

Maturity Issues? I think at least 25% of NFL players have maturity issues. I'd doubt there is one NFL team that doesn't have players with maturity issues. NFL coaches are paid in part because of their ability to get those players with maturity issues to work within the context of the team. It's one of the main reasons why they're paid the big bucks.

62
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:31am

After all, these are all young adults with tons of money and time on their hands. I bet even if they didn't have "maturity" issues before, they'd develop some in the NFL.

32
by jackinabox (not verified) :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:44pm

I might have reached my tipping point with my team. Is there a formal process for a long time fan to officially break off the engagement? Do I need to write a letter? Burn my jerseys? Sit with my head between my legs in a dark corner of a room nursing a warm beer?

Is that what feels like to be a Lions fan? Uggh...

52
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 6:51am

Wah wah. If you cant handle losing and yor tam trading away good plsyers maybe you should not follow pro football. maybe rootoing for a powerhours college football team that rarley loses is better fr you. Lets see you could become Nebraska Cronhuskers, USc Trojains, Alabama Crimson Tide or Florida gators fan. never have to worry about trades anymore

60
by JasonC23 :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:07am

I don't know what a Cronhusker is, but I like the sound of it.

37
by Theo :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 9:59pm

Wow.
This is the Broncos. I always considered them to be somewhat a playoff contender.
Not a Colts or Eagles, but just a sound team, destined to be butchered somewhere in the playoffs.
And then they go to... this.

It happened to the cowboys, they went from sheer greatness to utter suckness in a few years.
I remember 3 5-11 seasons in a row.

42
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:15am

Well, I've previously said the Broncos' management has been incompetent, if Cutler's accusation that he was lied to are true. Lying is usually a bad idea, but it is truly idiotic to lie to someone in whom you have invested huge sums of money.

Having said that, I'll hop the fence and argue the other side now. I heard a report that Cutler was kicked out of a golf club when he repeatedly refused to comply, after having been quietly asked to do so several times, with a dress code rule for tucking one's shirt in. If this is true, it suggests that Cutler is a monumental moron, and cutting ties with high priced monumental morons is always something to consider.

Marshall gets arrested a lot, which suggests he is also a monumental moron, or the unluckiest s.o.b. on the planet. Either way, one cannot dismiss out of hand the notion that cutting ties with such an individual is worth considering.

55
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:36am

C'mon now. That's just silly. Because a guy don't want to tug in his shirt when golfing... I know I wouldn't.

You simply cannot fault a 25 year old for feeling important and on the top of the world, when he's one of the best in the world and a multimillionaire. Sure, It's a plus when a guy handles himself like Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan, but that's just because they are phenomenal personalities. That's like a record company refusing to give a band a contract because they aren't the Beatles.

59
by Jimmy :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 9:16am

The last QB to lead the Bears to a Superbowl win routinely got thrown off golf courses for drinking beer, playing with his shirt off and playing without any shoes on. He won the team a Superbowl so I couldn't care less.

Another way of telling this story could be, 'Some golf courses are really stuffy and will throw people off just becasue they didn't tuck their shirt in.'

71
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 2:36pm

Yes, Jimmy, if a qb plays on a team with the equivalent of '85 Bears defense, his immaturity will likely not be much of an issue.

Look, I'm not saying the Broncos are being geniuses here. I'm just saying that there are enough stories about Cutler's behavior out there to have suspicion that the guy is lacking something mentally in a nontrivial way.

74
by Jimmy :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:41pm

I was merely offering some other Bears QB related facts about golf course behaviour.

At the same time McMahon was a pretty good QB (the Bears would probably have won more than one Superbowl had he been able to stay healthy) who demonstrated much stronger problems with maturity and authority figures than there is any evidence of Cutler displaying. The Bears players didn't care one bit, they loved the guy for what he brought to the team and seemed to respond to his leadership.

Everything about Cutler has been placed under a microscope and there are some reports that could indicate a level of immaturity. I would say most of it is fairly trivial compared to how he has played on the field and the respect that his team mates seem to have for him. Most of the negative reports of off the field behaviour seem to come from people without strong knowledge of the man. People who do seem to actually know him seem to give far more positive impressions of his character. As for the way he left Denver, I can't honestly say that if I were in a similar position to the one Cutler was in I wouldn't have behaved similarly. I don't think of myself as a worryingly immature person.

78
by Eddo :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:14pm

A point in Cutler's favor: he did just speak to a large group of children diagnosed with Type-I diabetes (which Cutler has), and seemed to show good maturity.

I would also note that managing to stay in shape and play an extremely demanding sport while also coping with diabetes seems to indicate that Cutler is quite capable at dealing with complex issues.

84
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:09pm

"He sure looked mature, standing in front of that room full of children."

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

80
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:31pm

Jimmy, I'd think that Bowlen knows Cutler a lot better than you or I. I'm simply suggesting that the guy with the most knowledge, and the most motivation to employ that knowledge usefully, deserves some benefit of the doubt until at lot more evidence is in.

81
by Jimmy :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:54pm

I have read that Bowlen is suffering from short term memory loss. I have also read that he apparently told Cutler that the Broncos would trade him at a meeting between the two and subsequently declared that no such statement was made. You are entirely right that I have no way of knowing who is telling the truth, or if Cutler is immature.

I suspect that history will be the judge on Cutler's immaturity. If he keeps his nose clean off the field and leads the Bears to several championships while McDaniels flames out in Denver all questions of his maturity will be forgotten. If the Bears struggle and Cutler is unable to ignite the Bears offense and he then demands another trade everyone will (quite rightly) label him a whiny brat.

64
by Eddo :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 10:56am

Will, the golf course story just seems petty. Cutler has a right to not tuck in his shirt, just as the golf course has a right to deny him access based on his clothing. You didn't say that Cutler created an incident following his dismissal; if he just refused to tuck in his shirt, then left peacefully, what is the problem?

All I gather from that story is Cutler is someone who likes to golf with an untucked shirt, not that he's a moron.

Marshall, on the other hand, is a monumental moron.

68
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:31pm

Eddo, when you are on someone else's property, and they ask you to tuck your shirt in, you either do it, or quietly leave the property. You don't wait until you are asked to leave, after the request has been made several times, which is the story I heard. This is not how an adult behaves, and the qb position is the one position from which an adult attitude is needed. No, it isn't as stupid as getting arrested several times, but it is still pretty damned dumb, coming from a guy who plays the position where being pretty damned dumb is least forgivable.

69
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 2:09pm

What if you are paying money, probably big money, to be on said property?

If you mean dumb like "asshole": You can easily be an asshole and be a HoF QB. If you mean dumb i.e. not very smart, you are right. You HAVE to be smart to be a good QB. But refusing to tuck in your shirt is not dumb (not smart), is being asshole-y. I don't even thinks thats being an asshole, but some might.

I just don't see what socialskills has to do with recognizing a zoneblitz.

70
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 2:29pm

You are paying big money to be on someone else's property and to adhere to their rules, not to be on their property and ignore their rules. Again, deciding that you don't want to tuck your shirt in is fine. Having to be asked to leave a property after refusing several requests to adhere to a property owner's rules makes you a moron. It is indicative of a person lacking maturity in the extreme. Morons lacking maturity in the extreme at wide receiver is a more easily managed situation than having a moron with an extreme lack of maturity at quarterback.

72
by Thanos (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 2:57pm

What Cutler (allegedly) did is certainly immature, no question. But it is not moronic. Using your definition of moronic would make every protester a moron. No, I am not saying that Cutler was forming some sort of civil disobedience or underground resistance. I am saying that your definition of moron would always include on-site protesters, which would be inaccurate. He got on the course, and refused to comply with the rules, that is it. There is no claim that he did not understand the rules or could not figure out how to tuck his shirt in, he just chose to ignore the rule and continue until he was faced with the consequences (same as the protesters). He certainly could have handled the situation better, but it was not moronic.

73
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:30pm

No, Thanos, my definition of moronic does not extend to people who deliberately break rules in pursuit of ending injustices. My definition of moronic does include an adult who adopts the attitude of a seven year old, thus deciding to not tuck his shirt in, or not leaving, when asked by the management of a club to tuck his shirt in, resulting in the management making several requests, followed by an expulsion. Adults who act like seven year olds are morons.

To be more clear, the story I heard was that Cutler had joined a private golf club, and repeatedly ate in the dining room with his shirt out, after repeatedly being asked not to. He then was kicked out. That's really stupid, and if there was other evidence of really stupid behavior, then a guy who signs eight-figure checks might reasonably become hesitant about having a guy around who repeatedly does really stupid things, at a position where it is more dependent than others to have non-stupid people.

77
by Thanos (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:56pm

You are adding a subjective component to what I was saying (the 'injustice' angle). I am only talking about actions in a vaccuum. Under an objective definition, both Cutler and the on-site protesters are doing the same thing. And as I said, I have absolutely no issue with your characterization of the actions of Cutler as immature. But being immature and being a moron are two different things. If you want to say that every adult who acts immature is a moron, you can take that point of view. But they are two different things.

Again, I make no claim about Cutler's maturity level. What you are describing is rash, immature, crass, narcissistic, self-centered, and a host of other synonyms, but in no way does it directly relate to reasoning or intelligence capabilities. As I said, if he did not understand the directions or something similar, that would be stupid, but that is not at question here. What you described seems to be asking for special treatment due to his identity, that is not stupid, just conceited. The politician who gets pulled over then asks the cop, 'don't you know who I am?' is not stupid, and neither is Cutler for this, just arrogant.

43
by b-rick (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:45am

TO EVERYTHING OFF, DENVER TRADED THEIR NUMBER 1 PICK NEXT YEAR, WHICH WILL LIKELY BE AT MINIMUM A TOP 5 PICK!! Seattle will be in the Sam Bradford/Colt McCoy sweepstakes.

47
by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:22am

...or Taylor Mays, which makes more sense given that usually Ruskell drafts defence first and we've had Brian Russell starting.

56
by Theo :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:53am

REALLY?! OMFGBBQ!1eleven

44
by PerlStalker :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:58am

As a Broncos fan, I have to say that I'm not especially sad to see Marshall go. The guy has been injury prone his entire time in Denver and has had problems off the field as well. Add to that his frequent drops and tendency to fumble last year and I just can't get upset. That said, when he was on, he was one of the best WRs in the league.

54
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 7:28am

Injury prone: He has, outside his rookie season, started every he game he was not suspended in. 16/16 in '07 and 15/15 in '08.

51
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:52am

So....are the Bronco's now in a rebuilding stage? I guess coming from a near-playoff season there's 2 ways you can go, up or down. Seems odd that you'd actively choose down though.

65
by Joseph :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 11:23am

As a Saints fan, esp. after week 3 last season when the Broncos beat the Saints in Denver, I considered the Broncos to be the AFC's version of the Saints--high-powered, pretty unstoppable offense, defense that can't get off the field when it needs to. While the Saints have not had a GREAT offseason, they have had a pretty solid one. Resigned their best defensive player from last year, MLB Vilma; signed CB Greer from Buffalo, Sharper from Minn., DE Spicer from Jax, and resigned a couple of their own guys who they didn't want to get away. Then got the best DB in the draft, OSU's Jenkins, filling their biggest need without reaching. (Aside: isn't that what you want as a fan with your team's 1st rounder--fill a need, don't reach, solid pick?)
I said all that to say this--as a neutral fan, what would you say if the Saints had swapped out Brees for, say, Chad Pennington, and were planning to get rid of Colston? (As least the Saints have WR depth out the wazoo--who do the Broncos have after Eddie Royal?)
Re: the draft--I thought that Moreno/Ayers was about the worst two picks in the first round that they could have taken. Until the draft, I had never heard of Ayers--and I'm an LSU/SEC fan!
All in all, if Marshall is traded, the Broncos offense has gone from a solid A to a B-. The defense is still probably a D. The draft is a D. Coaching is an incomplete--we have no idea how McDaniels will be as a coach--but I am going to say Shanny was a B+. Probably a drop-off here also.
If you're rebuilding, as some has suggested, you get rid of older guys like Dawkins that you just picked up, not guys like Cutler & Marshall--young top-10-at-their-position talent. I mean, as a neutral fan, the conspiracy theory part of me says that Belicheck sent McDaniels on a mission to ruin the Broncos because of the playoff loss (Bailey's fumble/touchback) and the difficulty that the Pats have had with the Broncos.

76
by The Anti-Dave (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:50pm

As a Jacksonville fan, I love Paul Spicer but I'm afraid he doesn't have much left if 2008 is any indication. Not to disparage the Saints' other offseason moves, of course.

75
by ChicagoRaider (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 3:47pm

Isn't job #1 for a coach to keep the team from coming apart at the seams? To put the players in a position where they can keep their heads high, if for nothing else, each other? To be a team?

The Denver Broncos are not there right now. As much as people pound on the Raiders, They have players like Neal coming in and saying that things are going to change. They even retained Lechler and Asomugha. Cable has a team. How is that going to happen for Denver?

79
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 4:26pm

Actually, thanos, it really is stupid for a politician to ask a cop that, because if the cop is not already giving the politician special consideration, then asking for it is just as likely to end up in the treatment being more harsh.
Also, why someone does something, like breaking rules to protest an unjustice, is a good indicator of the rule breaker's intelligence. Breaking rules because you have the maturity level of a seven year old means that you are stupid, because stupidity does not only pertain to the inability to engage in abstract problem solving, pattern recognition, or memory. It also pertains to the inability to foretell how one's behavior will be perceived by others, and what consequences those perceptions will have. For a public figure to engender ill will by refusing to tuck his shirt in is really quite monumentally stupid.

82
by Thanos (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 5:29pm

I was using a classic example, but if you want a modern example, fine, change it to a scenario of not wanting to wait at a restaurant and using the same line. The point remains the same, it is not stupidity, only narcissism.

And again, you are adding a subjective value to the protester's actions. What one person defines as an injustice another might describe as fair and just. It is the objective actions that are the same, not the intent behind. You keep placing value judgments on protesting to differentiate between the actions. But the actual acts that both Cutler and the protester are doing are the same thing, the only difference is intent, which is subjective.

Also you don't know why Cutler did it. What if (as a hypothetical) he had a stain on the butt of his pants? It is unfair to presume the reasoning for why he broke the rules.

Lastly, stupidity does NOT pertain to the ability to foretell how one's behavior will be perceived by others. This is because to do so you must add your own values to the situation. What if Cutler is actively nurturing a 'bad boy' image? If so, what he did was very intelligent. You see his actions as bad so you label them stupid. Again, I am not defending his acts. I just feel that labeling him as stupid for this act is unfair.

86
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:16pm

I don't think you understand. Cutler HATES having to tuck his shirt in.

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

83
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 6:10pm

Again, Thanos, intent is an indicator of intelligence. If one jumps out of a window because the building is on fire, that may be smart. If one one does it because one belives one can glide like a flying squirrel, not so much This was not a one-time event. You argument seems to be that Cutler isn't an idiot, just so mentally disturbed as to make whether his shirt is tucked in or not something to turn into a dispute with a club he voluntarily joined. O.K., fine.

You are simply wrong that being able to predict the reaction of others is response to one's own behavior is not a form of intelligence.

88
by Thanos (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:53pm

How was this not a one-time event. Do you have a record of the vast and varied history of Cutler's refusal to tuck in his shirt?? Also refusing to alter one's appearance based on outside pressure is not a sign of mental illness. (you are really venturing into hyperbole there!) There have been two occasions when I was out with friends and was instructed by the establishment that we were at to alter my appearance and I refused both times, even though I had paid the cover. I made a decision just as Cutler did. Because it is not a decision that you would make does not make it a sign of mental deficiency.

My argument is that you are making a substantial amount of assumptions of his intelligence based on behavior and that there is no correlation between the two. That is my argument.

You are also missing the point on this as well
Your theory that being able to predict the reaction of others is off the mark. While logic and causality are markers of intelligence, you have offered no proof that Cutler lacks those qualities. You offered this up as if it is a universal truth, and that is just ridiculous. You make a huge assumption that Cutler did not know what would happen and completely discount the idea that he did know, but did not care how his actions were portrayed. It would be very common for someone in Cutler's age bracket to have this outlook. Not caring would not equal being stupid, unless you crave conformity.

87
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:17pm

Will, step back a little and look at how petty your purported slam against Cutler looks (OMG, he doesn't tuck his shirt on the golf course!!!1111!).

It's a pretty fast way to lose credibility.

91
by Kibbles :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:05am

Here's the larger point that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. 6 months ago, 8 of the 11 presumed starters on Denver's offense were 26 or under (Cutler, Clady, Kuper, Harris, Marshall, Royal, Scheffler, Hillis/Torain). Of the remaining 3 starters, Graham and Hamilton were 30 and 31, respectively, and still in their primes (albeit closer to the end than the beginning). Basically, Denver had one starter on their entire offense who would need to be replaced within the next 4 years (Casey Wiegmann, who'll be 36 to start next season, although he's still extremely effective). And it's not like those starters were scrubs, either. Cutler, Clady, and Marshall have all made a pro bowl or an all-pro team despite no more than 2 seasons as a starter in any case, and all three were arguably the best players at their position under the age of 27 in the entire NFL (okay, it's a bit of a stretch for Marshall, but an argument could still be made). Scheffler led the league in yards per catch among a TE and is one of the best weapons for attacking the deep middle of the field in the entire NFL. Daniel Graham is one of the 5 highest paid TEs in the league for a reason (he's an offensive tackle posing as an eligible receiver). Eddie Royal had the second most receptions by a rookie in NFL history (behind only Anquan Boldin). Ryan Harris had the look of a multiple pro-bowler. The wost starter on the entire offense was either Chris Kuper (whose only sin was being merely league-average at the guard position) or Peyton Hillis (who only averaged 5 yards per carry along with a 40+% DVOA rushing and a 50+% DVOA receiving). If you jumbled up all of the offensive players in the league and had a Madden-style fantasy draft to build a franchise, I'm wholly convinced that Denver would own the rights to two of the first 5 players off the board (first 10 at the latest). Denver's offense was coached by a borderline HoF head coach and arguably the greatest offensive mind in the entire league. The offense ranked 5th in DVOA and 4th in Rushing DVOA despite being one of the youngest offenses in the league and losing a mind-blowing 7 RBs to season-ending injuries. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find just ONE unit in the past 20 years that you could look at and say "there's no way this unit will be anything other than top 5 for the next 8 years" like you could with the Broncos offense 6 months ago.

Now look at the offense. Cutler becomes Orton, Marshall becomes Jabar Gaffney, Scheffler's still around despite the front office discussing how they didn't really want him in the first place, and the proven offensive genius is replaced by a kid with a two-page resume. Add to that no real improvements on defense, and it's hard to characterize this offseason as anything other than a disaster. I mean, if you really decide that Mike Shanahan has to go, then follow the Indianapolis model- they had an incredible nucleus at offense, so they hired a defensive-minded coach who would leave it the hell alone and patch together a defense that could finish as merely mediocre, because that's all the team needed to be a SB contender year-in and year-out. Instead, they hired an offensive coach who decided he wanted to dismantle a top-3 offense because he's convinced that he can make a completely different offense that'll be top-2. Not only that, but in the process he's sent a memo out to the entire team that if you want to leave, all you have to do is say pretty please with a cherry on top.

When last I checked, hubris was never a desirable trait in a head coach, especially unearned hubris.

97
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 6:08am

Post of the thread!

There was even a rookie Center waiting in the wings, when Wiegmann (pro bowl alternate) would retire. The Broncos resigned him yesterday. 4 years i think.

100
by Nathan :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 10:19am

Well that pretty much sums it up.

102
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:13am

This, instead of shirts on golf courses, is what intelligent football commentary looks like.

The standard refrain of many Broncos fans is now "wait and see", which is nothing more than a way to shut down debate through denial. What McDaniels has done this offseason is akin to selling the house to buy daily pick3 lotto tickets. We don't have to "wait and see" to know what a disaster it already is.

92
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 1:29am

Thanos, the story I heard, which I have already stated that I can't verify, is that Cutler joined a golf club. He then repeatedly, on several occasions, declined to adhere to the rules of the club, after having been asked to do so. He then was expelled. IF (a word I already employed) this is true, Cutler is a moron. Now, let me give you a lesson regarding conformity. Real nonconformnists don't join golf clubs (absent substantial financial incentive) , because the thought of joining a club holds no appeal for them. Joining a club voluntarily, and then deciding to alienate people you have freely chosen to associate with for purposes of leisure, makes you an idiot in regards to having useful relationships with other human beings. Glad to help you out with this.

I will concede that this all might be part of the Jay Cutler, marketer and brand developer extraordinaire, plan for image-building. Thanks for that viewpoint.

94
by Thanos (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 2:29am

First and foremost you still refuse to see things from a different point of view. Why would you assume that he joined the club for the purpose of making connections or associating with a select group? He is a quarterback, a group of athletes who seem to love golf, plus he has a varied athletic background. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe, just maybe, he joined a golf club so he could, you know, play golf???

Second, I never questioned the veracity of the story, I just used the word allegedly because it isn't confirmed. For the record, I find the story plausible.

Also, I don't need a lesson in conformity. These 'real' non-conformists that you describe seem more like poseurs than anything else (see 'sell-out' action that you speak of).

Further, your assumptions as they relate to your definition of intelligence are of no help to anyone. You assume that he wants to associate with the people in the club. You assume that those people have some value to him. You assume that he cares about what others think. Far too many assumptions for a stat based site!!

Lastly, stop implying that I am a big fan of his. I called him nearly every version of self absorbed that I could think of. ALL that I am saying is that there is no correlation between following a dress code and stupidity. UNLESS he did not understand the dress code. Understanding it and refusing to follow it are two different things.

93
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 1:44am

loneweasel, a faster way to lose credibility is to not read what someone actually wrote. I don't care if Jay Cutler likes to play golf while only wearing a jockstrap and pasties. He should then form a jockstrap and pastie golf league. I wish him well.

I was only noting that a person has to be an idiot to voluntarily join a club, and then repeatedly refuse to adhere to the dress code of the club, thus alienating people the person presumably wanted to associate with (otherwise the person would not have joined), resulting in being expelled from the club. For all I know Jay Cutler is otherwise the the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

95
by Dunbar (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 3:59am

Oh, for God's sake, can you give this golf club stuff a rest? Nobody cares except you, Will, and I suppose the incredibly uptight people who run the golf club. Cutler's shirt-tucking habits, while golfing or not, have little or nothing to do with his suitability as an NFL quarterback. (Frankly, I don't understand why his shirt-tucking habits should be so important to the golf club, either, but maybe that's just me.)

Why do people spend so much time getting offended by such insignificant things?

96
by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 4:19am

OMG Cutler is such an idiot, he can't even work out how to tuck his shirt in!!

Go Will, Keep Choppin' Wood there buddy!

I can't believe people still insist that everyone tuck their shirt in. It sounds like some rule from the 1950's they never bothered to change. I wonder if they also ban women from wearing pants?

98
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 9:33am

Dunbar, I don't care about Jay Cutler and the clubs he joins. I never said I did. I never said I was offended. I don't like dress codes myself, which is why I don't join clubs or go to places that have them. I never said this matter proved that Cutler would not be a good NFL qb. Clear enough?

If it is your position that a non-stupid person will deliberately choose to associate with a group of people, and then choose to repeatedly engage in trivial behavior which he knows will alienate the people he chose to associate with in the first place, fine.

Jimmy, as I said above, I don't like such dress codes myself. Thus, being the super-genius I am, I don't join clubs that have them. I wait for the call fropm the Nobel Committee.

99
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 9:49am

Thanos, I'll explain this to you. When you join a club of any kind, you are choosing to associate with the people who belong to that club. That is why the word "club" is employed.

Second, you did question the veracity of the story, when you wrote....

"How was this not a one-time event"

....when my point was that it is stupid to deliberately and repeatedly engage in trivial behavior which one knows will alienate a group of people that one deliberately chose to associate with in the first place.

Look, you think that being immature and self absorbed is not a form of idiocy. Fine. I disagree.

103
by Eddo :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:31am

Will, isn't it at all possible that Cutler didn't realize how uptight the club was when he joined? Then, when he realizes they're so strict about a dress code, he decides, "Screw it, it's not worth it to me if I have to dress how they want all the time"?

Thanos has a point too, that perhaps the only way for Cutler to consistently be able to play at that course was to join. Maybe it's the only course in the area he likes playing on. Maybe another player told him it would be a good club to join.

Will, my main point is that you are making some critical assumptions about both the way the two parties handled themselves during the incident and Cutler's thought process behind joining the club in the first place, so to brand him a moron based on this episode is quite a leap.

107
by Thanos (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:01pm

You forget about the first half of the phrase 'golf.' This word is just as important, if not more than the second. For example; I joined the Pre-Law society in college for a resume line. People join intra-mural (sp??) in college because they like the sport. I had friends who joined the frisbee golf club, who explicitly did not want to associate with all the stoners who made up a majority of the club. Three examples right there of joining for the activity NOT for the people.

"how was this not a one time event" automatically presumes that the event happened. Thus, it is not questioning the veracity of the story. What it does go to is the idea that what occurred cannot be extrapolated into differing areas. It does NOT question the veracity of the story. If I was doing that, I just would have said I do not believe you.

And no that last statement is not what I think. I think that being immature and self-absorbed is not a form of stupidity. Idiot is a term with far more breadth than stupidity. Splitting hairs? Maybe, but still valid.

101
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:07am

"when my point was that it is stupid to deliberately and repeatedly engage in trivial behavior which one knows will alienate a group of people that one deliberately chose to associate with in the first place."

Ironic.

105
by Thanos (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:37am

Excellently done. On point and hilarious.

104
by Nathan :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:34am

Holy mother of God are we still talking about golf shirts? Step back, people. This is day #3. Prioritize. "Winning" the "argument" isn't worth it.

110
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:37pm

Thanos, if you knew, or accepted, that this was not a one time event, why did you write the phrase "How was this not a one time event"? It isn't clear to me what your last phrase means, but if your point is that Cutler is stupid, but is not an idiot, fine.

Finally, when you joined your Pre-law society for a resume line, yes, you were choosing to associate with the people in the Pre-law society.

114
by Thanos (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 3:19pm

How about from the context clues in every other post that I wrote where there is no assertion that the event did not happen? And if this is not enough, then, these context clues would then be coupled with the fact that my entire argument was based upon the belief that it did occur.
The 'one time event' only refers to the lack of reports of Cutler being thrown out of places. That is all.

Nice try with the Pre-law society, but again, you make assumptions about my participation. I only attended the first and last meetings of each semester so that I would qualify for participation. So, no, I was not associating with them, I was only after the resume line. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?

115
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 4:06pm

I'm sorry, Thanos, but when you put forth the hypothetical that Cutler had a stain on his pants, I thought you were hypothesizing that Cutler had engaged in the behavior once. Perhaps you are now hypothesizing that Cutler, as part of his master marketing startegy, has decided to only own one pair of pants, the one with the stain on them. Vanderbilt must really be on the cutting edge of higher education.

If you want to maintain that you are not associating with the members of a club when you join a club, even a club which you pay dues to, and use real estate with, fine.

111
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:41pm

loneweasel, I presume that your presence in this thread, despite not having the means to remove me, indicates that you are not alienated. Or do you normally visit places to be alienated?

113
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:55pm

You amuse me.

112
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:49pm

Eddo, if that is what Cutler had done; quit a club when he found out about rules which he disliked, I wouldn't have said anything derogatory about Cutler. That isn't what he did. He persisted, like a 7 year old, with behavior which he knew would alienate the people he chose to associate with, until they expelled him.

In any case, my dispute with Thanos now seems to be reduced to Thanos maintaining that Cutler is stupid, but not an idiot. I'll concede the point.

120
by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 7:10pm

Yeah Will, whatever champ. Can you find the story for us? thanks

117
by ThunderThumbs (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 5:30pm

Well, I don't know what to say about Cutler's personal tuck rule, but I think there's too little perspective here.

First, getting rid of Shanahan wasn't a clearly awful decision by itself. The guy was pretty rotten at personnel overall, and was exhibiting bad judgment with the defensive coaching staff. Shanahan's a great final piece to plug in to a team that is close to championship-caliber, he can get them over the hump. But he's not the guy to build a team up from mediocre or bad levels - despite a couple of successful offensive drafts, the team was actually on a downward trajectory. Saying "all the need is a couple more defensive pieces!" is happy talk, and much of what was said the previous season.

Second, getting rid of a coach and replacing him with *any* coach was going to piss off a prima dona. McDaniels took away Cutler's toys, as is a coach's right, and Cutler had an unreasonably short fuse after that. Look at how Campbell reacted to his coaching staff with frustration but class. You can look at Cutler leaving, and identify McDaniels' arrival as being the big change, but that's pretty simplistic - that might well have happened with any new coach. Cutler's beef might well have been with Bowlen. Bowlen's also the guy who ultimately pulled the plug on Cutler, anyway.

Third, there's *nothing* about Marshall's decision that has anything apparent to do with McDaniels. It's about the contract, and how the Broncos medical staff treated him last season, when Shanahan was there.

If I'm going to judge McDaniels, I'm going to judge him on the decisions he was actually enabled to make:

1) Moreno instead of a defensive player
2) Orton instead of Campbell
3) Alphonso Smith instead of a 1st round pick next year (keeping in mind he had no foreknowledge of Marshall not being around)

And those judgments, along with many more like it, cannot be made until after the season has been played.

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 5:47pm

A large part of the job description of an NFL head coach is to smooth egos and unruffle feathers. In fact this is an important part of what every head coach does in highly competitive pro sports. Your ricebowl perches on the performance of hyper-masculine uber-confident young men after all.

With that in mind I can't see how one might let McD off the hook on the Cutler issue. Even if Cutler was indeed petulant (a big "if", which I don't subscribe to), the ultimate endgame is no less a failure on McD's part to smooth over his relationship with the franchise QB. In fact, McD repeatedly and actively drove Cutler away from possible reconciliation.

His influence so far has not been as harmful in Marshall's case. But it's false to say that McD has got nothing to do with Marshall's trade demand. It's his job to keep valuable pieces of the team together and make them content. It's perhaps to be absent on the job (now) versus active sabotage (Cutler situation). But you are still failing to do your job.

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by cjfarls :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 3:11pm

I see lots of assertions that McD "drove Cutler away", but very little evidence that that was the case, beyond very reasonably saying that "no player is untouchable, and I'll make the decisions based on whats best for the team". He consistently tried to sit down with Cutler, and while unsuccessful in soothing the situation, it was ultimate Cutler's decision to simply stop talking to anyone on the team (including Bowlen) that resulted in the trade.

There is no evidence that he ever considered a Cutler for Cassel "straight up" trade (in fact, there is evidence that he explicitly TURNED DOWN such an offer, as otherwise NE would've received a 1st for Cassel), so assertions by some that his talent evaluation sucls because he thinks "Cassel is better than Cutler" is just plain false.

All evidence points to the current situation with Marshall being more about the medical staff under Shanny, and the implications of the uncapped year (RFA vs. real free agency) than anything McD has done. The exception is if you think Denver should throw a huge-money extension to B-Marsh now, but given the looming court case in September and Marshall's off-feild history, would you be willing to pony up a lot of guarunteed money now?

As a denver fan, I thought firing Shanny was the wrong move. I also think losing Cutler was a BAD thing, but I don't necessarily see it as something McD drove, at least not compared to Cutler's immaturity and the firing of Shanny.

I also don't generally like 1st round RBs and booed when Moreno was taken over Orakpo... but looking at the DEF being put in place (a 5-2 hybrid) I can see the logic behind the move and why Orakpo may have been a poor fit. I'd have preferred to stick with Shanny and a 4-3 DEF scheme (but fired Slowik who was terrible), and Orakpo would've been a great fit under that scenario... but that ship sailed when Shanny was fired.

Alphonso Smith was rated by many as a top-25 player on many pundit's boards. You can question whether they should've traded CHI's pick rather than their own, but until some games are played, this has to be a "wait and see" evaluation. Obviously McD doesn't think the team will be as bad as you are predicting... if he's wrong it was a dumb decision... but if he's right and you're wrong, does that mean you're dumb? This is why some Denver fans say "wait and see".

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by Kibbles :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 11:30pm

Shanahan wasn't pretty awful at personnel. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I'm of the opinion that the strongest factor in who wins and who loses is the talent on the field... and Shanahan had two losing seasons in 12 years. That's strong evidence that, while the Broncos might not have always been one of the 5 most talented teams in the league, they were almost always one of the 16 most talented (and, when last I checked, top 50% != awful).

Basically, the Broncos front office under Shanahan has been a tale of 3 eras. From 1995 to around 2000, Shanahan could do no wrong. Every move he made turned to gold, from picking up castoffs like Ed McCaffrey to signing free agents like Neil Smith to drafting players like Al Wilson and Trevor Pryce to picking up no-names like Terrell Davis, Rod Smith, and Tom Nalen, even lesser-known acquisitions like Cooper Carlisle, Desmond Clark, Kenoy Kennedy, and a slew of RBs. From 2001 to around 2004, it was the exact opposite- every move was a failure. The only draft picks from that time period who remain with the team are Ben Hamilton and D.J. Williams (although, in fairness, Portis still counts as a great acquisition). When 2006, 2007, and 2008 rolled around, the players acquired those seasons should have been forming a veteran core, but instead Denver had to fill their team with guys who were either too old (Nick Furgeson, John Lynch, Ebenezer Ekuban, Dre' Bly) or too young (Wesley Walls, Elvis Dumervil). However, around 2005, the tables turned once more, and Shanahan could once again do no wrong. In 2005, they drafted two NFL starter-caliber CBs (Foxworth and the late Darrent Williams), a decent nickle back (Karl Paymah), and a starting-caliber guard (Chris Myers). The only picks that didn't pan out were a 7th rounder spent on a kicker and the pick that that draft has unfortunately become known for- Maurice Clarett. In 2006, the Broncos wound up with probably the best draft of any team this entire decade- Cutler, Scheffler, Marshall, and Dumervil are all very strong starters at their position, Kuper's a starter, and Hixon is a great WR2 for New York- that's 6 solid starters, two of them potential all-pros and two more potential pro-bowlers- in 7 picks. In '07, Denver made a pair of poor decisions on DEs, but also wound up with Ryan Harris (a very strong starter at RT) and Marcus Thomas (who's outperformed his draft position). 2008 resulted in Clady, Royal, Torain, Spencer Larson, Peyton Hillis, and Jack Williams (who you probably haven't heard of yet, but who you'll be hearing a lot more about soon). In addition to the drafts, there are the trades- Portis for Bailey and a second, moving up to grab Cutler when he already had Plummer. Denver "lost" more trades in the past 6 months than they did in the 12 years prior. There's nothing to suggest that 2001-2004 was anything other than an aberration.

We don't know if Shanahan can build a team up from bad levels, because Shanahan has been so consistently good that he's never HAD a team that reached "bad" levels. We do know that he can build a team up from mediocre to championship-caliber, because he's done it twice since coming to Denver. The Broncos went 24-24 in the three seasons before he took over, and won back-to-back superbowls 2 years later. The Broncos won 8, 9, 10, and 10 games from 2001-2004, then hosted the AFCCG and posted the 2nd best DVOA in the league in 2005.

Also, saying "all we need is a few defensive pieces" isn't delusional, it's fact. As I said, that offense was going to be top 5 for the next 8 years. All Denver needed was to field a mediocre defense as opposed to league-worst, and they'd have 8 chances to get it right. I made the comparison to the pre-Dungy Indianapolis Colts, and I think it's a good one. Let the offense keep on keeping on and try every year to field a competitive defense. Since offensive DVOA is more consistent from year to year than defensive, it's a very sound plan.

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 8:05pm

Hey, I said weeks ago that if Cutler was indeed lied to, it was an incredibly stupid thing for management to do. Lying to any employee is dumb, but lying to an employee you've committed millions to is weapons-grade idiocy. Now, if Bowlen is indeed suffering from early stage dementia, as was hypothesized above, that explains much, and it may be just an unfortunate combination of a very immature (in the interests of comity I won't equate being very immature with being a moron) qb and an owner who is literally, and very sadly, losing his mind.

As to coaches doing their job, if the job is to keep a guy working productively, but the guy is such a dolt as to get himself arrested frequently, well, it is important to have realistic expectations. Kobe Bryant's job is to make every shot, but nobody calls him incompetent when it doesn't happen. Maybe the coach screwed up with regard to Marshall, and maybe he didn't, but until I hear something specific about what the coach did (as I did with regard to the generalized attributions made towards Cutler's mental state), it's hard to say.

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by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 9:16pm

Is it just Cutler's reaction to the trade that makes him "very" immature/moronic?

As far as I see it, McDaniels tried to trade Cutler, lied to Cutler, Cutler decided that he didn't want to work with McDaniels and demanded a trade. The argument that he is immature because he didn't return Bowlen's phone calls doesn't work because if Cutler wanted the trade, all he was going to say to Bowlen was F... Off. By not answering Bowlen's calls, he chose not to get into a fight, and to continue with the trade demands.

Apart from that and the unverified golf club thing, are there other reasons? Is it Tony Dungy's (media commentator) description of him? Is it various blog posts? Is it some guy who shouts on ESPN?

I'm genuinely interested in how you got there because it seems like you just don't like him.

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 10:03pm

Is Will a Patriots fan?

If so it explains a lot. There are a lot of New Englanders who have an irrational soft spot for Josh McD. I don't get why they love this guy but they do. So far Will has defended only McDaniels, even conceding that Bowlen might have lost his mind. So he doesn't sounds like a Denverite to me.

ESPN had one of their webpolls asking if McD was the right hire. Almost every state in the country ran 80/20 against. Colorado is 70/30. Only in the New England states was it about 50/50. Even though he was ahead in one state, New Hampshire. The map looked like one of the FDR elections.

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by Eddo :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 10:44pm

Will roots for the Vikings.

And while I think his line of reasoning here is a bit harsh on Cutler, I can vouch that Will almost never lets his rooting interests influence his analysis of things. I can't recall ever hearing him unfairly criticize a player just because they play for the Packers or overpromote one for being a Viking.

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by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:21am

Yeah, I've seen enough of Will's posts over the years on other subjects to know he's got smarts. My flat mate (here in Oz) hates Ryan Cross (Oz Rugby Player). When i asked him why, he said, "I dunno. I just hate his head."

I was wondering if that applied....

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:24am

Thanks, eddo. As for me being harsh, hey, I admit to being pretty cynical; a substantial percentage of these guys are meatheads. I know, because through family circumstances, I've spent a lot of time around them. It ain't a life which lends itself to clear thinking. Whether any particular form of meatheadism should be tolerated has to be evaluated on a case by case basis. I am merely suspicious of claims, by those without direct knowledge, that the person with the most detailed information pertaining to the possible meathead, and the greatest motivation to employ the knowledge usefully, is obviously wrong in his assessment.

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:14am

Actually, loneweasel, I was ripping McDaniels hard, and defending Cutler just a few weeks ago. Look, you basically are a deranged individual, who imagines things that were never written. I'm sorry this got personal, but it seems as if that is what you want. Demonstrate that you can comprehend the meaning of a paragraph, and I'll be happ to engage you again. Until then, I'll be happy to ignore you if you'll extend the same courtesy.

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:36am

Jimmy, as I said below, I was defending the guy pretty hard just a few weeks ago, and I'm still saying that if the Broncos did indeed lie to him, that's as dumb as it gets. Now I've heard some specific stories about how Cutler interacts with other people, some stories better sourced than others, and if the stories are true, he's a dummy, in the same sense that Barry Bonds is a dummy, albeit Bonds being so to a much greater degree. If a guy is a dummy, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to get rid of the guy, but it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, either.

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 8:41pm

Hey, does Kobe tuck his shirt on the golf course?

Bet Jerry Buss is sure glad he didn't make the trade.

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 9:12pm

Well, Kobe's track record was rather more established by the time he decided to get arrested for getting busy with the hotel help. Like I've said several times now, I'm not claiming to know that the Broncos are acting wisely here, and I generally discounted the generalized disparaging remarks about Cutler's mental state. However, the story I heard about Cutler's behavior was from a decent source, and if the story is true, the guy is a dunce. Now, plenty of championships have been won by dunces, so just because a guy is a dunce doesn't mean he should be traded. However, I can understand why somebody signing checks for eight figure sums would start to become concerned as evidence of idiocy mounted, especially at the qb position.

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/18/2009 - 10:14pm

So, shirt-tucking ~ rape rap

Do you know what a self-parody you have become right now in your desperate attempt to make Cutler look bad?

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:06am

loneweasel, your illiteracy doesn't make me look bad. Learn to read, or lay off the peyote.

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 6:21am

Hey everybody, I spend three days defending a rumor I made up to smear the starting quarterback of my division rival. I can't make arguments except resorting to personal attacks on an internet message board.

But it's all cool, I tuck my shirt in on my golf course, right?

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:10pm

Actually, lonewesal, in this forum I applauded the Bears' trade when it was made, and said I was glad it happened, because I think it will make the Vikings/Bears games more fun to watch. Say, you aren't the sort of person who thinks in terms of "my division rival", are you? That would explain much. In any case, I'll extend my offer to you once again. I'll be quite happy to ignore you in the future, if you'll extend the same courtesy, but I will end by noting that if you think personal attacks are distasteful in forums such as this, you would do well to avoid them when starting an exchange with someone.

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by Longtuckian (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 10:29am

The one thing no one has mentioned about Cutler: he does not fit in McDaniels' offense (assuming it resembles the one New England runs).
That offense need a QB good at reading defenses, adjusting play calls, making swift decisions and throwing a lot of short, accurate, timing-based routes.
Cutler, simply put, is a gunner. He does not use his head on every play. He has a ridiculously strong arm, but takes too many risks and lacks accuracy at times.

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by DavidL :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:44pm

And if McDaniels can only run an offense with the "right" kind of quarterback, to the point where he'd rather trade away a Pro Bowler than work with him, then he shouldn't have had his old job, much less this one.

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by Eddo :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:25pm

While that's a bit harsh, I think the general idea is correct. A good coach combines equal parts good system and ability to highlight his current players' strengths. According to some of McDaniels's defenders, he apparently decided he'd rather just work with his own players.

This strategy can definitely lead to winning, but it will take time to build a winner. Additionally, it comes with the downside that once you've build your kind of players into a successful offense, it will be financially impossible to keep them all. Then, since you're not willing to adapt to available players' skills, you're more likely to enter a down period, where you have to rebuild major parts of the team.

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by DavidL :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 4:06pm

To be fair, I didn't mean that I completely believe that's how McDaniels thinks. But you can't defend losing Cutler with that logic, because jettisoning a franchise QB on the basis that he doesn't fit your system, instead of adapting your offense to fit the tools you have, would be a terrible, terrible move for any coach to make.

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by Kibbles :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 5:15pm

I think it's very silly to say that Cutler doesn't fit in McDaniel's offense. John Elway was a poor fit in Dan Reeves offense, but that offense was still better off with Elway running it. You know why? Because it's JOHN FREAKING ELWAY. Elite QBs fit every offense. That's why they're elite QBs. I'd rather have Jay Cutler running an offense for which he isn't suited than Kyle Orton running an offense that was tailor-made for him. And if Jay Cutler's poor fit is holding you back... then change the offense. It's a lot easier to tweak an offensive scheme than it is to find an elite QB.

To take an example from college... when Urban Meyer came to Florida, he inherited a QB who didn't fit "his scheme". So he changed his scheme and won a national championship. And the next year, when that QB was gone, he changed back to the spread because that's what his new QB was good at. And while he had one of the best spread QBs in history on his roster, he went out and recruited John Brantley, who is an elite pocket passer but not much of a spread QB. And Brantley went out and won the "heir apparent" title over several other QBs who *DO* fit the spread. You know why? Because talent trumps scheme every time.

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by Kaveman :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:03pm

This thread is pretty awful, barring a couple of posts, mostly from Kibbles.

The only thing I had to add was covered by loneweasel, but let me reiterate it. Leaving aside Bowlen's rationality, a head coach's job isn't just Xs and Os. Management skills are called for: the ability to have everyone mostly content, motivated, willing to get along with each other, and believing in the head coach. Without this, it doesn't matter how smart you are, or how awesome your system is, or how nice a guy you are personally.

I don't think Shanahan ever lost his team. Even when he drafted Clarett, only to cut him much to the derision of the media. Or when he benched Plummer. The closest he came, according to him, was when he benched Bubby Brister for Brian Griese, and he talked about that almost a decade after it happened... why did he remember it so clearly? Because the team has to believe in the head coach.

Tenure helps build up that respect, but people are mostly ready to give a first-timer a chance. McDaniels technically still has his chance, but I think he's lost this team already. And with Orton and Gaffney and no first round pick next year...

It's almost enough to make a grown man cry.

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by MJK :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 12:50pm

A couple of comments:

I am a Patriots fan, so maybe I can explain the "soft spot" we have for McDaniels. McDaniels came up through the ranks of the Patriots organization as a "rising star"...moving up faster than almost any assistant had excepting Eric Mangini. And we Patriots fans hate Mangini, perhaps irrationally, for going to the Jets, raiding our roster, and for making Spygate happen. So maybe we give McDaniels too much credit for being the Abel to Mangini's Cain.

But he does have actual strengths. First, he is a master playcaller. Since he took over the offensive reins in 2005, he has done a wonderful job at the "chessgame". Despite Weis's success in 2001-2004, something about his playcalling always left us fans frustrated. And those teams were carried mainly by the defense (except in 2004, when both units were good. Incidentally, McDaniels was a defensive assistant for the Patriots in 2002 and 2003, and 2003 was arguably the best defensive year the Patriots had this decade. So he does know something about defense, which may be where his offensive strengths came from). But in the four years that McDaniels has been calling the plays, the Patriots offensive playcalling has been masterful.

Secondly, he has an especially good reputation for developing young players. Tom Brady is Tom Brady in no small part because of McDaniels. Cassel succeeded after nine years or so on the pine largely because of McDaniels' personal attention.

Thirdly, he has always given the impression, in New England, of being a "player's coach"--i.e. someone who is very good at keeping players happy and committed and smoothing issues over. That's why the whole falling out with Cutler is a little surprising to us, and why we tend to put a different spin on the news. Denver fans love Cutler, and so tend to spin the news to favor him; New England fans love McDaniels, so tend to spin the news their way.

All we know for certain about the Cutler situation is that McDaniels apparently did entertain trade offers involving Cassel (hardly surprising), Cutler reacted badly (or claimed he reacted badly to give himself a trade excuse...remember, he asked for a trade initially before McDaniels was even hired), and then Bowlen stepped in and made McDaniels trade Cutler while McDaniels was still trying to smooth things out. The whole lying thing is a he-said/she-said that depends entirely on who you believe. From all this New England fans have concluded that Cutler is a whiny brat who keeps changing his story, and Denver fans have concluded that McDaniels is a lying idiot. I think the only people that know the truth of the matter are Cutler and McDaniels. So I'm leaving that out of the equation.

Now it may be that McDaniels isn't ready to be a head coach, and basically left his player management skills at the door when he went from OC to HC. This is certainly possible. But it may also be that he had the misfortune to step into an unfortunate situation where a somewhat immature, already dissatisfied, high profile player was looking for an excuse to make trouble. We'll see.

Third, I personally have a soft spot for McDaniels because, while I don't know him personally, I have a friend who does, and she has only ever said very nice things about him. But that's just personal bias.

Regarding Kibbles' comments. I don't disagree specifically with any of them, but I do think he overstates certain points, especially about how good Denver's offense actually was/would have been. I'm not convinced that Denver's offense with Shanny would have definitely been "top 5" for years to come. First, that's almost impossible in the NFL, even if you have pieces in place. This is mainly due to injuries, and, other than at RB (the most fungible position on the offense), I was under the impression that Denver has actually been pretty clean in the offensive injury department. All it would take is a nasty injury to keep Clady and another O-linemen out for most of a year, and the offense would fall apart. (This is not unique to Denver...almost any team losing two good O-linemen for extended periods of time is in trouble...far more so than losing a running back or two). Secondly, was Denver's offense really that good? I know they put up flashy conventional yards numbers, and a good DVOA, but they lagged in scoring and red zone DVOA. There was a fascinating and very in-depth series of articles a while back here, written on MileHigh report, that concluded that Denver's offensive performance wasn't really as good as it looked on paper the last couple of years (primarily due to red zone performance), and that the chief culprits were the playcalling and Cutler's decision making. Both of which have changed now. Thirdly, I suspect part of the flashy offensive numbers Denver put up in the last couple of years were partly DUE to their awful defense...when a defense is bad and the offense is forced to play for a shootout, the offense gambles more and is more aggressive, and gambling and aggression pay off more often than not. (I think the same thing happened with the Colts). I suspect that a better defense would have led to less impressive offensive numbers.

I won't defend McDaniels draft strategy or trading strategy, because I find them curious, too. However, ever since I saw local sports media ripping Belichick for things like taking Richard Seymour in the first round, or starting Brady over Bledsoe in 2001, or trading away Bledsoe, I have adopted a "wait and see" approach when a team (other than the Raiders or the Lions) makes a curious personnell decision.

But back to the discussion at hand...I fail to see how McDaniels has any say at all in smoothing over things with Marshall, short of telling his personnel folks that Marshall is indespensible to his planned offense and they should offer him whatever he wants to keep him. Does anyone, including Denver fans, think this is a good idea? For any WR not named Steve Smith? (And not even all of them?)

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by loneweasel (not verified) :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 1:17pm

"Tom Brady is Tom Brady in no small part because of McDaniels."

This is what a whole region's irrational mancrush looks like.

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by Kibbles :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 5:30pm

Actually, the lying thing *ISN'T* a he-said/she-said situation. It's a He-said-in-the-media/he-later-recanted-and-said-the-opposite-in-the-media situation.

After the rumors surfaced that McDaniels was entertaining offers for Cutler, McDaniels denied them all. Cutler said he had sources with knowledge of the proceedings who indicated that he was being lied to. A week or so later, McDaniels admitted that he was, in fact, in trade talks involving Cutler. There's no speculation involved- McDaniels lied, period. Cutler's camp also claims that when they came to the face-to-face meeting, they were planning on patching things up, but McDaniels refused to apologize for lying. That part is hearsay, true, but it makes sense given both parties' descriptions of the meeting.

Also, that wasn't the only time McDaniels lied. Part of his pitch to Bowlen during his interview was what he could accomplish with his scheme and that amazing offensive nucleus. That was a lie- he was trying to trade away the key component in that nucleus before the month was out. Also, after Shanahan was fired, Cutler asked for a trade, but he backed off that after he talked with McDaniels and McDaniels started telling him how excited he was to work with Cutler, and what they were going to do with his scheme. That was another lie, because within 2 weeks McDaniels would be actively trying to ship Cutler out of town.

Even if you accept as fact only the public statements that the involved parties made about their own thoughts and opinions, McDaniels lied to Cutler twice within the first month on the job. Looking at it from Cutler's perspective... you lost your two biggest mentors in Shanahan and Bates at a time when your career is just starting to really take off. That would undoubtedly be very scary and upsetting. The new coach comes in, and the first thing you hear is how excited he is to work with you... but the second thing you hear is that he's trying to deal you for Cassel. The third thing you hear is him denying any trade talks... and the fourth thing you hear is him admitting that he did, in fact, try to trade you. If it were me, unless the fifth thing I heard was a sincere apology and the sixth thing was a good reason why I should trust him going forward, I'd want out of town, too. And while Cutler's actions after that sure look immature, there's no denying that they were very effective in helping him achieve his stated goal of getting out of town.

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by Kibbles :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 5:46pm

Also, with respect to your comments on Denver's offense going forward... DVOA already takes into account game score, field position, red zone struggles, and everything else you mentioned. It's possible their conventional stats were helped by their terrible defense and the fact that they trailed so much, just like it's possible that it was worse than its statistics because of red zone struggles, but that argument holds no water when you discuss DVOA. Furthermore, you can't pin Denver's offense numbers on its woeful defense, because Denver's defense has been terrible for three years now, but last year was the first time they put up "flashy" offensive numbers.

Second off, saying that Denver's offense was lucky it didn't have any injuries on the offensive line last year is revisionist history. Three of Denver's five opening-day starters hadn't started a single game in the orange and blue. A fourth had missed the entire 2007 season with injury. A fifth was a second-year starter playing in a new position. The LT, RG, and RT combined for 11 career NFL starts. And Denver's line *WASN'T* injury free- its original starting center missed the entire season due to injury. Also, injury rates are lower on offensive line than almost any other position, and Denver had overcome injuries to offensive linemen before in Shanahan's history (notably in 2002, when Nalen missed 9 games and Denver's offense still finished 5th in DVOA). Nalen went on to be named first-team AP All Pro in 2003, so this was back when he was still in his prime. I'd also argue that losing SEVEN RBs to season-ending injury far trumps losing an OLineman or two. RBs might be fungible more than any other position, but that only goes so far. No team carries 7 RBs on its active roster. The dropoff from an NFL-caliber RB who knows your scheme to another NFL-caliber RB who knows your scheme might be slight, but we're talking about the dropoff from an NFL-caliber RB who knows your scheme to an RB who IS NOT NFL CALIBER (as evidenced by the fact that he's not on an NFL roster in November) and WHO DOES NOT KNOW YOUR SCHEME (as evidenced by the fact that he's been on your roster for all of two weeks) is a pretty severe handicap.

I stand by my initial proposition. Denver's offense would be top-5 for years to come. Maybe one year they'd "slip" to 7th. Just look at Mike Shanahan's offensive history and the nucleus in place, and consider that over the next 8 years their only offensive concern would be adding quality depth (so when the injuries did strike, Denver would be prepared).

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by Kaveman :: Fri, 06/19/2009 - 9:49pm

I'd submit that last year's "flashy" offensive numbers were also due to Cutler finally understanding Shanahan's offense. Shanahan has said more than once that it takes 3 years for a QB to get comfortable in his offense and early last year said that he expected it to be the season that Cutler "got it" (an earlier post suggesting that McDaniels got rid of Cutler because McDaniels' offense was more complicated than Shanahan's made me snicker... go Google up some of what Belichick has said about Shanahan's offense).

The more I look at it, the more I just don't get it... WHAT was/is Bowlen thinking?

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by Mr Shush :: Sat, 06/20/2009 - 4:49pm

No, I quite agree. I like McDaniels as a coach, even now, and I thought and think that he would have been a great hire for a re-building team - the Rams, Lions, whoever. But the Broncos should have left their offense as untouched as possible and hired Spagnuolo or Schwarz or Ryan with a mandate to fix the defense in a hurry and deliver some championships off the back of Cutler PA rollout left deep pass to Royal and (insert RB here) zone stretch right.

And yes, as a Texans fan I know perfectly well that there's a lot more to the offense than that.

Actually, that's one thing that's confused me in a lot of the "bad fit for the system" posts: Kyle Shanahan's Houston offense, implemented under the supervision of one of his dad's long time right hand men with the assistance of the other, includes a lot of slants and other short timing routes, so I pretty much assumed the old man's did too.