THUNDERING BLURB » Denver Broncos http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 2010 Draft Blurb Appearences http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/2010-draft-blurb-appearences/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/2010-draft-blurb-appearences/#comments Mon, 26 Apr 2010 20:15:04 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=1200 So I did a bunch of radio work this past weekend and didn’t have time to post it (and at times, didn’t have time to get a link to it) until now.

When you get a chance, check out the following bits of audio:

Friday Night I appeared on Brian Carriveau’s Cheesehead Nation show on Blogtalkradio.com. We talked about the first few rounds of Packer picks, which I actually like quite a bit. (about 10 minutes at the front  but the ep goes much longer)

I’m at the top but stick around for the whole show as they break down some of the picks more in depth later on. It’s good stuff, and Railbird Central is a great place to go for Packer stuff.

Saturday I joined my good friend Matt Levine of The Final Score of WSTC/WNLK in Connecticut to talk some Jets and Giants as well as some general NFL Draft stuff as well. I uploaded it here so you can hear what I had to say from Radio City. (about 20 minutes long)

On Sunday I got to hoof it to the home of Sirius Satellite Radio and join Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan in Denver and Footballguys.com as well as Russ Lande, analyst for SportingNews.com’s NFL Draft Warroom and head of GMJr for three hours of 2010 NFL Draft recap.

As Cecil’s show (every Sunday on the Fan) is on in Denver, we covered a lot of Broncos (and Tim Tebow) but also hit on the Draft in general and the AFC West as a whole.

You can also get a behind the scenes look at the three of us on this episode of Blurb TV. In fact you can get a look at ALL of my experience at the 2010 NFL Draft here at Thundering Blurb or over at my channel on Viddler as well.

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Blurb TV Ep 8 – Behind the Radio Curtain http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/blurb-tv-ep-8-behind-the-radio-curtain/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/blurb-tv-ep-8-behind-the-radio-curtain/#comments Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:35:19 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=1197

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The Thundering Blurb Show – 4/14 http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/the-thundering-blurb-show-414/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/the-thundering-blurb-show-414/#comments Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:48:46 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=1137 REMINDER – NEXT WEEK’S SHOW IS ON MONDAY AT 10PM EST ON THE FANTASY SPORTS CHANNEL.

Also I will be at the NFL Draft all three days, live at Radio City Music Hall. You can follow me live blogging right here at the Blurb site, catch my instant thoughts on Twitter by following @thunderingblurb or by tuning in to 104.3 the Fan’s stream (they’re Denver so get ready for Broncos Talk).

 

 

Cupcakes from Crumbs were my birthday cake. My wife ROCKS.

Turns out not only was it my Birthdaystravoganzapalooza but the Denver Broncos gave us some news to talk about on last night’s show.

In order to make sure we had the 411 on the ins and outs of the trade and it’s impact on the Broncos, we welcome good friend of the show and twitter machine Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Frank and I chat about Marshall and his affect on the Broncos, and then talk about some of the other points of attack the team may have going into next Thursday. We also chat about the direction of the team, the different ways the offense could be heading and the fact that Denver might want to get a Center in at some point—since they don’t have one at all on the roster.

We cover all that and more Broncos talk before segueing into more general NFL talk, including the fact that we both have reservations about shifting the Draft so suddenly to Thursday and a three day format and why.

You can find Frank on the Twitters by following @fs3142 or head over to here and read his Gazette stuff.

After we bid Frank adieu (classy huh?) and take a brief break, I welcome in Shane Hallam. Shane does work everywhere including some nice videos on the Draft here and a podcast on BlogTalkRadio as well as contributing to Scott Wright’s site over at DraftCountdown.com.

Shane and I touch on a bunch of different Draft-related topics including running backs and wide receivers. Shane—as a Steelers fan—also helps me break down the Santonio Holmes to the Jets trade.

Along with all the above spots to catch Shane’s work, you can follow him on Twitter, @TheP1414.

Altogether good stuff. There might be better ways to spend your birthday but this was a pretty good one.

I capped the evening off (post-show) with a 90 minute chat on Jared Faree’s What’s Your Fantasy show talking movies. Check that out here for some movie madness as we decide what flicks Jared has to see of the vast list of stuff he hasn’t.

As always, thanks for listening and following.

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Brandon Marshall to Dolphins – Reaction http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/brandon-marshall-to-dolphins-reaction/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2010/04/brandon-marshall-to-dolphins-reaction/#comments Wed, 14 Apr 2010 13:44:35 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=1126 Wow. When you miss, you miss.

Just yesterday I was debating with someone on Twitter that with Santonio Holmes going so cheap, there was no way the Denver Broncos get a second round pick for him this year. The market wouldn’t bear it, so I thought.

And truthfully, he wasn’t traded for a second rounder.

He was traded for two. Reportedly this trade involved a second round pick this year and a pick in 2011, reportedly another second rounder.

WOW. That’s probably proper value for Marshall in another market but in this one? A little surprising.

The Denver Broncos should send the Jets a fruit basket or something. I have to wonder if they got a good price on Marshall since the Jets have been gorging themselves at the trade/free agent buffet table all off-season.

Miami had to be feeling some pressure to improve. On paper, the Jets started running away with the AFC East. You still have to play the games (and the Jets schedule is reportedly a rough one) but they are loading up.

I think this is a good trade for both teams. I hope Marshall keeps his head straight. Miami isn’t NYC or Los Angeles in terms of distractions, but the nightlife is seductive.

I’m pretty excited to be covering the Broncos at the Draft next week. Should be even more interesting now.

Here are my thoughts on how the trade affects both teams:

Dolphins: Chad Henne is doing backflips. I’m not spying on him through a high powered telescope (that’s set up at Angelina Jolie’s house this week) but come on.

He HAD Tedd Ginn jr, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Greg Camirillo and Patrick Turner.

He has that (well soon minus Ginn) and now Brandon Marshall. I don’t need the telescope to know he’s literally dancing with joy.

Marshall has tremendous talent and this is a fantastic move for the Dolphins and will help Henne quite a bit. They need to do something with the run game and have several other holes to fill.

But for the Dolphins, I think this was quite simply a no brainer. It has some risk to it (less so than the Jets and Holmes). If it works out though, it will keep them in the hunt.

By the way if Ginn wasn’t gone before, you can punch his ticket now. About time to end that disaster of a first round pick for Miami.

Broncos: I don’t know if this locks a wide receiver in for them early in the NFL Draft next week, but it feels that way.

Look at Dez Bryant, a guy Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs-Gazette has been saying the team should be looking at for a while now.

If you don’t like the fact that you’d be trading one head-case for another potential one in Bryant, how about Georgia Tech’s Demaryious Thomas? Or maybe USC wideout Damian Williams?  Mardy Gilyard? Arrelious Benn? Or wait and grab a guy like Citadel’s Andre Roberts.

It’s a good draft for them to grab a wide receiver. And now, they have the ammunition to do even more, with the 43rd now in addition to the 45th.

In this Draft, it’s pretty significant.

Sure, this downgrades Orton/Quinn a bunch. Eddie Royal struggled so much last year we don’t know which is the real Royal: the rookie stud or the sophomore dud.

There are solid wide receivers there but no sure-fire stud. Any rookie they draft will take a little while to get up to speed (Mike Crabtree disagrees with me).

Still, the Broncos will probably be fine and the picks more than compensate for any short term loss.

This trade, like the Holmes trade Monday, has the possibility of being a win-win for both teams.

The Broncos get rid of a headache for outstanding value and the Dolphins get a very, very good wide receiver. If Marshall can keep his head on straight, he’ll do fine in Miami. Henne gets a new weapon, better than any he has had thus far.

Looks good from all angles right now to me.

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Trendspotting: Eddie Royal, WR Broncos http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/09/trendspotting-eddie-royal-wr-broncos/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/09/trendspotting-eddie-royal-wr-broncos/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2009 18:27:20 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=627 It’s way too early in the NFL Season to define what exactly is a trend and what is pure happenstance. However, it’s never too early to examine what is happening to various players and why it might be happening.

More importantly, we can examine whether it is likely to happen again.

Even with minimal data, one can start to see patterns. With this column every week we’ll look at a few players who have concerned or excited us in the previous games and see if we can spot something before anyone else.

Part of this column – an important one I might add – is your input. Is there a player I missed? Someone I haven’t hit yet who is doing a great under-the-radar job? Email me and let me know at thunderingblurb(at)gmail.com.

 Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos

WR Eddie Royal has seen his share of struggles so far.

WR Eddie Royal has seen his share of struggles so far.

During the preseason, with all the drama surrounding his fellow wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Royal said and did everything right.

He spoke about team-first, about how much he liked the system. He played and practiced hard. Everything pointed towards a second good season for Royal.

Five catches and just 38 yards later, owners are worried. Royal has stumbled out of the gate and hard.

What happened?

Analysis

Well, it’s not lack of targets, though you could debate the quality of them. Royal has been thrown to 13 times in two games, as much as Brandon Marshall and more often than Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney.

Gaffney and Stokley have done far more with their targets though and have made some veteran plays Royal seems unable to pull off.

Comparing Royal at this point to a veteran like Stokley points to perhaps part of the problem.

For much of Royal’s time on the field, he seemed to be pressing and trying to make plays happen instead of working with what the situation dictates.

On one play late in the first half, he catches a short pass from Orton and has a chance to make a nice gain after the catch – maybe another five or so yards. Instead, he cuts and reverses across the field.

Unfortunately the Browns defense actually does it’s job and he’s stopped short, gaining just a few yards and eating valuable clock time as Denver is driving to close the first half.

Contrast this with Stokley who several times during key drives not only got his first down, but had the awareness of clock, defensive presence and what his offense needed in order to allow him to get out of bounds.

This sort of play – while making more perhaps of a play than perhaps designed for – still boils down to an awareness of what you can do in a situation, rather than trying to force something in a situation that makes it nearly impossible.

If Royal keeps this up, it could get worse. 

Sometimes Second Year Players Like Royal Try to Do Too Much

Sometimes Second Year Players Like Royal Try to Do Too Much

In my opinion, he is simply trying to do too much.

Quarterback Kyle Orton may be throwing the ball a ton to Royal now, but Stokley is becoming the guy he is able to count on, not Royal.

If Royal makes medium plays little while trying to force them big, continues to drop balls and generally stays inconsistent, he may find his targets drop.

Of course, Orton is also part of the problem. He has had some problems trying to get the ball to Royal at times, either because of coverage or because the two haven’t clicked in timing.

Again, if Orton keeps having issues getting the ball to Orton he may try less often especially if Stokley and Gaffney continue to be effective.

Advice

While I am concerned about Royal, I wouldn’t drop him. If he could be fitted into a trade, fine, but you probably won’t get fair value for him.

I do believe he will get it together at some point soon. A lot of the issues seem to be him getting comfortable in this offense and with Kyle Orton – and Orton with him as well.

Those things take time.

I believe if you hang in there he will get better, but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at a fair offer if it came across my desk.

The next few weeks will be critical for Royal and his owners. We must watch for two key indicators – first his targets must stay up. Second, he must stop pressing and do something with those passes coming his way.

Royal is a player whose value is in flux still and a few strong performances may find him back to being a viable fantasy earner. For now, it’s hard to see him as more than a WR3 at best.

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Quarterback Blurb Breakdown: Kyle Orton http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/07/quarterback-blurb-breakdown-kyle-orton/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/07/quarterback-blurb-breakdown-kyle-orton/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:14:11 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=516 Can Kyle Orton make Denver fans forget Jay Cutler?

Can Kyle Orton make Denver fans forget Jay Cutler?

At first blush, you have to wonder what Denver was thinking here.

First the Broncos mishandle trying to trade for Matt Cassel, and then they completely screw up calming Cutler down.

Then they trade a franchise quarterback for a perennial backup.

Or did they?

Sure, Kyle Orton didn’t wow us back in 2005 when he stepped in to cover yet another glorious Rex Grossman setback and played well enough to not lose.

And sure, while he looked incredibly good in the first portion of the 2008 season, he hurt his ankle and then completely fell apart.

But a bad ankle can hurt any quarterback and shouldn’t diminish what he did when healthy.

So the question is: Which Orton is the one coming to Denver?

Certainly you have to credit Orton for stepping in during the 2005 season and holding the fort. It’s a lot to ask of any rookie, especially a guy like Orton who was a fourth round draft pick – expected to have to no more than back up duties to incumbent Rex Grossman in his first year.

He wasn’t perfect, throwing just 9 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. But he was serviceable.

It’s odd, but the perception is often that Orton is very accurate, and that’s not necessarily a fact. On the surface, his TD/INT ratio is almost 50/50 (30/27 actually). Mind you, it’s not much data to go on – he’s only got 33 games to go on.

But he’s not a laser-accurate passer by any means.

The other assumption is that Orton lacks the arm strength to take advantage of his wide receiver corps. But in the same breath, many say that Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal automatically spell big numbers for Orton.

Once again, we don’t have a good measure of what Orton can do based on just two seasons, one of which was filled with a lingering injury.

Certainly Marshall, Royal and – to a lesser but no less important extent – Brandon Stokley and Tony Scheffler, all contributed to Jay Cutler’s success.

But I would make the argument that he made them as much as they made him, if not more.

The fact is, I think Orton will benefit from throwing to the group of targets he has in Denver. He’ll also benefit from having to throw more than in Chicago.

Denver hasn’t yet made enough strides for the defense to avoid struggling again this year and it’s possible the team will find themselves behind often enough to where Orton may have to come from behind.

The question is whether Orton has what it takes to come from behind and succeed. According to stats on footballguys.com, trailing the opposition last season, Orton threw for 1,002 yards but had a TD/INT ratio of 6 TDs to 7 INTs.

Again, some of that surely comes down to his wide receivers. Still, some of that is Orton and he’ll need to be able to be more accurate in Denver.

In the end, I’m not totally sure what we can expect from Orton and that’s a great deal of the problem. He’s been hot and cold, produced well and not at all, had few decent wide receivers, and was in an offense which favored the run because they didn’t trust their quarterbacks.

He’s done a bunch of different things in different situations but what he hasn’t been is around long.

We have very little to go on which is dependable.

In this Denver offense, it’s tempting to just plug Orton in and assume the same numbers JC had will emerge. By the same notion – given the not-always-impressive numbers previously put up – it’s easy to dismiss him.

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. But the doubts I have place him a little further back right now in my rankings.

I can’t get too hot and bothered about Orton, even if he played well half of one season. He’s got the job, so no Training Camp battle. But until camp starts, we won’t see how he clicks with his receivers – the best of which might not even be there.

This gets worse not better if Marshall gets traded or holds out (right now, Marshall says he’ll be in camp and the Broncos say they will not trade him).  Again, nothing I can judge now.

So while I reserve the right to move him up later, in mid July, Orton is where he deserves to be on the list.

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Running Back Camp Battles to Watch Part 1 http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/06/running-back-camp-battles-to-watch-part-1/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/06/running-back-camp-battles-to-watch-part-1/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:28:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=438 While OTA’s are winding/have wound down, the NFL does not sleep. While the players get what passes for a vacation, media does not, especially since Brett Favre can’t make up his damned mind.

In perfect universal symmetry, neither can the Vikings. Marriage made in heaven or hell? We’ll find out soon enough.

In order to get you prepped for tons of footbally goodness at the end of July, I’ve decided to break down some of the more interesting running back battles to watch in July and August.

This is what happens when you drive cross country folks. You fill time.

This is also not to say that there won’t be battles we don’t see as important now, emerging down the pike as intriguing. But for now, these are ones that stand out as important immediately.

Without further ado (or more ado than usual at least) here are the Training Camp Battles to Watch: Running Backs.

Carolina: There is a ton of assumption going on here after DeAngelo Williams went off in 2008. We know John Fox loves to hang with his long term vets and you have to figure Williams earned some consideration. Still, Jonathan Stewart was able to score 10 TDs even with Williams numbers, so Fox is willing to work him in. Where this gets interesting is behind Stewart with Mike Goodson.

Stewart has been hurt during Mini’s and OTA’s and Goodson is a guy the team wants involved. Why does this matter? Because if Goodson gets a shot to shine and does so, this could become a three headed monster which might be great for Panther fans, though hurt the overall numbers of all three guys. Carolina runs a ton (504 pass attempts versus 414 passing according to footballguys.com) so there could be work for all, but that might be offset a tad by three running backs.

Baltimore: Will last year’s Thundering Blurb Mr. Glass Award Winner (TM) Willis McGahee, ever be healthy? My guess is no, sure as heck not coming off of two off-season surgeries. Both his knee (the one that has been hurt since…. um…. 1942?) and his ankle went under the knife. Stick a fork in him (or a scalpel), the man is DONE. The Ravens may not agree and we’ll get a sense of that in Training Camp. That could mean the start of the Ray Rice Ruckus (also (TM)).

Rice showed some skills last season when he was healthy and should get a ton of the carries. He won’t do it alone, however and whether the teams sticks with rookie Cedric Peerman, moves Le’Ron McClain back from fullback (where he went during OTA’s) or adds some work for Jalen Parmele. How the backs behind Rice shake out could impact his numbers very sigificantly.

Buffalo: With Marshawn Lynch suspended the first few games of the season, Fred Jackson will get his time to shine again. Jackson looked great in limited (sometimes not-so-limited) action last season. But the Bills acquired journeyman Dominic Rhodes this offseason to protect themselves and he’ll duke it out for lead bell cow while ‘Dis Muh Son’ Lynch is in Goodell’s pokey.

This battle, mostly between Jackson and Rhodes is critical because whomever wins the top spot might not relinquish it when Lynch comes back and could factor in with what the Bills do with the troubled back long term if he can’t get his head straight.

Cincinnati: I know the Bengals think they have some sort of hidden gem in Cedric Benson, and I’m happy for them but remain unconvinced. Benson did well behind a tragic offensive line, which will not be the case if rookie Andre Smith can get his act together. But I can’t help but recall all the problems Benson had in Chicago, so I am not annointing him anything and neither should Cinci. Brian Leonard and Bernard Scott are both good short yardage backs who can catch the ball and could make some noise.

Scott will have to overcome some maturity issues and they will both have to shine in camp to wrest carries away from Benson. That’s completely possible in my opinion so I will be interested to watch this camp closely.

Denver: There are three sure things in football right now – Brett Favre will be considering and waffling about a comeback in the spring and early summer, the Raiders will make decisions based on logic only they can comprehend and the Broncos running back situation will be a cloudy mess.

But have we lost one of those sure things? Surprising everyone in this April’s Draft, the Donks took Knowshon Moreno, the talented back from Georgia and the interwubs is all a-twitter (or all twittering) about Moreno carrying the whole load.

For sure, he can do it all – block, run, catch. But will Head Coach Josh McDaniels truly rely on one back? His former team, the Patriots, didn’t. Of course, you can argue they lacked a back like Moreno.

All I know is Moreno has the ability to do it. But with recent additions Correll Buckhalter, Lamont Jordan and Darius Walker, along with impressive 2008 rookie Peyton Hillis, this is a camp battle you have to watch. Considering they no longer have Jay Cutler slinging the ball, the run game is of paramount importance this year.

Indianapolis: It wasn’t that long ago that Joseph Addai was the answer in Colt-land at running back. A few injury-plagued seasons later, Donald Brown is drafted and Addai is poised to lose most of his carries.

Brown can do pretty much everything Addai can do, and might have the size to stay healthy as well. Most analysts feel it is only a matter of time before Brown takes over the higher percentage of carries in this obvious running-back-by-committee.

What I want to know is, what percentage does he start the season off with? A good camp by Brown could give him a large role in this prolific offense.

That’s it for today’s installment. I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at some more teams, including who might be backing up MJD in Jacksonville, what Philadelphia is looking at if Westbrook stays hurt and who will be the top dog in the mess that is the Seahawks’ run game.

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People Management 101 – Why Josh McDaniels and Denver are a mess http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/people-management-101-why-josh-mcdaniels-and-denver-are-a-mess/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/people-management-101-why-josh-mcdaniels-and-denver-are-a-mess/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2009 05:15:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=419 The situation in Denver has continued to disintigrate and it’s hard to imagine how much worse it could become. Assuming Cutler does not show on Monday, the Broncos will have some very tough decisions to make and soon.

But the source of this isn’t so much about football, though the details take place in that world.

It’s about people management. It’s about being able to handle the people you have working for and with you with tact and getting them do do what you want without causing a fight.

So far I can’t say I see any of those skills in Denver Head Coach Josh McDaniels.

The source of this trouble is likely not his fault. Denver got trade offers, Denver listened to trade offers, Denver rejected trade offers. Not calling Jay Cutler and his agent immediately was an error in judgment, compounded by Cutler learning about it by seeing the story on ESPN and his agent hearing about it from other agents, not the Broncos organization.

Ultimately, that’s not necessarily McDaniels’ fault. The GM, the team president, the owner – they should have called Cutler or his agent before it got out. A simple ‘hey we got this offer, we had to listen to it, but you’re our guy and we aren’t actively shopping you’ might have prevented this whole thing.

Maybe not. I won’t call Cutler a child, but he’s playing the spurned lover right to the hilt. He’s been no more giving or understanding than Denver’s front office and asking for an extension at this point is just this short of ridiculous.

But the honest truth is when McDaniels had an opportunity to smooth things over, he didn’t. Instead, he choose to push.

Now, if you are a boss – I don’t care what kind – and you were having an issue with an employee – one of your best and most important – would you chose to take the conversation you were supposed to use to smooth things over and instead use it to take him to task for errors he had made and improvements he needed to make?

When Cutler, his agent and the Broncos organization met and talk things out, Daniels really only had one thing to do.

He didn’t need to kiss Cutler’s tail, just make nice. Again, a simple ‘Jay I know how things looked, but we had to give any offer a listen’. Allegedly, he told Cutler that nobody was untradeable, but we’ll never know for sure exactly how he said that. But he even could have added that to the discussion in a way that wasn’t antagonistic.

‘Jay, we had to listen. There’s nobody on this team that is untouchable. It would need to be a whole heckuva lot to get you from us. You’re the guy. But we have to look at every offer, any offer that could improve the team.’

Would that have made Cutler happy? Probably not.

But you know what I KNOW won’t make him happy right after you talked about trading him and were in a conversation to smooth things over?

Criticizing him.

I just don’t get what seemed smart about using this meeting – the one to make it all better or at least try – to point out what Cutler does badly. To tell him he has a ton of work to do.

Even if it’s true. Even if Cutler is far from a Hall of Fame quarterback, this was a peace-making mission. Why say something you darn well know will antagonize the people you are trying to get along with?

Yeah, I get he’s the coach. It’s his job to get Cutler to play better. But now? During a meeting to diffuse tension?

McDaniels seems to think that because he worked with Bill Belichick, he can throw his weight around like him. Well, sorry Josh, like much of America, your line of credit just isn’t that good.

You need to earn the right as well as the respect of your players. Going hard at the face of your franchise is a poor way to go about earning that credit. I don’t care if you are the boss. You need to handle your people. And McDaniels didn’t do that.

You may think that Cutler is in the wrong. That he’s being far too sensitive and he should have just taken his criticism and liked it. And maybe there’s truth to that.

But a boss of any kind has to know how to handle people. Especially those who might have an ego that could be bruised, too easily or not. And especially when a situation is already tense, even if the source of the tension is a misunderstanding or just flat out silly.

Instead, McDaniels chose to aggravate and antagonize. To prove he was the bigger dog in the yard.

But you have to wonder whether he realizes all he has at stake. With a tough season ahead, he already risks losing the locker-room.

It’s not like he has close ties with the players there. And he’s just assaulted their leader, at least on the offense. Players have already come out asking that the two sides mend fences.

But McDaniels is too busy breaking his bucking Bronco to really spend time worrying about what this fight is doing to the locker room chemistry. Or if he is thinking about it, he doesn’t seem to care. But the locker room is feeling the pressure as well and players acan’t be very happy that their new coach came in with guns blazing.

Again, right or wrong, instead of diffusing and improving a situation McDaniels has tossed gas on a fire.

The two met again this weekend and as was th case before, we’re hearing bad news from Cutler’s camp. That McDaniels told him he wasn’t sorry about trying to trade the young quarterback and that Cutler feels McDaniels wants his own guy at quarterback and that he can’t trust the coach. The Broncos quarterback feels antagonized and attacked.

And yes, as has been the case this whole time, Cutler is playing the diva a little hard. Woe is me.

But frankly, it seems to me as if McDaniels is uninterested in patching things up. My way or the highway kid, buck up and go.

McDaniels has yet to show me he has any feel for handling people, an incredibly important skill for a head coach to have. Again, a guy like Belichick or Bill Parcells earned their leeway and ability to call a player out the way they are known for. McDaniels is a young coach and in a new situation. As such, he needs to work with his players, not just clash with them.

Especially over something as ridiculous as this non-trade.

It’s People Management 101 folks. And so far, I’m giving McDaniels a failing grade.

In the end, this may end in divorce. And if that’s the case, the days immediately following the trade or release will be telling.

McDaniels will once again have the chance to work with players and smooth things over.

Whether he has learned anything from this Cutler mess will be seen in the way he deals with the fallout, some of which will be extremely negative, and the players left behind.

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MAYHEM IN THE NFL – Free Agency continues http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/02/mayhem-in-the-nfl-free-agency-continues/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/02/mayhem-in-the-nfl-free-agency-continues/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2009 06:35:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=404 So I spent a chunk of the day away from the computer for family stuff and what happens? Trades. Misinformation. Chaos. Love it.

Let’s go over some of the bigger points.

  • Rumors abounded yesterday that there was more to the Mike Vrabel to Kansas City than appeared at first blush. Well, those were on target. Matt Cassel will be accompanying him west. Earlier this off-season, I franchised tagged Tony Gonzalez in a Dynasty league and man am I happy about that now. Cassel should make Tony G, Dwayne Bowe and the rest of the offense very happy. Now the Chiefs desperately need to shore the Oline up and you can bank on an OT going with their 1st round pick.
  • By the way, rumors are also swirling that Denver QB Jay Cutler is on the trading block due to three way trades that Detroit and Tampa Bay tried to swing to get Cutler and have Cassel go to Denver. When I want to know what is going on in Denver I check with Cecil Lammey over at Footballguys and Denver’s 104.1 the Fan. He texted me that the Broncos DID NOT try to trade Cutler. Lammey says the were not shopping Cutler at all. Now do I think they listened to the trade offers that came their way? Sure, why wouldn’t they? But I can’t imagine for a hot second they would replace Cutler – who is proven – with Cassel who is nowhere NEAR as proven. Cassel can play – but why trade for him when you have Cutler. It’s a mess but again – Cecil says Denver is NOT looking to shop Jay Cutler. I know ESPN is saying otherwise, but frankly it sounds like story creating to me. Between Lammey, Shefter and the Donkeys themselves, I will take their takes over an often inconsistent ESPN.
  • Where in the world is TJ Houshmandzedah? Heading into Sunday (aka day 3) Housh is still without a home, having visited Seattle and Minny and reportedly heading to Tampa Sunday. Certainly the market isn’t what he was hoping for. Ditto Derrick Ward who may end up in Denver, especially if the JJ Arrington signing there really does fall through.
  • Detroit and Dallas revisited their trading ways from the season, swapping Jon Kitna for Anthony Henry. With some questions about Romo’s inconsistencies and a few injuries, Kitna is good insurance. Henry can play well but isn’t fantastic. Still, a new place for him will probably be a good thing.

For a complete list of who has signed where thus far, check out NFLDraftbible.com.

I’ll be back throughout the day tomorrow. Thanks again to Cecil Lammey for responding at a ridonkulously late hour so I could do this post.

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WATCH OUT FOR YOUR BAGS DENVER – TATUM BELL SIGNED AGAIN http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/watch-out-for-your-bags-denver-tatum-bell-signed-again/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/watch-out-for-your-bags-denver-tatum-bell-signed-again/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2008 19:04:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=292 Since it is officially Christmas season (Rite Aid had stuff out the day after Halloween) I lead this with a Santa-like Ho-Ho-Holy Crap.

Tatum Bell has returned to the Broncos – and that tells you how bad things are in the mile High City. After the Detroit Lions/Rudi Johnson/Hamburglar shenanigans of late this summer, I figured you could stick a fork in him. Insane, is what this is.

Footballguys/Dive Block co-host Cecil Lammey is banging the phones for updates and says that – and I quote – ‘If Bell is in game shape he will be the starter. This statement was followed up with a “but really, who the hell knows?”‘

Who the hell knows indeed. Cecil says – and I agree – that this does not make Hillis a load of nothing. The Broncos will throw a lot, and let’s face it – again as Cecil put it – Bell ain’t known for his work ethic. What are the chances he 1) is in game shape or 2) lats more than a half hour?

As with any other back, and depending upon your bench depth, he’s worth a hail mary spot, but I think this isn’t going to end well in Denver for Bell. Who knows – he is familiar with the offense and personal and maybe – just maybe – his time off was a brutal reminder that you get out what you put in.

I really am sitting here, shaking my head though.

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