Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What's Next?

What is next for Mike Shanahan? Will he be in Denver next season? Will he trade up in the draft? Does he still have Jake Plummers back? What was up with his decisions in the playoffs vs the Colts. Could the Broncos have won that game? A lot of questions in Denver about Mike Shanahan...


Blogger Jamezwp said...

We who are die hard Bronco fans have always held Mike Shanahan to some sort of immortal status. Unlike other NFL cities where head coaches heads are called for on an almost daily bases we never really had that problem since Mike Shanahan became the head coach in 94' (I think). He was after all dubbed the "Mastermind" after he came in and resurrected the team to a place we thought we would never see in Denver. This year the media has been tough on him saying that the team needs a different voice, eluding to the possibility of him going to another team. I myself have been quick to dismiss those thoughts, however after watching my team get massacered in the first round again two years in a row I would like to talk about 3 coaching errors that I observed on Sunday.

1- We all remember that the Colts had the first possesion and made one quick first down and then had to punt. We received the ball made one quick first down and then had to Punt. Indy drove down and scored. Now we have the ball down 7-0 on the 33. The first play was an incomplete pass. Bell then rushed twice for 6 yards and then for 3 yards. Now it's 4th and (a short) 1 on your 41 yard line. What do you do? Shanahan just saw the Colts drive it down their shorts and score. You are on the road, you just had 2 successful run plays, you can gain momentum if you get this. And he PUNTS!! Leaving the door open to fall down by 2 scores. That was a bad decision. I guarantee you in 1997 he goes for that fourth and 1. Why not in 2004?

2. The Broncos most successful play was the bootleg all year. Every team knew it. Every team prepared for it. And they still couldn't stop it. So why do we abandon our strength on offense in the most important game. You will notice that for the first time all year Shanahan was calling the plays himself. So he made Plummer in to a drop back in the pocket passer, something to which even the dumbest football man knows Plummer is not.

3. It was evident from the Colts first 2 plays that they were going after Roc Alexander. And for the rest of the first half the defense was cheating a safety over to help Bailey on Harrison. Roc Alexander received virtually no safety help. And with Lynch cheating over to help Bailey, it left the middle open and it left Roc Alexander one-on-one. So by that rational, you just paid Bailey 60 mil. brought him in for this one game and you give him safety help. We should of left Bailey all alone all game and made Harrison beat us. But it didn't happen.

As an old coach I used to know would say, "Shanahan, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT DO YA".

11:00 AM  
Blogger RED said...

Well James I agree with you on your points and Mike Shanahan looked more like Marty Shottenhiemer then our balsy coach of 97. You brought up a good point reffering to the 4th and short decision. I would have rather see him go for that then the onside kick that put Indy in position to score another touchdown.

I believe Mike Shanahan was calling the plays Sunday and he seemed to back away from the game plan that everyone thought would give us the best shot at beating the Colts and that was to consume the clock and keep the ball out of Manning's hands. There was numerous 1st downs where we opted to pass instead of run and try to make an easier 3rd down conversion but instead Shanahan put Plummer in a position where he had to throw on 2nd and 3rd down.

I think the future of the Denver Broncos is going to be ugly with Shanahan at the helm. It's true that a coach can't stay in one town for too long and I think Mike expired his stay here in Denver. I would like to see Gary Kubiak get a chance to coach the Broncos, he has been the mind behind our offense for a long time and I think he has proven himself time and time again. If I were Pat Bowlen I would have to take a good look at my Head Coach/GM and think long and hard about atleast putting him on the hot seat.

Look for Denver to try to add another defensive player to the mix and stick with the old boot plays that NFL defenses have grown well to know by the back of there hand. Also look for a Pissed off Rod Smith to consider going else where to obtain that 3rd superbowl ring.

11:15 AM  
Blogger CosmicPal said...

He's stepping down and Smellway will be taking over as head coach

11:20 AM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Jamezwp - I read your points and they are well taken. I just don't see why Shanahan would go for that 4th & 1 that early in the game. This is the playoffs not some reguler season game where you can test new plays. Shanahan has confidence in his defense and his defense failed.

There are always fair weather fans that will complaiun about these types of decisions but what they need to look at is the situation at hand. The Broncos defense had already stopped the Colts once and should have stopped them again.

As for Champ Bailey, he played help defense? I seen him on Marvin Harrison all game. I don't know what you were looking at but it was Lynch who was playing help. Alexander failed to cover Wayne one on one but there were a few deep passes where Lynch wasn't there.

The future for Mike Shanahan - Positive... I am suprised he has stuck around with these clowns. He puts the players in position to make the plays and that is all he can do. Nobody has stepped it up for the Broncos except for Rueben Droughns.

True Bronco Fan from Arvada


11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Shanhan needs to grow a pair! Denver fans should be calling for his head. We called for Mike Tice's!

- Jan

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

It just seems as though Shanahan is afraid of scrutiny from the media. He was probably thinking, "oh crap, if I go for this 4th and 1 and don't get it, the media will blast me at home" or he was thinking "oh crap, if we try the bootleg and they stop us, the media will be mad at me".

He used to have a free pass from the press, and it seems like he lost it. When a coach has to worry about being scrutinized it effects their coaching decisions.

On the subject of replacement head coaches, if I had my pick I would like to have Romeo Crennel, the defensive coordinator for the Patriots. He is interviewing with the Niners this week. I would like to see the 3-4 defense get established in Denver. Look at the teams who run the 3-4. San Diego, Pittsburgh, New England, etc.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Good response James let me add my two cents on your 3 coaching errors.

1) You are probably right that in 97 or 98 he goes for that 4th and 1, but I think the smart move was to indeed punt. You don’t want to get stuffed and leave the Colts with excellent field position. Remember football is all about field position and when you’re punting from near mid field, you can back them up inside the 20 which gives your defense a chance to gain excellent field position for your offense, assuming they can stop the opposing offense to a 3-and-out. Where I think Shanahan screwed up the play calling was passing on first down. The majority of first down passes fell incomplete leaving a long 2nd down play. That almost nearly puts the offense in a passing situation. Where Denver was successful was running on 1st down, getting 4-6 yards just about every time. Unfortunately, the Broncos didn’t run the ball as much as I thought they should have.

2) I don’t think the bootleg would have worked against the Colts. The defensive line for the Colts treat every play as a pass play and the d-line is basically pulling their ears back going after the QB. This is why the run is so effective against them – yet this is also why they were 3rd in the NFL with the most sacks (which probably even lead to why they were ranked 3rd in turnovers). Even in the season finale, the bootleg was only 50% successful (against 2nd string defensive ends). Now I’m not saying the right decision was made, but I think I only recall one, maybe two bootlegs on Sunday (both were unsuccessful).

3) Lynch was cheating over to help Bailey, but Roc also had help on the deep pass from Kennedy. The majority of Wayne’s yards were yards after the catch. Roc was giving atleast a 10-yard cushion, which of course is a field day for that type of receiver. But by having both safeties cheat over, that left the middle open for Clark to have a HUGE game. I don’t think a defensive scheme could have prevented this. I think the way to beat the Colts is to apply pressure on Manning quick and often – which of course we failed to do.

As for Jesse’s comments, well, we’ve battled back and forth about this in the past. I don’t see Rod Smith going anywhere. I don’t think Denver needs to get additional defensive help (except perhaps a solid defensive tackle). I think Denver is lacking at the receiving position as well as the safety position. I like Lynch, I like what he brings to the table, but man has he lost a step from his prime. Denver has been burnt deep so many times this season because the safety deep help hasn’t been there. I don’t think this is Shanahan’s fault and I don’t see an “ugly” future as Jesse put it. It’s about the execution man, this season was just full of mistakes by key players.

The defense is solid (can’t really make a judgment from the Colts game since the Colts have basically tossed 450 yards against even better defenses), but the defense really needs to start forcing turnovers. Plummer is going to be Plummer and probably average about 15-20 INT/season, but if the defense can atleast get a +5 or +10 turnover ratio by seasons end, think how successful Denver can be? 3 games this season were lost by a combined 5 points, all because of turnovers. Jax – Q’s fumble, Oak – 2 costly fumbles by Droughns and SD – 4 INT (2 of them dropped passes by the receivers).

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about the 3-4 defense. It has helped put the Steelers where they are now. I also agree about Shanahan being intimidated by the media has plagued him this season.

The Vikings are the team to beat in the playoffs. The Broncos need to take a page out of there book and hit Lelie deep more often!


11:36 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Just to clear things up, I am not a fair wheather fan. And yes this is the same type of thing that people argue about after every loss. However, like originally said they had 2 successful running plays. And I remember back in the 90's Shanahan would regularly go for it on fourth and 1. So why does his coaching style change. Heck, at least line up and try and get an offsides penalty. Don't just give Manning the ball. What was there to lose???

11:37 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Jan - I will give you this - I think the Vikings can beat the Eagles and if they do, the Vikings are Super Bowl bound. But unfortunately they will not beat any AFC that makes it.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

And James, what he has to lose is the game. I know Denver was the underdog, but you also have to try and put your team in the best possible position to win the football game. Can't go for a 4th and 1 just because it's the playoffs and you have "nothing to lose".

11:43 AM  
Blogger RED said...

Well Steve I agree with you that Lynch has lost a step and has hurt us on the deep ball which you have proved on tape. As for Rod Smith I just don't see him wanting to stay in Denver and if he leaves we are really gonna be up shit creek. Rod is pissed man you can see it in his face. Can you imagine if Rod does leave how screwed we will be.

I think Denver should go for a franchise quarterback, a rookie to call our own. Even if it meens going through a few 8-8 seasons. Plummer is not gonna take us to the Superbowl. I guarantee it!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Look Jamezwp, I have been a season ticket holder for over 10 years now and I hear this shit every damn game. Everyone wants to be an armchair quarterback. It was because of Mike Shanahan that we won 2 superbowls! Nopt Elway, not Davis. Shanahan. So show some respect.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

You may be right on that Plummer issue, but until Denver irons out all their mistakes and learns that we only lose games because of Plummers mistakes, I don't see that happening. Plummer isn't bad, sure he isn't a Manning, but shit man, Trent Dilfer won the Super Bowl, no reason why Plummer can't. If the Broncos start executing on every play, getting the turnovers, etc (someone said it before, Shanahan is putting the players in the right position to make the plays, they just aren't being made) if that is done, Denver can go a long way.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I know is that this is old news and my Vikings are going to beat a TO-less Eagles team and go on to the Superbowl.


11:49 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Dude the camera was on Shanahan when he was making that decision, He wanted to go for it, I could see it in his eyes.

Can't you at least line up and give them a hard count and try to pull them offsides?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I can agree with that James, or atlease see how they are lining up, to see if you do have a power play that can get you that 1 yard. But ultimately, I do believe the punt was the right decision.

11:50 AM  
Blogger RED said...

I have to agree with James on this one. I thought they should have went for it. Rueben would have piucked up the 1st down and that would have changed the game. You need shit like that to pump you up. I think it would be nice if we had a bigger line so we can do those things. I guess that is what Shanahan didn't have faith in because he sure did look like he wanted to go for it. I think Mike has to put his balls out there and I am sure he would have got the support of his players to make that decision, fuck what the media thinks. Do what is good for the team.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

What the hell difference does it make if you are a season ticket holder, but anyway I am not disrespecting Shanahan himself and I respect him fully. I love the way he manages a game, he is an offensive mastermind, he brought two superbowls, I love that man. But can't you at least conceed the fact that he coaches different in 2004 than he did in 1997?

11:53 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

You say Rueben Droughns was the "only one who stepped up this year" and I partially agree. Remember when he stepped up against Carolina on all those short yardage situations and carried defenders to the first down? He did that several times. So why wouldnt you try to have him do that one more time.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

He does coach different, but I also think his personnel allowed him to coach differently. As much respect as I have for Droughns and Bell, I don’t think they are as solid as TD was in 97, I don’t think the play of the offensive line is as good and obviously Plummer is no Elway.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Steve, his personel still rushed for 2,333 yards this year. Why then would he change his style?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Why does it matter if I am a season ticket holder? Well let's see... I show up to 8 home games a year. I see everything. I would say just for that my knowledge is better then yours when it comes to the Denver Broncos. Rueben stepped it up all year! He wasn't even supposed to run the ball this year but he was put in a situation to take on the load and he did it with success.

Mike Shanahan has not changed a damn thing from 97. The only thing that has changed is that he has a a weak side to his defense and his quarterback doesnt follow directions very well.

I know my football believe me and Mike is not the one to blame. you might want to look at the defensive coordinator if you want to blame somebody. i have 49 reasons why he should get fired. Larry Coyer. What a Chump!

12:02 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

All about the confidence man, or lack of it.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

How can you have confidence in a quarterback that hasn't proved himself for 8 years. Mike has given up his best offensive weapons (Clinton Portis) for the defense and they havn't backed him up. It goes both ways captain Steve.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Now why do you have to get personel on this subject of the Denver Broncos man? Who the hell are you. I make it to at least 1 or 2 games a year but that's only because I live 300 miles away. It doesn't matter, I see what you see and you may know more about Broncos history but that's because I am young and I didn't really start watching until about 1990. But I guarntee I know more than you about foortball in general. While you are up in the stands cheerleading, I was gettibng ALL-State rewards. Next time we I come to town, feel free to come play with us in a friendly game. We play at 46th and Lowell on Saturdays. Don't just talk, come and show us what you got.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Yea you know football all right. Learn how to spell it 1st. F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L. I played football for the university of Wyoming and I have given your site admin a picture from my days in the World League so don't bring up playing football. I never once made it personel.

I will have Mike Shanahans back until the end because he brought us (Yes you and i Jamezwp) 2 SUPERBOWLS!!!
So once again I say show some respect. You people keep wanting me to play football with you and one day i might but I am passed my prime and I ahvn't been on the field for years.

if you think you know football more then me fine, PROVE IT! My points have all been valid and I have excellent content to back it up. Just don't start complaining about Shanahan.


12:16 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Praise oh mighty Lord Arvada Mike....remember to go to confession to save your soul my brotha

12:16 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

It all doesn't matter in the end anyway, we can all argue about who has season tickets, who knows more, who has the biggest dick, whatever.... The fact is the Denver Broncos got massacred and embarassed for the second year in a row. With Portis, with Bailey without them whatever, there needs to be significant change for the broncos to even think about competing with the Elite.

That's a FACT!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I second that!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

learn how to spell haven't. Thats' H-A-V-E-N-'-T.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

And I is ALWAYS capitalized. What did you believe in publik edjumakshion?

12:25 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Yeah, I could of walked on at Wyoming to.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

I can sympathize with this Mike guy, I too fell in the trap of holding Shanahan on a pedestal all because of what he did 6 years ago. After this last game all I am doing is finally questioning Shanahan's abilities as a head coach. Never before have I questioned him. I can guarantee that after a couple more seasons like this more and more people won't just give him a free pass like this Mike charactor.

The great thing about Shanahan is, is that he will never allow that to happen. He will never become the the guys that out stays his welcome. He is a brilliant man, and brilliant men like him will leave before it's too late.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Okay, Okay... I see your point that the Broncos need a change and I agree with that. i just don't think it needs to be Mike Shanahan.

As far as you walking on at Wyoming. Haa haa haa, that was funny.

I'll see you guys tomorrow on the next subject where I will take you on again Jamezwp!

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change is alway's Good!

4:37 AM  

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