As some of you might recall from past seasons, we like to do some cross-blogging with our opponents each week. My man The Sports Guru over at Mile High Report is always up for this kind of thing and was already kind enough to answer a lot of your questions via a FanPost. I had a few specific questions of my own that I wanted to pull out and have John answer. Once the season gets here we'll be asking more specific matchup questions, but for now we can ask broader questions we've always wanted answers to (like what's up with Josh McDaniels???). So, thanks to John for taking the time to answer these questions. Also, I answered a few of his questions over at MHR. If you feel like adding in your own two cents head on over.
Fooch:I won't make you rehash the Jay Cutler fiasco. However, I would like to know what you as a knowledgeable Broncos fan, as well as the less intelligent ones (sports talk radio maybe), think about Josh McDaniels in his short but interesting tenure so far as Broncos head coach?
JB: I think there was a knee-jerk reaction to everything that has happened. On the surface, that would make sense, a 33-year old, first time Head Coach, not bowing down to his 25 year old "star" quarterback. I think Cutler/Bus Cook took advantage of McDaniels and the Broncos a bit knowing that fans would react that way. Plan and simple, the guy was coddled by Mike Shanahan. He was made to be the reason everything good happened in Denver and everything negative was the fault of everyone else. When Shanny got fired, Cutler wanted out. There was going to be accountability. I think as time has gone on, especially now that people get to see and hear McDaniels on a daily basis they are beginning to realize what he is about - and that’s winning.
Fooch: Along the same lines, what are your thoughts on Mike Nolan at this point? Even with the whole Nolan v. Alex Smith storyline, it really doesn't mean much the first game of the preseason. Rather, I'm curious what kind of defensive scheme Nolan is instituting and how he has come off to the public?
JB: I have been thoroughly impressed with Nolan as a coach and teacher. The Broncos defense was historically bad, so moving to the 3-4 should be that big of a transition(they can’t get any worse). Watching Nolan work with the defense, especially the linebackers, has been a joy. He is enthusiastic and you get the sense that players really enjoy playing for him. I think his defense is going to be aggressive and tough, something that Broncos haven’t been in recent years. The guy has had success everywhere he has been a coordinator, so I am excited about what he can bring.
Kyle Orton, 2008 through seven games
- 1,669 yards
- 10 touchdowns
- 4 interceptions (5 games without an interception)
- 143 completions
- 230 attempts
- 62.2 completion percentage
- 7.26 per attempt
- 4-3 team record
Meanwhile, Jay Cutler’s were very similar –
Jay Cutler, 2008 through seven games
- 1,862 yards
- 13 touchdowns
- 7 interceptions (2 games without an interception)
- 163 completions
- 254 attempts
- 64.2 completion percentage
- 7.33 per attempt
- 4-3 team record
I’m not saying that Kyle Orton has the physical tools Jay Cutler has. Not by a long shot. But I do know, through watching him at Purdue, as well as last season when he wass the starter throughout camp, that he can be successful.
Fooch: As you asked, what will you be paying particular attention to this Friday?
Honestly the score means little to me.
Fooch: I liked your other question as well: surprise cut and surprise player that will make the team.
JB: Josh MCDaniels has made it known that every position on the field is up for grabs. The players believe it and this Training Camp has been as competitive as any I have seen. That said, there are areas that the team simply has too many players. I think one of the veteran running backs has to go. Right now, the odd-man out appears to be LaMont Jordan. I know McDaniels likes Jordan, but Peyton Hillis can do a lot of the same things, as can Correll Buckhalter.
As for a player that will make the team, keep an eye on Rulon Davis along the D-line. He’s a former Marine and plays that way. He has great size and will get a lot of reps during the preseason to show what he’s got. Ryan McBean is another.