Broncos set to air it out next season
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Forget about carrying the rock 30 times a game.
When the Broncos won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes last month, their old playbook went straight out the window.
Think more along the lines of New England, Green Bay and New Orleans – offenses that go on the attack from the opening kickoff. This is now a team that wants to hang a 40 spot on its opponents every Sunday.
Sure, John Fox is still a run-first kind of coach, but installing Manning’s offense was imminent from the day he signed.
What could truly make the Broncos’ new offense dangerous is the ability to pass to set up the run, given Fox’s track record in the ground game. But, for the most part, the Broncos have transformed into a passing team.
Manning can easily make all of the throws that Tim Tebow struggled with – the timing patterns, the ability to throw into “tight windows,” the quick slants and the seam patterns – and the Broncos are prepared to let him do his thing and air it out.
All of Manning’s annoying quirks come with him as well. The constant dissecting of the defense before each snap, the no-huddle barking of audibles, the moving back and forth under the center and in and out of the shotgun formation, the hand signals – all of it.
Everything that has made him a master field general for 14 years will be on display at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Might as well get used to it and try to figure out what the heck he’s doing.
If he stays healthy, which seems to be the No. 1 concern of the fans, but not for the Broncos organization, several players are poised to have monster years also. Ironically, a few of them won’t even be on the field at the same time as Manning.
Denver’s bookend pass rushers Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are salivating at the thought of sacking quarterbacks more often while teams are forced into passing situations as they try to play catch up with the Broncos.
It’s hard to imagine the media hype surrounding the team being more intense than last year, but hold on tight; this whole Manning thing is about to blow Tebowmania out of the water.
And not that Bronco fans need any more news to get pumped up about, but the NFL would ideally like to see Manning play his first game of the season at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
Stay tuned. The full schedule will be out in just a few weeks.
On to another Payton …
I have friends in low places (New Orleans), and they’re not too thrilled about Sean Payton’s year-long suspension for his role in the Saints “Bountygate” fiasco. Wearing “Free Payton” T-shirts has become a common trend down in the Big Easy.
Bottom line: As a head coach, you are the CEO, and you’re ultimately responsible for all actions that happen on your watch. I would expect Payton to sit out the year quietly after his denied appeal.
His former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, who was the coach caught red-handed on audio tape instructing his team to intentionally injure opposing players, will probably never work in the NFL again.
Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley Resident. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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