Losing Sam Brandon

July 25, 2007

The Denver Post is reporting that the Broncos are planning to release safety Sam Brandon. Brandon has been a vital part of the defense as he has played in our Big Nickel package until he was sidelined last year with a torn ACL.

Although reports through mini-camp were positive, Brandon has apparently had a major set back that will require additional surgeries. His agent says that he has been told the Broncos plan on cutting him, although they have expressed interest in him for the 2008 season if he’s recovered.

I’m sad that Brandon won’t be with us this year. Sam has always been considered a talented player who matched up well against some of our division’s best tightends. He’ll be missed, and I can’t imagine this news won’t start up the talks concerning our depth at safety.

Line Break

Also of note, this article mentioned that Al Wilson has still not been cleared to play this year. He is scheduled to see a specialist in the next few weeks that might lead to him being cleared, but it’s unlikely. If he were to be cleared, his agent Peter Schaffer has stated that several teams would be interested in him — no kidding.

“Al is progressing well, but he’s not going to play football until the only risks he has are normal football risks.”

— Peter Schaffer 7/24/07




  1. Did Schaffer give any indication as to what teams might be interested in Big Al, if and when he is deemed “able to play” ?

  2. Peter didn’t name any teams, but I know that both Detroit and the Eagles had expressed interest prior to the failed Giants trade. I would imagine there would be quite a few teams that wouldn’t mind picking up Big Al (probably a one year deal with incentives). However, the medical clearance is still the issue.

    I have a terrible feeling that Al Wilson will follow John Mobley and retire due to his neck injury. Strangely, Mobley and Wilson both had their neck injured when they collided with the Safety. Wilson ran into Lynch and in Mobley’s case it was Kelly Herndon. Kinda weird.


  3. P.S. This got me thinking about John Mobley, here is a comparison of John & Al….

    John Mobley: Seasons=8, Solo Tackles=504, Pass Def=49, Forced Fumbles=6, Sacks=10.5, INT=5, TDs=1
    Al Wilson: Seasons=8, Solo Tackles=557, Pass Def=39, Forced Fumbles=8, Sacks=22.5, INT=5, TDs=1

    Eerie how similar they are… Let’s hope DJ does as well as these guys did (and avoids the season 8 neck injury).


  4. My big question is can DJ or who will fill the leadership void on the D? Or is the whole “leadership” thing on that side of the ball overrated. You might have a Joe Sakic-type situation, where he’s not a rah-rah/hit em up type “leader” but rather leads by his superior play; hence Champ is the leader (?) Holler

  5. Yeah, you’re right. The leadership has been overhauled between the end of last year and this one. Besides Al, we lost Keith Burns on Special Teams, Plummer on the Offense and might even lose Rod Smith (although he’s still out there helping the guys right now). That’s a lot of players to lose in leadership positions.

    On the Defensive side, I would think Wilson’s loss is being felt more than ever as the D adjusts to the new coaches and considering the unit is still recovering from the death of Darrent. That’s a lot to throw at a group who just lost a major voice in the locker room.

    The positive thing is John Lynch. I think that Lynch has been a co-leader with Wilson for the last couple of years. Lynch was a leader in Tampa all the way through their Super Bowl and I think he has become just as big a locker-room leader as Wilson was. Lynch may have let Wilson be the vocal one on the field (because he was both good at it and had more time with the Broncos). But now that Wilson is not there, I would look for Lynch to step up and become the Voice of the Defense.

    …I might also add, that I think D.J. has mad skills and will have a banner year in 2007. However, I agree with you on his leadership style. So far, I don’t see him jumping into Big Al’s leadership shoes. I think he will be a leader by example, which will take at least one full season at MLB to develop.

    That’s my two cents! 🙂


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