Archive for August, 2007

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Good News for Bronco Fans!!!

August 22, 2007

 

In an effort to provide Bronco fans worldwide with the very best web-resource possible, MyDenverObsession.com and BroncoTalk.net are merging!

Kyle Montgomery has created a truly awesome website over at BroncoTalk.net. Most of you will be familiar with his site (as I have talked about it and linked to it lots of times). I am one of Kyle’s biggest fans and I think the work he’s doing is truly incredible.

This week, Kyle and I have agreed to join forces so that our readers can get BOTH of our posts with ONE feed!

To make this work, we will be migrating my posts at MyDenverObsession.com over to BroncoTalk.net. BroncoTalk.net is a well designed site with room to expand and grow, so this is a great move for both of us!

For my readers, this means that you will need to bookmarked and/or sign up for an RSS feed over at BroncoTalk.net. I understand that this may be a bit inconvenient, but in the end you’ll end up with an even better service.

As a personal note to all the friend, fans and family that have visited MDO, I want to thank you for your time and support. I started this blog as a way to chat about the Broncos and I’m just completely blown away that this little blog could generate over 10,000 hits over the last couple of months.

Thanks a million!

GO BRONCOS! 🙂

Jonathan Douglas

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The Game vs Dallas

August 20, 2007

I did well on my self-imposed internet ban from Saturday 8pm until the re-airing of the Denver/Dallas game on the NFL Network 5pm (Eastern) Sunday. It was pretty easy, all things considering, as I stayed very busy.

I worked a bit more on clearing the half-acre of woodland behind my house, went to church, took my wife and our 5-year-old foster daughter to a nice Chinese restaurant for lunch, visited a gun & craft show (don’t ask) and continued working on a chainmaille coif (for those of you in Oakland, that’s medieval armor for your head). All in all a pretty full day!

So, I was ‘all ready’ for the game Sunday evening! My wife made chilli and I promised not to jump around and shout too loudly — it is only preseason after all (and I did a pretty good job keeping it quite while the little-one slept during the 49ers game).

However, I broke my promise almost immediately after the re-broadcast started. Not more than two minutes into the game the NFL Network scrolled the following news along the bottom of the screen: DEN Travis Henry to undergo MRI on injured knee.

All that preperation and effort went to piss within two minutes of the game. Oh, well. 🙂

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Some things to watch for vs Dallas

August 18, 2007

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Denver or Colorado or any state nearby in fact. That means I don’t have local TV coverage of the Bronco’s. And that means I won’t be able to see our second preseason game tonight against the Dallas Cowboys until tomorrow afternoon when the NFL Network replays the game.

And since I want to watch the game before reading anyone else’s opinions or analysis, I will be imposing an internet-ban on myself from tonight until tomorrow evening. That means no surfing the net, checking email or blogging for 24 hours… ouch!

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Notes from Dallas…

August 16, 2007

The Broncos will have a special visitor today at camp. Rosalind Williams (Darrent William’s mother) said she is planning on visiting the team during the practice. Mike Shanahan had invited her visit with the team and Rosalind accepted even though it may be very emotional for everyone involved. The last time the team was in Dallas (eight months ago) it was for Darrent’s funeral.

“It’s difficult to see them, difficult knowing they’re in town. But I feel good they’re near and they’re close. That makes me feel good. I’m going to visit them tomorrow. I don’t know what I’ll tell them. Just seeing them, them seeing me, being able to see each other and hug each other will speak volumes. There may or may not be words. Just seeing each other is going to be a lot of therapy. It will give us all strength.”

— Rosalind Williams 8/15/07

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Andrew Mason has been keeping us up todate the practices down in Dallas:

Texas DAY 1 Morning Practice Report & Texas DAY 1 Afternoon Practice Report

Texas DAY 2 Morning Practice Report & Texas Day 2 Afternoon Practice Report

Day 3 Wrap-up Report

 

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My thoughts on Denver’s MNF Skirmish

August 14, 2007

Things you wait eight months for can seem somewhat disappointing when they actually come around. Admittedly, I have been more involved this off-season than ever before. I started this blog, became active in several forums (I actually Mod over at TSZ), found several awesome Bronco blogs and generally spent hours each day researching all available info on my favorite NFL team.

With all that hype, I guess I should have been prepared for a little let-down after the first preseason game on Monday night. However, when the game was done I felt VERY down and out.

At first I thought that my post-game depression was due to the inevitable let-down after looking forward to something for so long. However, as I got up this morning I was still feeling rather icky about that game last night. Which makes me think that it has less to do with my emotional state, and much more to do with the performance of the team.

Now, I don’t want to say that there weren’t some very good moments last night! When we started the game with a 67 yard drive for an easy TD, I was whooping like a mad-man. Seeing Henry tear through defenders to find yardage was a beautiful thing.

But when our Broncos kick-off coverage allowed the 49ers to gain 31 yards on the following play I was fuming. As I’ve said over and over this off-season, our kick-off coverage was 31st in the league last year and Scott O’Brien was brought in to turn this around. I know this was only one play, but if first impressions really do count, I wasn’t impressed.

Then our 1st Team defense took the field, and it only took a few plays for my stomach to turn and my palms to start sweating. Our D-line seemed to have NO run stopping ability and the 49ers picked us apart with short-yardage passes that fell right between the LB’s and DB’s. Gains of 8,9,6 and 18 yards happened before we were able to get our first sack (thank you Engelberger) and force them to settle for three.

And that’s the way it seemed to go all night. We got an early lead and then let the 49ers take over in the time of possession and third down conversion battles. Yes, our 3rd and 4th stringer were good enough to prevent them from taking the lead back, but it was the sheer lack of stopping-power our Defense displayed that really caused my heart to sink.

Our Defense can not give up 144 yards on the ground and expect to win games. The 49ers gained a total of 386 yards to our 270 yards. The 49ers owned us in Time of Possession (by almost 10 minutes – that’s nearly a full quarter). They also converted WAY too many 3rd downs (7 of 16 while Denver was 3 of 9). We need to find a way to get our defense OFF THE FIELD!

The thing that shocked me the most was how eerily familiar this game was to our games last year. We only scored 17 points — that’s what we averaged under Jake Plummer in 2006. We won by holding on to a tiny lead. And the most scare fact is that our Defense looked just like the ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ system we seem to have fallen into each of the last few years.

Every year we have a DC that talks about how aggressive the new Defense is going to be, but then we get killed when our opponents begin tearing us up with those short passes. You can’t give away 5.2 yards per play and expect us to win 10-12 games.

Rationally, I do understand that our guys are still learning Bate’s new scheme. I know that there will be an adjustment period and that we still haven’t ironed out our starters along the D-line. I just hope that last night’s problem was the players’ learning curves rather than any inherent flaw in Bates’ system.
POSITIVE NOTE:

I was impressed with some of what I saw. On offense I loved seeing Henry and Cutler get to work. Walker made a nice catch and Hixon played bigger than his numbers show. I was also surprised by how well our O-line played considering the missing starters.

EDIT: You all need to check out BroncoTalk’s breakdown of that first Offensive drive. It’s great work by Kmonty (as always!): CHECK IT OUT!


On Defense I was impressed with Webster and Green at LB. Engelberger has many haters among the fans for some reason, but he played good ball on Monday. Dumervil also had a good night. But I loved what I saw from our Safeties; and not just our starters – but Abdullah, Cargile, Cox and (of course) Foxworth. Of the rookies, Crowder seemed to be the most active.

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My Gameday Epiphany

August 14, 2007

I have to admit, last night caught me a bit off guard.  I hadn’t really thought much about what this blog would contain during a Broncos game.  And, yes, I know I had all off-season to prepare game-day blogging strategies for My Denver Obsession, but in the end… I just watched the game.

I had originally thought about taking my laptop over to the sofa and doing up-to-the-minute blogging all during the game.   I also thought about doing a half-time or post-game summary last night.  But I had never (until last night) really taken the time to understand how I watch Denver football as a fan – and how that experience might not be very conducive to live game-blogging.

Everyone, I would assume, interacts differently with their favorite past time.  And most people probably don’t think much about that interaction.

For me, game days are something I eagerly await.  For example, everyone in my office on Monday knew (down to the minute usually) how many hours were left before kick off.  Friends and family called to see where I was going to watch the game and if I was ‘doing anything special’ for the preseason kick off.

Right before the game I usually tune-in for the pre-game telecast.  I can even get goose-bumps or teary-eyed when the announcers begin doing their usually emotional ramp up to the game with inspirational or heartbreaking background stories on individual players.

However, all that anticipation usually turns to tense nervousness around kick off time.  By the time our offense or defense takes the field, I’m usually a wreck.  It’s like watching a stage show from backstage – you know the script and all the players, but all you can do when the lights come up is hope they hit their marks, remember their lines and don’t actually break their legs.

I usually only use the front corner of the sofa cushion as I’m poised on the edge of my seat through everything but the commercials… well, that’s where I’m at when I’m not pacing the room.  I also have to admit, I’m pretty vocal.  Yes, I know no one but my very understanding wife (and my somewhat confused five-year-old foster daughter) can hear me, but I think it’s more of a way to release my tension than anything else.

I yell at the refs when they make a bad call.  I shout when we get a first down.  I curse when our QB gets intercepted.  I chant the player’s name if they break tackles and tear into the secondary.  And once, my wife thought I had a heart attack during a certain play off game against the Colts when she found me on the living room floor…

What – like you didn’t cry about that loss!?

The point of all this introspection is that I realized last night that I would not be providing a minute-to-minute blogging experience here.  If you are interested in that sort of detailed account of the game I would suggest checking out Andrew Mason’s blog.  Or, for a fan perspective, I would strongly recommend Kmonty over at BroncoTalk (a totally awesome Bronco blog).  Both of these, and several others around the web, can give you an in-game fix (or provide an alternative way to get the latest game updates if you’re without a TV).
Here, in this little corner of the web however, I think my pre-game-posts will primarily be about things I look forward to seeing in the upcoming game and my post-game reports will likely be about my personal fan experience and my feelings about the game.

I can’t promise that these will be minutes after the last whistle.  Sometimes, like last night, I spend a lot of time thinking about the game and trying to digest all that happened before I feel comfortable talking about (or writing) about it.

So, there you have it.  You’ll get my game blog entry soon, but until then I wanted to let you know why you were waiting… and what you can expect when it arrives.

I hope you stick around.

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Things I’m looking forward to tonight

August 13, 2007

“We don’t pay much attention to the first preseason game… I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.” 

— Mike Shanahan 8/10/07

Mike Shanahan doesn’t care about the rematch against the team who knocked the Broncos out of the playoff less than a year ago.  He hasn’t broken down the 49ers offense or defense.  He hasn’t spent hours preparing a special game plan or scripting the plays for Cutler’s first drive.  He just doesn’t care.

OK… more correctly, he cares — just not about the term ‘game.’

Mike Shanahan and his coaches view the coming Monday night skirmish as an extended practice, not a full football game.

Yes, it will be under the glaring lights of ESPN’s Monday Night Football cameras.  Yes, a football hungry nation will be watching, as tonight symbolizes the beginning of the season to many fans.  But just because millions of viewers will be tuning in won’t mean that the Bronco’s Head Coach will take his eyes off the prize.

And the ‘prize’ is a championship season in 2007.

From that perspective, the only thing that matters tonight is evaluating his personnel under game-play situations.

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That’s why I love the preseason, really.  I look forward to seeing all the fresh faces and lesser known players give 110% effort as they fight for a roster spot.  These preseason games can bring more energy and emotion than playoff games sometimes (just ask TD about Tokyo).

So, here is a list of things I’m looking forward to seeing tonight (mostly in order of importance to my personal entertainment):

1.  Jim Bates sideline manner – Oh, PLEASE get him a mic ESPN!!!!!

Bates and his coaches have been very vocal during camp and I can’t wait to see his sideline coaching style in his first game as a Bronco!

2.  Pass Rush – Blow ‘em up boys!
With all the attention the Broncos have placed on the D-line, I want to see even our 3rd and 4th teams terrorizing the 49ers tonight.  We will also get to see our rookies playing for the first time in orange and blue, which should be fun… And, heck, a little bit of payback is a good thing!

3.  Patrick Ramsey and Darrell Hackney – Let’s see your fastball guys!

Patrick Ramsey has shown great strides in learning Shanahan’s offensive system, so I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight.  I know there will be some struggling (especially early on) as this is his first game with the new unit, but the coaches have been impressed with his intelligence and the speed at which he’s picked up the scheme.  Darrell Hackney has also had a very good camp.  Tonight will give him a chance to show off his talents (not the least of which is his arm strength).

4.  Our young WR’s – who’s left?
We have some talented guys with not a lot of starting experience (and some with none).  However, players like Kircus, Hixon, Morgan and Clark have all done very well at camp.  It will be interesting to see how they do during tonight’s skirmish.

5.  Ground Assualt – Let’s see ‘em roll!
While I look forward to seeing our RB’s take the field, I have my doubts about their production this evening due to the missing starters along the O-line.  Lepsis and Hamilton will sit this one out.   That will cause the rest of the line to shuffle (all but Tom Nalen that is).  However, I think we should still be able to see flashes from our backs well into the 3rd and 4th teams tonight.  Of course, my favorite lesser known Bronco RB is Andre Hall and I can’t wait to see what he makes of his chances when the lights are on.

6.  What about SAM – who’s going to make the big play on the Strong Side?
Well, the reps have been split between Nate Webster and D.D. Lewis throughout camp.  Holdman and Moore are out and Green (listed as the starter) is battling a knee injury.  So, will it be Webster or Lewis that stands out this evening?


OTHER AREAS TO WATCH:

Broncos Logo   Strong Secondary – With the starters not getting many reps we’ll have to wait to see much of the Champ & Bly show for at least another week.  Still… We have some good backups, and it will be fun to see how well they do.

Broncos Logo   Full Backs – Watch the FB’s tonights carefully.  Kyle has been leading the work, but Paul Smith, Tony Fleming and even Cecil Sapp may get some reps.

Broncos Logo   Depth at O-line – Backup and rookie O-linemen should be fun to watch tonight.  This will be a great chance to see how they’re coming along.

Broncos Logo   D.J. in the Middle – Again, the starters won’t be in very long, but while they are D.J. Williams will likely make some big plays.

Broncos Logo   TE’s catching & blocking – We should see some of both from our TE’s this evening – it should be fun to watch!