Translation: Jerry Rice will have to deal with not getting another ring.
I'd like to point out that the Denver Broncos will be in the Super Bowl within two years, and that Mike Shanahan will once again be elevated to "Mastermind" status. Our draft this year will prove fantastic and some of the doubted ones, guys who have more question marks than answers attached to their names (Ashley Lelie, Triandos Luke, Gerard Warren, et al) will fulfill their potential and get the Broncos back to the promised land.
Back to Super Bowl glory.
In the meantime, they had a game to play in Houston, and the way I was looking at it, as long as the team didn't get hit by the city's infamous MetroRail (think LightRail with far more casualties) the trip would be a success.
I'm quite happy to report that the 100th victim of MetroRail was not a Broncos player at all.
For Matt Mauck and Danny Kanell, getting hit by a train might have been better than what they experienced, as they had to watch first-year quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt probably bury them on the depth chart with an outstanding showing in Texas. Sure, Mauck had that 92-yard pass (to the astonishingly fast Todd "Whip It" Devoe), but it was the receiver that did all the work on that play.
It's been talked about enough already, what a great quarterback BVP is going to be, and there's no sense beating the crap out of a dead horse. So I'll just say this: Van Pelt has The Elway in him. The stuff I was most impressed with was not the 40 yard scamper, wasn't the tight spirals or the cool head in the pocket. No, I was most impressed with a three-yard gain after scrambling and dodging a blitz. Like Elway, BVP ducked a tackler in the pocket, pulled his head up and started running before being collapsed-upon by a Texans defensive lineman. He showed, in that three seconds, just how good he can be. All the kid wants to do is win, and that's something very special.
But enough about Van Pelt. This weekend's winners and losers:
Jake Plummer: Win
Jake did something this weekend that he has not done before in a Broncos uniform: scored with the first team offense in the first game of the preseason. Sure it was Houston, but he looked good enough that the Van Pelt fans should settle down for a little while.
Ron Dayne: Win (for now)
He has certainly impressed most writers and a lot of fans with his performance on Saturday. I'm not sold. He looked good for two games when he was in New York too, and then everything fell apart. Plus, he was going against a mostly-third string defense.
Denver Defense: Win
Great job with that goal line stand. Four downs, four stops, all inside the ten? Nicely done boys.
Todd "Whip It!" Devoe: BIG Win
That huge catch and run in the second half was very impressive, and his blazing speed on that one play may have gotten him a job.
Jerry Rice: Who knows?
Honestly, it's way to early to tell. The feeling on the message boards is that Jerry will be asked to step down before the season starts so Shanahan doesn't have to cut the greatest receiver of all time. But how does one tell a legend to leave? It's not like a party where you can just say, "Alright, everybody out. I'm going to sleep." At the same time, Rice was just elevated to third-string (which is a sentence I never thought I'd write). Real move or psychological ploy to get the younger receivers to pick up their games? Time will tell.
Charlie Adams and Ashley Lelie: Win
Both receivers looked really good, and even though it's only preseason, one gets the feeling that Adams will be around after final cutdown day.
- Hey Raiders fans on the Hardcore board… is there really that little to do in Oakland? You just got Randy Moss, and you have to come on our boards and talk about how crappy the Broncos are? Seriously? I know it must be tough for you, what with crime down all over the place, but find something else to do. Nobody here cares what you think.
Try getting to the playoffs. Then we'll talk.
- AFC West is shaping up to be an interesting place. Kansas City will make the playoffs this year, but San Diego has slipped, and they still have place-kicker issues. The confusion among fans as to whether or not Drew Brees should be replaced if he slips by Phil Rivers is bound to divide everyone, from the fan base to the locker room. Remember, we've seen this before, in Buffalo, with Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson.
- Big Ups to Matt Cassell, the former USC backup who had a terrific showing in Cincy on Saturday. He's with the Patriots.
Oh, how the rich get richer.
Sam DeWitt is a regular contributor to BroncosUpdate.com and loves nothing more than a win over the Raiders. Questions and comments should be sent to BUMoose@gmail.com.
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