Not Funny, Frerotte

Broncos Update columnist Sam DeWitt verbally takes the Denver Broncos out behind the woodshed as he reflects on the team's 34-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Laughingstock? That about covers it.

I'm personally embarrassed by this "performance." Did we forget that there was a game to play?

All over the country, from Oakland to Foxboro, people are laughing at our sorry excuse for a season opener. Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald even went so far as to say "with players named Tatum, Ashley and Domonique, the Broncos sound more like a hair salon than a football team."

On Sunday, they played like a hair salon.

Actually, I played against a team of hair salon-workers in flag football a year ago, and they were surprisingly tough.

In other words, I wouldn't confuse them with the '05 Broncos.

Ashley Lelie, who I wouldn't trust to catch a cold, looked terrible, missing three scoring opportunities.

"Next week is going to be a whole different story, I guarantee you that," he said after the game. We've heard that before from Ashley. This is supposed to be the next "coming out year" for the young Hawaiian receiver. For the second straight year, Ashley is supposed to be making it happen.

Hey Ash, we're tired of hearing you talk. Start playing football. Words don't score touchdowns.

Of course, it didn't come down solely to Lelie's play. There were other factors in a 34-10 loss that really wasn't that close. The play calling was remarkably bad. As if Mike Shanahan left all the play calling and personnel decisions to Peter Griffin, the idiot patriarch of Fox's Family Guy. I certainly felt that the game plan could have been designed by a man who claims that "melanoma" is just fancy-speak for "sexified."

Near the goal line, how about replacing 175 lb running back Tatum Bell with a guy that has some size? I swear I saw Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor laughing about the decision to send Tatum running up the middle on fourth and goal from the one. Even as it was happening, I asked my buddy Jon, "Isn't this the exact reason we brought in Ron Dayne?" Bell was brought down with little more than a light Miami breeze.

Defensive woes? We've got those too, but I don't feel comfortable blaming rookies that are forced into the fire by injuries to starters. I will say that Lenny Walls is everything he's advertised to be: tall. That's about it.

Any time you let Gus Frerotte go to town on your defense, you're much worse than even you think you are. I've seen Gus Frerotte play, and the guy on the field Sunday looked more like Namath, or Unitas, or Montana. Our defense should not make opposing quarterbacks better. That's just pathetic.

Many of you read my post during the fourth quarter of the game, and wonder if I'm going to say anything about Jake Plummer. But what else is there to say? Let the Bradlee Van Pelt watch begin.

Many think I'm crazy for saying something like that. But when your starting quarterback is throwing three yard crossing patterns in double and triple coverage, that's not a good quarterback. And when your starting quarterback throws three-quarters of his passes behind his receivers, that's not a good quarterback. When your starting quarterback needs nine yards for a first down and all he can find is a guy double-covered for five, that's not a good quarterback.

We need and deserve a good quarterback. Denver is a City of Champions, and if I have to witness Jake underthrowing receivers all season, you all are going to see a very, very unhappy columnist.

As I mentioned on the Hardcore message board, I'm giving Jake the Fake a chance to become Jake The Snake. Two weeks, against San Diego and Kansas City.

If he can't get it done, bench him. Period.

And if he isn't benched, perhaps we'll be bad enough to get Matt Leinart with the first pick in the draft next year.

Ah, perpetual hope.

Sam DeWitt was the starting quarterback for the East Colfax Flamingos in the Play:COED Flag Football league for two years, and never underthrew his receivers. He's currently working with local bands and artists to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims; if you'd like more information, or want to vent your frustrations, you can email Sam at

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