If You Can't Abandon the Ship, Fix It

Is this what Bronco fans do after one loss? Sure it was the season opener against the Miami Dolphins. A team that managed blindly to stumble to a miserable 4-12 record, but remember it was the first game of the season.

Ok - Ok, nobody panic. Make your way as quickly as possible to the nearest emergency exit. Please do so in an orderly fashion. Women and children first and as soon as you're clear of the disaster, RUN!!!

Is this what Bronco fans do after one loss? Sure it was the season opener against the Miami Dolphins. A team that managed blindly to stumble to a miserable 4-12 record, but remember it was the first game of the season.

The Dolphins have veteran talent on their team that's sick of losing. The Fins also hired a new coach with all new plays. The heat and humidity were a draining force that left the Bronco's players twisting in pain as cramps ravaged their bodies. The sun was in their eyes. The stars weren't aligned. Does anyone buy these arguments? I didn't think so.

It might be time for the Broncos and Shannahan to realize that some (all) of the teams in the NFL have caught on to their schemes and techniques. It happens all the time in pro sports. When a team has success in sports they are emulated and deciphered. That is why there are always new wrinkles each year. Teams are on to Shannahan's style.

I'm not calling for Shannahan's job. I still believe he's one of the best coaches in the NFL, but it's time to go back to the drawing board. He needs to figure out a way to use the talent his players have, not make the players fit the system. Adapt and overcome.

For instance, Jake Plummer after two seasons at the controls of the Bronco's offense still isn't comfortable. Sitting back reading defenses is not what he does well. This was evident in the game against Miami. Plummer went 22-48, for 251 YDS, 1TD, and 1 INT. (Oh Yea, and a fumble for a TD on the last play of the game). Shannahan needs to move Plummer out of the pocket, and not just on the same naked bootleg where he throws to the tightend. He needs to move the whole pocket with him. Give him options. The running backs looked scared of the Miami "D". They need to show defenses why the Broncos turn out 1000yard rushers like elves do toys.

This brings me to my next point. The offensive line of the Broncos is not big enough to stand there and fend off a good defensive rush. That's why Shannahan needs to move the pocket. Use the speed and agility of a more mobile line. This goes for the run blocking also. One more thing, the offensive line coach might want to make a phone call to Alex Gibbs. Maybe he can come up with a way to score from inside the 5 yard line.

The performance of the wide receivers is also an area of concern. Coach Watson needs to tell Ashley Lelie not to stop running if he wants to score touchdowns. The rest of the receiving core needs to step up; Rod Smith needs help. He can't do it all by his lonesome. Rotate the young talent, maybe there's a diamond in the rough. Hint: he wears #14.

Bottom line is the Broncos need to take a long hard look at this team. If the offense is no better than what it showed against Miami, the defense is in for a repeat of the beating it took at Dolphin Stadium.



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