Your Broncos Questions: Answered

Earlier this week, we asked fans in the Watercooler and Ask the Insiders forums to forward questions they have about the Broncos to us. Today, Michael John Schon of Broncos Illustrated and "Schon Live" answers your questions about the ponies.

Michael John Schon from answered questions from Browns fans on the OBR Forums earlier this week.

Michael has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: Schon Live airs weekly on various radio stations around the country. Schon can be reached at

Will Champ Bailey be assigned to Braylon Edwards or will he simply be given a particular side of the field?
Look for Champ and Edwards to become very well acquainted this Sunday. Bailey is on fire right now and will follow the action dictated by Charlie Frye. If that means a particular side of the field, so be it. If Edwards becomes the hot target , expect Bailey to become a second jersey.

I have watched a few of the Broncos games and have zeroed in on G. Warren when the camera allowed. To me, he seems to be pushed off the ball on numerous occasions and, still, has not lived up to the hype of being dominant like a W. Sapp. I still don't know why teams would double him. What is your honest assessment of Warren?
Overall, the Broncos are very pleased with Warren through the first five games of the 2006 season Warren has posted 24 tackles, fifteen of which were solo. He placed second among the team s defensive linemen with six tackles (5 solo) against St. Louis and he led the defensive line with eight tackles in the home opener against the Chiefs. Hopefully, that may answer your question as to why teams double team him. On the flip side I would check out Dish Network for slightly a less slanted side of Broncos coverage. Last I heard Warren Sapp was still slamming heads on a pathetic team that has yet to win a game this season. So much for domination

How come Mike Shanahan never had confidence in T-Bell till this year?
Tatum came into camp starting off on the wrong foot. First, he held out in a contract dispute (step one into the Shanahan doghouse), then when he did show up he dislocated his finger and was forced to sit out a couple of weeks (step two). Bell served his penance behind Mike Anderson in 2005, and has redeemed himself to the point of a starting positioning 2006. It's not really a matter of Shanny's confidence as much as it is Bell finally proving his worth offensively. In Shanahan's system, confidence is earned, not inherited.

Has Elam slowed down at all? His numbers have drifted south the last few years.
Time catches up to us all, and Elam is no exception. After injuring his back he was relieved of kicking duties, and used strictly as a field goal kicker. After the release of Tom Rouen, Plummer took over as Elam s primary holder, and it took a while for the pair to work the kinks out. While his numbers may have dropped over the past few seasons, he s still among the elite in the NFL and as it stands right now, he s the Broncos top scoring threat. In a close one, Elam s got the numbers.

Congratulations on being named the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns! Outline for us how you game plan to beat the Donkeys, with the talent you have here in Cleveland.
Talent - in Cleveland - are you serious? - Ok, I'm kidding, (kind of). The key to success is in pressuring Plummer. Win the battle of the turnovers, control the clock and the Browns stand a chance. The return of Baxter and Bodden could play out huge. I would try and utilize Willie McGinest and Kamerion Wimbley in stopping the run, and try and force Plummer to beat you through the air. Remember - this isn't Elway, this is Plummer - contain the offense and pray Frye can put up more at least a two touchdown spread, and it'll be a cakewalk.

Will Jake Plummer be available next year and how many defensive linemen do the Broncos want in trade?
It's a little too early in the season to write off Plummer just yet, but I wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable as his real estate agent either. Remember, he s still 4-1 as the starter and while he isn't lighting up the scoreboard, he s still dropping the wins, and in the long run that's all that really matters.

Do you think Cutler will start at some point this year? How short is Jake Plummer's leash?
In a worst case scenario Cutler takes over the starting slot. In a best case scenario Plummer learns to shave and Denver makes the playoffs for the umpteenth time in Mike Shanahan s career.

How worried are you by the anemic Broncos offense?
Until we reach the point that the offense is actually costing them games, no one is ready to hit the panic button. Bottom line is scoreboard, and at 4-1, Shanahan is more than willing to ride a sluggish offense with one of the league's top defensive groups (see Baltimore Ravens 2001).

Do you think Javon Walker will underestimate Leigh Bodden?
From what I've seen of Javon Walker, he doesn't appear to underestimate anyone. Whether or not Plummer underestimates him is another story altogether.

Will Quincy Morgan actually see some playing time?
Currently the Broncos stand dead last in kickoff returns with a 15.7-yard average. Through his first three games Morgan ranks second on the team with a 19.3 average. While he may see limited time at the wide receiver position, I expect he will be given his shot handling kicks against his old teammates.

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