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  • Fangio: 0-3 ‘sucks’ ... but the team doesn’t
    by Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann on September 24, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images The head coach knows the win-loss record doesn’t reflect the improvement of the players, so it’s a challenge to keep them focused on the positive steps forward. Vic Fangio knows it “sucks” to be 0-3, and he’s not sugarcoating that with his team. When the first question at his presser today was what he thought of Emmanuel Sanders’ comment on Sunday that the Broncos were “living in a world of suck” right now, the coach told reporters where Sanders got that idea. From him. “He was just repeating what I had said in the locker room after the game,” the head coach said point blank. “I told them, we’re going to have to deal with everybody thinking we suck. All of us, not just players — coaches, everybody, the whole organization — we need to deal with that. He was basically just repeating what I had said.” This is seriously what I want to hear from the coach after an 0-3 start. Vic Fangio is the right guy for this team.— Doctor of Words (and tights and kicking ass) (@docllv) September 23, 2019 He added that the way out of sucking is to fight through it and make good decisions on just what to change. “You just have a strong upper lip, look at the positives, realize what the negatives are, do your best to correct those negatives and know who you are as a person, as a team and as a player and as a coach,” Fangio said, adding what he’s learned after 30 years in the NFL - “it’s not all a bed of roses.” Quoting the saying that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results isn’t very smart, the coach pointed out that wholesale changes aren’t necessarily the answer either. “You just fight through it. ...We’ve got to operate that fine line as a staff and realize what we’re doing. Are the mistakes we’re making correctable? And then make a good and intelligent decision.” - Vic Fangio “You just fight through it. The easiest thing to do is to just make wholesale changes, whether it’d be personnel, scheme, this, that or the other thing,” he said, adding that change just for change’s sake isn’t very smart either. “We’ve got to operate that fine line as a staff and realize what we’re doing. Are the mistakes we’re making correctable? And then make a good and intelligent decision.” Fangio didn’t let the media off the hook either. Part of the “world of suck” attitude comes from players seeing headline after headline and listening to pundit after pundit say an 0-3 record means the team sucks - which can hurt the delicate morale of a locker room. But Fangio definitely doesn’t believe this of the team. “I think that’s the landscape of the NFL. You guys [media] help perpetuate that, too,” Fangio said. “For us to just have our heads in the sand and know that may not happen would be bad on our part, so we have to talk about it. I think we have the right kind of guys in here, and I think after we talk about it, everybody will move forward with the right frame of mind.” Not only does Fangio thinks he has the right kind of guys to ignore the noise but also to win games. “I believe in these players,” he said. “They’re trying their butts off. We just have to play a little bit better. Along with that, we have to coach better. If we’re breaking down fundamentally in certain areas at critical times, that is an indictment on us as coaches too, not just the players.” - Vic Fangio “We’ve got the players here to win,” Fangio said, adding that “turning things around” is about the next game. “When you say turn around, I’m just looking to get to this game. I’m not looking at the entire season. We’ve just got to figure out a way to go out and play our best and cleanest game this week. And yes, I do think we can.” Fans like to criticize coaches in pressers for just “talking about it” and not doing it, but Fangio’s belief seems in earnest. The fact that the team has improved from game to game and that coaching has improved game to game is a testament to this - even if he can’t make words in press conference magically turn into wins on the field. “I believe in these players,” he said. “They’re trying their butts off. We just have to play a little bit better. Along with that, we have to coach better. If we’re breaking down fundamentally in certain areas at critical times, that is an indictment on us as coaches too, not just the players.” Fangio no doubt feels some pressure for the defense in particular to be better since he has been touted as a defensive genius. But the best way to start getting some positive stats on sacks and turnovers, he says, is to “keep grinding away.” The fact that teams have keyed on Von Miller and Bradley Chubb by running the ball more and throwing quick passes hasn’t made it any easier, Fangio noted, as well as having to play from behind. “I have ultimate faith that we can turn it around and get going.”Inside the locker room following #DENvsGB— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 23, 2019 “We’ve been behind most of the time in all these games, and I think they’re willing to accept that until we can change it,” the coach said. “We’ve got to change it by playing better defense to where we can get into some more passing situations. “We had some nice rush on a couple of the third downs yesterday. Albeit they didn’t result in sacks, but they did result in incompletions,” he added. “It’s still there that we’ve gone three games without one, which is highly unusual. I acknowledge that, but we’ve got to get better there.” But the coach also doesn’t want to blame the lack of production on learning a new scheme - something he said “doesn’t have to be hard” but “in this case has been,” which is an interesting comment. “I don’t think we’ve played terrible, but we haven’t played good enough to win,” he said, adding that while the stats look “OK,” he would definitely like to see more stops and takeaways from the defense - something both the players and coaches are expecting. “I know I’m not really answering your question. It doesn’t have to be [hard.]&rdquo

  • Monday Night Football Week 3: Bears at Redskins - Live Updates
    by Tim Lynch on September 24, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Case Keenum and the Wasington Redskins (0-2) will be hosting the Chicago Bears (1-1) on Monday Night Football in Week 3 action. Case Keenum is putting his ugly Denver Broncos tenure behind him and is off to a great start with the Washington Redskins despite their 0-2 start. I think they might take the Chicago Bears down in this game at home. What do you think? Kickoff is set for Monday, September 23, 2019 at 6:15 p.m. Mile High time at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland and will air on ESPN. If you are looking for an online stream, fuboTV will be streaming this game. Bears vs Redskins live updates Windy City Gridiron Hogs Haven A Twitter List by MileHighReport

  • Did the Broncos err in letting Shaq Barrett walk?
    by Just_JoRo on September 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    How could the Broncos have kept Shaq Barrett? | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Let’s discuss. One of those narratives that looks like it’s running off the rails around the NFL today is how Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett already has eight sacks on the season while the Broncos’ entire defense has zero. It’s hard to believe the Broncos let Shaq Barrett walk for free. It’s also hard to believe he didn’t have a lot of free agent interest. He’ll be a free agent again after this season and won’t be signing a one year $4m deal— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 22, 2019 This narrative is gaining legs, so it looks like a good time to shed some light on the facts. Barrett was a key reserve for the Broncos’ 2015 Super Bowl team, notching 5.5 sacks in less than 500 snaps, including one of my favorite plays ever. Shaq came up on big on the Patriots 3rd and 15. Even still, his raw sack totals were not particularly eye-catching. Even in 2017 when he played 67 percent of the Broncos defensive snaps, Barrett finished with just four sacks and 12 QB hits. His play certainly exceeded the raw numbers, but with an opportunity to prove himself across from Von Miller without DeMarcus Ware or Shane Ray eating into his snaps, Barrett came up short. Shaq has long been a fan favorite, but he never blew up like some hoped until now. So in 2018 when Elway had a chance to draft the consensus best defensive player available in Bradley Chubb, he took it. Some had argued the NC State product was better than Myles Garrett, 2017’s first overall pick. Few, if any panned the selection. After the Broncos drafted Chubb, I spent a week in the months before training camp evaluating who Denver should try and re-sign if it had the choice: Shane Ray or Shaq Barrett. It wasn’t close. Under Vance Joseph that last season, Barrett played a little over 25 percent of the defensive snaps in 2018 and left Denver after the season in hopes of finding a starting opportunity. The Cincinnati Bengals expressed interest, but Barrett instead met with and signed in Tampa Bay for a one-year $4 million deal that included incentives. When he signed, the Buccaneers expected him to compete for a starting job with Carl Nassib. I'll take Brian Poole, Shaq Barrett and John Miller. Barrett would be a slam dunk signing. Poole would be a downgrade, but could save you some money and give similar results. Miller represents hope that they have a different RG in 2019.— JG (@JoeGoodberry) March 14, 2019 So while the narrative continues that Elway and the Broncos erred in letting Barrett walk for nothing, it doesn’t hold up under the slightest scrutiny. Barrett wanted an opportunity to prove he’s a starting caliber edge player worthy of a long-term commitment, and he bet on himself. The most realistic offer Denver could have made for Barrett would have treated him like the valuable edge reserve he was to that point. The gap in dollars for those two things is astronomical. The top of the edge market. Which brings us to the real question. If the Broncos erred anywhere, it’s in choosing Bradley Chubb at No. 5 in the first round of the 2018 draft instead of electing to look at Barrett as a long-term asset. What do you think? Tim Lynch: No error. Shaq is a fine player and a personal fan favorite in his time in Denver, but I am certain over the long haul we’ll see that Bradley Chubb is going to end up 10 times the player Shaq Barrett is. I am definitely happy for Shaq though. Dude is tearing it up to start the season! Wow, Shaq Barrett.— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 23, 2019 Jeff Essary: First off, let’s be clear, Elway and Denver knew Shaq’s talent, and it isn’t a surprise to anyone that he’s playing well. They didn’t miss on letting him go, they intentionally allowed him to walk in FA because 1) he wanted starter snaps and we had just drafted Chubb 2) Chubb on a rookie deal/5th year option will be cheaper long term for the performance than what Denver would’ve had to pay to keep Shaq longterm (this is assuming Shaq gets a big payday next year, which I fully anticipate). To the question at hand, if Chubb’s presence on the roster made Shaq expendable, what if we hadn’t drafted Chubb? I think this is a super interesting question that you could play out a ton of different scenarios with over the next few years. The No. 5 pick was the highest we’ve had since the Von Miller pick in 2011. It had/has potential to be a franchise-changing pick. I went on record that year saying Denver would regret not getting a QB when they were already up that high, and still think the Jets beat us to a great deal with the trade up to No. 2 to eventually take Sam Darnold. So that’s the first miss I think that will haunt Denver. Another interesting scenario is if you kept and paid Barrett, skip Chubb at No. 5 and draft Roquan Smith, who went No. 8. It would have given Denver an edge rusher still but also filled a major hole at ILB. You could also argue keeping Shaq and drafting Nelson could’ve been interesting. The last one that’s interesting to entertain is the deal that Denver reportedly had in place to trade back with Buffalo. Personally, I like the idea of Roquan Smith with Shaq. I think Bradley Chubb will be great and will eventually replace Von Miller down the road, but right now, a three-down ILB seems harder to find than an edge rusher in today’s NFL. One of the best plays of the day for Roquan Smith right here. TE had no chance. Just too fast. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) September 17, 2019 Locked on Broncos’ Cody Roark: Barrett made it known he didn’t want to be in the reserve role for Denver. Shaq had a chance to showcase for Denver when Demarcus Ware was injured and even more extensive when Shane Ray was hurt and Ware was retired. Barrett was great as an edge contain run stopper, was high and low as a pass rusher in terms of consistency. He’s found a role in Tampa Bay and has excelled. Chubb’s rookie season proved why the Broncos were right to take him at 5. Despite zero sacks so far in 2019, Chubb’s presence on defense has been tremendous as a run stopper. No buyers remorse here, I’m happy for Barrett, but it was the right move for Denver. Some guys perform great in different systems. In hindsight - I myself looked at the possibility of Quenton Nelson and Josh Rosen at pick 5 in 2018. As much of a surprise to me that Chubb was available there at 5. It seemed more intriguing given the Broncos’ strength on defense that they added another piece opposite of Miller. It proved to be a great move. Roughing the passer on #Broncos’ Bradley Chubb. Straight garbage.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 15, 2019 Mile High Huddle’s Nick Kendall: In hindsight one can argue that the Broncos may have been better off either taking Josh Allen at five overall or trading down with the Bills and taking a guy like Derwin James, Jaire Alexander, or Leighton Vander Esch in the trade down. Despite the lack of sacks though, Chubb is flashing constantly this season and is still a long-term stud and blue chip player on the Broncos. Once they drafted him, it made it almost impossible for the Broncos to retain Shaq Barrett. Starting off hot, but with a sample size of three games, it’s just reactionary to freak out about Barrett (who only garnered a one-year prove-it deal this offseason) when the Broncos already had Chubb and Von. The Broncos were not going to pay Barrett big enough money to warrant him forsaking a chance to start elsewhere. Contract Grades | Over the Cap I think this is exceptional value for the Bucs. Barrett had a nice career in Denver before circumstances pretty much rendered his role obsolete. Even still he should have been able to earn more than this in free agency but he seemed to slip through the cracks. I think the pairing of him with this coaching staff could lead to big gains which would benefit him next year in free agency as well as the Bucs this year. This is far better than any of the deals the team made last year in an attempt to patch their defense together. Kevin Gillikin: I think drafts are so fluid it’s hard to second-guess sometimes. The Broncos really didn’t expect Chubb to be there and when he was, the rest of the board went out the window. He’s also proved to be a beast, so it’s hard to find fault with the pick. That being the case, Shaq deserved to be somewhere where he can see the field and props to him for taking advantage of it. Shaq Barrett's out here looking like a created player.#GoBucs | #BudLightCelly— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 22, 2019 Joe Rowles: I strongly advocated for Quenton Nelson or Josh Rosen at No. 5 last year with Shaq as the long-term running mate across from Von. I don’t think Barrett will be anywhere close to the same player Chubb is long term, but I thought the chance to get a Hall-of-Fame guard or starting QB for the long term made up for that drop off in play. It will be telling to see how Shaq’s production holds up over the next couple games as well. Lost in the box score total is how Barrett beat up on Daniel Jones and Cam Newton, two quarterbacks who take hits behind offensive lines that are shaky. I want to see how he fares against the Rams and New Orleans before I grill Elway too hard.

  • There are some positives despite Broncos 0-3 start
    by Tim Lynch on September 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports The Denver Broncos are 0-3 and that definitely sucks, but there are positives happening through three games that leads me to believe the wins are coming. The Denver Broncos lost to the Green Bay Packers on the road 27-16 to start the season 0-3. Despite another tough loss, the Broncos played a solid game in all but one area - turnovers. Few teams are good enough to overcome a playoff contender like Green Bay with a minus three in the turnover department. Head Coach Vic Fangio is seeing a lot of good out there, but not enough to bring out the wins. “Yeah, we’re 0-3, that’s our record, that’s a fact,” Fangio said after the game. “I do see a lot of good out there, but not enough. We’re not doing enough good things that the good teams that win do, which is protect the ball. It hasn’t been a problem in the first two games, but it was today. We’re not getting the ball turned over, as everybody has alluded to. And we’re not stopping them enough, even though our stats might show that. We’re not playing good enough defense.” The 0-3 record is part of a larger downfall in the post-Peyton Manning era in Denver. They just don’t know how to win anymore. Broncos record ...... in their last 8 games: 1-7... in their last 16 games: 4–12... in their last 32 games: 9-23... in their last 48 games: 17-31— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) September 23, 2019 Through three games, the story for the Broncos has been finding ways to shoot themselves in the foot. In Week 1, the defense was shredded by Derek Carr play after play. In Week 2, Garett Bolles held everything and everyone. Now in Week 3, turnovers. As Joe Flacco put it, it’s the same story for them. “I don’t think it’s any tougher, no,” Flacco said of the loss being tougher. “It was kind of the same story for us – that we did certain things well and other things that we didn’t. At the end of the day, we couldn’t put it all together.” But it also doesn’t quite feel like the sky is falling even now. You see too many positives and good executive outside of those critical errors that have cost the team games to start the season to think they shouldn’t be winning some games here soon. If the leaders on this team continue to grind this out, I think there is a good shot they could end up .500 by the time they play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. I feel both the home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans are winnable games, so if they can steal one from the Los Angeles Chargers too that could reset the season a bit. I know the @Broncos have issues, but I still see a good football team out there just trying to figure out how to put it all together. I sure hope they don't lose faith and keep grinding this out. Feels like they are close. #BroncosCountry— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 23, 2019 They just have to keep grinding this out. “We will just keep working,” Chris Harris Jr. said. “We have a lot of new players with all new coaches and a new system so we will just continue to improve and continue to perfect this system the best we can. Hopefully we can bounce back next week.” While overall depth is a concern, Von Miller made a good point that the team has some good players. He sees this as a rough patch. “It’s a tough one,” Von Miller said of the defeat. “We have good players on this team. We have great coaches. We did some things well, but there are some things we didn’t do so well. I have been on teams where you couldn’t do anything right or you felt like you were missing something. I don’t feel like we are missing anything. We just need to go out there and play. It is a rough patch for us.” I may disagree a bit with him there about it being a rough patch. Andrew Mason’s tweet above suggests this rough patch might be a rough acre.

  • Broncos showed they can run the ball
    by Adam Malnati on September 23, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images Even in the loss, the Denver Broncos proved they have a legitimate running attack in their 27-16 road defeat to the Green Bay Packers. When the Denver Broncos lost to the Green Bay Packers, there were several things that stood out. Obviously, the lack of a sack or a turnover is dominating the narrative. Costly turnovers by Joe Flacco and Noah Fant hurt the Broncos. At 0-3, it feels like the season is already over. But what really stuck in my mind was the way the Broncos ran the football. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman both found success on the ground. Lindsay had 21 rushes for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Freeman added 15 run for 63 yards. It wasn’t a game for the record books, but it was great to see these two play well behind an offensive line that has struggled this season. After the #Broncos lost to the #Packers @IanStClair and I broke down the game on the @MileHighReport Radio Podcast. You can't win games if you turn the ball over, but even at 0-3 there were some positives from the loss.@ApplePodcasts— Adam Malnati (Mr. Broncos Fan) (@AdamMalnati16) September 23, 2019 A stat line of 149 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns should translate to a win. While it didn’t against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, it should act as a marker for what the Broncos are capable of in the run game. As I said to Ian St. Clair on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), watching Dalton Risner throw Lindsay across the goal line should make everyone in Broncos Country excited. Risner was the brightest spot on the offensive line. While there were issues, it was much cleaner than the loss to the Bears. Garett Bolles had zero holding calls against him, which was a huge improvement. Denver won the time of possession battle. That comes from being successful on the ground. I’m not trying to be overly optimistic. 0-3 is a tough spot to be, but if the ball bounces differently the last 3 weeks, Denver could realistically be 2-1 or 3-0. As the offense and defense begin to adjust to the new coaching, they will also find ways to win games. Lindsay and Freeman will be a huge part of the offensive success. My Orange and Blue glasses could be clouding my vision, but I see some success in the Broncos future after their performance in Green Bay. MHR Radio is now on ApplePodcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher,TuneIn and anywhere else you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.


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