Friday, June 11, 2010

Buffs will rise again

Great news today that the University of Colorado is joining the Pac 10 conference. I thought the Buffs should have jumped to the pac 10 in the mid 90's when they had the opportunity. Good to see CU got a second chance and said "yes" this time!

Some in the media question the move. "How can the Buffs compete against the likes of USC and the other power schools of the pac 10?" (including Texas and Oklahoma if the rumored expansion comes true). I say the Buffs are sending the right message to their student body in wanting to compete at the highest level possible in college athletics.

When I graduated with honors as a Math major at CU in the late 70's it may not have happened had my adviser said to me, "Those advanced calculus courses will be too tough for you - why don't you take this college algebra class instead!" Yet that is what some CU naysayers have been saying lately on the college sports level - the pac 10 is too tough, cu can never compete, etc.

I say that's garbage. While the state of the football program isn't very good right now, I am confident Colorado can turn the program around. It's happened before. I attended many games in the early 80's when Bill McCartney was coach. In Mac's 3rd year he finished 1-10 and he was lucky to win that only game thanks to a long field goal. No one could have guessed at the time that by the end of the decade CU would win a national championship.

Mac was a once in a lifetime coach whose success is unlikely to be repeated you say? Well the program similarly rose from the ashes in the 60's. Eddie Crowder took over a scandal ridden program and led the Buffs to many good years, including a #3 in the nation finish in 1971.

The Boulder campus is such a great place to recruit to, with the most picturesque stadium in the country. All CU needs is the right coach to get the students and the state excited about Buff football again. Impact recruits will come if they know there's a chance of winning, just like they did for coach Mac and Eddie Crowder.

With the promise of a brighter future and more dollars coming in from the pac 10 deal, I am confident that Colorado can attract a top coach to replace Dan Hawkins after what I expect to be a down season in 2010.

Perhaps one day in the future we'll see something like this again from a Buff football team:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

bronco highlight film, qb club meeting

One of my favorite bronco quarterback club meetings each year is the one in May or June when the highlight film of the previous season is premiered. Tonight I saw the premiere of the 2009 highlight film titled "A Team From The Start"

Patrick Smyth, the executive director of media relations for the Broncos, introduced the film and answered questions from the crowd afterwards. Patrick said NFL films came to the Broncos after the season asking what the team wanted featured in the film. The two features the broncos wanted emphasized were a "team over the individual" attitude and Josh McDaniel's passion.

The film highlighted the Broncos victories, especially the 6-0 start and the Thanksgiving night NY Giants win. I liked that many sideline and locker room comments were included. One that stood out for me was McDaniels yelling at Kyle Orton during a game "if you are fired up, they will be. The rest of the team feeds off of you!" I thought "yep, that's why he drafted Tebow". McDaniels wants a passionate leader as his qb.

Some accomplishments mentioned: McDaniels had the 3rd best start in the history of the NFL for a rookie coach, Elvis was the first bronco to lead the nfl in sacks, the defense had 8 new starters and finished 7th overall in defense, the win at KC was the largest margin of victory ever for the Broncos at Arrowhead, and Matt Prater made 19 of his last 20 field goal attempts.

While the 2-8 finish still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, the highlight film did remind me of that there were alot of positives to last season. Towards the end of the film a fan is shown holding a sign "In McDaniels We Trust"

The highlight film will probably show up on NFL Network in the future. It's worth seeing, especially for all the player and coach comments featured.

After the film Patrick answered questions. I asked him how Tim Tebow was doing. Patrick joked, "Tim who?" Then he went on to say that Tebow is one of the hardest workers at camp. Tim is the last one to leave the building each day and he's always looking for a coach to quiz him on the offense. In his flight out after the draft Tebow wanted to do pushups during the flight to work out, and he brought a gym bag with him. Josh McDaniels says that Tebow is "ahead of schedule" in his development.

McDaniels wants players that are "tough, smart, and physical" The recent bronco draft class featured players with 4 of the top 10 wonderlic scores.

Will Eddie Royal be more involved in the offense? Kyle Orton says he didn't get Eddie the ball as much as he should have last year. McDaniels is trying to have four #1 receivers instead of focusing so much on just 1 receiver like last year (Marshall)
Rod Smith was at practice yesterday and talked to Eddie. Champ saw Rod and teased him about gray hair. "It would be gray if we had won that 2006 afc championship game," said Rod.

Elvis contract? It's being worked on. Elvis has a real good attitude and is confident it will be worked out.

Ryan Clady? He's a real quiet guy. He feels bad about his offseason basketball injury. Not as bad as it could have been and he's recovering well. Clady is a huge Lakers fan and he opens up when teammates tease him about the Lakers.

Xanders and McDaniels relationship? It is really a partnership, they work closely together and come to a decision jointly. They are in each other's offices 15 to 20 times a day. Xanders first job in the NFL was cleaning pools for the Atlanta Falcons. He rose through the ranks and was a defensive assistant on the Falcons super bowl team that played the broncos.

John Elway watched practice yesterday - the first time Elway has been at a Bronco practice in years. The recent bronco quarterbacks, while good guys, didn't want anything to do with Elway. Tebow is different - he wanted to have dinner with Elway when he flew out after the draft.


I always find the qb club meetings interesting and this one was no exception. There was a small but loyal group of fans attending tonight - many long time season ticket holders. The club is planning more Monday night meetings this year and hope to have more current players as guests.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tim Tebow: the next Bobby Anderson?

I'm back to blogging again after a busy two months of travel. The biggest sports story in my absence was the Broncos drafting of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round. This move has been discussed and dissected by sports columnists and fans across the nation. "Brilliant move!" say some. "Major reach!" say others. Here's my take:

Tim Tebow is so compelling because of his character. He is a role model to many after his stellar career at the University of Florida. No doubt this played in a big part in the Broncos drafting him. This brings to mind another former #1 bronco draft pick. Flash back to 1970. No athlete was more admired in these parts than the hero of the University of Colorado, running back Bobby Anderson. Anderson had a great senior season for the Buffaloes, capped by a 254 rushing yard 3 td performance in the Liberty Bowl against Bear Bryant's famed Alabama defense.

Anderson also had great character. I remember him speaking to the youth group at my church. I was excited at the prospect of having my college football hero in Anderson playing in the backfield with my favorite pro player, Floyd Little!

What happened? Anderson had an injury plagued four years with the Broncos and never amounted to much as an nfl player. Years later I attended a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe Nevada where several big stars were present (Michael Jordan, John Elway, and others) Bobby Anderson was also one of the celebrity golfers. "Who is that?" said a guy standing next to me as I watched Anderson on the putting green. Anderson's stellar college career had long been forgotten. Anderson was and continues to be a great guy (he still is a part of the radio broadcast for the cu buffs) but he didn't succeed in the NFL.

I'm rooting for Tim Tebow and I think he does have a chance to become an effective NFL quarterback. I especially like his running ability, a quality lacking with last year's starter Kyle Orton. Denver's offense also features many short, quick passes - passes I think Tebow can handle. Still there are doubts from many pro scouts on whether Tebow can be an nfl qb. "After breaking down the film of Tebow, we cannot help but think he will struggle to succeed in the NFL unless he continues to improve. His offseason work helps, but Tebow must prove himself against competition," says Russ Lande, former pro scout writing in the Sporting News.

While Tebow's off the field activities are admirable, character alone does not make for a good NFL player. It didn't for Bobby Anderson, and it won't for Tim Tebow. I'm hoping the Broncos haven't placed too much emphasis on Tebow's winning personality in drafting him so high.