- John Fox had to go. Fox gave Peyton Manning full reign to run the offense. New head coach Gary Kubiak now has the last say on what type of attack Denver will run. An offensive system different than what Peyton has run in the past. While Manning likes to change the play at the line of scrimmage, "Kubiak doesn't audible" says Cecil. Kubiak will emphasize a run first, zone blocking system. John Fox never told Peyton "no". Now Kubiak is the boss.
- CJ Anderson is a perfect fit for the new offense. "He'll get 1500 rushing yards this season," said Cecil. Manning loves CJ, calling Anderson "his little genius". CJ is a north/south runner who doesn't dance - just right for Kubiak's zone blocking system.
- Julius Thomas had to go. He would have cost too much - he was not the right fit at the right price. Virgil Green will get a chance to shine with JT's departure. Green has 24 career NFL receptions. "He'll have that by week 8 in Kubiak's offense," Cecil said. Virgil was Colin Kaepernick's favorite receiver in college. He was known more for his receiving than blocking coming into the NFL. Now Virgil is a great blocker who didn't have the opportunity to show his receiving skills under the previous regime. That will change.
- 2014 #2 pick Cody Latimer won't see the field much under Kubiak's offense. Kubes likes two wide receivers and two tight ends in his base offense.
- Wade Phillips will unleash the Orange Crush defense. The Broncos have two of the best pass rushers in the league in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, yet former defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio didn't blitz much. This was especially baffling in the Colts playoff game, because of the Colts weak offensive line. With the new Bronco D playing the 3/4, like the Orange Crush of old, Wade will be very creative in how he uses the Broncos defensive talent. Von Miller could break the NFL sack record under Phillips scheme.
- The secondary is in good shape. Cornerback Chris Harris could have made 30 to 40% more in salary had he hit the open market - the Broncos have a tremendous value in Harris. Pro Bowlers Aqib Talib and TJ Ward are solid at the other corner and strong safety respectfully. Darian Stewart is an up and coming player who will be fine in replacing Rahim Moore at free safety.
- If Sylvester Williams is the Broncos starting nose tackle, teams will run on Denver all day. Williams has never played the position. Cecil expects Marvin Austin to be the starting nose tackle instead. When Austin came out in the 2011 draft Wade Phillips told Cecil at the time that Austin had "top ten talent".
- Why didn't the team re-sign Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton? Knighton's excess weight was not the issue, according to Cecil. Instead it was something else that Cecil said he couldn't reveal.
- Defensive line coach Bill Kollar is the hire no one is talking about. He's a super coach. At Houston he helped develop JJ Watt into the best defensive player in the game. Watt was good in college, but at pick #11 he wasn't expected to be the dominant player he turned out to be. Kollar had something to do with that, and he'll make the Broncos defensive line better.
- Outside of finding a good right tackle and nose tackle, the Broncos are set to make one final run under Peyton. This will be Peyton's final year, and Cecil thinks the next Bronco qb is not on the roster. "This is a weak qb class in the draft," Cecil says, "next year will be much better." Of this year's draft eligible quarterbacks the Broncos like CSU's Garret Grayson and Baylor's Bryce Petty. Grayson can be a good but not great pro, according to Cecil. He doesn't like Petty, who ran a "gimmicky" offense in college. If the Broncos wanted to keep Brock Osweiler around they would have signed Brock to a contract extension. Cecil did say that it's a strong offensive tackle class, and that could help the Broncos.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
ESPN's Cecil Lammey made his annual appearance at the Denver Broncos Quarterback Club this week and as usual he had some interesting opinions on the current state of the team. I think Cecil is one of the best NFL insiders around. Some of his comments: