Know Thine Enemy (even if you may only play them in January)

The key to preparing for battle is knowing your enemy. And nothing beats personal, first-hand experience. One could almost qualify my work as espionage, but I prefer to think of it as coincidental reconnaissance. Now that I am safely relocated and living under an assumed name in the Spy-Fan-Witness-Protection-Program, I can provide Jets fans with some cursory details and observations against a potential playoff opponent, the Denver Broncos.

I have been living out this way a while, so I procured some local traditional garb, donned it and went to camp with my camera and binoculars. Securing a sight that provided both visibility and earshot of the coaches, I observed:

The Broncos new acquisitions ( and there are a lot) looked pretty good. There were some dead legs out there but that is to be expected during the stretch of the second week of training camp.
The Broncos appear to be recommiting themselves to the running game. Travis Henry is like a bowling ball with legs, when he starts seeing those seems in the Broncos' famed zone-blocking scheme, he is going to be a nifty runner more than a blazer like Clinton Portis was. Henry could put up Portis-type production if he stays healthy, however.

The Broncos also appear to be going with a base offensive set that is ambiguous to opposing defenses. Mostly two-tight end sets, with the addition of Dan Graham at TE, him and a rotation of Tony Scheffler and Steve Alexander provide the Broncos with the ideal situation of being able to both run the ball and produce yards with their passing game on any given down.

Denver's offensive line has gotten significantly bigger in recent years, which should help their awful Red Zone TD percentage. Having a light, mobile O-line is helpful between the 20-yard lines but you suffer when you get near the goal line and are unable to punch it in.

The Defense was ahead of the offense, with players flying around making plays. Linebackers were coming up with interceptions, cutting the angles down on busted plays in which the QB would sneak. In one notable play, QB Jay Cutler rolled right on a bootleg play action and tried to sneak it, LB Ian Gold came from nowhere flying at him screaming, "Are you kidding me?!" and in the hawk-like swooping stance as if he would completely blow him up if it were a real game.
The defense also dropped a few interceptions.

And it's funny that the LB's were making all sorts of plays on the passing downs, because that means that the QB's were not throwing towards the wicked cornerback combination of Dre Bly and the immortal Champ Bailey, who stands alone, on an island, not only on gameday but in the spotlight of being the best at his position in the NFL.

The Broncos defense base package is the nickel. The very versatile third cornerback Dominique Foworth put in much of practice at John Lynch's free safety spot but also played the nickel corner when not at safety. LB's Ian Gold and DJ Williams will be a bear of a combination. And the Broncos are much, much, much thicker on the defensive line this year. DT's Gerard Warren, Sam Adams and Jimmy Kennedy are huge run-stoppers, and fourth-round draft pick Marcus Thomas from Florida is a diamond in the rough. Thomas is 6' 1", 315 pounds and can do a standing back flip. No shit.

So beware Jet Nation. If Cutler and Henry stay healthy, the Broncos should win the AFC West, besting the Chargers who were gutted of almost their entire coaching staff. Of course, San Diego has the best player in the NFL in LaDanian Tomlinson, or as we Giant fans refer to him - LDT.
But the Broncos always play them tough.

I have a formal report going to Mangini, of Course. But the information is undergoing a sophisticated encryption at the moment in my Enigma machine here. So long as the vans come to get me and whisk me to safety, I'll be allright. Unless the Bronco security happened to notice the big doof standing up front using binoculars and a camera simultaneously and followed me back here. I wonder if the three windowless black vans in front of my house are here to protect or harm me. Guess I'll just open my door and find out...........


fakey said...

How did you get so close, and you can take photos? Interesting...

Figgythemick said...

That's how close they let you get. It really is cool, gotta hand it to the Broncos. And completely FREE

George Muha said...

I was at Jets camp the other day. I have pictures too. And Chad waived to me (either that or he was swatting flies). Either way, we connected.

I will blog about it soon.

Nice blog Figger. Cutler looks like King Stud. I wish the Jets drafted him.