The Denver Broncos are 3-0, and all the coverage about those games has been on why the Bengals, Browns, and Raiders have lost instead of why the Broncos won.
I find myself annoyed, yet not surprised, about the coverage or comments by the so-called "experts" or "analysts."
The truth is, from the beginning the Broncos have been considered a small market team by the members of the media, aside from the fact that Forbes lists it at No. 10 on their list of teams with the most value, ahead of such heavyweights like the Steelers, Dolphins, Raiders, Chargers, Colts, and the "most storied team in the league," the Packers.
Now that's only measuring the organization's overall income, fanbase, history, worth, and demographic appeal, but those exact reasons cry out the opposite of what the media has labeled us.
This is no longer a team from a small state (population-wise) that's just a footnote in comparison to the big boys. The Broncos have played in six Super Bowls, behind only the teams that the media idolize like the 49ers, Steelers, and Cowboys. Denver has become a metropolis with a population that's growing at an impressive rate, along with the fanbase of this city's favorite franchise, the Broncos.
Now some members of the media have gone as far as to call the Broncos lucky to be 3-0, and all but guaranteed to be 3-1 by next week. The fact remains that our beloved Broncos are 3-0 with a more than real chance to be 4-0 by next week, and I can't wait to hear what these pundits have to say if it happens.
Let me take you back to the beginning of the '08 season, when all this experts speculated that the Denver defensive personnel might be better suited for the 3-4 rather than the 4-3. They pointed out that Elvis Dumervil's attributes, along with youngsters like Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas and veterans like D.J. Williams and Kenny Peterson, would be better served in the 3-4 scheme.
Well, it turns out that they were right. The new coach realized this and went out and hired himself one of the most respected names not only within the scheme, but also on defense, in coach Mike Nolan. He also enlisted the help of some veterans with experience in the scheme to help smooth the transition.
He paid close attention to Nolan's advice and got himself a diamond in the rough by the name of Chris Baker, instead of overpaying for guys like Albert Haynesworth or losing too many picks in trading for a guy like Vince Wilfork or Carlos Rogers, who were on the chopping block according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network, Rogers more so than Wilfork.
Yet these same so-called "experts" damned the Broncos' new-look defense for making the switch without doing "enough" through the draft to justify it. Guys like Mel Kiper Jr.—who by the way has never played or coached football at any level, let alone worked as a scout—said that the Bronco draft was bad, if not horrible.
I ask all of you, what was wrong with the draft?
The fact is with our first pick we not only addressed an area of need but also kept an exceptional talent away from a rival that was clearly targeting him. I'm speaking, of course, about Knowshon Moreno and the Chargers, who had the RB in their crosshairs as a replacement for the clearly aging and declining LT.
Perhaps it was the fact that we selected the second highest rated defensive player according to real and former scouts, GMs, and players in Robert Ayers. Maybe it was the fact that we didn't follow their heavenly advice and move up to take B.J. Raji, a player that they had overhyped and is clearly not a fit for the scheme we were imposing.
Now I'm not saying that this young defense is the new Ravens D, not at all, but I am pointing out the fact that they themselves, along with some fans, alluded to the fact that the players in our defense were being asked to play a position that did not suit them, which instead held them back.
Now they either act surprised or chalk it up to luck or blame the other teams for making us look good instead of swallowing their pride and admitting they were wrong.
I caution all fans, not just Bronco fans, to tread lightly when watching ESPN or NFL Network. These "experts" are nothing but guys like you and me who got lucky and landed a gig on TV to air their opinions on subjects that they know very little to nothing about (I'm looking at you, Kiper and Todd McShay).
The upcoming contest against the Cowboys is being heralded as a true test for this team; never mind the fact that the Cowboys lack a pass rush and pass defense and their run defense has been shaky.
Honestly, this is a double-edged sword for the simple fact that if the Broncos lose, "I told you so" will fly, and if they win, excuses like, "Well, Marion Barber and Felix Jones are hurt" and "They miss T.O." will come rushing in.
The truth is that after three weeks the Broncos are a much improved team on both sides of the ball.
I will admit that Kyle Orton's brand of play, while lacking in excitement, is impressive nonetheless, and I was wrong about him. He is more than just a game manager and has the ability to win games, maybe not in a flashy or made for TV way, but in an efficient and smart way.
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