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The big running back misconception about Mike Shanahan

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The big running back misconception about Mike Shanahan

Postby Azrael » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:40 pm

With the naming of Mike Bell as the No. 1 runningback in Denver, once again there is an uproar about Mike Shanahan being up to his old tricks of deceiving people about who is going to be the running back for Denver. It seems people somehow have this idea that Shanahan likes to use RBBC or likes to flip flop on who he is going to start at RB. Shanahan took over the Denver job in 1995. From my illustration below you can see that the vast majority of the time, Shanahan has kept to one RB or has only switched when a RB got hurt.

1995 - 1998 - Terrell Davis started entire year
1999 - Davis gets hurt 4 weeks in, Olandis Gary takes over for remainder of year
2000 - Davis gets hurt 5 weeks in, Mike Anderson takes over for entire year
2001 - Muddied year because Davis got hurt on 2 occassions, Anderson usually carried but Gary did some subbing
2002 - Davis gets hurt before year starts, Anderson and Gary split load 2 games, Portis takes over week 3.
2003 - Portis is starter
2004 - Portis leaves, Griffin starts first 4 games, Droughns takes over in week 5
2005 - Mike Anderson starts entire year with Bell mixing in carries

I think you can see that Shanahan would prefer to have one RB, but in the same respect, he's going to play the people who are going to produce. Most of the RB changes were due to injuries. It just because of the history of injuries that there seems to be so much turmoil there. Davis continually got hurt, Gary and Anderson stepped in. Portis took over; Griffin couldn't stack up I think mainly because of his size; Droughns takes over, then he leaves. Anderson takes over again; now he's gone. There is constant turmoil at that position for Denver. 90% of it was out of Shanahan's hands.

I think the year that really fueled the fire of this theory was 2004 because that was the year a starter (Griffin) was sort of semi-pulled. He was a little dinged but he wasn't getting it done.

While there is this position battle going on now, once you have a starter for week 1, I'd bank on that guy keeping it barring an injury.
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Postby Bravos of Steel » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:45 pm

Great post Az. That's what I've been trying to get through my head. Even though a good amount of people here believe Denver will run a RBBC type of backfield, Shanahan has never really committed to one.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:52 pm

Sound theory...but unfortunately, most fantasy drafts happen before week 1 starts. If he plays the shell game until then, it's still really hard to figure out who's going to be the guy. :,-(
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Postby aaawall91 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:55 pm

Good stuff, lets just hope i draw the right Denver RB lottery card.
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Postby maddog60 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:06 pm

Denver is more of a year at a time RBBC, every year someone new is the big RB. Wierd compared to most RBBCs
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Postby The Miner Part 2 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:11 pm

you forgot to include tatum bell in the 2004 denver running back mess.

so basically shanahan has been a complete fantasy jerk for the last 5 years and you call his reputation a "misconception"? i dont think so. if it was one or 2 random years id agree with you. but this fluke has become the norm. no way i trust any of these backs as my number 2 this year.
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Postby Azrael » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:40 pm

The Miner Part 2 wrote:you forgot to include tatum bell in the 2004 denver running back mess.

so basically shanahan has been a complete fantasy jerk for the last 5 years and you call his reputation a "misconception"? i dont think so. if it was one or 2 random years id agree with you. but this fluke has become the norm. no way i trust any of these backs as my number 2 this year.


I didn't forget about Bell in '04. It wasn't really a mess. Bell had one game of significance because Droughns nearly cost them the Miami game the week before with 2 fumbles. So Bell started week 15.

I don't get the whole "Shanahan has been a fantasy jerk". I just showed you that the whole swapping of RBs was due mainly to people getting hurt. He can't help that. They've had 5 different 1,000yd backs or whatever in the last 11 years because guys get hurt or guys leave. He just plugs in whoever is next in line. 'bout all he can do don't you think.
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Postby The Miner Part 2 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:51 pm

Azrael wrote:I didn't forget about Bell in '04. It wasn't really a mess. Bell had one game of significance because Droughns nearly cost them the Miami game the week before with 2 fumbles. So Bell started week 15.

I don't get the whole "Shanahan has been a fantasy jerk". I just showed you that the whole swapping of RBs was due mainly to people getting hurt. He can't help that. They've had 5 different 1,000yd backs or whatever in the last 11 years because guys get hurt or guys leave. He just plugs in whoever is next in line. 'bout all he can do don't you think.


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that's bells stats from 04', id call that a mess.

so in 4 of the last 5 years shanahans been having backs split carries because of injuries, lack of production(griffin), or just because he's not sold on a back, anderson and bell last year.

not sure how you can assume you can predict anything in denver, especially with thier lack luster crop of backs in camp this year.
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Postby swyck » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:02 pm

The Miner Part 2 wrote:
Azrael wrote:that's bells stats from 04', id call that a mess.

so in 4 of the last 5 years shanahans been having backs split carries because of injuries, lack of production(griffin), or just because he's not sold on a back, anderson and bell last year.

not sure how you can assume you can predict anything in denver, especially with thier lack luster crop of backs in camp this year.

I dont think anyone was saying anything about predicting anything. Just that Shanahan likes to have a #1 RB to handle the load. Who that may be may change, but that doesnt mean Shanahan is being inconsistent. He's had plenty of 1000 yard backs.


Me I wouldnt draft a Denver RB, at least not until late, but I'll be watching the games to see who is doing what and jumping on any FAs available. I had Anderson as a sleeper last year, but didnt get him in any of my leagues.
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Postby Infidel » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:52 pm

Maybe you are right, maybe not, but from a FF perspective, NO ONE trusts Shanny. All year last year I had M Anderson sitting on my bench behind Edge and Lamont. I couldn't trade him for the flu because everyone thought he could go to the bench any minute and never see the field again.

A top 10 RB you can't trade. That may not be right, but it is the perception. And, yes, I will again draft a Denver RB but only the guy I think will start for them but only as a #3 or lower for me.
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