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Denver's "Stud" Running Back theory: Outdated?

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Denver's "Stud" Running Back theory: Outdated?

Postby Retet » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:19 pm

What do you all think of this?:

It just may be that the long-standing theory that any Denver running back is a good running back is outdated. Why? Well, the Denver running back machine is primarily a product of coaching and offensive line play. Hence the "any Denver RB is a good RB" theory.

The offensive line, while good, is older and somewhat undersized. The coaching has been more suspect in recent years as well. This last point is often noted by my friends who I would classify as "live-and-die" Denver fans.

And while I hate to rely on cliche for argument, I will in this case. All good things come to pass. To think that by its mere "Denver-ness", the Broncos will produce a quality running back year after year after year is illogical.

We may be seeing other "running back factories" emerge in Pittsburgh and Kansas City and seeing one fade in Denver.

Any thoughts?
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Postby vt700guy » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:31 pm

I think you may be on to something. This season will tell us a lot.
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Postby Daddymike59 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:32 pm

Ruuning back factories are built on coaching principals. If Vermeil had a better wr corps the offense would be more balanced I believe. Pitt is relying on a 2nd year yet unproven q/b and the same @ r/b. Let's see what happens when they play a real defense. ( Not this week of course) Shanahan wants to run 1st and throw second. It wasn't always that way in denver. The 3 Amigos proved that even when Terrell davis was there. I believe that Baltimore is another team that relies on good defense and a decent run game. Thats why denver won't be a contender until they shore up that defense.
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Postby Cowboys 4 life » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:42 pm

You might be right but we will have to wait till seasons end to see. 9 out of the past 10 years are pretty good odds. They appear to be less than what they once were but I think Denver is still an elite line or at least one who is versed on the principals of a successful running game.

Lets face it much like what Indy did to Balt is going to be done to Denver all year. Rod smith is not as hard to cover. Lelie can be singled all day. Alexander is a decent TE but not great. Why would any coach not try and stuff the box to force them to beat them on the pass?

I feel the problem lies with the balance of the team. You must keep D's honest. Miami dared them to run and only once Tatum made them pay. If teams do that its going to be a tough year for Denver. But I still think only a handfull of teams they play can do what Miami did to them.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:06 pm

Great topic.

I have one name for you fellas - Alex Gibbs.

Alex Gibbs was the OLine coach in Denver from 1995-2003. He is considered the architect of the awesome running system Denver employed during that time. He is a very hands on coach who can be viewed as more of a teacher than other coaches. When he left Denver, many people saw it as the end of an era and many wondered how long it would take for the running game in Denver to suffer now that he left - not if it would suffer, but when.

You know who hired Gibbs during the '03 - '04 offseason?
Atlanta. He immediately transformed that Oline into the rushing powerhouse it is today - they finished as the top rushing team in 2004.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/team/coachbio.jsp?id=86

If you want to know whats happening to the Denver situation, the conversation begins and ends with Alex Gibbs.

Now I dont have an answer as to when or what event will signal the end to the DEN running system dynasty, but what is clear is that it is only a matter of time.
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Postby biju » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:21 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:Great topic.

I have one name for you fellas - Alex Gibbs.

Alex Gibbs was the OLine coach in Denver from 1995-2003. He is considered the architect of the awesome running system Denver employed during that time. He is a very hands on coach who can be viewed as more of a teacher than other coaches. When he left Denver, many people saw it as the end of an era and many wondered how long it would take for the running game in Denver to suffer now that he left - not if it would suffer, but when.

You know who hired Gibbs during the '03 - '04 offseason?
Atlanta. He immediately transformed that Oline into the rushing powerhouse it is today - they finished as the top rushing team in 2004.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/team/coachbio.jsp?id=86

If you want to know whats happening to the Denver situation, the conversation begins and ends with Alex Gibbs.

Now I dont have an answer as to when or what event will signal the end to the DEN running system dynasty, but what is clear is that it is only a matter of time.


Good info, thanks! ;-D
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Postby biju » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:31 pm

Quick question: who are other O-line coordinators that you would put in the elite level, and more importantly, how long have they been in their current job? I can see the impact of a good O-line coach being extremely important and taking a bit of time to realize the impact.

then again, it's only one piece of the equation. You have to have a head coach want a featured back and not have a goalline vulture (like TJ Duckett in Atlanta).

Just curious. ;-D
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Postby Santana » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:31 pm

wow. Really interesting info about Alex Gibbs, I didn't know that. I guess this year will be the test of the o-line without him. Although I'm inclined to believe that if the system is in place they'll still produce good RB's.
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Postby Hugh M. Griz » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:34 pm

First of all, Cornbread's right about Gibbs ... that's a primary reason I targeted and got Dunn as RB3. ;-D

That said, there is still hope in Denver. The line schemes should still be fine, but that offense has always been predicated on balance with at least the threat of a passing game. Unfortunately for Shanny, Plummer has a lame road history, and that chicken came home to roost big-time at Miami.
I'd look for a pretty good bounce-back for the Broncos this week. The question is whether Anderson is healthy enough to make RB a committee or if Bell gets the load.
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Postby Teh Jury » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:35 pm

Santana wrote:wow. Really interesting info about Alex Gibbs, I didn't know that. I guess this year will be the test of the o-line without him. Although I'm inclined to believe that if the system is in place they'll still produce good RB's.



I agree that once a system has been established, if the coordinator leaves then the system gradually fade. Thus, it will likely still perform well for some measure of time, but as players change and bad habits are picked up, that O-line drifts away from Gibbs' system.
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