Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Thoughts on the Broncos and Rod Smith

Posted by mizzou1028 on July 30, 2008

– What happened to the summer?  The Broncos’ first preseason game is a week from Saturday, and it doesn’t quite feel like football time yet.  Not that I’m complaining, I still get way more excited for football than all of the other sports combined. 

– The more I think about the Broncos the more optimistic I am they can at least compete for a wild card.  I really like the idea of D.J. Williams moving back to outside linebacker, for that should have more impact on defense than people may realize.  He will have more freedom to make plays than he did at middle linebacker last season, and that will have a trickle down effect on the rest of the defense.   I also like the addition of Dewayne Robertson at defensive tackle.  His presence should improve the team’s ability to stop the run and generate a pass rush, which could have the trickle down effect of more interceptions for Champ Bailey and friends in the secondary. 

– I also am convinced Jay Cutler will have his best season yet.  Keep in mind he was battling diabetes last season and didn’t know it.  This year he is better prepared to handle the situation.  He is also entering his third year in Mike Shanahan’s offense.  The offensive line will be improved by the simple fact that they are entering the season healthy, something they never were last year.  The offense really has the potential to be explosive like it hasn’t been in a couple of years.  That being said…….

– I really hope Brandon Marshall has learned his lesson.  I also hope that Roger Goodell isn’t too hard on him, even if Marshall may deserve some punishment for his off the field behavior in the past year.  Even a four game suspension would have a big impact on the Broncos, for that would cause Marshall to miss division road games at Oakland and Kansas City.  Those are both winnable games, but with Marshall out would become that much tougher to win, not to mention the Broncos would be significantly shorthanded at home against San Diego in week two.  That’s tough enough, but if Marshall is suspended for eight games, not out of the question considering how tough Goodell has been on those that don’t toe the line, than I shudder to think about where the Broncos would be before Marshall could return in November.  The amount of games Marshall is suspended (and word is it will be two at the bare minimum) could end up being the most important number for the Broncos in 2008. 

– Regardless of any suspension, the fact that Bronco great Rod Smith has taken Marshall under his wing means we shouldn’t hear about any more off the field incidents for Marshall.  Smith’s presence around Marshall and the rest of the team can only mean good things for the organization.

– Speaking of Smith, I don’t think he gets his due nationwide.  He should be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame based on his numbers and contributions to the organization, but his name doesn’t seem to come up when talk turns to great receivers of the 90s.  Considering that only two Broncos are in the Hall of Fame (John Elway and Gary Zimmerman), it doesn’t seem as though the national voting panel will be that quick to acknowledge Smith. 

– You don’t think there is a bias against Smith nationally? Let’s compare him with Michael Irvin, who got inducted into the Hall last season in his second year of eligibility.  The only reason Irvin didn’t get in on the first ballot was because of his off the field issues.  Irvin in his career caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns for the Cowboys.  Smith? He caught 849 passes (99 more than Irvin) for 11,383 yards and 68 touchdowns.  Both receivers played an identical 12 seasons, and while Irvin won one more Super Bowl than Smith, Irvin had the luxury of Troy Aikman throwing to him most of his career.  Smith compiled a lot of his numbers with Brian Griese and Jake Plummer throwing to him, after just four seasons with John Elway.  Considering Smith has been as clean as a Boy Scout his entire career, he should be a first ballot lock right? Or rather, he would be if he wore the jersey of an east coast team his entire career.  It will be interesting to see what actually happens when Smith is eligible for induction in five years. 

– I am convinced that the Broncos should have more guys from their past in the Hall of Fame.  It is absolutely inexcusable that the Hall doesn’t include Randy Gradishar, Floyd Little and Lionel Taylor.  I also would make a big case for Terrell Davis, who has been a finalist a couple of times, but it is fair to wonder if he played long enough.  The point is, if any of the above mentioned players played for the Giants or the Cowboys or the Redskins, they would have been in easily.  The voters say there is no bias, but it is obvious that there is one. 

– Next winter will be interesting because Shannon Sharpe will be eligible for the first time.  If he isn’t inducted immediately, they should blow up the place.  It would a real farce if the greatest tight end in the history of the game didn’t get in on the first try.

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