Sunday, September 19, 2010

Call Me a Skeptic: Top Reasons to Worry About the Broncos

The Broncos bullied the Seahawks today. They came up with big plays, had a gaudy third down conversion rate, and made the faithful forget that Brandon Marshall fellow. It was a good and well-earned win.

But I’m worried. They also showed some seriously negative tendencies that will get them beat by the likes of Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, and the truth is that the San Diego Chargers are still a good team and the Chiefs got a lot healthier in the offseason. If the Broncos want to make the playoffs this year, it won’t be an easy road.

Here are the top five things the Broncos need to fix:

  1. The Running Game. Knowshon Moreno’s best touches came when he caught the ball. Despite a few good running plays, Moreno averaged only 2.1 yards per carry and had far too many carries for negative yards. There is no consistency in his game and too little of the shifty explosiveness that might make up for the short runs. So far this year, Moreno is averaging fewer yards per game and fewer yards per carry. The 2009 draft is not looking like a great year for running backs (although Beanie Wells could make me eat those words).

    Buckhalter did even worse. Averaging only 1.7 yards per carry, he racked up a cool 19 yards on his 11 rushes. This just isn’t getting the job done.
  2. The Offensive Line. The o-line used to be the strength of this team. The zone blocking scheme helped the Broncos have a ridiculous string of 1,000 yard rushers, gave quarterbacks excellent protection, and truly helped win games. Josh McDaniel abandoned that zone blocking scheme, changed personnel, and the line is worse by far than it was a few seasons ago. Chalk some of this up to injuries and youth--which would be fair--but the old scheme simply seemed to work better.
  3. Punt Coverage Team. The punt coverage team is giving up huge yards. There were only three punt returns today for a total of about 82 yards. On return was for no yards, one was for 19 yards, and the other was for 63 yards. On both of the returns for yards, there were Broncos in position to make plays--indeed, Broncos who got hands on Tate (the Seahawks player)--and they failed to make the tackles. In a close game, those are the kinds of plays that can give the game away. The kick coverage team struggled last week, too, giving up a big return for 53 yards.
  4. Third Downs. No, not on the offensive side of the ball where the Broncos were amazing today, but on the other side where they saw the Seahawks go 7 for 11 on third down. Quite a number of those came on third-and-long plays where the defense had played well. If they hadn’t managed to come up with the three defensive takeaways, the score would have been quite different. The Hawks racked up 339 yards to the Broncos 369 which doesn’t usually indicate such a lopsided score.
  5. Tackling. The Broncos missed a lot of tackles today when players simply didn’t work hard enough to wrap up ball carriers. This wasn’t just the young players (although there were some moments of bad coverage and bad tackling that I’ll be willing to chalk up to youth), but even Dawkins forgot to wrap-up on one play where the carrier ended up with big yards after he first hit them for what should have been a modest game.

Don’t get me wrong: there were a lot of good things in the game, too.

Kyle Orton is playing well and the wide receivers played well. In fact, Demaryius Thomas showed everyone why McDaniels thought he was worth the draft pick, Eddie Royal played a really good game, and both Lloyed and Gaffney came up with big catches. While I’m missing a rough, strong back like Peyton Hillis right now, I’m not at all missing Brandon Marshall. That could change as the year goes on, of course, but the early look at this group of receivers is kind of exciting.

And as i said, Moreno’s best moment came when he caught the ball--which he did four times for 67 yards. The longest, a run of 45 yards, was a lot of fun to watch. He ran hard, he showed some speed, and reminded people that he has some talent. It’s just a shame that he can’t find that same elusiveness in the running game.

The Broncos have a lot of potential and this game extended their home opener win streak to the last 11 seasons. If they want to take that potential and make something of it, though, they need to be a good bit better in a few areas

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Is it Just Me? (The Brett Favre Edition)

Is it just me or did it look like Favre really needed a little more training camp before the season started?

Just sayin’. 

TeleTech Hiring More Than 2,000

If you are jobless in the Denver area, this won’t count as great news, but it might count as good news. According to the Denver Business Journal, TeleTech will be hiring more than 2,000 people in the Denver area. Unfortunately, many of those jobs are temporary, part-time, work-at-home positions--which won’t solve your job problems, but might well help in the short term.

TeleTech said 1,850 of the open positions are for part-time, temporary staffing. Those hired will work about 25 hours per week beginning in October for five months.

Applicants are asked to apply online at http://www.HirePoint.com/AtHome, and then attend a hiring event on Monday, Sept. 13; Tuesday, Sept. 14; or Wednesday, Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Wildlife Experience on Lincoln Avenue at South Peoria Street, east of Interstate 25 near Parker.

Good luck.

Read the details here.

Talk About Your Infinite Jests…

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

To be fair, I tried this with three different posts. I was curious to see if there would be a dominant style. The first post gave me Arthur Clarke, the second was HP Lovecraft, and the third was Wallace. Apparently consistency of presentation isn’t my strong suit.

Thanks to Wheels for pointing this out.


In case you were wondering--and you probably weren’t--the Sing Buri Cashews from Sahale Snacks are freakin’ awesome.

Tasty treat.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Few Late Night Observations

  1. GI Joe is even worse than I expected. The special effects are uneven (with some just being ridiculously bad), the story is laughably dumb, the acting is exactly what you would expect from a summertime explodapalooza, and the script is horrible. I’m glad I didn’t pay to see this thing in the theaters. Maybe I could have forgiven some of those sins if the movie looked good, but it doesn’t.
  2. But Netflix streaming over wifi gives me a better picture on the giant screen TV than I get with my cable. Much better resolution, color, everything. This is the kind of thing that makes me think that I might be happy if I killed my cable and got an Apple TV. Then I remember that I really like to watch sports. If it weren’t for that, I would probably get the Apple TV, subscribe to the handful of TV shows I actually enjoy watching, and call it a good day.
  3. Speaking of Apple, how about Apple’s new line-up of products?
  4. Apple TV still isn’t what I really want it to be, but at just $99 I might pick it up anyway. If I kill off the Blockbuster monthly membership, I would probably realize a savings by renting videos through Apple--and do so with a tremendous measure of convenience. It would also be the third product hooked to my TV that could stream video from my Netflix account--which, that just seems like overkill.
  5. The new iPod Shuffle is a step (back) in the right direction. As a reward for sitting through a sales pitch from a company that wanted to sell me marketing services, I was given a free, last generation iPod Shuffle. It’s an amazingly small bit of kit, but it is one of the worst Apple products I’ve ever owned. It’s a pain to control and it has absolutely none of the user-friendliness that I’ve come to expect from the company. If I had bought it, I would have been pretty cranky. The new Shuffle gives it back a normal set of controls at the expense of a little bit of its compact size. That seems like a good idea to me.
  6. The new iPod Nano is a different story, though. I think the last gen version is the one that I would want if I were in the market. While the new Nano has a nifty touch screen, a nifty OS, and looks like quite a nice little media player, it would have made more sense as a iPod Shuffle HD. To change the form, the Nano ditched the video, uses a smaller screen, and loses video playback. Yes, it gained a bit, but I actually liked the idea of using the Nano as an easy replacement for a Flip-class video player. I’m left a little cold by it.
  7. The iPod Touch is a great little beast, though. I have zero need for it in my life, of course, but if I didn’t have the iPhone, I would consider getting a Touch.
  8. Ping is the really confusing product for me, though. I’m not sure if the world really needs another social media site and, if it did, I’m not sure it needs that site to be built into iTunes. I have no idea if it will be successful, but, if it is, then it will probably be the final, welcome death of MySpace. MySpace already feels like a relic from another era (dog years have nothing on Internet years) and it’s just waiting for the final push to send it to the grave.
  9. None of which changes the fact that Britney Spears’ former body guard’s lawsuit sounds like so much bunk to me. The situations he describes as offensive and disgusting--well, let’s just say that I don’t buy his story.
  10. None of which makes me feel better about the fact that I don’t have nearly enough incandescent lights in the pantry. Not sure where to pick them up anymore, either--the stores around us only seem to stock the fluorescent bulbs now. Now, I don’t have a huge issue with the CFL lights except these little issues: I haven’t seen anywhere near the three to five year lifespan I was told that they would give me, they don’t work on dimmer switches, they often take too long to warm up, I’m still iffy on what I’m supposed to do to the pile of dead bulbs that I have in a bag in the closet, and I hate the fact that my choice has been slowly legislated away. Which is precisely why you should read what Lileks has to say on the subject.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Mining, Aggregates, Construction & Demolition Recycling

Do you work for any such company? Producers, manufacturers, consultant, whatever. If so, then this link might interest you.


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