Lions (6-2) blast Broncos (2-5); Tebow’s 3.4 Total QBR lowest by any QB since 2008

Posted by Uncle Rico 6:25 PM ET

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch mocks Tim Tebow after sacking the Broncos QB on Sunday. (Image: AP)

AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton got it right when he wrote “Tim Tebow wasn’t on one knee in prayer this time. He was on the ground in misery.” En route to a 45-10 shellacking of the Denver Broncos the Detroit Lions sacked Tebow seven times, forced him to fumble three times (the Broncos maintained possession on two of the fumbles) and intercepted the second year quarterback once. The Lions capitalized on the two turnovers, turning each into a touchdown – a 24 yard fumble return by Cliff Avril in the 3rd quarter and a 100 yard interception return by Chris Houston in the 4th quarter.

The game highlighted the value of a top quarterback to an NFL team. Per ESPN, Matthew Stafford led the way in quarterback play in Week 8, posting a career-high Total QBR of 94.6. On the other end of the spectrum was Broncos starter Tim Tebow, who had the lowest Total QBR of the week. In fact, Tebow’s Total QBR of 3.4 on 59 action plays was the lowest by any QB with at least 50 action plays in a game since 2008.

Even the hometown newspaper seems resigned to the fact that that Josh McDaniels hand picked quarterback is not long for the NFL (unless a position change is in No. 15’s future):

Mark Kizla of The Denver Post wrote that “Tebow played as ineptly as any sorry excuse for a pro quarterback possibly could. He was laughably bad. Those five wonderful minutes against Miami now look like an aberration. Right here, right now, he is the worst quarterback in the NFL.”

Dave Krieger acknowledges that “McDaniels got the last laugh after all, leaving the Broncos with an awesomely popular quarterback who can’t throw the ball with the consistency required in the NFL.”

The Lions gameplan on defense was simple… make Tebow be a quarterback. According to Chris Houston “[the Broncos] had been giving us kind of the same routes. And you could kind of see when Tebow was going to throw to that side because he would kind of look over there and see how I was playing. The D-line knew coming into this game that if we could stop Tebow’s feet and make him be a quarterback that we got a pretty good chance of winning.”

It gets worse. An unnamed Lions defender shared this assessment of Tebow with Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports: “Can you believe 15? Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’”

When an defense can dominate by making the opposition’s quarterback be a quarterback and then publicly mocks the quarterback’s play after the game, the writing is on the wall. Thankfully for Broncos fans, John Elway knows with little doubt that the Broncos must find a new quarterback this offseason.

McDaniels named to 2011 All-Underachieving Team at season’s midway point; Lloyd questions if Tebow’s style of play will work in the NFL against formidable opponents

Posted by Uncle Rico 11:55 AM ET

ESPN is doing its best to propagate the story of third string QB turned “Savior” (Image: ESPN)

SI.com’s Don Banks included Josh McDaniels on the list of players, coaches and team executives who have clearly underwhelmed NFL analysts and fans thus far in 2011. After being fired in Denver, McDaniels was supposed to repair his badly damaged reputation by tutoring quarterback Sam Bradford and pushing the St. Louis Rams offense to new heights. However, the Rams are 0-6 and as Banks writes, “Bradford has clearly regressed.” The NFL will undoubtedly be a better place when McDaniels returns to selling plastics in Cleveland.

Count former Denver Broncos wide receiver among the seemingly endless list of Tim Tebow skeptics. Per ProFootballTalk.com, asked on ESPN 101 in St. Louis whether Tebow can be a good NFL quarterback, Lloyd said he is not so sure.

“I don’t know,” Lloyd said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I think only time will tell with that style of play. I think it [was] effective last Sunday [vs. Miami], but I just don’t know how effective that style can be over the course of a long [season] and playing formidable opponents.”

Asked about Tebow’s mechanics, Lloyd noted that the long windup in Tebow’s throwing motion can mean the ball doesn’t get to the receiver when he’s open.

“Any delay in delivering the ball… throws a monkey wrench into all the tim[ing] and anything you are trying to accomplish down the field,” Lloyd said.

Kissing Suzy Kolber’s Christmas Ape believes that John Fox certainly isn’t a Tebow fan. But as Fox has learned, despite a historically horrendous passing performance through 55 minutes last Sunday against the Dolphins, Tebow’s last minute heroics good fortune has elevated the media and fan coverage of Tebow from nauseating to vomiting + diarrhea.

This week the Broncos (2-4) host the upstart Detroit Lions (5-2). Just as exciting for Broncos fans will be the matchup of Matt Barkley vs. Andrew Luck in Los Angeles on Saturday. Perhaps one of the top 2 quarterback prospects will be Denver’s first round pick in April.

Brandon Lloyd reunited with McDaniels; Broncos (1-4) getting ready to face Dolphins (0-5) in Lose for Luck showdown

Posted by Uncle Rico 1:15 ET

The vast majority of scouts think Stanford’s Andrew Luck is the best QB prospect since John Elway. (Image: AP)

According to Jason La Canfora the Denver Broncos have traded wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams in advance of today’s trade deadline. The trade will reunite Lloyd with Josh McDaniels, now the offensive coordinator of the NFL’s worst offense for the 0-5 St. Louis Rams. There is no denying Lloyd’s skill and uncanny ability to make difficult catches, but his Pro Bowl season of 2010 seems to be a deviation from a largely pedestrian career.

More importantly, The Denver Post’s Jim Armstrong examines the shadow Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is casting on the Broncos game in South Florida next Sunday. At stake is the potential to draft the player former University of Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt, now a Pac-12 TV analyst and talk-show host on 102.3 FM The Ticket, said would be a star in the NFL – right now.

“He’s the fifth-best quarterback on the face of the planet,” Klatt said.

Klatt ranks Luck behind Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, a healthy Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. That’s it. So Luck is ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Matt Ryan? Klatt continued “I’ve watched every snap he’s had this year and some from last year. He manipulates the defense constantly with his eyes. His football acumen is so superior to any other college player I’ve ever seen. It just kind of jumps off the tape.”

Perhaps Klatt’s evaluation is a little aggressive, but it’s impossible to find an NFL talent evaluator or analyst that doesn’t believe Luck is the real deal.

“He’s a franchise quarterback,” former NFL scout Dave Razzano said. “This kid’s as tough as nails. He’s a big guy (6-foot-4, 238 pounds) who can run. He punishes defenders. He’s kind of like a linebacker at times. He’s a great leader in the locker room, and in the huddle he rallies the troops.”

And SI.com’s Peter King offers that the widely held view of many NFL scouts is that Luck may not be a better prospect than John Elway, but he’s in the same league as Elway. Enough said.

Armstrong knows that if the Broncos organization wants to reverse its fortunes, the key is not winning games this year.

“[Broncos fans have] clamored for Tebow and, now that his time has come, they want him to stay. To those misguided souls, we offer three words of advice: Watch. The. Tape. Tebow is a college superstar hoping he’s not a square peg in a round hole as an NFL quarterback. Luck? Unless every NFL scout ought to be bagging groceries at Kurt Warner’s alma mater, he’s a 17th Street parade waiting to happen. The kid calls his own plays. In college! The Broncos, if they’re going to have any chance at drafting Luck, need to take a knee. They need blown coverages, botched assignments and the occasional arrest or suspension. And if it’s third-and-12, a nice fullback-up-the-middle would be just the ticket.”

Broncos 30th in PFT.com Power Ranking: The fumes of Josh McDaniels are hanging in the mile-high air like the remnants of rancid pork burrito night

Posted by Uncle Rico 2:31 PM ET

Entering the first week of the 2011 regular season, ProFootballTalk.com ranks the Denver Broncos the third worst team in the league noting that the stink of former head coach Josh McDaniels still lingers in the Colorado air “like the remnants of rancid pork burrito night.” McDaniels disastrous personnel and coaching decisions have been documented in detail on this site. It is difficult for Broncos fans to move on when they are constantly reminded of the damage McDaniels inflicted on the organization.

With the recent release of safety Darcel McBath, none (i.e. ZERO!) of Josh McDaniels three 2009 2nd round draft picks remain with the Broncos. The Denver Post’s Mike Klis, who has turned on McDaniels faster than the Jamaican 4 x 100 relay team, recapped perhaps the worst pound-for-pound draft round by any team in the history of the NFL:

“Factor in the enormous quantity and the poor quality, and it may go down as the worst second-round selections in the history of the NFL draft. The Broncos had three picks in the second round two years ago. They traded a first-round draft pick in 2010 to move up in 2009’s second round and select cornerback Alphonso Smith.

The first taken and the first to go. Smith was traded last year to Detroit for tight end Dan Gronkowski , who was cut Saturday by Denver. Smith caught on with the Lions, starting 10 games and coming up with five interceptions.

Next, the Broncos drafted safety Darcel McBath, who was waived Sunday to make room for the signing of former Patriots nickel back Jonathan Wilhite . McBath showed promise as a rookie, intercepting a Peyton Manning pass but then breaking his forearm in the same game. At the time, he was leading the Broncos in special-teams tackles.

But McBath got hurt a couple more times last season and never stayed healthy enough to reach his NFL potential.

Just as that second round was about to finish, the Broncos traded two third-round picks to move up and draft tight end Richard Quinn, who barely played and had only one catch in two seasons before he was waived with an injury settlement during training camp.

Strike one. Strike two. Strike three. The big whiff in the second round of the 2009 draft helps explain why the Broncos finished 4-12 last season and seem to lack depth in 2011.”

Not to be outdone by his hideous performance in 2009, in 2010 McDaniels traded three draft picks to Baltimore to move back into the first round to select former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. According to a long list of NFL analysts, Tebow may never develop into a functional NFL quarterback. Perhaps it was easy for McDaniels to fall in love with Tebow’s character, desire and football sense, but McDaniels cavalier attitude towards wasting draft picks cannot be forgiven. At the time, many league insiders believed that Tebow could have been had for a single pick in round 2, 3 or even later. But McDaniels had to let everyone know how smart he thinks he is (or how dumb he thinks you are) by reaching for a quarterback that struggled mightily this preseason and now sits behind journeymen Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn on the Broncos depth chart.

The only good that can come out of McDaniels reign of incompetence is another losing season that will put the Broncos in position to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

McDaniels gone but (thanks to havoc left behind) not forgotten

Posted by Uncle Rico 10:10 PM ET

Yahoo! Sports’ Doug Farrar hit the nail on the head with his recent observations about Josh McDaniels and the Denver Broncos:

“If you’re going to be a truly horrible personnel executive, it’s best to have your moves still wreaking havoc with your former team even after you’ve moved on to greener pastures. Such is the case for Josh McDaniels, who did quite the waste job on Denver’s roster in less than two full seasons before he was summarily dismissed late in the 2010 season. Getting rid of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Peyton Hillis and Alphonso Smith were the moves that set off bombs at the times they happened, but it was a 2010 first-round draft pick that may leave the largest impact — and not necessarily a good one. When the Broncos selected Tim Tebow 25th overall in 2010, it moved the media hype around Tebow from Florida to the Mile High City, especially when Tebow played reasonably well in Denver’s last few games after starter Kyle Orton suffered a season-ending rib injury. This offseason, the Broncos tried to engineer an Orton trade to the Miami Dolphins, but it hasn’t happened yet. New team president John Elway and head coach John Fox may still move Orton, and if they do so in favor of Tebow, it sounds like the team’s veteran offensive skill players might not be too happy about that.”

Broncos veterans aren’t on board with moving Orton becasue he has quickly reclaimed his spot atop the Broncos quaterback depth chart, outplaying Tebow by a wide margin in the first week of training camp according to many media reports.

And to make matters worse, ESPN’s Merril Hoge is the latest NFL analyst to make a case against Tebow’s ability to succeed at the NFL level. As summarized by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Hoge had this to say on Mike & Mike in the Morning:

Hoge told Mike Greenberg and Adam Schefter that Tebow “had no business” being drafted as a quarterback, and that he should have been a sixth-round or seventh-round draft pick at best. Hoge focused on the issue of Tebow’s looping delivery, which continues to emerge in moments of stress and duress.

“Just that alone drove Byron Leftwich to a backup position,” Hoge said. “Tim has that issue. It’s never going to change.”

Hoge also pointed to accuracy problems, which he said become even worse when Tebow is on the move, and which becomes even more pronounced when coupled with the looping delivery. “Those two are major, major issues, I have never seen overcome,” Hoge said.

Hoge also wisely pointed out that the Broncos, by making Tim Tebow a first-round pick in 2010, now have a “political nightmare.”

Then there’s the issue of Tebow’s physical style of play. Hoge fears that, in the NFL, Tebow won’t survive 16 games, given his belief that, for example, when the Broncos are near the end zone “nobody runs the ball but me,” as microphones captured Tebow telling coaches last year against the Chargers.

At one point, Hoge pointed out an interesting comparison between Tebow and great college player turned NFL buset Brian Bosworth. Hoge said that the hype surrounding guys like that will prompt opponents to play even harder against them.

Hoge acknowledged that Tebow could be a situational player, or a quarterback who could be hidden by a great dfense and running game, but that Tebow could never be the guy who leads a team to a title.

So there Broncos fans have it, according to Hoge, McDaniels used the 25th overall pick in the 2010 draft to select a “situational player” that should have been drafted in the sixth or seventh round. McDaniels may be long gone, but his disastrous personnel moves – reaching for Tebow included – are still wreaking havoc on the Denver Broncos.

It’s Miller Time in Denver; Chiefs punter says Haley thinks McDaniels was cheating

Posted by Uncle Rico 9:14 PM ET

With the NFL and it’s players reaching agreement on a new labor deal, football is back in Denver. The Broncos open training camp under new head coach John Fox on Wednesday and all eyes will be on first round pick Von Miller. Keep it locked in on Josh McDaniels Sucks for independent analysis and insights about the Denver Broncos as the team moves on from the worst coach in NFL history.

Speaking of McDaniels, Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, appearing on the Vic & Gary show on 102.3 the Fan in Denver, said that Chiefs head coach Todd Haley belived McDaniels was cheating when the teams met in Denver last season. Now it’s known why Haley refused to shake McDaniels’ hand after the game.

And add running back Knowshown Moreno and cornerback Perrish Cox to the long list of questionable draft picks during the brief McDaniels era.

Peterson top player on Kiper’s big board; McShay continues to hear that Broncos don’t beleive Tebow is long-term solution at QB

Posted by Uncle Rico 2:10 PM ET

The Denver Broncos would be wise to draft Patrick Peterson in the first round and address the defensive line in round two. (Image: AP)

With the draft only two days away, NFL insiders and draft pundits are feverishly releasing final versions of mock drafts. ESPN’s Todd McShay predicted the Denver Broncos will select powerful, versatile Alabama DT Marcell Dareus with the 2nd overall pick. Taking Dareus would not be much of a surprise as almost every draft forecaster, including Mel Kiper and five NFL.com analysts have the Broncos looking to Dareus to fill the most glaring need on the team’s roster. Interestingly though, McShay offered that as an alternative to Dareus Denver could take a quarterback as “[h]e continues to hear the organization does not believe 2010 first-rounder Tim Tebow is the long-term answer.”

While Dareus is viewed as a safe pick, Jeff Legwold of The Denver Post has it right in lobbying for the Broncos to not draft based on need but rather go with the best player available, period. That would be LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson who is “not only is the best defensive back on the board, but front to back, on the field and off, is the draft’s most well-rounded prospect.”

Kiper, despite beleiving the Broncos favor Dareus, agrees with Legwold that Peterson is the best defensive player in the 2011 draft class. In fact, Kiper lists Peterson as the No. 1 overall player on his final Big Board.

Peterson is too good to pass on and this draft is deep in defensive line talent. So, let’s hope the Broncos take Peterson in the first round and then address the porous interior defensive line with players such as Stephen Paea, Phil Taylor and/or Marvin Austin with both of the team’s second round picks.

Elway calls Cutler “the kind of player you don’t give up on”

Posted by Uncle Rico 2:50 PM ET

Like many Denver Broncos fans, John Elway wishes the team had not given up on Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler. Elway acknowledged that a player with Cutler’s talent doesn’t come around that often and said that if he was running the Broncos football operations at the time Josh McDaniels traded Cutler to Chicago, “there’s a good possibility” Cutler would still be Denver. So it’s clear, Elway believes McDaniels made a colossal mistake in jettisoning Cutler for Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

Elway may see a little of himself in Washington quarterback Jake Locker, a mobile, strong armed passer that has opted to focus on football despite being a Major League Baseball draft pick. As a result, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Broncos selected LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson in the first round and Locker with the first of the team’s two second round picks. ProFootballTalk.com recently reported that most team’s don’t have a first round grade on Locker due to accuracy concerns.

UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk.com, Elway appeared Thursday on 104.3 the Fan in Denver (via SportsRadioInterviews.com), and was asked whether the Broncos interest in quarterback prospects is a smokescreen.

“Well the bottom line is at that position, everybody realizes how important that position is,” Elway said. “And anytime you have the draft position we have — second in the draft — you have to look at everybody. And we’re looking at every position, not only the quarterback position, but that seems to get the most attention because of what we have here. But obviously if there’s a guy there that’s a franchise guy there, we definitely have to look at it because we’re not sure we have a franchise guy on our team right now. So obviously we’ve got to visit that, look at it, and do our due diligence on it and then we’ll make our decision from there. But no, it’s not a smokescreen. We realize — and I realize — how important that position is, and if there’s a franchise guy there that we know is a franchise guy, we’d have to look at it.”

Clearly, the Broncos are concerned about Tim Tebow’s future as an NFL passer.

Broncos schedule private workout with Jake Locker

Posted by Uncle Rico 2:07 PM ET

Perhaps John Elway sees a little of himself in Washington QB Jake Locker. (Image: Getty Images)

According to the NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, the Denver Broncos have scheduled a private workout with Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

As Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com points out, “too much is often made of these private workouts, but the Broncos’ decision to work out Locker is notable. It shows they are considering adding a quarterback or want to make other teams think they are considering adding a quarterback.”

Based on the team’s election to workout Locker and the attendance of John Elway and John Fox at Missouri’s pro day to watch Blaine Gabbert throw, coupled with recent reports that Tim Tebow doesn’t have much support at Dove Valley, perhaps Elway (with input from Fox) has decided that Tebow does not have the skills necessary to be an effective NFL passer.

UPDATE: According to ProFootballTalk.com’s draft visits and workout tracker, the only player that the Broncos have scheduled for a private workout and official team-facility visit is LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Broncos director of college scouting gets blasted by OL prospect

Posted by Uncle Rico 11:20 AM ET

Several NFL scouts attended Colorado’s pro day earlier this week, but only Denver Broncos director of college scouting Matt Russell was silly enough to take on top offensive tackle prospect Nate Solder. The 6’8″, 319 lbs. Solder lit up Russell, a former Buffaloes linebacker who won the Butkus Award in 1996 and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 4th round in 1997.

Everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy Solder reminding Russell that he’s now a scout and no longer a player (too bad it wasn’t Josh McDaniels)!

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