Plenty of chatter about the Broncos reaching out to Mike Nolan as Head Coach. Nolan had improved the Denver defense by leaps and bounds in his short time there as coordinator, taking them from 29th overall in the league to 7th in a single season. However, he didn’t get along with youngster Josh McDaniels, so Nolan gladly resigned and took his talents to South Beach.
Clearly Coach Joshy underestimated the importance of Nolan. The Broncos had five picks in the first three rounds last April. Apparently feeling confident that their defense was around to stay, they used all five selections on offense.
They snatched up Tim Tebow in the first round, leaving defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Devin McCourty on the board. Kyle “Crazylegs” Orton proceeded to light it up as Denver quarterback. Almost 300 yards a game, 20TDs, 9INTs. With Orton nursing his ribs, Tebow started his first game yesterday. Timmy scored once on a nice run, and once on a lob to the end zone that wasn’t intercepted due almost certainly to divine intervention. Overall, a 50% completion percentage for 133 yards.
While Tebow could eventually turn into more than a fullback with a license to throw, Denver’s troubles this season cannot be put on Orton’s shoulders. Nor Brandon Lloyd’s. Denver’s offense has scored a respectable 21 points a game this season. Problem is, with Nolan in Davie, their defense is giving up 28.
It would make sense for Denver to extend on olive branch to Nolan this offseason. They have seen first-hand the impact of having him, and the impact of losing him. No doubt he’ll be on other teams’ lists as well.
Of course, if the Dolphins have been paying attention, they’ll do anything within their power to keep him around.
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