Re-arranging deck chairs and other observations from the Raiders debacle
• Incredibly disappointed in the Broncos “effort” in their loss to the Raiders. Stunning that a Raiders team that had lost two in a row and were without Jon Gruden came into Denver with a special teams coach in charge and looked like the better coached, more unified, hungrier team.
• My feeling going into this game was we may not learn what the Broncos are, but we could learn what they are not. What they are not is a playoff contending team. They did not build upon that 3-0 start. All they’ve done the last three games is remind us of all the bad football we’ve watched around here the last several years.
• And what does that look like? Overrated players that we were guilty of building up. Poor coaching. Poor coordination. Unlucky injuries, but just about every team has their share of those. What was different and most discouraging about this Raiders loss was the inescapable sense that Broncos players quit and tuned out Vic Fangio. The Raiders bullied the Broncos. The Raiders won every “50/50 ball.” Players like Courtland Sutton made business decisions and didn’t make the requisite effort after an interception.
• The pitchforks and lanterns crowd is out for blood. They want heads to roll – starting with Fangio and continuing with Pat Shurmur. While I get it, if I’m general manager George Paton, I hang tight.
• He got a six-year deal, which is longer than most in this league. The length of the contract tells me he came in and had to inherit this coaching staff. The idea would be in year one, he would sit back, take the lay of the land, allow himself to be won over by Fangio if possible, but by no means was he tied to Fangio.
• We in Broncos Country live in the moment and want change, darn it! But where’s that urgency for Paton? He’s got time, or at the least, job security. He’s in no hurry to make any drastic moves. He knows there will be new ownership coming in the late winter. This Broncos franchise will be a clean slate here about March.
• There will be new ownership and a new coaching staff to implement the culture this franchise needs. What’s the point in making a coaching change, getting the “new coach bump” that seems to happen in every sport and have the Broncos win a few meaningless games that only screw up the team’s draft position?
• And before you get all aghast about the idea of tanking, buck up and understand that’s a part of all sports. It’s real, and there are plenty of examples of it working out well.
• If I’m Paton, I treat the Broncos like the Titanic. The iceberg has been struck. This ship is sinking. What’s the point in re-arranging the deck chairs for a ship that’s going down? Remember the movie? The captain is standing there at the wheel as the water comes rushing in? That’s Fangio. A good captain goes down with his ship. That’s can be Fangio’s ultimate legacy as Broncos coach.