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Rick Reilly: The demise of the Broncos tied to Bowlen


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Rick Reilly

 

Too Short For A Column: 08/28/09

 

The Denver Broncos' Pat Bowlen used to be one of the cleverest owners in sports. But now he's being undercut by an insidious opponent -- himself.

 

Bowlen, 65, admitted recently that he has "short-term memory loss." There are whole parts of the Broncos' Super Bowl seasons he says he can't recall.

 

Bowlen still insists Jay Cutler never called him back during McJay Gate this winter, which left him "no choice" but to trade a dead-lock Pro Bowl 26-year-old quarterback for Kyle Orton and draft choices.

 

But I've now got it from three different sources -- who choose to remain unidentified -- that Cutler did call Bowlen back.

 

"Jay called him twice," said one source. "It's unbelievable it came to this."

 

Is it possible Bowlen forgot?

 

People close to the team are starting to wonder how much the memory loss is affecting Bowlen's decision making. Disgrunted wide receiver Brandon Marshall says Bowlen promised him in June that he'd trade him. Yet Marshall remains untraded and unhappy.

 

They're also noticing that more and more of the final decisions have come down to Chief Operating Officer Joe Ellis, a cousin of George W. Bush, who is not a football guy and definitely not a Cutler fan. If you recall, Ellis alone made the trip out to Boston to have a second conversation with the Broncos' highly suspect new 33-year-old head coach, Josh McDaniels.

 

And how's this for weird: Bowlen admitted in May that he still hadn't spoken to the coach he fired, Mike Shanahan. Those two used to be the best of friends. Not even a phone call? Is Bowlen sure?

 

These and other curious goings-on have left the team with slim hopes and two Salvation Army QBs -- Kyle Orton and Chris Simms. Letting Cutler go will cost the franchise for years to come. This season, the general Las Vegas over/under on Broncos wins is seven. They'll be lucky to get six.

 

Making a lot of Denver fans will wish they could forget, too.

 

*************************

 

Yikes!

 

Well, this may explain all the terrible decisions coming from the organization in the past few months. And now we've got a HC who is clearly in way over his head and is a hugh egomaniac to boot. It could very well be that this is going to get uglier as the season wears on.

 

And as to Cutler: Again - he's got a lot of maturing to do, but he has held his ground and gotten the hell out of Denver. He and his agent must have seen it coming with the McHoody hiring. Same with Marshall & his agent, and Marshall has apparently being doing everything he can to force his way out of town after being lied to - as Cutler was. Hard to excuse such incredibly poor behavior - which I won't. But it does make it understandable - not justifiable, but understandable.

 

I wonder who Bronco fans will be booing come December?

 

ETA - Reilly has hometown roots in Denver. He grew up in Boulder and went to CU, wrote for the Boulder Daily Camera and the Denver Post, and has some ties around here that would allow him to get information others may not have access to.

Edited by Bronco Billy
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:wacko:

Denver has always been my "AFC team". Sad to see them go down this way.

 

They'll recover. Might not be this year or next year. There is one thing I rally like about Bowlen....He is an owner willing to spend the money to have a winning team. Cutler was never going to be happy. Chicago will learn this the hard way and realize how arrogant the man is. The only thing I picture when I hear the word Cutler is Jeff George. Amazing athlete, but blew it with his arrogant attitude.

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They'll recover. Might not be this year or next year. There is one thing I rally like about Bowlen....He is an owner willing to spend the money to have a winning team. Cutler was never going to be happy. Chicago will learn this the hard way and realize how arrogant the man is. The only thing I picture when I hear the word Cutler is Jeff George. Amazing athlete, but blew it with his arrogant attitude.

 

Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder are willing to spend the money too... :wacko:

 

I think Cutler could have been happy - did you really think about the implications of that article? If true, and Cutler was lied to (not intentionally but through the memory loss), McDumbiels gets hired by a guy who knows nothing about football, Jay called Pat back TWICE and then hears in the media he's never called him? What would you do? BTW, Cutler's already more of a winner than George ever was. I just think that comparison is a little of a stretch.

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Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder are willing to spend the money too... :wacko:

 

I think Cutler could have been happy - did you really think about the implications of that article? If true, and Cutler was lied to (not intentionally but through the memory loss), McDumbiels gets hired by a guy who knows nothing about football, Jay called Pat back TWICE and then hears in the media he's never called him? What would you do? BTW, Cutler's already more of a winner than George ever was. I just think that comparison is a little of a stretch.

 

I think comparing J.Jones to Bowlen is pretty whacked. Bowlen has been extremely good about avoiding players that cause such term oil (this year not a good example). Look at Portis. It was his arrogance that got him canned from Denver. Yes, there have been players given second opportunities but Bowlen will can them, even at the sake of the team. Jones won't ever do that. If he has a player that is great for the team, but is a pedophile, he would keep him just to try and make it to the superbowl.

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They'll recover. Might not be this year or next year. There is one thing I rally like about Bowlen....He is an owner willing to spend the money to have a winning team. Cutler was never going to be happy. Chicago will learn this the hard way and realize how arrogant the man is. The only thing I picture when I hear the word Cutler is Jeff George. Amazing athlete, but blew it with his arrogant attitude.

 

ya think? I have heard that bowlen is broke, and cutting costs anywhere and everywhere he can. may shed a little light on the refusal to negotiate to lock up guys like cutler and marshall long-term. and what's mcgruber's salary compared with shanahan's? and then there's trading away a high first round pick next year for a second round pick this year, how much you think that saves them?

 

what the broncos are doing these days is the exact opposite of spending money to have a winning team.

 

edit: oh and cutler/george? even if a valid comparison, jeff george in his prime was a far better QB than the garbage they are trotting out there now.

Edited by Azazello1313
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ya think? I have heard that bowlen is broke, and cutting costs anywhere and everywhere he can. may shed a little light on the refusal to negotiate to lock up guys like cutler and marshall long-term. and what's mcgruber's salary compared with shanahan's? and then there's trading away a high first round pick next year for a second round pick this year, how much you think that saves them?

 

what the broncos are doing these days is the exact opposite of spending money to have a winning team.

 

edit: oh and cutler/george? even if a valid comparison, jeff george in his prime was a far better QB than the garbage they are trotting out there now.

 

I haven't heard that rumor. That being said, Bowlen has a sweet deal at Mile High and there is still a five year waiting period on season tickets. It would be hard for me to believe Bowlen is broke, but I suppose it's possible.

 

Regarding Orton, I still think he will be okay. When with Chicago, he had a pretty decent year last year with only a 1/4 of the talent. He will have one of the best o-lines, should have a decent running game and will have some explosive receivers. If Knowsean turns out as good as they are making him out to be, then that should open up the passing game very nicely for Orton.

 

I will agree that Orton hasn't looked good at all in preseason, but I have to also give him some slack, being a totally new offense and being thrown into such a mess. I'd expect Cutler to do good in the Chicago system. What's technical about it??? Nothing, Fortte and basic passing schemes....That's why Orton did as well as he did there. Cutler should do fine until opposing defenses realize that Chicago hasn't changed a thing.

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I haven't heard that rumor. That being said, Bowlen has a sweet deal at Mile High and there is still a five year waiting period on season tickets. It would be hard for me to believe Bowlen is broke, but I suppose it's possible.

 

Regarding Orton, I still think he will be okay. When with Chicago, he had a pretty decent year last year with only a 1/4 of the talent. He will have one of the best o-lines, should have a decent running game and will have some explosive receivers. If Knowsean turns out as good as they are making him out to be, then that should open up the passing game very nicely for Orton.

 

I will agree that Orton hasn't looked good at all in preseason, but I have to also give him some slack, being a totally new offense and being thrown into such a mess. I'd expect Cutler to do good in the Chicago system. What's technical about it??? Nothing, Fortte and basic passing schemes....That's why Orton did as well as he did there. Cutler should do fine until opposing defenses realize that Chicago hasn't changed a thing.

 

saved for posterity. This will come up again about midseason or so...

Edited by Bronco Billy
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I haven't heard that rumor. That being said, Bowlen has a sweet deal at Mile High and there is still a five year waiting period on season tickets. It would be hard for me to believe Bowlen is broke, but I suppose it's possible.

 

Regarding Orton, I still think he will be okay. When with Chicago, he had a pretty decent year last year with only a 1/4 of the talent. He will have one of the best o-lines, should have a decent running game and will have some explosive receivers. If Knowsean turns out as good as they are making him out to be, then that should open up the passing game very nicely for Orton.

 

I will agree that Orton hasn't looked good at all in preseason, but I have to also give him some slack, being a totally new offense and being thrown into such a mess. I'd expect Cutler to do good in the Chicago system. What's technical about it??? Nothing, Fortte and basic passing schemes....That's why Orton did as well as he did there. Cutler should do fine until opposing defenses realize that Chicago hasn't changed a thing.

 

The reason I predict Orton can't work this offense is because he is so immobile. If you send out 4 receivers, plus the tight ends, you have very limited blocking and your qb has to have good pocket awareness and know when to step up or move out of there. This dink and dunk stuff is not going to get them anywhere.

 

Chicago on the other hand has the perfect offense for Cutler. Run, run, run, then throw a few to the tight ends, send a bomb every know and then, and win your games 20-17. As long as Cutler stops throwing dumb red zone interceptions, they will probably make the playoffs, something he couldn't do in Denver.

 

Time will tell, I suppose, but it is going to be absolutely BRUTAL watching Denver this year.

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Rick Reilly

 

 

Is it possible Bowlen forgot?

:wacko:

 

I forgot what I was gonna say. :D

 

Man it is tough to see this slow moving car wreck.

 

Interesting statement from Rodney Harrison(during an NFL N interview) about trading a franchise QB for a career backup(Cassel) (what he tried to do in the beginning) because Cassel was his guy.

 

As more leaks out this is going to look even worse for the Broncos.

 

As I see it McDaniels is so caught up in the Patriots stigma he couldn't see Cutler for the franchise QB he was.

Edited by Randall
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