Bizarro Pat Bowlen speaks with the Rocky Mountain News

So Pat Bowlen sat down in bizarro world to give an interview on the Broncos and Shanahan's ability to judge a player's character. Once again, a rift has allowed this bizarro world interview to seep into our reality.
The Broncos, frustrated with quick postseason exits each of the past two years, have taken on some players with a little more off-the- field baggage than they typically chance.
I'm serious, this cannot be written about the Broncos in our universe.
But Broncos owner Pat Bowlen made it clear Tuesday that, though he believes in second chances, he will have little patience for those who do not take advantage of them...

..."I would rely on Mike and (general manager) Ted (Sundquist)'s reaction to a player's history more than my own," Bowlen said. "But if they told me (the player) was being sincere in the belief they were ready for a new start, I would accept their advice."
So, Mike Shanahan, a guy that brought in Dale Carter who proceeded to get a one year suspension, who brought in Daryl Gardener who then got into a fight at an IHOP is somebody who you should trust on character issues?

Now the Ghost of Christmas past is going to take us back to learn about a player named Bill Romanowski; Bill was a guy who was charged with fraudulentaly obtaining prescription drugs, who later failed a test for THG and was called to testify at the BALCO hearings, and who spit in JJ Stokes' face. As you can see, Romanowski was a man of incredible character.

In December of 2000, Bill was indicted on the drug charges and then in the same month, began to bait JJ Stokes and insult his Niners teammates publicly.
Romanowski rekindled the rivalry when he said Stokes has "no fight in him. If somebody did that to me, they'd have to throw me out of the game, because I'd go after him."

Stokes fired back, saying Romanowski lacks integrity and relies on performance-enhancing drugs.
As you can see, Bill came at Stokes for no apparent reason. What makes it even more awesome, is that all Stokes had to do to beat Romanowski was tell the truth. It's something that there is absolutely no way Shanahan had no idea was going on. Looking at Romanowski you cannot tell me that he wasn't on roids, especially when coupled with his actions.

After he spit in Stokes' face. Both Willie Green and Shannon Sharpe(username: erasmus pass:erasmus) expressed their outrage at what had happened.
"I can assure you I would not have taken it as easily as J.J. Stokes," Sharpe said. "I would have been fined, too, because I would have been thrown out of the game. I think that's the worst thing you can do to a person, especially of our background and our race, is to spit in his face.
Shanahan allowed Bill Romanowski to be a member of the Denver Broncos for four seasons after the Stokes incident and for another season after he baited Stokes over it and was indicted on drug charges in the same month.


Shanahan gives an undrafted rookie Sharpe's number

Shanahan lives in a world protected from all criticism. He surrounds himself with "yes men" and has no perspective on the outside world. When somebody disagrees with him he goes on an Ahab like struggle to get his revenge. He could fire Ray Rhodes, but he can't fire Shannon Sharpe so what can he do?

That's right, he can give a kid who never played college football and was an undrafted free agent Sharpe's jersey number.

Shannon Sharpe, the leader in all statistical categories that matter for tight ends, the guy that actually did work to win the two Super Bowl titles gets this kind of treatment from Shanahan.

What a great guy.


Broncos want to sign Jerry Rice

For once the Broncos are making a decision I can agree with. Signing Jerry Rice would make a lot of sense for this team.
It would be an ideal landing spot for him for the leadership he could provide. That's one reason the Broncos have an interest in signing Rice. Denver has veteran Rod Smith and up-and-coming receivers Ashley Lelie and Darius Watts.
More so than just giving the younger receivers good leadership, he might be able to help the league's worst character class
Denver would not expect him to start, but with as many four- and five-receiver sets as the Broncos use, Rice might be able to get extensive time.
On top of that, in many cases the Broncos third receiver runs routes to stretch the defense and is rarely a top option. So Rice could be extremely productive in Denver. Pull the trigger on this one. It'll be the best decision you've made all year.


Profootballtalk.com says what I've been saying forever

Except they have fancy stuff like "sources" or whatever.

In their rumor mill over at their cluttered, but awesomely informative site Profootballtalk.com has a feature basically stating what I've been stating forever verbatim. What does this mean? Not that I've been ripped off, but that I'm entirely correct and have been for the last seven months.
A league source tells us that there's a strong feeling in the Denver locker room that punter Todd Sauerbrun isn't welcome.

Sauerbrun has a reputation for being arrogant and brash, qualities which "real" players typically don't want to see manifested in the guys who merely swing their legs for a living.

Exactly what I said.
As one league insider aksed us Wednesday morning, "Has any team signed, drafted, or attempted to trade for more scumbags than the Broncos?"

The source pointed to names like Marvin Washington, Dale Cater, Kavika Pittman, Eddie Kennison, Leon Lett, Ephraim Salaam, and (our personal favorite) Daryl Gardner.

This year, the team also picked up confirmed turd Gerard Warren and chronic underachiever Courtney "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up" Brown.

As one totally awesome webmaster put it
The source also said that the team's 2005 draft picks are, in his opinion, the worst "character" class in the league this year.

Man, this is creepy. Deja Vu I'll let PFT have the last word on this.
So how does coach Mike Shanahan continue to get away with signing, drafting, and (ultimately) parting ways with so many bad players and/or bad dudes?

Working on the wrong plays over and over isn't going to help

The Broncos are working on their Red Zone offense during most of their practices.
Practice is beneficial in terms of learning where to go, but Smith believes if the Broncos are to reverse that red-zone decline of the past three years, it will have to be through a change in mindset.

"We didn't execute," he said. "It's always a combination of things, but it comes down to guys individually making plays when they're in position they have good coverage and we've got to find a way to salvage that play and get three yards. If you can do that, two or three yards in the red zone is huge. Somehow, someway, we found a way to not make those plays and not stay on the field."

Extra work in practice and working on the mental response to red-zone challenges both offer potential solutions. On the other hand, wholesale personnel changes were disdained.

The problem isn't that we need wholesale personnel changes or mental toughness, it's that the plays being called in the red zone at times are asinine. Sure, they have to cut down on interceptions, but most of those throws come on plays that shouldn't have been called in the first place.


Shanahan and front office (Fred)Exceptionally Dumb

The Philadelphia Inquirer article about Freddie Mitchell's release lets us in on a very interesting tid bit (Use BugMeNot to avoid having to register).
When he was drafted, Mitchell referred to Donovan McNabb as Mr. McNabb, and he often spoke in glowing terms about the Eagles' quarterback during his time here. But this off-season, he described the quarterback in far less flattering terms.

By then, it was obvious he was going to be playing elsewhere and, finally, FredEx was shipped out yesterday.

Next stop?

Tampa Bay, Denver, Washington and the New York Giants are all possibilities.

So fresh off the heels of Rick Smith speaking on how much the Broncos care about character, they decide to pursue Freddie Mitchell? Let's just take a look at great moments in FredEx history.
Mitchell had admitted to ESPN anchor Dan Patrick days before the game[the Super Bowl-Jacob]that he knew only the numbers of the Patriots' defensive backs (he then listed them incorrectly). Mitchell also managed to call out safety Rodney Harrison, saying, "I got something for you, Harrison."

Mitchell was later reprimanded by Eagles coach Andy Reid and was not granted a podium for media interviews in Jacksonville.

On Wednesday, Mitchell need no such podium to take more shots at the NFL champions.

"It was kind of like me being facetious and kidding around. They blew it way out of proportion," Mitchell said of his pregame comments. "[Their reactions] reminded me of little girls. They're sensitive. Real, real sensitive.

After bashing the team that creamed him, Mitchell turned on his own teammates.
Mitchell offered his take on what happened.

"Donovan, he dry heaves a lot when he gets under certain situations. It's happened before. It's happened in the NFC Championship game.

"He was dry heaving and he couldn't get the words out in the play, so he gave me hand signals. ... I basically called the play and knew what the coaches were thinking in that situation. I called the play out and went on from there."

Mitchell added, with a laugh, that if he were in that situation again, he'd have called a different play, one in which he was the intended receiver.

Something makes me think based on Mitchell's performance in the Super Bowl that throwing the ball to him wouldn't have been a very good idea.
Mitchell wasn't able to get "under their skin" on the field, however, with just one reception for 11 yards. He had one fewer catch than Harrison, who intercepted Donovan McNabb twice.

Mitchell is an underachieving player who can't keep his mouth shut. Looks like he's exactly the type of player that Shanahan is fond of. If Shanahan gets his way the Broncos will add Mitchell and Sauerbrun to Browner and Clarett.

The only way to get more loudmouth jackasses into the lockerroom was if Jay Mariotti came back to Denver and did the Broncos casts for Channel 7.


Q&A with Rick Smith

The official Broncos website has posted another Q&A session, this one with Rick Smith Broncos Director of Pro Personnel. I really have no idea who Smith is, but with information such as this I can't help but be positive that Shanahan is making sure that his staff is full of top notch people.
Entering his sixth season overseeing the club's pro personnel department, Smith has had his say in bringing players such as Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban, Michael Myers, Ron Dayne, Stephen Alexander, Anthony Clement

Smith was asked all kinds of ridiculous questions about Arena League and NFL Europe players, and a bunch of high school career day type questions such as:
Luke Matthews; Vista, Calif.
How did you end up as the Director of Pro Personnel? What kind of qualifications do you need to be a Director of Pro Personnel?

I also believe these Broncos Q&A sessions may in fact be Q&A sessions from Bizzaro World that have found a crack in the space time continuum that have allowed them to seep onto the Broncos website in our dimension. Because there's honestly no other explanation for some of these questions.
Mark Gregory; Longview, Wash.
I noticed that the Broncos have a lot of players with character. How big of a factor is character in choosing a player?

Rick Smith
Character is extremely important and we spend a great deal of time discussing a player's history as it relates to that.

I cannot believe that when Smith drafted this response he had a straight look on his face.

There's a wealth of evidence to the contrary including the Daryl Gardener IHOP incident, the drafting of Maurice Clarett, the signing of Brandon Browner, and the courting of Scott Sauerbrun.


USAToday says Shanahan is on the hotseat

USA Today drops the bombshell that Shanahan hasn't won a playoff game since John Elway retired.

If only somebody had been mentioning this for six months and made a website about it.


Broncos address a key need

Ever since Bill Romanowski left, the Broncos have sorely lacked a steroid taking jackass. Mike Shanahan sees the problem with this and is going to bring in Scott Sauerbrun for a workout.

What could possibly go wrong here? I mean except for the steroid stuff I bet Sauerbrun is a great guy; it's not like he has a DUI on his record or anything...oh wait. The Broncos continue to add class acts to the locker room.


Ted Sundquist misinformation session

Ted Sundquist, Mike Shanahan's sock puppet Broncos' General Manager answered some questions on Denverbroncos.com. Now, if I had been asking the questions they'd be more along the lines of "How did you receive a high school diploma?" "Does Andre Patterson have naked pictures of your wife?" or "Did you guys use Madden 2005 and simulate the draft making your decisions that way?".

Instead, there were some actually constructive questions asked. Such as when Jay from New Mexico being a man with common sense asked Sundquist why in the hell he took Darrent Williams over Justin Miller. Sundquist in his infinite wisdom responded
"Justin Miller obviously is an outstanding defensive back and a returner in his own right, but Justin is primarily a kickoff return guy. Darrent does both; punt return and kickoff return and he may even be a better punt returner. Our thinking from a special teams standpoint, was his ability to return punts as well as kickoffs was the factor that brought him to the forefront of our list."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but our biggest problem in the secondary has been the lack of turnovers, coupled with the fact that our secondary gives up too many big plays. So, instead of addressing a corner's ability to you know actually play cornerback. Sundquist and Shanahan decided it'd be better to draft a guy who can return punts instead. Who am I to argue with that logic?

Then Sundquist was asked why he didn't take the athleticism and potential of Vincent Jackson over Darrent Williams. Apparently having a solid red zone threat isn't as important to the dynamic duo as having a guy who can run fast on punt returns.

Sundquist also spoke about how Andre Patterson has the ability to hypnotize the Broncos front office into doing whatever he wants. Patterson may infact be an evil wizard, so watch out for that. He also blatantly lied about Karl Paymah's speed and talked about how we really needed another runningback. Apparently the term "depth" to the Broncos means a hole to China.

Mike Shanahan failed high school team chemistry

So after the draft, the Broncos signed three undrafted free agents. Cornerback Brandon Browner, former Colorado State offensive lineman Erik Pears, and a former basketball player Wesley Duke.

Erik Pears is a good pickup, a smaller lineman, and a Colorado guy. Duke has a huge upside, he has the potential to be the next Antonio Gates.

But then there's Brandon Browner. A kid who has no shortage of talent, but has a shortage of being able to keep his mouth shut. When a kid says at the combine "To be honest with you, I think I'm the best cornerback here because I've got things that these guys don't got," Browner said. "I've got size and great athleticism." And then after he says that, he isn't even drafted. With the addition of Darrent Williams, Maurice Clarett, and now Brandon Browner the Broncos seem to have really made sure that the team captains will be busy attempting to keep these players in check.

What is it with Shanahan and players with known character issues? Daryl Gardener, Dale Carter, and now the unholy trinity of prima donna rookies.

Hey, if they work out he'll look like a genius, all I know is that Al Wilson and Rod Smith are going to have their work cut out for them.