If this happened would people be calling for Gary Kubiak....or would he be an idiot like Herm? Nothing new here - it's just important to keep this perspective.
Krieger: Broncos easily could be feeling Jets' pain
November 21, 2005
Call it fate. Call it preventive maintenance. Call it luck.
The Broncos were calling it lots of different things after their first shutout of the century, but this much is obvious:
They've got it. The Jets don't.
Imagine for a moment - but not so long you require medication - what has happened to the Jets this year happened to the Broncos instead.
They're 1-1 through two weeks, as both of these teams were. They're coming off a wild-card playoff berth, as both of these teams were. Much is expected this year, as it was for both of these teams.
Jake Plummer goes down in the third week, as Chad Pennington did. Bradlee Van Pelt steps in for him and immediately goes down himself, as Jay Fiedler did.
Both Jets quarterbacks suffered shoulder injuries from blows while throwing. This can happen to anyone, as Pennington and Fiedler proved in rapid succession.
Let's say the Broncos had kept a young third-string quarterback, as the Jets did in Brooks Bollinger. Let's say it was Matt Mauck, who played that role in Denver until this year. He becomes the starter.
He's ineffective, so they go out and sign a veteran as the Jets did in Vinny Testaverde. In the Broncos' case, let's say it's Danny Kanell, who knows the system. Kanell comes in and starts the next four games. He, too, is ineffective, as Testaverde was.
In Week 10, the season lost, Mauck and Kanell both go down, as Bollinger and Testaverde did Sunday. The Broncos go to their fifth quarterback of the season.
That, of course, is Kliff Kingsbury, who was here for two weeks in September.
As of now, the former Texas Tech run-and-shooter is the Jets starter.
We haven't even mentioned season-ending injuries to Tom Nalen (the Jets lost center Kevin Mawae), George Foster (the Jets lost tackle Jason Fabini) and Ashley Lelie (the Jets lost wideout Wayne Chrebet).
Let's face it, with a combination of Mauck, Kanell and Kingsbury playing quarterback since Week 3, the Broncos would be waiting till next year, just as the Jets are now.
Instead, the Broncos are the No. 2 team in the AFC, 8-2, dreaming big dreams.
Is this contrast between the fortunes of last year's AFC wild cards pure luck? Or is it something else?
"It could be fate, it could be freak accidents that have happened," said Broncos special teams ace Keith Burns. "Luckily for us, we haven't been bitten by that bug."
"A lot of it, you've got to give credit to (strength and conditioning coach) Rich Tuten and his guys, to our trainers," said safety John Lynch.
"They do things right here in Denver. I had heard for years from players around the league that they just take care of you here. We've got trainers, we've got gurus, we do muscle activation and other stuff. I think that helps a lot; it really does. But ultimately, there is some luck involved."
Tell you what: It's not just that the Broncos haven't had the Jets' bad luck. It's as if they are the Jets' mirror image.
For example, defensive end Courtney Brown was constantly injured over the past four seasons in Cleveland, playing only 31 out of a possible 64 games.
In Denver, Brown suffered an elbow injury in training camp and missed the opener, but he's been healthy ever since.
"All you can do is just prepare your body for the season," Brown said. "There's no formula to say why guys get injured or whatever. It's just part of the game. Sometimes it just comes, injury after injury, and sometimes you may get a nick and be all right. It's crazy. We're just fortunate to be healthy."
So it's luck then?
"I wouldn't say luck," Brown said. "I just really believe God's blessing me to stay injury-free. That's what I believe."
Or consider Jason Elam. Warming up for Sunday's game, the Broncos kicker felt a sharp pain in his left calf. "It was like somebody just stuck a knife in there real quick," he said.
If he's David Akers of the Eagles, that's a pulled hamstring and he's out a month or more. If the Broncos lose Elam heading into the most difficult part of their schedule, they have a big problem.
Instead, Elam finds a way to punch a pair of field goals with the injury and assures us he can do it again on Thanksgiving, four days away, if necessary.
So maybe it's conditioning. Maybe it's muscle activation, whatever that is. Maybe it's luck.
Whatever it is, you need it to have a chance in the NFL. This year, the Broncos have it. Sunday, all they had to do was look across the line of scrimmage to see what life might be like if they didn't.
Finally, I am so tired of everyone blaming Herm and TB for the JETS debacles. You tell me what NFL would win starting their 5 string QB this yr.
Take Brady, Flutie and Cassell and the next guy from the PATS and tell me how many wings they have. or take Peyton, Sorgi and the next two QBs away from the Colts and how many wins do they have.
We are in a unique position and need to take advantage of it. Start some youth Houston, Snell, Nienhuis, Ridgeway and see waht they can do. Draft very well in April and we will be younger and better for yrs. to come. This situation forces us to address several issues yrs before we thought we had to.