Devon O’Neil: Can reinvented Broncos dismiss predictability? |

Devon O’Neil: Can reinvented Broncos dismiss predictability?

From what I’ve gathered, there are two camps regarding the firing of Mike Shanahan ” those who agreed a change was due, and those who long ago signed over a lifetime allegiance to Shanahan.

Me, I would probably have to agree with owner Pat Bowlen, who carried out the termination.

Ever since Elway retired, the Broncos have been the most predictable team in the NFL not named the Lions.

You always knew they’d start fast, just like you always knew they’d fade late. Their defense stunk more years than it didn’t. And they couldn’t bang with the best ” a critical need when the temps get cold and the margin for error disappears.

Odds are good, Bowlen opts for a defensive guy to replace Shanahan, if only because he must know you don’t find many offensive guys brighter than the one he just laid off.

As such, I happen to be very much looking forward to watching cocksure Jay Cutler squirm next season, without the Mastermind steering him right.

I also wonder whose arm he will compare his own limb to next, now that Elway and Favre are off his list. For some reason this fascinates me, Cutler’s ability to ignore his inconsistency and focus instead on boasting about arm strength.

It makes me dislike him. But not as much as Philip Rivers dislikes him. Which begs

the question: What did Cutler think of San Diego’s overtime playoff win? …

Stat of the Week: Miami had turned the ball over only 13 times all year going into Sunday’s wild-card game against Baltimore – when the Fish promptly gave it away five times, including four interceptions by Chad Pennington, who’d thrown only seven all season. …

But not all can be labeled the Phins’ failures. Watching the Ravens play defense is like watching Emeril prep a steak. You get the feeling no one tenderizes meat any better.

Not only do Baltimore’s defenders fly to the ball and crack skulls when they get there, but they always seem to be perennially on the verge of scoring themselves. Their athletes also never seem to get old. …

So Utah finishes 13-0, beats four teams in the final Top 25, not to mention Michigan at the Big House on opening weekend – when the Wolverines still harbored hopes of grand achievements this year ” and what do the Utes get for their perfection?

A squiggly number next to their name in the polls, instead of the straight one that will go to a team that lost this year.

Alabama, lest we forget, was the most complete football team in the nation for much of this autumn ” in the country’s most unforgiving conference, the SEC.

Utah didn’t get lucky Friday night. The Utes smashed Crimson Tide helmets like a pack of battering rams, they swarmed Bama’s touted tailbacks, and their coaching staff always seemed to know more than Nick Saban and his Tide assistants, as evidenced by the number of times we saw Bama defenders running around before the snap like blind men in a cave. …

You probably know unranked Boston College – picked to finish 11th in the 12-team ACC this year, but suddenly standing 13-2 – upset No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Sunday.

Talk about a shift from the Eagles’ previous game. Four days before handing the Tar Heels their first loss, BC had struggled to beat lowly Sacred Heart at home, in front of just 700 fans. …

The most impressive thing I’ve heard in a while: Andy Reid has won his playoff opener each of the seven years he has led the Eagles to the postseason as head coach. …

In parting, with the NBA season more than a third gone, I figured it time to check in with Greg Oden, the 7-foot center who was touted as the next Bill Russell when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2007, but missed his entire rookie season to injury.

Oden is averaging an unspectacular 23 minutes, eight points and seven rebounds for the 20-14 Blazers, who are paying him $5 million. But it’s early. He doesn’t turn 21 for another two weeks.

Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs Tuesdays. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User