The SD quarterback and two of his linemen started talking ish to Broncos QB Jay Cutler as the fourth quarter kept going and they were up by 20. I have no problem with his offensive line smacking it up and waving goodbye — they owned the Broncos weak D-line throughout the entire game. But Phil Rivers, despite a 10-win season so far, has actually fucking regressed as a QB. That line, and LaDainian Tomlinson, is carrying his ass to the playoffs this year. Know your role and shut your mouth, Phillip.
It would help if anyone on the Broncos knew what their role was. Back when Tom Nalen tore his biceps and was essentially done for the season, I thought this basically fucked up the season — and there was no better example than last night, because there’s no leadership on the offensive line to give Cutler enough time to throw well — it’s been highly inconsistent. There’s still no pass rush despite the drafting of D-line players last year, because there have been too many injuries for the line to gel.
Cutler’s done OK with what he’s been given. Travis Henry hasn’t panned out, Selvin Young now has to look like the latest production from Shanahan’s Tailback Factory. Javon Walker hasn’t been healthy. The team will have to draft offensive line, safety, and D-line next year, and here’s something to consider: Mike Shanahan will have to get rid of both his coordinators, yet again, and he needs to cede control.
GM Ted Sundquist may be out, and what Pat Bowlen is going to have to do is bring in a GM who has equal authority to the head coach in terms of personnel. Since Shanahan has what amounts to a lifetime contract with Bowlen after those two Super Bowls, I sense a serious change in how coordinators are hired — because Shanny’s choices aren’t panning out. Do I see a Redskins-style arrangement with high-powered coordinators and CEO Joe Gibbs? Not quite, but we may be getting close.
(Video hat-tip to Pro Football Talk.)