Broncos mailbag has the Plan B dream team: Wade, Aqib, Emmanuel, DeMarcus

KUSA - Each week during Broncos season, 9NEWS Denver Broncos Insider Mike Klis will answer your questions. Do you have a question for Mike? Email Mike.Klis@9NEWS.com! 

Hey Mike - We can't contact Gary Kubiak directly but hope you can send along our best wishes to him.  We're looking forward to seeing him back on the sidelines with his team, right where he belongs.

Dennis & Sarah DeJulio
Aurora, CO

Dennis & Sarah—Here, here. When he returns Monday and we can ask him about his offense and play calling, all be right at Broncos’ headquarters.

Hello Mike. I heard you talking today re: Gary Kubiak.  You referred to his hospitalization two, three years ago when he was in Houston. I believe Mr. Kubiak was diagnosed with TIA. I felt bad for you when you attempted to pronounce ischemia.   A little medical info for you:)

TIA is a 'transient ischemic attack'.  Transient of course meaning existing briefly, not lasting long.  Ischemia is an inadequate blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood supply.

Ischemia is pronounced [ih-skee-mee-uh].

Yes, I am in the Health Care profession.  I hope you are not offended by me e-mailing you.

Lol!  You'll have this down by 10 p.m. news!

Best regards.

Debbie Jakelich

Debbie—It’s genetic. My dad grew up on the south side of Chicago where every name or thing that was difficult to pronounce was translated into ‘’whose-is-is’’ or ‘’whatcha-ma-call-it.’’ Or plain butchered.

I will not likely have ih-skee-mee-ic down by the 10 o’clock news. But I’m thinking “T.I.A.’’ is the adjustment.

Since you don't have enough to do during the NFL season, perhaps this pondering the possibilities could wait, but:

Wade Phillips was Kubiak's second defensive coordinator choice but they weren't allowed to interview the first guy.  So, what do the Broncos look like over the 2015 and 2016 (so far) season's if he were here?

Jim Burnett

Jim—The first choice was Vance Joseph, whom I covered when he was the backup quarterback to Darian Hagan for the Colorado Buffaloes in 1991 (the year after Tom Osborne made the Buffs settle for a co-national championship).

Joseph was Kubiak’s defensive backs coach in Houston from 2011-13 – the same period when Phillips was his direct boss as defensive coordinator. When Kubiak wanted to hire Joseph as his new defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 2015, Joseph was under contract as defensive backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati owner Mike Brown wouldn’t let Joseph out of his contract, which had one year remaining.

By the time Joseph’s contract did expire after last season, Phillips was the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year for his work in turning the Broncos into not only a championship defense, but one of the top five defenses of the Super Bowl era (the 1985 Bears, 1970s Steelers, 2000 Ravens and 2013 Seahawks, in that order, are also in discussion).

Joseph did finally get his promotion as he’s now defensive coordinator for Adam Gase’s Miami Dolphins. So far, his defense isn’t doing so hot.

Joseph would have had success with the Broncos’ defense had he got the job last year. But there’s no denying Phillips was the right man with the right collection of defensive players at the right time.

Some other examples of the Broncos settling for second choice: Aqib Talib, Emmanuel Sanders and Demarcus Ware.

At cornerback, John Elway wanted to re-sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie after the 2013 season. When DRC wouldn’t accept the structure of the Broncos’ contract offer, Denver signed Talib.

Denver wanted to sign Brandon LaFell as a free-agent receiver in 2014. LaFell kept asking for a little more money and the Broncos signed Sanders, instead.

Before they signed Ware, the Broncos pursued Jared Allen. When Allen’s demand approached $12 million a year, the Broncos signed Ware for $10 million per.

No one scrambles like John Elway.

My question for you is “if both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch go down, who is the backup quarterback”?

You do a great job Mike in your analysis; keep up the good work.

Duane Elbrader (a Bronco fan since 1962)

Windsor Colorado

The rumor is Jordan Norwood.

“That’s what I saw on Twitter,’’ said a bemused Norwood.

Which isn’t exactly the most ironclad source.

Norwood played some quarterback in high school and is the son of a college coach.

“I’m not sure what to say about that,’’ Norwood said. “But I’d be willing to do it.’’

Emmanuel Sanders said it’s not him. Demaryius Thomas has a good arm – I’m judging by the long-distance spirals he throws back to the equipment guys after he catches a longer pass during warmup drills. But D.T. doesn’t seem to be the quarterback type, even if he is a captain.

Far as I know, the Broncos haven’t practiced with an emergency quarterback. My guess is they’d have C.J. Anderson or Norwood run the Wildcat.

When Trevor Siemian was body slammed in Tampa and suffered that shoulder injury, wasn’t that cause for a ‘roughing the passer’ call?  It seems to me if the league is looking to protect quarterbacks then this is the type of tackle they would want to restrict. What say you?

Howard Davis

Howard—It looked like unnecessary roughness to me. Siemian has said at least three times it was a clean play; he just happened to land wrong on his shoulder. But I don’t think it’s up to him to say. It’s up to the officials and those who officiate the officials. In the future, the NFL’s competition committee has to make an amendment so that Clinton McDonald is penalized for the whip and slam.

What happened to the run game?

Kirk Smith, Lufkin, Texas

Kirk—It’s no coincidence the Broncos ran the ball well in the season opener against Carolina when they were healthy, and haven’t run the ball well since right tackle Donald Stephenson went down early in game 2 against Indianapolis.

It’s not that Stephenson is a perennial All Pro, although he is good enough to draw $6 million this year. It’s more about five offensive linemen working as one and when one goes down, the machine bogs.

It’s not that simplistic, of course. Running backs get all the credit when they’re rolling, and Anderson has been the first one to accept blame for the run-game struggles. But let’s see how the Broncos do Thursday against a strong San Diego defense that ranks 8thagainst the run and promises to be even better now that first-round pick Joey Bosa is playing.

Stephenson will return from his calf injury to start at San Diego, as will tight end Virgil Green, who went down late in the Indy game with his own calf injury. Those two figure to be rusty Thursday, but if the front can stay healthy, the Broncos’ run game will improve toward the middle of the season.

The problem is it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult for NFL linemen to stay healthy.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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