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Previewing the Kansas City Chiefs 2009 Schedule: Week 17


And we've come to the end of our season preview posts. The Chiefs end the '09 season traveling to Mile High the sell out stadium in Denver, CO.

The Chiefs first play the Broncos in Week 13 this year, which as Joel noted in his preview, has to be one of latest first meetings between the two division rivals. Joel took a look at the roster and noted the advantages and disadvantages for the Broncos and Chiefs.

I've gone over to Mile High Report and snagged some info from them about the biggest off season stories for the Broncos.

Check out what MHR has to say about the big Bronco stories, after the jump.

JAY CUTLER TRADED TO CHICAGO
The Denver Broncos have agreed to trade disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. The Broncos announced the deal Thursday and said terms would be disclosed later. NFL.com's Steve Wyche reports that the Broncos will receive three draft picks (first-rounders this year and in 2010, a third-rounder this year) and quarterback Kyle Orton in exchange for Cutler.

"The Trade" - Analysis of the Jay Cutler Trade
Denver fans are going to argue about which team won the recent battle between Denver and Chicago in the Cutler trade. It is my opinion that both teams came out better than before (a win-win), but Denver got the better side of the bargain. Chicago is a better team with Cutler; no doubt about it. But Denver is better now and into the future.

MHR University - 2009 Draft Picks (1st two rounds) - Bronco Brilliance!
The Chess Game that McDaniels and Manager X Just Pulled Off

MHR University Special Report - A Profoundly Powerful Draft Strategy (2009)
Denver scored on this draft in so many ways it would be difficult to make a credible case against it. Denver brought in solid players (indeed, players considered the best at what they do), and brought in youth where Denver is thin (where Denver has aging players). While homemade draft boards are based entirely on who folks want at a given position, Denver followed the successful Patriots strategy of going for best available, a concept that always confounds mock drafts.

A Few Good Questions With...Brandon Marshall
This afteroon, I had the great fortune of speaking with The Beast - Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Brandon was in Boston participating in a photo shoot for Reebok and the Broncos' 50th AFL Anniversary Throwback jerseys. Turns out BMarsh is already familiar with MHR, and he was quite generous in offering his time to speak via telephone.

Objectivity vs. Kool-Aid, What it means to be a Broncos Fan
Noticeably or not (the latter preferred) I have been hiding in the weeds here at MHR. There are several 'real' reasons for that; time constraints and the like. There are also underlying reasons, reasons I didn't fully understand until recently. More on that later. What motivated me to jump back into the fray was a couple of comments I had read about the site, both here and elsewhere. You see, Broncos fans, you all here are too damn positive about the Broncos. Yep, that's what other 'Broncos fans' think.

The Brandon Marshall Debate - Some food for thought
Such is the case with all this Brandon Marshall nonsense. If you listened to MHR Radio last night you already know where this post is going. If you didn't, and you want to hear it, look on the right sidebar and you will see the player. Give it a listen.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster - Tight Ends
Going into the draft, a lot of folks expected that tight end was one position where the Broncos would stand pat. Before the first pick of the third round, that belief bit the dust. The Broncos shocked many observers by taking on second-round pick Richard Quinn. Having graduated from North Carolina in December of 2008, Quinn has a reputation as a talented blocker whose receiving skills were suspect, due to lack of evidence (12 receptions in his college career, which had several pre-NFL players on the roster). Tony Scheffler was the subject of trade rumors. Was Quinn a replacement? Where were the Broncos going?

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster – Safeties
My point is that a yard given up near the goal line is even more precious than the yard given up eighty yards earlier. When an opposing player gets past the front seven defensive players, each additional yard he gains is worse than the previous yard. Enter Brian Dawkins and associates.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster -- Quarterback
Three words rarely have so much meaning. Quarterback. Denver. Broncos. When put together to form a job title, the three words together have a powerful effect on Broncos fans. Such is the curse that comes along with the blessing of John Elway. You sell your soul to the devil a bit. Here, fans, is one of the true legends of the game. Enjoy him for 16 years, then spend eternity trying to replace him. Problem is, you struggle to enjoy the legend, struggle to realize just how special that person is until he is gone, and the eternity begins.

2009 Denver Broncos -- Breaking Down The Roster -- Cornerbacks
The cornerback position has reputedly been a strength of the Broncos since 2004, when Champ Bailey was acquired in a trade for Clinton Portis. Of course, that has never really fully been the case. Bailey struggled somewhat in that 2004 season, and his accompaniment at the position was terrible. I am sure we all remember the complete coverage debacle against the Colts in the January 2005 playoffs. In 2005, to make up for the shortcoming, the Broncos drafted Darrent Williams, Domonique Foxworth, and Karl Paymah, landing a very good player who tragically died much too soon, an average player who is a very bright and upstanding guy, and a total stiff who has never figured out the NFL game.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster -- Guards/Centers
In the wake of resigning C Casey Wiegmann to a two-year, five-and-a-half million-dollar contract, one could be forgiven for suspecting that this sound is the dismay and despair of defensive lines throughout the league who must now contest with what is arguably one of the strongest, most coherent and most productive offensive line units in the NFL. Within that unit, no group works together more closely, or relies on each other as much as the guards and centers.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down The Roster – Punters/Kickers
The Denver Broncos head into the 2009 season with few questions in the kicking game. Matt Prater is the only kicker on the roster and is certainly a lock for the starting position barring any setbacks. However, there is an interesting battle at the punting position that yields as many questions as it does answers.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster - Running Backs
Lesson learned, McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders spent the offseason turning over the depth chart. Among the pair's first moves were cutting P.J. Pope, Alex Haynes and Anthony Alridge; the departure of Cory Boyd followed soon after. Xanders and McDaniels began adding new runners at the start of free agency, signing Correll Buckhalter, LaMont Jordan and J.J. Arrington in short order. Next came the draft, and the consensus of fans and experts alike was that Denver would emerge with at least one more back; the only question was when that would occur.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster - Defensive Ends
While quarterback may be the position with the most noteworthy change for the Denver Broncos, it is on defense where the most alterations have occurred to the roster. The starting defense will feature as many as 9 new faces, with only Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams assured to remain atop the depth chart. Elvis Dumervil, Kenny Peterson and Marcus Thomas could join that short list, but that's far from a sure thing.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster - The Receivers
What happens to Denver's passing game relies heavily upon what happens with the Brandon Marshall holdout. The team wouldn't gain or lose much in terms of Marshall's presence or absence respectively, but the receiving corps would be structured very differently.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster -- Defensive Tackles
Listen to the pundits, and this position is the ONLY position on the defense (and quite nearly the team sans Cutler) that has any significance. And Denver COMPLETELY ignored it.

2009 Denver Broncos - Breaking Down the Roster - The Linebackers
Our 2009 Denver Broncos Preview concludes with today's section on the Linebackers. This is, perhaps, the group that has seen the most change from the forgettable performances of the 2008 season. The move to a base 3-4, using an attacking two-gap approach (which several players have indicated that they are learning) and being varied at time in some hybrid form (such as a 4-3 under or over) is about the farthest thing possible from the speed-oriented base 4-3 approach of the Broncos' past. However, it harkens back to a day when Joe Collier pulled the strings on a fierce defense.

MHR University - Preseason Depth Chart Analysis and How to Watch Preseason Games
One of the most fun ways to prognosticate about a team during the reloading season is to put together and discuss projections for depth chart placement. Then, as always, a team will put out an initial depth chart (preseason) that can have fans scratching their heads.

Brandon Marshall found 'Not Guilty', time to play some football!
The verdict is in. Brandon Marshall was found Not Guilty by a jury in Atlanta, GA of 2 counts misdemeanor battery involving his former girlfriend. For Marshall, and for that matter, the Broncos, this brings to an end a saga that had been going on since March of last year, and hopefully a legal history for Marshall that has been going on since his college days at Central Florida.

Kyle Orton Baseline Analysis: Preseason Game 1
It became obvious to me in the aftermath of the game, reading through the comments on the myriad posts that went up, that Kyle Orton's performance was a lightning rod for the game. I immediately shelved much of my work for the game and focused on breaking down his throws.

Has Brandon Marshall quit on the Broncos?
The twitter world was all aflutter this morning with reports that Broncos WR Brandon Marshall was not only not working with the first team, but he was relegated to scout team duty....on DEFENSE! Needless to say, I was waiting anxiously to hear what Brandon would have to say about this. I fought the urge to blast the Broncos and Josh McDaniels for what looked to me to be a public humiliation of the team's best offensive player. I'm glad I did, at least a bit.

Broncos sign QB Ingle Martin
According to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post, the Broncos have signed QB Ingle Martin after working him out this morning. Martin was a fifth-round selection of the Packers in 2006 after splitting his college career between the University of Florida and Furman University.

The "Brandon Marshall Damage Control" Open Thread
Branfon Marshall will appear on NFL Live to discuss why he won't catch the ball during receiving drills or feels better drop-kicking the ball from the ball boys instead of handing it to them. Video to come, but for now the gist of the Marshall interview is this -- * He was taken out of context....Again * He displayed poor judgment....Again * He wants out of Denver....Again * He is preparing for the season....Again.

MHR University - The 2009 Systems Begin to Take Shape
MHR University is meant to be a place to learn about the game of football. A lot of fans who love the game can find their appreciation deepens when they know the minute tactics or overarching strategies behind a team's approach to the game. Unfortunately, much of the football-reporting press avoids this teaching role. They throw out terms or concepts that may make sense to the few fans who have played or coached football, and they completely ignore other areas. Worse, they often put forth information that is misleading. The situation becomes worse when we factor in that football terms can mean different things in different regions and levels of play (for example, HS versus college), and you can see why many fans just watch the QB and hope for a score or turnover.

All Ready! Your 2009 Denver Broncos 53-man Roster(Official)
Don't get too comfortable with this roster. I fully expect it to change between now and mid-week after the team has the chance to scoru the waiver-wire.

***

And for our final prediction, I think the Chiefs do not win this game in Denver. It will be close but that darn Mile High advantage is too much for this squad. 24 to 17, in favor of the Broncos .

According to our predictions, the Chiefs will end up 8-8. Not too shabby, right?

It's near game time today so we'll have a full summary post of our predictions next week sometime.