(By Zach Borg)
Parker has taken a lot of heat for the defense's performance. In all honesty, I think most of the fault this season lies on offense. We all knew coming into the season it was going to be a rebuilding year with the talent lost. The only game where you really can say the defense blew it was the Iowa State game in which Steele Jantz looked superhuman and was riding the pine about a month later. The bigger problem has been Ken O'Keefe's offense. They have NFL caliber talent, yet they've been inconsistent (especially on the road). Iowa's defense didn't have the shutdown capability that they'd had in previous years, but they gave the Hawks chances to win at Penn State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and even the home game against Michigan State (turnovers and poor special teams play doomed them in the first half). When Iowa's offense went in the tank, they left their defense on the field for a LONG time.
As I just started in March I haven't had much experience with Mr. Parker, but one moment I had with him made an impression. During the season I attended one of the weekly press conferences. I was bogged down with equipment, carrying my camera, tripod and audio bag. It gets kinda heavy and I'm sure I looked like a mess. As I struggled to get in through the door and waited for an elevator Parker, who'd seen me coming in, came up in his walker and said he felt sorry I had to carry all that stuff and wished he could have gotten the door. That struck me-here's a guy suffering from diabetes, who had part of his leg amputated, and he sincerely cares about my load (which in comparison to him is nothing). It probably was time for him to step aside, and yes results on the field weren't great this past year, but Norm Parker is a good and selfless man, and that's something we need more of in coaching today. May his retirement years bring him nothing but happiness.
At some point I think the Tim Tebow madness has to end. It just looks like that point isn't coming anytime soon. First, it's not all Tebow. The defense has gotten better (in my opinion Von Miller may be that team's MVP), and today Matt Prater hit ridiculous field goals. Yet there's no denying teammates feed off him. I just don't understand how a guy can play like garbage for three quarters and then turn it on in the fourth. I'm not a Broncos fan (as a Chiefs fan I used to passionately hate them) and it colors me a bit, but even I have to be awed by this. The last eight weeks have been incredible.
The one common thing over the last two months is that for the most part Denver has played bad, or at best, struggling offensive teams that Denver's defense has been able to hold in check. That changes next week with New England coming to town. If Tebow plays that badly for three quarters the Patriots will bury the Broncos much the way the Lions did in Tebow's only loss. But if Tebow "Tebows" the Pats and Bill Belichick, clearly this is for real.
Ho hum the Green Bay Packers blew somebody out again. Does it seem like this is getting enough press? Certainly Tebowmania has eaten into the coverage that this would be getting. But the Patriots were rock stars in 2007. These Packers are the defending Super Bowl champs! I think because Green Bay doesn't have quite as many personalities (IE Randy Moss, Tom Brady, even Belichick), they don't get as much hype. All the Packers do is just go about their business in workman like fashion and roll teams. Guessing that's the way Green Bay fans like it.