With a 6-3 record at the bye week, I give the MasterMind a solid B+ for the season. I have never doubted the MasterMind’s ability as an offensive coordinator and a head coach. But Denver’s record since John Elway’s retirement has been a disappointment. And much of that disappointment comes via the MasterMind.s personnel decisions.
The big personnel news for this season was the trade of Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey. Portis was made expendible by Denver’s ability to develop quality running backs with mid-round draft picks. I had little doubt that Denver could find an adequate replacement for Portis. And the addition of Bailey has stabilized the secondary. But I still have doubts about the salary cap implications of Bailey’s $63 Million contract.
The Denver defense has withstood the loss of John Mobley to a neck injury and Ian Gold to free agency this off season. Although defense is not the MasterMind’s strong suit, I believe that most of this year’s defensive problems are a result of Trevor Pryce’s injury. So full marks to the MasterMind on this side of the ball.
Ashley Lelie is finally showing signs of becoming a quality receiver. The MasterMind’s inability to adequately replace Sharp and McCaffery has been a concern - especially since receiver is probably the easiest skill position to develop. And Plummer still lacks the mental maturity needed by a post season QB. A downcheck for the MasterMind’s receiver developement woes and inability to speed the maturation of Plummer.
Finally, the team seemed unprepared for the Cincinati game. I place that loss at the feet of the MasterMind. Perhaps he deserves better than a B+. He has the remainder of the year to show it.