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Mailbag: What is the Mike McCoy Factor vs. Denver?
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Q: How much will Mike McCoy being with Denver help them this week when game planning against us? – Dana Fremmers
A: Quite a few questions about McCoy this week, which makes sense since the Bolts’ head coach for the past four seasons is now the Broncos’ offensive coordinator. This is not a question I can really answer – which is why I made sure to get Denver’s perspective during our weekly conference call with the opponent. Ironically enough, edge rusher Von Miller and Head Coach Vance Joseph gave two totally different viewpoints:
Miller – “Of course he was the head coach over there for four years, so there are going to be some things that he can give us tips on with individual players and stuff. With each individual player, he was there for four years, so he can give us tips on everybody.”
Joseph – "I'm assuming some things are going to change. When you have too much information from a previous regime, you can almost begin to start guessing. I don't want our guys to guess. I want them to read their keys and play hard."
Q: Who was the biggest shocker to make the roster? – Vince Gualerichia
A: I think you always have to go with an undrafted free agent, as they are the ultimate underdog. This year, five made the initial 53-man roster. The two I think that faced the longest odds based purely on numbers were tight end Sean Culkin and running back Austin Ekeler. Culkin arrived with four veterans clearly ahead of him on the depth chart, but really turned heads with his ability to catch the ball in addition to his known prowess as a blocker. Still, he cut his teeth in the SEC, which is why I’ll name Ekeler as the biggest “shocker”. A product out of tiny Western State, a Division II school located in Colorado, Ekeler was on the bottom of a running back depth chart that featured five veterans with NFL experience. In the end, the Bolts kept three tailbacks, and it was clear based on his performance the past few months that he deserved to make the team. Still, if you asked back in May, he probably would have been seen as the longest of long shots. Both Ekeler and Culkin deserve a lot of credit, and clearly earned a spot on the initial 53-man squad.
Q: Do you agree with going with an unknown and untested kid at kicker? – Darren Robinson
A: Absolutely, for the simple reason that every player at one point was an “unknown and untested kid” entering the league. So I don’t really agree with the underlying theme of this question. Every single year I get a variation about why go with an unknown commodity. And every year, I always respond how not a single player in this league wasn’t considered untested at some point, so it shouldn’t play a part in the decision making process. As General Manager Tom Telesco said, Koo won a tough battle with his consistency, and was the better of the two options.