My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Leadership and Competition--and Losing

I have a few quick thoughts on the Denver Broncos' demise of late.

A friend of mine, who lived in Arizona for several years, has been trying to tell me for over a year that you cannot win with Jake Plummer behind center. And, slowly, I have been coming around to that very realization.

If you look at the kinds of losses the Broncos have suffered this year--anything from this weekend's debacle to the San Diego loss--the key ingredient that seems to be missing from the team is not talent, not scheme, not effort, but leadership.

Think about it. What set John Elway apart? It wasn't his arm--his earlier years when his arm was strongest were among his worst in terms of wins and losses. It wasn't his ability to scramble--he didn't win Super Bowls until his slower years. John Elway did not start winning until the team was his--until he was not only the titular leader of the team but the field general, as well. Who can forget the famous line "we've got them right where we want them" as teh team was staring down a 98-yard field with less than 4 minutes to play in a cold and hostile Cleveland Municipal Stadium? That is leadership--conveying to your team at all times the belief that the task can be done, and, if not by everybody, than by you personally. I would submit that that is the same characteristic which sets apart Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Brett Farvre. .er. . and any other massively successful NFL QB.

And why Jake Plummer will never belong in that category.

In the most crucial game of the year, with the game on the line and all the momentum in his team's favor, Jake lobs a weak pass to the wrong part of the end zone, giving San Diego a chance to make a great play, which they did. This week, when the game was still a little in doubt, Denver driving for a momentum-shifting score, Plummer lobs a weak pass towards the sideline--where his receiver used to be but where the defensive back is. Crucial moments, major mistakes--not the sort of thing that inspires confidence.

Don't get me wrong--I don't think all the problems with the Broncos start and end with the QB. What I do think is that there is no way a man who makes that many mistakes will ever be able to steal the one or two games that set a great team apart from a decent team.

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