Tag Archives: Denver Broncos

Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks

With Peyton Manning closing in on becoming the all time touchdown leader in the NFL the debate of who is the greatest quarterback of all talk will spark. So might, as well get in on it, but my rankings will be different. They won’t be judged on stats alone but more on there impact on the game. Meaning if they were innovators, influenced future quarterbacks or brought more eyes to the game, it is not based off top quarterbacks of all time.

George Washington: Roger Staubach. He is part of the reason why the Cowboys are so popular the way they are today. Staubach was arguably the first quarterback to be idolized by millions. Names before him such as Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas could be argued but it was Staubach who brought the name recognition to the Cowboys that gets this honor. He played with the Cowboys during a five-season stretch in which they played in the Super Bowl. He led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII. Staubach was named MVP of Super Bowl VI, becoming the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP.

Thomas Jefferson: Joe Montana. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Four Super Bowl appearances and four Super Bowl wins while also being named MVP in three of those victories (NFL record), that alone would get Montana on the Mt. Rushmore of QB’s but there are more reasons than the Super Bowls for why he is on here. Montana is most noted for his ability to stay calm under pressure in close game situations. Montana has 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind victories. Who could forget in the closing moments of the 1981 NFL Championship Game where he threw the game-winning touchdown to Dwight Clark a play that would go down in history to be simply known as “The Catch.” Then in Super Bowl XXIII with under a minute left scoring a touchdown to secure his 4th Super Bowl championship. Reasons like this are what made Joe Montana be “Joe Cool.”

Theodore Roosevelt: Brett Favre. Nobody innovated the quarterback position more than Favre. He might not have won the most championships during his era, but he was the quarterback that everybody dreamed of being when playing in their backyard. As of right now Favre holds the record for most touchdowns (508) but Peyton Manning will break it unless something catastrophic happens. Favre is the ultimate iron man of football, playing in 321 consecutive football games (regular season and playoffs.) A record that will most likely never happen be broken; Favre would take brutal hits in the pocket just to wait an extra second for his receive to get open to throw the perfect pass. He played in an era where defensive backs where allowed to rough up there receivers and that is why he would wait and take hits, reasons like that are why he is nicknamed “The Gunslinger.” Favre is the only player to three peat the NFL MVP award (1995-97) as he also holds the records of most career passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, most career victories as a starting quarterback. In the final 2 minutes of a game you were promised to see a result, with Favre there was no three-and-outs. It was either a touchdown or an interception, he always promised you 100% effort and that is what made him truly amazing.

Abraham Lincoln: Peyton Manning. The great debate of our era of football is “Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?” Reasons for me going with Manning are even though Brady has the rings, his numbers during his championship run are nowhere near Manning’s numbers. Peyton has always put up incredible numbers where Brady’s were very average during those championship years even though he did win MVP in two of those Super Bowls. Brady’s number didn’t rise until after winning those championships so that is why I will give the nod here to Peyton. Manning holds a record of winning five regular season MVP’s and also winning a Super Bowl MVP. After undergoing season-ending neck surgery and in doubt of ever playing again “The Sheriff” rebounded and two years later won his fifth MVP and appeared in Super Bowl XLVII. Manning is often considered an offensive coordinator who just happens to play quarterback (as recently just mentioned by Jets head coach, Rex Ryan.) Manning is just two touchdowns away from breaking the all-time record, so most likely this weekend he will be holding that record. For a record like that to be accomplished, the way he has is something that will never go forgotten.

Peyton still reigns, but Luck is on his way

Three early first half touchdowns by Peyton Manning to Julius Thomas put the Denver Broncos safely in the lead, but Andrew Luck continues to prove he’s never out of it. Another season, another Andrew Luck comeback. Peyton still reigns, but Luck is on his way to greatness.

A number of people shook their heads  and wondered why the Indianapolis Colts decided to let Peyton Manning walk away, but it’s obvious now that Andrew Luck represents the Colts future.

Peyton Manning - Andrew LuckHe might not be the superstar Peyton Manning is right now, but Luck’s starting to show signs that he is undoubtedly the future of the NFL.

Luck was given an almost impossible task of replacing the great Peyton Manning and has done a pretty damn good job doing so. He took an ordinary Colts teams to the playoffs his first two years, won the AFC South in 2013 and won a spectacular playoff game in comeback fashion. It took Peyton Manning five NFL seasons to win his first playoff game and Luck’s stats are far superior to Manning’s in his first few years.

How a team became so lucky to find not only one great quarterback, but to have back-to-back stand out quarterbacks is beyond me. Somehow, someway Jim Irsay did something right.

From small town Connecticut to the NFL

When you think of Windsor, a suburb of Hartford, with a population of about 30,000, you think of tobacco fields, Bart’s Drive in and it being Connecticut’s first town. Nothing all that interesting. But NFL players?

When it comes to famous names that come from Windsor you think of Oliver Ellsworth, the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and also a member of the Continental Congress. Or perhaps “Big Al” Anderson, former lead guitarist of NRBQ and writer of Tim McGraw’s number one hit “The Cowboy in Me”.

But currently there are three defensive linemen from Windsor on NFL rosters. They all even played on the same defensive line in 2002 when the Windsor High School Warriors were Class L state runners-up. They had a darn good chance to win that game, but a botched extra point at the end of the game help lead to a 14-13 loss. Before these three, I can’t find a record of any others who have played in the NFL.

Chris BakerDamik Scafe, Chris Baker and most notably, Terrence “Pot Roast” Knighton are all currently on NFL rosters as training camp begins. In their yearbooks, they all talked about making it the NFL one day, probably half out of cockiness and half out of determination.

The roads the three of them took were not the easiest. Damik Scafe was a standout DT at Boston College from 2006-2010, where in 2010, he was third on the team in tackles for loss (9.0) and sacks (4.0). He appeared in two games in 2012 for the San Diego Chargers, without recording any stats and has battled injuries, spending time on IR in 2011 and 2013. He is currently listed as the second string RDE for the Chargers.

Chris Baker of the Washington Redskins attended Penn State, and after getting kicked off the team and out of the school for two separate on-campus fights, attended Hampton University. After one year at Hampton, he left the school and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos. He also spent some time with the Miami Dolphins before landing on the Redskins practice squad. He was signed to the 53-man roster in 2011 and subsequently got hurt. In 2013, he broke training camp on the 53-man roster and made a name for himself at NT. He sacked Jay Cutler for his first-career sack in week 7, unintentionally causing Cutler’s groin injury, after which Cutler missed some time. Baker signed a three-year, 12 million dollar contract with the Redskins this past February.

Terrence KnightonTerrence Knighton is the biggest name of the three. He attended Temple University after spending 2004 at Milford Academy in New York after a falling out with Windsor High. He was allegedly told to fail a spring class to allow him to spend an extra year in high school and was subsequently found ineligible. He excelled at Temple and was a third-round draft pick on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009. After four years earning a reputation as a beast on the defensive line, he signed a two-year contract as a free agent with the Denver Broncos prior to the 2013 season, helping lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. You may recognize him from his Bridgestone Tire commercial as well.

Baker and Knighton, along with the fourth DL from the runner-up team, Pat Daly, who once said he got the short straw and attended Art School instead of trying for a career in the NFL, recently returned to Windsor to lead The Chris Baker Foundation 2014 Youth Football Camp, which was a huge success.

It’s great to see these three-childhood friends reach their goal of becoming NFL players. Whether it’s making a couple of appearances or being 60 minutes away from winning the Super Bowl, these three sure attained their goals. The town proudly rooted for Knighton and the Broncos this past February in the Super Bowl, and will continue to root for their success, hoping one day they can bring the Lombardi Trophy home to Windsor. Well done boys, well done.