El­way blocked from crit­i­cism

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Kickin’ it with Kiz Read­ers talk and colum­nist Mark Kiszla re­sponds

Blame game. It’s no se­cret the Bron­cos’ of­fen­sive line isn’t get­ting the job done. But it seems most fans blame coach Gary Ku­biak or even quar­ter­back Trevor Siemian, while no one’s blam­ing the man who as­sem­bled the of­fen­sive line. It seems like the golden boy is ex­empt from crit­i­cism. Gen­eral man­ager John El­way gets praised for smart sign­ings, but ev­ery­one ig­nores his bad ones. Shouldn’t he have to take some heat for the O-line?

Rob, whis­tle-blower

Kiz: The of­fen­sive line is a prob­lem El­way tried to ad­dress. Rus­sell Okung and Don­ald Stephen­son didn’t work out. Hey, stuff hap­pens. But here’s the real big stuff: How long can El­way keep a cham­pi­onship-cal­iber de­fense to­gether? How com­mit­ted to win­ning will the next gen­er­a­tion of Bowlen own­er­ship be? And does El­way re­ally want to be gen­eral man­ager for life in Den­ver? Stay tuned.

Be­hind the 8-8 ball. Kiz, it seems your pre­sea­son pre­dic­tion of an 8-8 record for the Bron­cos will be achiev­able.

Max, keep­ing score

Kiz: Oh, when the Bron­cos started 4-0, ir­ri­ta­ble staffers here at Kickin’ It Head­quar­ters ex­changed so many com­bat­ive emails on our pri­vate server it made Vladimir Putin laugh when he read them. But no­body’s laugh­ing now. The flaws we de­tected in the de­fend­ing champs have proved to be real.

Trea­sure safety. We Colorado Buf­faloes fans were sad­dened by the death of Rashaan Salaam. His brother told USA To­day that if Salaam’s brain had been ex­am­ined, ev­i­dence of CTE would have been found. Then there was the block be­low the knee on Bron­cos cor­ner­back Chris Har­ris by Tennessee wide re­ceiver Harry Dou­glas. It seems many lesser penal­ties, such as hold­ing and pass in­ter­fer­ence, are called, yet hel­met-to-hel­met hits are ig­nored. The NFL’s safety con­cerns seem over­shad­owed by the almighty dol­lar.

Wal­ter, re­tired or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon

Kiz: The death of Salaam sad­dened me, and it had noth­ing to do with how many touch­downs he scored for the Buffs. It seemed fans pre­ferred to fondly re­mem­ber Salaam at age 20, rather than con­front his strug­gles af­ter the cheer­ing stopped. Are our football he­roes re­ally that dis­pos­able?

No fan of Nuggets. The Nuggets are a com­plete mess. Trad­ing Ken­neth Faried would be a Band-Aid. They need to gut the ros­ter. Build with Nikola Jo­kic, Ja­mal Mur­ray, Juan­cho Her­nan­gomez and Jusuf Nur­kic. The rest of these play­ers are ex­pend­able and the epit­ome of medi­ocre. Danilo Gal­li­nari is a shooter who can’t shoot and Em­manuel Mu­diay is a mon­u­men­tal bust.

Michael, long-suf­fer­ing fan

Kiz: Well, don’t get your hopes up. Rather than gut the ros­ter, it seems Nuggets man­age­ment be­lieves this team can sneak into the play­offs and sell that achieve­ment to a sig­nif­i­cant free agent in 2017. The un­suc­cess­ful courtship of Dwyane Wade last sum­mer was prac­tice for a big­ger score ahead. Is this ap­proach ag­gres­sively con­fi­dent or fool­ishly op­ti­mistic? You tell me.

This makes cents? And to­day’s part­ing shot is a shot in the dark from an un­happy Bron­cos cus­tomer seek­ing a 50 per­cent dis­count (or at least free dessert):

If the Bron­cos’ of­fense only shows up to play half a game, do they still get full pay?

Jack, Green­wood Vil­lage

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