This is a Class 3 beatdown by AOL Fanhouse writer Josh Alper. Basically, the Broncos are saying one of the reasons they cut or released Todd Sauerbrun, Javon Walker, and Travis Henry was because of "character" issues. This is, of course, total BS. Shanahan won Super Bowls with sketchy character people (Bill Romanowski), but didn't cut them. Why? Because they were winning. Shanahan is quoted recently as saying:
"It's funny," he said. "When you win, everybody talks about what good character you have. When you lose, everybody talks about the poor character on your football team. There's a fine line there."
Alper responded with this:
No, there isn't a fine line. When you win, people don't give two bits about the character of the players. When you lose, though, it's easy to use that as a crutch instead of looking into who might actually be responsible.
Take Shanahan. When the Broncos were winning Super Bowls they were circumventing the salary cap, people talked about it but no one in Denver cared about it because the team was winning. Cheating isn't a sign of high character but winning makes it better. Just ask the Patriot fans who will defend Bill Belichick to their last breath or the Cowboy fans who rooted for teams led by Michael Irvin and Nate Newton.
Character counts, without a doubt. The fine line isn't between good and bad ones, though, it's between winning and losing. If Henry, Walker or Sauerbrun were going to make a big difference on that front, they'd still be in town.
I agree, the whole "character" argument with Shanahan is silly and Alper is right to call Shanahan out on this obvious hypocrisy. "Character" isn't the reason the Broncos haven't done jack squat since John Elway retired. It wasn't even the reason the Broncos sucked last year. Shanhan's incompetent management of the team and roster are. Bad drafts, stupid trades, and dumb as hell free agent signings are why Denver has won only one playoff game since Elways left after the 1998 season.
Shanahan didn't give a rat's butt about character when he cheated to win Super Bowls or signed players like Walker and Romanowski even though they had sketchy relationships with their former teams. Now the Broncos are talking about character?
This is just more scapegoating by Shanahan, an over-rated coach and a BAD football operations guy. The Broncos have some good character people on their team, but you must have character in order to find it in others. Shanahan is not someone I would describe as a high character individual. Just my opinion, and his quote reinforces that opinion for me.
The day Denver cuts loose from this guy is the day they start moving in a winning direction.