Brandon Lloyd and Dennis Allen Distract (Just a Little) From the Broncos' Pains

January 2011

The Denver Broncos are earning some sorely needed accolades, with wide receiver Brandon Lloyd being named second-team All Pro, reports the Denver Post. Lloyd is the first Denver receiver to win the honor since Rod Smith in 2001. The Broncos also announced Monday that Dennis Allen will be the team's new defensive coordinator. Allen is the sixth coach in the position in as many years, according to another Post article, and he'll take over a squad that was among the worst in several categories this past season. That record is mostly what made Sunday so bittersweet for the Broncos fans who watched as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Denver's 2006 first-round draft pick, lead the Bears into a conference championship game and a shot at the Super Bowl.

After Cutler went down with an injury, his removal lit up other players' Twitter feeds, questioning the quarterback's toughness, the Washington Post points out. It also gave local football boosters a chance to root for former Colorado State Rams quarterback Caleb Hanie, who stepped in to replace Cutler. The undrafted Hanie "nearly pulled off a comeback for the ages," writes USA Today, completing 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. Hanie also threw two interceptions, but he's receiving praise for keeping Chicago in the game. And, for the record, Cutler suffered a legitimate knee injury, notes the Associated Press.