The Denver Post Lunch Special columnThe Denver Post — Mark Kiszla The Denver Post
April 16--Columnist Mark Kiszla on Monday answered questions from readers in a live chat. Here are the highlights:
Let's cut to the chase. Is this the right move for the Broncos to release C.J. Anderson?
Kiz: C.J. Anderson got released. No surprise. He gained 1,000 yards for a bad team. He's a smart, tough, competitive football player. But Anderson was also a big supporter of running backs coach Eric Studesville. And when Studesville got dumped by Vance Joseph, I figured Anderson was as good as gone. Football might be a meritocracy. But just because you work in the NFL doesn't keep you immune from office politics. Tough business.
Dumping Anderson is another indication the Broncos want to forget as much about 2017 as is humanly possible. In Devontae Booker and De'Angelo Henderson, the Broncos believe they have two capable running backs. I'm not sold ... although I will happily admit Henderson deserves a shot to show what he can do. Is the team's leading rusher for next season on the roster.
Well, let me say two things: 1) If Saquon Barkley from Penn State is available with the fifth pick in the draft, and the Broncos don't grab him, you will have to blame somebody other than me. 2) Anderson was a free agent. Booker and Henderson were not high draft picks. If recent history is any indication, then John Elway belongs to the school that a 1,000-yard rusher is a disposable item and a replacement can be easily found without using a first-round pick to do it.
With the release of Anderson, how likely do you think it is that the Broncos grab a RB in the draft? And how early would they grab one?
Kiz: I have long advocated the Broncos taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, if he's available with the No 5 pick in the first round. And that was before the Broncos released CJ Anderson. Barkley will be a star in the NFL. But let me add: I think the Broncos could draft other players with big Pro Bowl potential at No 5, and it seems to me that John Elway isn't necessarily a big fan of taking running backs early in the draft. Will the backs from Georgia be tempting for Denver in Round 2? Certainly. But I can't promise you that Elway will bite.
Do you give the Avs any chance of coming back in this series?
Kiz: The Avalanche was competitive in Nashville. But the Predators are way deeper and healthier. Colorado wins Game 3 and maybe, just maybe, the favorites from Nashville begin to feel a little pressure. The more likely truth? Without injured Semyon Varlamov in goal, plus defensemen Eric Johnson and Sam Girard, both also hurt, the Avalanche probably doesn't have enough talent to push this series to six or seven games. It would take a minor miracle.
Hi Kiz, loved your story about skiing with Josh Kroenke. (Look at you!) Was there any news morsel or interesting thing you learned from your day hanging out with him that didn't make it into your story? The whole read was fascinating. Thanks.
Kiz: If you read the story in the print version of your Denver Post on Sunday, I humbly thank you for digging all the way to page 9 of the sports section to find it. Skiing with Josh Kroenke was a blast. It was a unique, fun way to do an interview ... and I firmly believe in this age when The Post is facing challenges from talented competitors such as ESPN and the Athletic, that we need to find -- and promote -- what makes our publication unique. The tidbit that most readers would care about: Josh Kroenke does not regret parting ways with George Karl, believing Karl's strong personality had reached its expiration date for effectiveness. But Kroenke let Masai Uriji leave as general manager, in large part out of respect for their friendship. Was that the best move for the Nuggets, especially considering Ujiri was under contract to the team? Probably not. While Kroenke is happy with the management team running the Nuggets now, he learned that what's best for the business has to be before what's best for a friendship when you're atop a sports franchise's organizational chart.
I'm curious if Josh Kroenke remembered his family owns the Rapids? Did he mention anything about them?
Kiz: I understand your concern. The Kiszla family is a big soccer family. I told Josh Kroenke a story of how the Rapids made a deep run in MLS playoffs way back in the 1990s, and how my son, then a very young boy, would answer the telephone (then hanging on our kitchen wall!) during the breakfast hour and announce: "Dad! That Phil guy want to talk to you!" Phil was Mr. Phil Anschutz. Anschutz literally owned half the teams in MLS at the time. In the interview with Kroenke, I concentrated on the Avs and Nuggets. I tried to get him to talk about Arsenal, a subject he promptly shot down. If anybody gave the Rapids too little time in the interview, it was me, not Kroenke. Jumping to a conclusion that one afternoon on skis alongside a Denver Post columnist indicates that Kroenke does not care about the Rapids would be faulty logic.
I hope you at least asked Josh Kroenke to buy the Post.
Kiz: Well, as a matter of fact, I did ask Josh Kroenke if he knew any rich guys interested in owning a newspaper, with big reach in print and online. I'm not very smart, as my readers well know. But I'm not quite as dumb as I look.
It's been great ignoring the NBA playoffs after the Nuggets got no help from sandbagging front runners at the end of the season. Hopefully other Nugget fans feel the same way!
Kiz: I love the NBA playoffs. I love 'em for no other reason than "Inside the NBA" with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith yapping about the games is the most fun studio show in sports. You want a prediction? I've got Rockets vs. Sixers in the NBA FInals. How about you?
Trevor Story leads all of MLB in strikeouts... just sayin...
Kiz: Trevor Story has some pop in his bat. Trevor Story wields a good glove at shortstop. Trevor Story is still young and learning. With all that being said, there are way too many Ks in the Colorado batting order. Two words: Brendan Rodgers. It would be foolish for the Rockies to rush their most cherished prospect to the big leagues before he is ready. But in July or August or September, I would expect you will see Rodgers playing some -- and perhaps a lot -- or shortstop in LoDo.
Find the full chat transcript below:
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