With the kick off to the NFL’s scouting combine Wednesday in Indianapolis, over 330 eligible players will be present, and expect the Denver Broncos will be among 32 teams that will be in attendance. Even before the combine, it is no surprise that the day after the Super Bowl on February 3rd, the Denver staff has wasted no time in their own huddle at Dove Valley evaluating possible draft picks and free agents for the 2013 season.
This year will be a different kind of off season for the Broncos now that Peyton Manning has sealed the starting quarterback position, giving the Broncos staff a chance beef up other parts of the lineup. In fact, for the first time since John Elway has been head of the Broncos’ football operations, the Broncos will not be considering a quarterback for the roster. So what does this mean? Yes, Elway is still behind his 2012 2nd round draft pick, Brock Osweiler.
Living here in Arizona and being a Denver fan, I heard lots of criticism about Elway’s choice in acquiring Osweiler, especially since he was the quarterback for Arizona State. After discussing the draft with fans during the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos pre-season game last year, some were for the Broncos’ pick, and others were obviously against it. In fact, some felt it would have been nice if the Arizona Cardinals picked him up, where he may have had a better chance to play the starting position. Maybe, maybe not, but all I know is Elway saw something in Osweiler that he liked, and impressing Elway says a lot. It’s true that under Peyton Manning, Osweiler did not really see a valuable snap in 2012, but that does not mean that he is not vitally important to the Broncos’ future.
When asked recently what Elway’s thoughts were about adding Osweiler to the roster, Elway told the Denver Post, “My thought was, we wanted a guy for the future, No. 1. No. 2, if it didn’t work out with Peyton, we could load up with a guy that we liked and who could be the guy for the next 10, 12 years. And No. 3, if Peyton did come back and play like he did, then Brock could get a great education of how things were supposed to be done as a quarterback, what you had to go through, to see one of the best of all time do it. To me it was a perfect scenario. With the importance of that position, you never waste one. Plus, we liked him a lot. And having been with him a year, we like him even more.”
Would we like to see Osweiler play? Yes, but if he isn’t, that means Peyton Manning is healthy and playing and I (and I am sure most others) are extremely happy with that. Being chosen by one of the greats (Elway), and learning under one of the greats (Manning); Osweiler is in line to be shaped for a successful quarterback future with the Broncos, even if it means only taking snaps in practice and backing up Manning for a few years. Hey, it has happened before. Aaron Rodgers was Brett Favre’s backup for 3 seasons before taking the helm at starting quarterback in 2008, which ultimately lead the Green Bay Packers to winning Super Bowl XLV in 2010. With Brock Osweiler learning under Peyton Manning, who knows; we may just see a repeat of the past.