Broncos’ Gary Kubiak Continues to Emphasize Youth


It hasn’t been explicitly stated, but it’s become pretty clear what Denver Broncos GM John Elway and former head coach John Fox couldn’t quite agree on — how to develop young players.

After two draft classes that haven’t made much of an impact so far in their young careers (2013-14 classes), Elway had apparently seen enough of Fox’s development of the youth on the roster, though it wasn’t necessarily all his fault. The key fault there was that when the Broncos needed them, they couldn’t really count on their recent high draft picks to step in and make an immediate impact, save for a couple of situations.

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That’s been emphasized greatly by Gary Kubiak, the team’s new head coach. It’s also clear that the front office is willing to let many of their top free agents walk away to other teams, even some at discounted rates. Kubiak recently spoke with Broncos TV at the owner’s meetings in Arizona, confirming the new regime’s emphasis on young player development and how important they are going to be to the success of this team in 2015.

“One of our biggest challenges right now as a staff is, we’ve got some good young football players that have not played a lot of ball,” Kubiak said. “Some offensive linemen, a young receiver — we’ve got some guys that we’ve got to get going and they have to be big contributors coming this next year.”

Kubiak didn’t say any names specifically, but you can bet he was talking about guys like Ben Garland, Michael Schofield, Matt Paradis, and at receiver, Cody Latimer.

One thing is certain — teams that are winning in the NFL are doing it with young talent and by drafting well. Kubiak attributes that to the coaching staff being better at teaching the game.

“I think the better teachers we are, how quick we can get guys up to speed with our system and get these young guys contributing to our football team, the better we’ll be.”

There’s something to be said about having your young talent step up where so many people feel like the Broncos need to be making veteran additions right now. There’s nothing wrong with growing young players and putting faith in your coaching staff to bring them along quickly, especially when you look at the model that has been set by a team like the Green Bay Packers, who are almost entirely home grown at this point.

The Broncos aren’t there, and they won’t be anytime soon, but they want to have the foundation and core depth of their team be home grown players, and that’s what they’re on their way to doing, uncomfortable as it may be at times for the fans.

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