As free agency commenced Wednesday, we have seen the Denver Broncos lose numerous key contributors in the 2015 Super Bowl-winning season to free agency, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, linebacker, Danny Trevathan and quarterback Brock Osweiler among them.
Furthermore, it appears tailback C.J. Anderson may be lost to the Miami Dolphins at this point as well but the sky is not falling. Venerated Denver media star Brandon Spano (whom you can follow on Twitter at @BrandonSpano and if you like solid sports takes, I suggest you do) the founder of the BSN Denver Sports Network, has said this type of thing happens to all defending Super Bowl champions, and of course it does.
With that said, did general manager/executive vice president of football operations John Elway automatically forget how to construct a Super Bowl-winning franchise? Obviously, the pragmatic and rational fans and commentators know better but that’s not often what you find on Twitter with all the ignominious and impending doom upon the franchise. (That was obviously sarcasm).
Now, as a compulsive Tweeter, I realize this is my own fault for going right into the hornet’s nest on a daily basis but I still marvel at how distrusting supposed Broncos fans can be, especially since, in a way inexplicably done by modern NFL standards, the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with a sub-par offense and mediocre quarterback play.
Beyond this, all the supposed wise and renowned television and major radio analysts have said the Broncos have no plan at quarterback without suggesting that perhaps second-year signal-caller Trevor Siemian (he’s made me a better copy editor, thanks Trevor!) is the guy Elway may have wanted all along.
When I did see him in the 2015 preseason, Siemian did well in leading a comeback victory against Houston as well as leading the Broncos into position to win the preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals, despite a rare missed kick in the clutch by star kicker Brandon McManus). Furthermore, he appears to have the Elway-esque ability to know what to do in clutch situations.
If you didn’t see Elway play, it’s kind of hard to describe and I’m not sure it’s quantifiable but when you see it, you know it and I believe Siemian has it.
I would not give Siemian the job right away, I still think it’s wiser to bring in a veteran quarterback for him to compete with, rather than draft someone as I believe a certain level of experience in the NFL is required to have a command of the offense of head coach Gary Kubiak.
Beyond this, other players have a chance to increase their roles with the absence of the aforementioned free agency departures, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and linebacker Todd Davis, among them. The Broncos relied upon many of their reserves as the season went along and you have to tip your hat to Elway for astutely bringing in key backups as the injury toll of the average NFL season affected the Broncos no differently than any other team, other than perhaps the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.
One of the reasons I like being a historian (both in writing my own personal history and recording sports and major world events) is that you can detect trends and see what works and what doesn’t. In other words, what went wrong at this point, and as we progress, how can we ensure we don’t comparably fail as we did in that particular situation?
As far as Elway is concerned, however, his track record is impeccable and while he will fail at times, as all people do, he deserves the benefit of the doubt from all Broncos fans. I don’t foresee him doing anything necessarily “sexy,” but he will do what is substantial. In this way, the Broncos shall perpetually remain Super Bowl contenders for the foreseeable future.