Christmas is the time of year for giving and John Elway provided the Denver Broncos with four huge free agent moves to fill both sides.
After the disappointing performance in Super Bowl 48, John Elway changed identity of the Denver Broncos defense to that of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.” March 2014, Elway made slew of moves on defense, while one player signed on the offense. It was during the 2013 season, the team experienced a slew of injuries and no depth to challenge and offense.
Once Cleveland Brown, TJ Ward signed to the Broncos to add personality and thunder from the safety position. At the time, Ward played a physical style instead of adding playmaker to his resume. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio did not utilize Ward’s skills appropriately, but once Wade Phillips came to mix he played with reckless abandon. He is now one of the favorite players to fans and teammates.
The Broncos needed depth in free agency once Eric Decker signed with the New York Jets. Elway shocked everyone by picked up Emmanuel Sanders from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders never had 1,000 yards in a season in his career and the appeal of playing with Peyton Manning became too much to ignore.
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Also, lack of pressure to a quarterback became a need to a Broncos defense that missed Von Miller for the majority of the 2013 season. Miller also desired a mentor and person to pick the brain of. No player fit the bill better than ex-Dallas Cowboy. DeMarcus Ware. Ware not only filled a hole in pass rush, but helped create leadership for the rest of the defense.
Last significant signing under Elway was sign Aqib Talib away from New England Patriots and add insurance to the secondary. Talib visited the Broncos in the AFC Championship in 2013 as a member of the Patriots. Both Ward and Talib gave the Broncos the “close to completion” of the No Fly Zone.
All four players are examples of the greatness of John Elway. Gone are the days of him as the Colorado Crush owner, but it helped translate to work a football business. Ward, Sanders, Ware and Talib were instrumental to the victory in Super Bowl 50 and the team’s current identity. It may be a down year, but there needs to be confidence in Elway to correct this season. Have faith Broncos fans, in Elway we trust.