Following a 9-7 regular season after Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos have their sights set on returning back to the glory of winning World Championships…
Just over a year ago the Denver Broncos hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s Stadium as golden confetti fell. Confetti angels were made as players like Aqib Talib and Von Miller paraded around the field celebrating the monumental achievement.
Players were asked in post-game interviews how they felt about the team going forward with Peyton Manning’s future being uncertain and the question loomed: Can the Broncos repeat in 2016?
Fast forward to the Post-Manning era and Christmas Day match up between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Broncos who were facing playoff elimination with a loss. Midway through the third quarter the sobering reality had hit Broncos players and fans that the Broncos quest to repeat and compete in the playoffs was finished.
The sequence of events between Cairos Santos’ 39 yard field goal that put Kansas City up 27-10 and Devontae Booker’s fumble on the next drive cemented the feeling. Denver’s hopes of a repeat were dead.
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Gone are the butterflies of Super Bowl glory, here to stay — for now — is the feeling of disappointment and uncertainty. Following the loss, rumors circulated that head coach Gary Kubiak was retiring due to medical concerns, which he eventually did.
Where did things go wrong and are the Broncos headed towards rebuilding? Absolutely not! The reason I say that is because teams that have a championship caliber roster don’t rebuild, they renovate.
Rebuilding is: to build (again) after it has been damaged or destroyed. This team is far from destroyed. Let’s not call it rebuilding, the Broncos are simply renovating.
With Gary Kubiak stepping down, John Elway went to work and hired Vance Joseph, formerly the defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. While many questioned Elway’s hire of Joseph, some calling it impulsive, I go back to the mantra of “In Elway We Trust”.
John Elway’s decisions over his tenure as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Broncos have set the standard for the identity of the Broncos: World Championships or bust.
Let me tell you why the hiring of Vance Joseph and this new coaching staff is a reason to be excited about the future of the franchise.
Renovate: to restore to a good state of repair. With the loss of Kubiak, Rick Dennison, and Wade Phillips comes the additions of Vance Joseph, Mike McCoy, and Joe Woods who take over as head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator.
The main question regarding Joseph is the fact many people don’t know much about him. Joseph was the defensive backs coach under Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips when they were in Houston. Joseph was hired because of his reputation as great leader whose vision is what championship caliber teams should embody. Unity, selflessness, and relentless effort to the process is Joseph’s vision and what he demands for his players.
While fans are cautious about the hire, what is important to look at is what Joseph can bring to the table as a player’s coach. We look at coaches like Pete Carroll and Dan Quinn who embody what a true player’s coach is. Many of Joseph’s former players have raved about how much of a leader and example he is for his players, a trait that is often overlooked due to the business nature of the NFL.
Let’s make it clear: Joseph was not hired to run the defense, but to lead his players into battle on Sunday’s.
Mike McCoy makes his return to Denver by replacing Rick Dennison. The hiring of McCoy quickly gave fans the belief that the Broncos offense in 2017 will be better than 2016 by default. McCoy will focus on Denver running a power blocking scheme rather than a zone blocking scheme and will get the best out of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
Under McCoy, Phillip Rivers had his best career year in 2013 completing nearly 70% of his passes while throwing for 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and passing for nearly 4500 yards.
To help McCoy with the offense, Bill Musgrave was hired to coach quarterbacks. Musgrave is a great hire because of his notable development of Oakland Raiders star quarterback Derek Carr.
The move that particularly had many Broncos fans questioning the future of the team had occurred when Wade Phillips contract was not extended upon the hiring of Joseph.
Phillips quickly took the Defensive Coordinator job for the Los Angeles Rams.
Will the Defense Remain Elite?
Replacing the legendary Phillips is his protege Joe Woods who served as the Broncos’ defensive backs coach under Wade Phillips. Members within the organization have said that Woods is the one guy who can keep the defense competing at the same level and has a great understanding of Phillips’ philosophy.
Once commanding the best secondary in the NFL, Woods is now primed to fill the shoes of commanding the NFL’s best defense, a task that he is certainly ready to attack. The Broncos’ new defensive coordinator was considered one of the top coaching candidates that many teams would have loved to hire.
Don’t panic Broncos Country, the standard is and always has been competing for World Championships. If you trust in John Elway, you trust in his belief in making the Broncos a consistent contender for the Super Bowl each year.
The renovation continues for the Broncos as they look to address areas of need on the offensive line, defensive tackle, linebacker, and wide receiver positions in free agency and the draft.