A week ago, the Denver Broncos dropped a bombshell on the NFL world by acquiring Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens in a trade.
After reflecting and letting the trade for Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos settle, there’s an optimism building at Dove Valley.
It got me thinking of the direction the Broncos are headed. General manager John Elway made the biggest splash signing arguably in NFL history when he brought in Peyton Manning back in 2012, triggering a win-now mentality. However, it goes beyond that. Elway said it himself that he wants to win now and ‘from now on’.
This time around, the optimism really began with the hire of a new head coach.
A ‘win from now on’ frame of mind comes with some bruises. That’s simply because no one is perfect. Elway lined up a short list of candidates for the head coaching job after Gary Kubiak stepped down due to health reasons.
Vance Joseph, Kyle Shanahan, and Dave Toub were the three battling it out for head coach of the Denver Broncos back in 2017, and Joseph came out on top. What happened after started the run of imperfection.
Joseph’s Broncos never made the playoffs. They also found themselves leaving a mark on Elway’s record that is hard to get out of the mind. Back-to-back losing seasons was not going to get the job done. Elway needed to make a change and bring back the aggressiveness to win now and from now on.
This offseason, Joseph was fired forcing Elway to find a new man to coach the football team. He lined up numerous candidates, some with head coaching experience and others looking to get their foot in the door.
Chuck Pagano, Brian Flores, Zac Taylor, Mike Munchak, and Vic Fangio were the five in 2019 for Elway. Simply put, Elway did his homework. Pagano became the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Meanwhile, Brian Flores and Zac Taylor became head coaches (of the Dolphins and Bengals, respectively) the same year.
What happened after is something that needs to be reiterated from now on. The Denver Broncos hired Vic Fangio as their head coach and Munchak to be the offensive line coach.
Munchak was once viewed as the favorite before Fangio took the Broncos’ job. It is very rare to see a coach circle back to a team and say yes to a lesser position. The Munchak hire is a power play move that sent ripple effects down the entire staff. Even the simple hire of Fangio is one screaming for a winning culture again.
Just because Fangio did not have head coach experience does not mean he has zero experience. Fangio spent over 30 years building defenses and establishing relationships around NFL circles. Many felt his time had come to be a head coach. The mixture of both Munchak and Fangio is combination built on discipline, technique, and fundamentals. On both sides of the ball, each will give valuable insight to all members of the team.
Circling back to Joe Flacco, it is understandable why the Denver Broncos made the trade just by what has been outlined. The simple, yet powerful additions of Fangio and Munchak made it a no brainer. If Elway wanted to bring back the “kicking and screaming” and blend it with “death by inches” he already has surpassed expectations. The move for Flacco signifies this.
We all realize Flacco is not the same player he once was, but there’s an area he already can do better than previous quarterbacks. Flacco challenges every spot of the field and puts players in the best position to succeed downfield.
The type of weapons the Denver Broncos have to help Flacco is more that can be said in Baltimore. The Broncos feature two dynamic young running backs, young wide receivers with a veteran leader in Emmanuel Sanders, and still an evolving tight end group led by Jake Butt. The offense is already light years ahead of the curve despite the need to also look at the future at quarterback.
In review, the trade of Flacco became a no brainer when you break down where the win-now mindset from Elway started. The Denver Broncos needed to get back to “kicking and screaming,” while also looking to the future. Now, the executive Elway has acquired two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Not a lot of teams can say that for a span that has lasted under 10 years.