Broncos’ GM George Paton has taken some heat this season based on how his team has performed, but some important perspective is needed. The Denver Broncos went into the 2022 offseason with much room for improvement.
After firing Vic Fangio, Paton and his staff got to undergo their first head coaching search. Fangio was a holdover from the John Elway management, and Paton wasn’t exactly racing to fire him. However, when that firing came, it became somewhat clear what direction they were taking.
Following the trend of what a bunch of teams have done, the Broncos opted to hire a young, offensive head coach. After two straight defensive head coaches, going in the offensive direction made sense.
As the search went on and the interviews were announced, it became clear that many of the fans preferred Nathaniel Hackett for his work with the Green Bay Packers and helping Aaron Rodgers win two straight MVP awards.
Many also thought that hiring Hackett essentially guaranteed Aaron Rodgers’ arrival in Denver. That wasn’t the case. Instead, the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson. The team also added key defensive players in free agency like K’Waun Williams, Randy Gregory, and DJ Jones.
On offense, the team signed Billy Turner to slide in at the right tackle spot, which also seemed like a logical and smart move to make. All of that happened and thrust the Broncos back into the national conversation.
Some called them Super Bowl contenders and others weren’t as high but still thought that the team would return to a playoff-caliber team. George Paton was collecting praise from all over the place. After ten weeks in the 2022 season, that has all blown up in his face.
At this point, I’ve seen countless Broncos fans now say things like the trade for Wilson was a bad idea and should have never happened, for example. It’s not fair to Paton as hindsight is always 20/20, so if we knew that Wilson would be playing this bad and Hackett would be this bad of a coach, the team likely would have not gone this route.
Paton was nearly universally praised for those two moves during the offseason, and frankly, it’s not fair to him for fans and other people to dog on him. There was absolutely no question that trading for a franchise quarterback in the offseason was the right move, and absolutely no question that hiring one of the hottest coaching candidates was a good move.
The Denver Broncos have been incredibly disappointing offensively all season, but what three specific areas have stood out among the rest?
George Paton cannot predict the future. This upcoming offseason will likely make or break his tenure as the GM of the Broncos.