This is going to be a very eventful off-season. For the first time in Broncos history we will likely have a top 3 pick. There are going to be changes both the front office and coaching staff. Considering this season is a waste, I am actually looking forward to the off-season ahead.
It sounds like Bowlen and Co. have already made up their mind regarding the front office. Elway is likely to be announced VP of Football Operations the day the season ends. It seems that they are inclined to keep Xanders as a GM with more decision making responsibility regarding personnel decisions. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Why...after the jump....
Xanders has managed the scouting department for the last 2 years and the '10 draft looks to be one of the best this decade. Of the 9 picks it looks like 7 of them are going to be starters in the NFL for years to come. While everyone (including me) criticized the Bey Bey Thomas pick, when healthy, he was the most gifted WR on the field this season. The Tebow pick has been scrutinized by everyone from NY to LA and after two starts, he seem to be the face of the franchise moving forward. Beadles and Walton are only going to improve on the O-Line and in limited duty Decker looks like he is going to make many big plays for the Broncos in the future. Cox (if he stays out of jail) will likely replace Goodman (or Champ) and Syd"Quan Thompson has locked up the nickle corner position.
Considering that we are likely going to have 3 picks in the top 45 we cant afford to have a wasted draft like we did in '09 when McDaniels took the helm. Hiring a new GM and making him bring in his own staff can hurt us more than help us moving forward. Xanders has been watching the Broncos all season and clearly knows the Broncos areas of need (Defensive interior and secondary). We cant afford a new regime to come in and make assumptions on the needs of this team. We cant afford to have another mistake, like drafting a RB with the 12th pick even though we had a future Pro Bowler at that position (Hillis) and numerous defensive studs still available (Orakpo, Cushing, Clay Mathews.). Everyone in Broncos Country already knew what we had in Hillis and it appeared that the new regime had never even looked at film of the current roster before the draft.
More importantly, with the NFL labor dispute there are going to be limited opportunities for the new regime to hold practices during the off-season to evaluate talent currently on the roster. If a new front office is put in place, it will be difficult for them to evaluate team needs via free agency and the draft without the ability to hold off-season workouts.
Keeping Xander and the current scouting department in place guarantees we focus on the needs of this team based recent performances (or lack there of). If Xanders department can put together another draft like last year, yet focus heavily on the defensive needs, there is a chance this off-season can set the tone for long term success for this franchise for years to come.