I was watching "John Elway's Greatest Comebacks" yesterday on (gasp) VHS, and this really got me thinking. First off, this really helped me understand how great a quarterback Elway was even more, since during the Elway era I either wasn't born yet or was to young to care about much of anything.
I think that to be consistently successful in the NFL, more often than not you need a quarterback who always keeps you in the game, no matter what the score, because you won't always be playing with a lead, and defense can't always bring you back, but set you up to do so. Sometimes you can get by with a QB who doesn't have this ability, or intangible, but it sure helps if you do.
Lets take a look at how this applies to the Broncos.
We are currently in a period of transition as a team, and will likely be in some way for the next few years. Entering year 2 of the Josh McDaniels era, it is very likely that McD hasn't fully implemented his system, so we're still waiting on that. He is also currently bringing in young players that fit what he's looking for on this team, and at this moment it looks like we have a potentially brilliant core of them on offense. The defense is generally experienced, and many like Dawkins and Champ may only have a few years left, so there is the transition to youth that will likely be taking place on D.
During this transition period, there is uncertainty in how the team will perform, increasing the need for a quarterback that will always keep the team in the game, especially late while trailing. But do we have a guy that can do that? We have in the past, and should look for that now.
John Elway was able to do it. Jake Plummer was able to do it. That guy who wore Bubby Brister's number can do it (to an extent). Can Kyle Orton? I doubt it, at least not consistently. How about Tim Tebow, Brady Quinn, or Tom Brandstater? That has yet to be seen. But it seems like McD sees it in Tebow. He recently has said that Tebow has the "it" factor, and this would probably be included in that.
Doubtless, we need somebody who can do this, or else we may be stuck in mediocrity for even longer.