I was going to write a post with various stats and stuff, but there are better ones on the site than anything I can write. What I wanted to say anyway was that Denver is on the right path, and we need to be patient. I'll explain why after the jump.
None of us Bronco fans are used to losing. Period. This is a winning franchise that went to five Superbowls under a great QB. Those are the results we expect. Those are the results the ownership, the front office, and the coaching staff want and expect. But, unfortunately, we were, and I stress "were", moving in the wrong direction for at least five seasons (at least in my view). I think the team has finally turned it around, but it cannot be done overnight.
Put bluntly, old teams that aren't winning rarely turn it around. Teams get better by building a nucleus of young players who are the future of the franchise and building on that. Shannahan had deluded himself into thinking that there was a core like that in place, and that we were just a couple players away from another Superbowl McDaniels was a terrible head coach, but a much much worse de facto GM. He wasted most of two drafts and left us with very little. The new regime is being smart and patient, building in the right way. What stinks for us as fans is that we've had to sit through two terrible seasons of football (following several mediocre ones) already, and we're tired of it. I'm tired of it. I know everyone else here is, too.
But we can't rush this, just because we had two terrible, wasted years. Lloyd is not going to be a reason why we win our division, the AFC, or the Superbowl. We have a bunch of young wide receivers, some of whom will be part of the reason why we will eventually get back to dominance. Fine, we only got a 5th (assuming he reaches his 30 catch target), but I don't see anyone aside from Bronco fans thinking that we realistically could have received more.
I want to see as much of this team's future on the field as possible now. We all should want that. Tebow is (I believe) part of the future. If he is, or if he's not, Lloyd's being there is not going to make the difference. He might play a little better with Lloyd, but he may as well start developing bonds with the receivers to whom he'll throw next year. If we trade any other veterans or don't resign them, fine by me. I like many of them as players and am grateful for their contributions to the team, but we can't win as an old team. We need to get younger and grow. I think EFX are aiming to do that, and that already means we're finally headed back towards winning, whether or not we see it in the final record this year (I'm still predicting 10-6, but perhaps that's getting a little too optimistic!).