The next episode of our Denver Broncos Soap-Opera has arrived. The organization put together a poor outing against the current Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Orton's interceptions have added about as much fuel to the fire as could be done in a single week. Then add in John Fox's post game press conference to put the cherry on top. Fans are in an uproar if they have ever been before. They are posting up billboards, whining, complaining, pleading, writing letters to the owner... You name it, this fanbase has done it.
I wonder if the "Ain'ts" fanbase reacted this way, or maybe the atrocious couple of decades the Lions had ended up causing their fanbase to rupture and burst like ours has? Who knows?
What I won't do, is jump on the bandwagon heading out of town. I won't hop off the Fanatic train that circles Broncos Country. No way. Not over four games of a sixteen game season - at least that's how I view it, anyways. I'm not like other people though. There are others that look at it as four MORE games on top of the two years under McDaniels, there are even some that will slap in the whole post-Elway era of Shanahan's reign. Those are the kinds of people that hold grudges. Those are the people that can't let go of the past and move on. They can't look forward to the future because their eyes are so glassy and blurry from all the pity-party crying over spilled milk they are currently doing.
I have seen a 2011 Broncos team that has gotten better every game. I have seen a team that is OBVIOUSLY reviewing game film and learning from their mistakes. There hasn't been a single week that they have not improved the major mistakes they made the previous game. Turnovers happen, even to the greatest teams in history. They are, most-often, a sign of bad luck rather than a sign of bad execution - though execution definitely plays its part. We just haven't been getting any balls bouncing in our own direction lately, and its made a huge impact on the last few games.
We may not have been winning games, but we have been improving. We haven't been winning games but we have been putting together effective game-plans (especially compared to what I saw in the last year under McDaniels). Our coaches are studying opponents film and giving our players exactely the kind of insight they need to perform - but they just aren't there yet. It takes time to change a culture of losing. Ask the Lions or Saints or Cardinals. It takes a LONG time. We haven't yet fallen as far as they did into the abyss, but its gotten pretty ugly. Especially for a fanbase that started out at the bottom and fought and clawed their way to the top. Falling back into mediocrity is twice as painful for us as it for franchises that have only been their once. We can't stand it, and we will do anything to keep from going back there.
We'll even throw our second year QB right into the fire, and into a myrriad of extra-cirricular challenges just because we don't have the patience to wait for our team to grow and contracts to finish before we see what he can do. I swear, everyone thinks he's 35 years old. I know Tim is as mature as a 35 year old Quarterback, but he's still got nearly two decades of football in him. ESPECIALLY if we give him time to learn and develop good passing habits and not force him rely on his legs to win and take the extra uneccessary hits and punishment.
Does anyone recall the few plays Eric Decker made the last few games? No, I'm not talking about his touchdowns and spectacular catches; I'm talking about the time he went out and got a "blocking downfield" penalty for thinking Orton called a run play. Or the time he ran the completely wrong route and left the timing-pass up for grabs for whoever could have been standing there. Or maybe the the overthrows and underthrows were he wasn't quite in the place where Orton thought he would be. You know why those plays happened? Because Decker got BARELY any first team reps coming into this season. He didn't get to work with Orton hardly at all besides during the lockout, so the overthrows and underthrows are the fault of both men not knowing what each other is going to do.
In training camp Decker didn't receive many first team reps. You know who got even FEWER first team reps? Tim Tebow. This kid is going to go through SO MANY growing pains as he gets familiar with his receivers, learns the offense, learns to read NFL defenses, and gets a feeling for the pocket pressure and protections etc... If Tim gets a FULL offseason of first team reps as the go-to starter, many of these issues will be taken care of. The offensive knowledge, timing with his recievers, and time up against a first string defensive pass-rush, which ours isn't too shabby last time I checked. That gives him less extra things to worry about and more time to focus on improving his game and beating the opposing defenses.
I believe that the people who want to start Tebow NOW, are just plain impatient. I believe that they truly care very little about the challenges Tebow will face, or care at all how his confidence will fair during this learning process. One of Tebow's greatest strengths is his confidence, and that confidence can get shattered in a hurry after a handful of picks and no solid production. Just ask Brady Quinn, a guy who is just now starting to show signs of healing from his experience in Cleveland. We have a guy on our very own roster who was the middle of a true QB controversy and shows the battle scars from that emotional/intellectual war; yet so many want to do the same to thing to Tim. There is no controversy in the lockerroom, only with the fans. They want to feed him to the wolves with even less first team reps than Quinn had going into his first couple of years. They want to send Tim into sharkwater because Orton is so boo-hoo bad, that their poor little fan ear, eyes, and hearts just can't take any more losing. Let me tell you, we have BARELY BEGUN to lose. This is nothing compared to what some other franchises have gone through. What a selfish desire, with no thought to Tim Tebow - who has PLENTLY of time, by the way, to acheive success and become a dominant QB in this league.
I think people also tend to forget that the very QB who shredded our defense yesterday was a guy who sat on the bench for three years. THREE YEARS! Tim hasn't even come close to sitting for even two full years. Yet still they cry. Still they are enraged. Still they call our coaching staff incompetent. It's all somebody's fault... there is always a finger to point, right?
Where has all the patient wisdom of this fan-site gone? Where is the calculated reasoning I used to enjoy reading? There are so many knee-jerk reactions flooding even MHR these days. All because of Orton, or Fox, or Bowlen, or (enter name of your choice here). And for what? Where does it take us? Nowhere. I can see why people would want to quit being a fan, or jump off the bandwagon, or take a break... not from the Broncos, but from MHR.
I love my Broncos and will watch EVERY MINUTE of EVERY GAME no matter how horribly they play. Because I want to go along for the ride, even if the tracks take us to the bottom of the abyss, because I have faith we will rise out of it. When this team finally does rise into greatness (regardless of who is playing QB) I will have about zero respect for all the whiners and complainers that come crawling back because the team is finally doing things "their way" or finally sees eye to eye with them.
Nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head and making them watch Orton lead the Broncos, nobody is forcing you to buy your season tickets. Though, you all do realise that the stadium won't get emptier, right? There is a LONG line for season tickets. I HOPE you all stop attending. I HOPE you all give up those tickets and the stadium can get filled with fans that are willing to ride through the muck along with the team. We don't like it anymore than you do, but we're not going to sit here and cry and bitch about every little thing we don't like either. Especially when we see progress.
We finally see our team stopping the run, which everyone was bitching about; yet why don't we hear about that? We are finally generating pass pressure - again, barely even talked about. Our defense has gone from the bottom of the barrel to the top 15 or 20, and is showing signs of going north still. Yet it's all about how bad Orton is playing or how bad of a coach Fox is because he isn't doing exactely what we want him to do. Yes he isn't winning games, but that doesn't mean he's not improving this team. We as fans have very little insight as to whether a bad play is more from coaching or execution because we aren't given the playcall. If we were, THEN and only THEN could we decide if it was a bad call or just badly exectuted by the players. Until that happens, all else is just assumption and speculation. And it shows, to me, the true colors of the fans against Fox... which is that they personally don't like his style, or they don't like him because of the QB situation or how he's handling it.
And you all can defend yourselves however you want to, and I don't really care how you retaliate to such an accusation; because the bottom line is that many of us here are still willing to ride through mud in order to see the stars when we come out the end of the dark tunnel... and there are a good majority that won't - or at least will bitch and complain the whole ride there. And you know what, that's fine. That's your American right, to believe whatever you want, and act however you want about it. I know, because I spent four and a hal years defending such rights for you. You can keep stirring the pot as furiously as you'd like, but I'm not jumping in. I'll sit aside and watch. Too be perfectly honest, your frustration amuses me. It always astounds me when people get upset about things they have no control over. It's silly and shows a child-like approach to adversity. If there were any good things my time in the Marine Corps had for me, it was seeing people grow from this type of mentality into one with resolve, patience, and determination to act WHEN and WHERE they could. It served them no good to go and piss-off the people around them that were on their side - their fellow Marines experiencing it with them.
Yet I have seen no comparison in the civillian world of this. People constantly bitch to their coworkers, to their fellow fans - who are going through the exact same thing and are equally powerless to do anything about it, and they irritate the crap out of each other. I just don't understand it.