REBUILDING THE DYNASTY IN DENVER
by Marc Burgess
While Denver and its devoted fanbase impatiently await a beautiful summer's end, their renewed energy blossoms in spring with the end of the NFL Draft. Restless for the start of the season, it seems a long summer away before Autumn and its orange painted leaves fall to kick off the season. With the skyline painted Blue and Orange, its truly fitting a home for the Denver Broncos.
While the NFL and its colorful history have touted some of the greatest dynasties in professional sports with the likes of clubs known as the Pittsburg Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers or San Fransisco 49ers one can argue that the Denver Broncos are the 3rd greatest dynasty in NFL history.
And perhaps, thanks to one legend that returns to Dome Valley to ensure a solid future-John Elway. Not only did Elway appear and start in more Super Bowls (5), he truly put Denver over the hump and perhaps branded the Broncos as one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. Will a total of six (6) Super Bowl trips and adding, the Denver Broncos enter the 2011 campaign looking to rebuild its D.
And with the 2011 NFL Draft already history, its apparent Denver is looking to build its Defensive reputation. After finishing dead last and posting its worse win total since 1982 (pre-Elway), Denver has only one way to go-UP. While many critics praise Denver's draft, one can easily argue that they avoided their greatest need at DT. With no big man in the middle to collapse the pocket, Denver has been notorious for scouting speed and play making LB's and Safeties. Perhaps the game has changed enough to disregard this position, or FA will address the big elephant in the room. But one thing is certain, Denver's new D will love to rush the passer. With under-rated Dumervil returning to the unit, Denver has some other returning studs like DJ Williams and Champ Bailey that will lead this unit. But, ultimately, Denver's success lies in the talent they've amassed over the past couple of years. With 1st round talents like Robert Ayers or 2nd round picks McBath or Bruton, Denver's draft has made its statement this year by adding lots of depth at LB and Safety. In doing so, a fresh competition will ensue and make this unit hungry again.
And who doesn't love good defense? With new addition Von Miller, Denver may have the latest Derrick Thomas on their hands. Jeremy Beal is a steal out of Sooner country and could easily take playing time away from Ayers if he doesn't already feel the flame under his seat. For fans of the ole' "Orange Crush", you may have some redemption with the addition of Quintin Carter, another late round steal out of Oklahoma. And with the addition of Rahim Moore, perhaps Denver can get back to the days of old when Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater were a safety duo the NFL feared most. Nate Irving could be a steal in the 3rd round, while Mike Mohamed has little appeal at this point, but again, its clear the Broncos want fresh competition come spring camp and that's exactly what they've got.
With a new era under way, Denver's defense will be making the most strides come Fall and quickly regaining its status as an NFL dynasty. No, they won't reach the big dance this year, but with a plentiful plate served up with youth and talent, Denver's rebuilding its Dynasty fast and furious.