I have frequently posted on MHR, and typically enjoy the banter and varied opinions that are routinely exchanged. During some of the Tebowmania moments last year I was: frequently surprised, often frustrated and annoyed, and sadly shocked by the venom that was directed towards our Front Office and Coaching Staff.
To provide context, if I haven’t seen it as a Broncos fan over the past 40 years, then it hasn’t happened. I have been there through all of the good, bad, and ugly. And in that time there was plenty of each. Since 1977, we have been fortunate to be one of the consistently winning franchises in the NFL. Last year’s return to the playoffs, and first win in 7 years, is a positive sign of returning to what had become an expectation of excellence. For us old timers, its gravy for having survived how bad the Broncos were in the late 60’s, half of the 70’s, and spots through the 80’s.
Join me after the jump to see what this wealth of Broncos experience has left me wrestling with.
With the recent pursuit of Peyton Manning to wear a Bronco uniform, I have again been shocked by the vitriol directed at our FO (namely, John Elway, but all of EFX to some degree). I find this perplexing since this group of Bronco employees are responsible for a single job—make the Broncos better wherever they can, with in the confines of the resources they have. That’s it. Pretty simple. If that means moving someone else to Gunner on punts, then they do it. If it means trading a locker-room cancer, then it happens. It is never, nor should it be, about any one individual on the team. It’s about the brand—the Broncos, and nothing else.
I thoroughly enjoyed some of the cardiac comebacks that Tim Tebow was able to help engineer last season. A team effort they all were, but his contributions were undeniable. And I’ve watched the entire Steeler playoff victory at least 5 times. The last play more than 20. But when I heard that Elway had committed to landing Manning I completely understood why. As I’m sure the entire roster did as well, including Tebow. This is a first ballot HOF QB who at 80% is better than 90% of the QBs in the NFL. Elway was doing exactly what he’s being paid to do, look for ways to make the Broncos better. I would expect nothing less from him in his current role, and was pleased to see how dedicated he is to holding good on that promise. I’ve seen many others fail in this business when they let the personalities around them drive their decision-making.As much as I enjoyed watching Tebow play last season, I never saw this pursuit of Manning as a slight on his abilities or potential. This was a savvy FO executive recognizing that potential is not the same as credentials. Manning has game, it doesn’t need to be refined or developed. He is the icon of the current generation of young QBs and could immediately improve the Broncos at the QB position. Whether or not that meant Tebow stayed or didn’t was never a question, nor should it have been. Would Peyton Manning improve the Broncos is all that needed to be asked. And the answer was simply, yes. So, why all the fallout from Bronco Country? This I still don’t understand. If you’re a Broncos fan, please help me to grasp why improving any position (including the coaching staff) shouldn’t be the primary function of the FO? This isn’t camp, it isn’t high school, or college. This is a business. And, the only way the business succeeds is if the team encourages fans to watch (and pay for) the product. So how is using a position-by-position assessment of all your personnel, to put the best product on the field, not following that directive? This team isn’t the Tebows any more than it is the Millers or the Baileys. It’s the Broncos. I support EFX in their on-going effort to bring this team back to the dominance it once enjoyed rather than the laughability with which the franchise began. With the decisions they’ve made thus far, Elway et al have demonstrated their singular focus on making the Broncos great again. Isn’t that something a Broncos fan should celebrate rather than denigrate?