With so many people around here getting down on our decision to get a quarterback in the second round, I've started this post several times as a reply on other threads. Every time I do though, it starts to get way too long and always starts to veer into areas that are irrelevant to the person I'm wanting to reply to. So I decided to take a deep breath, collect all my thoughts and do my best to make the argument of why this was such a great decision. (And it goes way beyond restoring the greatness of No. 6 from the whole cry baby era.)
Point No. 1 - It makes Peyton Manning a true Bronco
For many of us, Peyton Manning became a true Bronco the day he made his decision to come here. But for some of us stubborn-minded fans (like myself) he was just an overpriced vet who was going to attempt to come in and squeeze what he could out of us in an attempt to possibly get another ring. While that would have obviously been a common goal, even if he was doing it for selfish reasons, the way we expected him to do it was by transforming our team into a win now or bust squad which would have followed the fate of the Colts when Manning left. While I will stand by the Broncos through thick and thin (and have pledged to get a 0-16 tattoo like the Lions fan did to represent this if it ever becomes necessary -- God I hope not) the thought of someone coming in and purposely doing things that could lead to this outcome enrages me. Luckily, everyone who was on my side about Manning was wrong, and the Osweiler pick proves it. If you haven't read the stories about Manning after the draft, he came out and said that he was not only behind the Osweiler pick, but he had insisted that they do something like that only days after signing. He had witnessed first hand what happened to the Colts when they built exclusively around him and didn't want that to happen to us. To me, such a selfless action can only mean that Manning is here first and foremost for us. No matter if you were on the Manning bandwagon from Day 1 or just now getting on board, such a thought should make you downright giddy. Not only do we have an all-time great who wants to win us a championship or two, he also is going to do whatever it takes to prevent us all from looking like a Denver version of this guy:
Point No. 2 - It will give us the chance to have a homegrown, longterm leader
This is a point that answers a fact about the game that so many of us have started to loathe... The hometown hall of famer. How many times have you cursed the fact that the only jerseys you can buy in good faith are retired players? Why in the world do I and so many others have Plummer, Cutler, Royal and Tebow jerseys hanging up in my closet with little to no chance of being wore (OK, so I still wear Plummer about once a month because he's just a total stud -- not that Tebow isn't , but I don't want to look like a jilted ex-fan.) Anyway, we've all seen the players of every level of talent and position move from team to team. There is no loyalty in our system and the fact that we can now wear Manning jerseys proves that. However, there are still a few players out there who will always be associated with the squad that drafted them... and we have a chance to do that with Osweiler. Even the possibility that we could have a longterm star player on our team should get you excited. We've waited more than a decade to have the longterm passion for a quarterback like we did with Elway... we thought we had achieved it several times, but with Osweiler there's a good chance that our man is finally on our team. I'm still very cynical about pouring more money into another current player's jersey... but the thought of Osweiler succeeding and being with us until he retires is very tempting. Seriously, how great would it be if he succeeds?
Point No. 3 - He would have been an easy 1st rounder in the 2013 draft
Speaking of succeeding, I feel like there's a very good chance that he will do just that. This is a 6'8", 240-pound powerhouse who threw for more than 4,000 yards and completed more than 60 percent of his passes last year. He also had a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio with 26 TDs and 13 interceptions. Now, after our Tebow experiment, we've all debated college stats and their ability to predict NFL success enough to make us all sick. The interesting thing about Osweiler though is that he achieved these stats in the pocket (it's very hard to flush him out) with an NFL-power arm. He can be extremely accurate and zip the ball where he wants it. His mistakes come from the mental game: He tends to lock onto receivers too early and throw into double coverage all too readily. Had he taken the opportunity to study the game a little more and get more comfortable reading defenses and going through his progressions, his numbers could have been insane, and there's little doubt that doing so would have led to an easy 1st-round choice. The only thing that led to him falling to us in the second round is that he needs to be coached up.
Point No. 4 - He will have more than enough help to become a legend
And speaking of coaching, can there be a better place in the universe than the Denver Broncos right now to get the kind of help Osweiler requires? First of all, he will be studying directly under one of the greatest mental quarterbacks to ever play the game. And not only can Manning teach Osweiler everything he needs to learn, as I pointed out above, that's exactly what Manning wants to do for the Broncos. Also on his side just happens to be a guy named John Elway. As upset as so many of us (myself once again included) that Elway wanted nothing to do with coaching up Tebow, in hindsight there's very little Elway could do with such a quarterback. Nothing against our former No. 15 -- great man and great athlete -- but after all the work that went into his arm, what could Elway possibly added to get that ball to quit flying like a wounded duck? Osweiler on the other hand is pretty much the virtual opposite. He has the arm and pocket skills that Elway cherishes already in place. All that's left is figuring out how to use these weapons properly and Elway is just the man we need for that. Add in coach Fox and whoever else these legends decide to bring in to help teach Osweiler and... well... I'll let Osweiler sum this one up: "You know, I think it's a quarterback's dream. It really is. You know, I'm big into learning and that's why I made this decision to enter the draft is, I wanted to go and learn from the best. And fortunately for me, it worked out to be John Elway and Peyton Manning and Coach Fox and the rest of the guys. And I just truly feel like there's no better situation and I can promise everyone that my ears will be open every single day and I'm writing as many notes as I possibly can." Seriously, how can anyone not be totally pumped for the possibility that this kid will join their legendary ranks?
The main points I've heard against Osweiler were either based on preferring Tebow or that we had other major needs to fill. Let's start with the Tebow argument. As one of the major Tebow supporters during his time here, I feel like I am in the perfect position to say that anyone still longing for him over what we have at this point is simply butt hurt. Sure, I still have my moments where I see kids Tebow jersey and wish I could have raised my future son to idolize such a player but that's in the past and we all need to move on. If it helps, look at it this way: We all know there is no possible way to predict who will succeed and who will fail in the NFL. If there was, the drafts would be a lot more boring. But just for a second try to envision these two scenarios and tell me which one you'd really prefer: No. 1 -- A quarterback whose passes wobble in the air and runs a wildcat-style offense built around his ability to scramble and run. We all saw how quickly defenses picked up the wildcat, and how much easier teams found it to stop Tebow on their second try. Like I've said, he is a great athlete, but with all the work that went into his arm, it's not going to get much better. And with NFL-caliber defenses, the little gimmicks that were so much fun and helped us find success last year would eventually stop working. Even under the most optimistic glasses I don't see this working out very well... on the other hand, we now have No. 2 -- A pocket passer with a very strong arm and, after years of tutelage from Peyton Manning and John Elway, his mental game is on par with hall of famers. He's enthusiastic and upbeat like Tebow but has the talent that you can only be born with. The mind is a tricky thing, and I'm sure there are some out there who could convince themselves that Tebow will suddenly start throwing the ball perfectly and blowing all other quarterbacks out of the water, but IMO, anyone who looks the evidence objectively will see it differently. As for the needing to fill other holes, this argument might have a little traction, but I still feel the needs of our future completely outweigh the needs of our now. With Manning and the amazing talent we have across the board right now, the holes we have *cough*DJ Williams*Cough* can be filled through free agency if necessary. Knowing who will run the team after Manning and drafting future talent that can work with either quarterback instead of exclusively building around Manning is much more valuable. We may not be as good this season as we could have been, but being great for a very long run, which is what it appears Elway is trying to do, is much more important.
And, before I end this, I just want to say that I said a bunch of horrible things about Elway when this whole situation went down. I had on my Tebow kool-aid drinking hat and couldn't see the forest through the trees. I was wrong about Elway and Manning and I can't wait to see the direction they take this team in the future. Go Broncos.