I figure if we talk about it, then we will eliminate the jinx, if you believe in jinxes. I don't.
The worst case scenarios in football always seem to involve an injury to a key player, so let's break it down from the worst to the least of each, and see just what we think the Broncos will do to counteract the problem.
#1 Is definitely Manning going down early (Or Ever) in the year.
Brock Osweiler is certainly as green as a 1 year backup can be. Having opted for the NFL Draft following his Jr year, Brock had only been the starting QB at ASU during his last year. He did get some playing time in each of his other two seasons there, passing for 4,036 yards (326 CMP / 516 ATT) with a completion percentage of 63.2% (135.0 Passer Rating).
This year will be his best opportunity to get some Pro NFL playing time, as this is the first training camp and preseason that will allow him to get a good number of snaps. An unfortunate circumstance that would force him into the game would be a baptism of fire for the kid! Is he up to the task? How do you think he would do in that situation?
#2 Von Miller simply cannot be replaced! Like Manning, just the thought makes me sick to my stomach. Who would get significantly more playing time if that happened? No one could fill his shoes, but as HC, what would you do?
#3 Is a bit of a toss up for me, but I'm going with Ryan Clady. I just don't see whoever steps in for him being able to keep Manning as clean. Would we begin stacking that side with an extra TE? Just how do you see it affecting what we do on offense?
#4 Wesley Woodyard. Who would step up and give us the tackles that Wesley gave us last year. Would we begin to miss that DJW guy? Who would step into his role? Shaun Phillips, Stewart Bradley or Danny Trevathan? What changes do you see us making in that case? You are the HC now! Make the call.
#5 If Champ Bailey lost significant time, it might look like Elway had paid a visit to Miss-Fortune Teller. The Kayvon Webster pick would certainly make a lot more sense to some folks around here. That pick is the reason why I didn't list Champ higher in this break down.
#6 Demaryius Thomas / Eric Decker. Any one of these two would be sorely missed. We currently have 11 WR's on our roster. Three of them, Greg Orton, Trindon Holliday & Andre Caldwell were on the roster last year.
#7 Wes Welker. Would we put in a call to Stokely?
#8 Terrance Knighton / Kevin Vickerson / Sylvester Williams. We could survive one of these guys since there are three of them but I'd sure hate to see two at once! Who will see the most snaps behind these three guys?
#9 Britton Colquitt isn't a guy who many people think much about, because we have simply grown accustomed to him sticking his punts into the 5, 10 & 20 yard areas as an automatic thing. That field position advantage can be sorely missed when it's no longer there. We did bring Ryan Doerr in for a try out, and so it appears that the FO is doing their job in case such a need should arise.
#10 Matt Prater. Now I know that after last year, many of you may be hoping for this change to happen, but do you have someone available to fill his shoes? Who is it. The place kicker is almost always the highest scoring individual player on EVERY team!
Well, there you have my worst case top ten list. You are the GM / HC. What do you do? Have you planned well? Do you have adequate backups for each of these scenarios? Of course YOU WILL NEVER NEED YOUR PLAN B this year, but you have to know that you are covered.
I thought that this post might force us to look a lot harder at our back ups to see just how deep our strengths go. Happy game planning!