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48 Hours: From Silver Linings to Simple Resignation

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Patience? Resolve? Fortitude? No thanks, been there and done that.  Anger? Frustration? Despair? Nope, been there too.

All I have left is resignation. Yes, in just a span of 48 hours I went from silver linings to simple resignation. Yet, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I am resigned to business before pleasure. With the announcement that Kyle Orton will be starting against Oakland, one can only come to the conclusion that the Denver Broncos are only interested in the bottom line for the 2010 season. Tim Tebow will likely start the final two weeks, not for evaluation nor experience, but for dollars.

I cannot be upset that Pat Bowlen and Joe Ellis chose the bottom line over player development by allowing Kyle Orton to remain the quarterback this week. Every business does it; that end of the year push for sales. It is important to finish the year with a strong financial showing, which is what they will get by holding back Tebow until the next home game. It makes too much financial sense for a team that has been a monumental disappointment all year long.

I am resigned to regretting my own discord with Kyle Orton. I had an epiphany today that my gradual criticism of Kyle Orton from a few angry comments during the Indianapolis Colts game to my final indictment of his failures this season actually proved to be harmful to my team. Hammering Orton for everything he has done wrong this season only fanned the flames of discontent with him. It is plainly obvious that he is a better quarterback when he has the support and adulation of the fans he plays for. He appears to be a rare case of a person who actually cares what people think of him - even people who he's never met. The cat calls, chants for Tebow and damning articles looks to have taken its toll on his psyche. He is trying too hard, thinking too much and has run out of time. His last chance awaits him in Oakland and something deep inside me says he will somehow rediscover his mojo, but the bottom line will likely force him to the sidelines anyway for the final two games.

I would like to take a moment to commend Mile High Report community members like rocko1, maxwellsdemon, Carl B., Hoopforia and anyone else who stuck by Kyle Orton to the very end. You were the real fans during the worst season any Bronco team has had in four decades. By sticking with Orton, you were sticking with the Broncos. 2010 was a year when the Broncos were Kyle Orton's team, so to abandon Orton like I and so many did during these last several weeks we, in effect, abandoned the 2010 season - all that is left is regret. It truly has been a Year of Adversity.

So for the first time in many weeks, I will not turn on Kyle Orton after his first couple of mistakes this weekend. I will finally do what I started the season doing; root and hope and believe that Kyle Orton will beat the hated Oakland Raiders. Who knows, maybe a huge victory over our hated rival will buy him a couple more games as the starting quarterback before the eminent regime change.

I am resigned to watching the final few games of the Champ Bailey era. One of the greatest players in Broncos history has no desire to come back after this season. The turmoil and losing has taken its toll. I will not spite him nor disrespect him for leaving. NFL careers are short and time is running out, so to stay in Denver would ensure he may never get the coveted ring he desires. He will always be one of my favorite sports icons. Adieu, Champ.

I am resigned to never fully understanding why Josh McDaniels was fired with four games left in the season. If the idea was to make this team more competitive, they failed. The Broncos were blown out by a team who had not won a game in two months. If the idea was to change the course of the ship, the failed. The Broncos team last week was the same old ineffective team, just worse. If the idea was to remove the only shred of mental toughness this team had, mission accomplished. This team has proven it has absolutely no confidence nor mental toughness, in fact, the only guys I ever saw exhibit any kind of will over this team was Brian Dawkins and Josh McDaniels.

I do not buy the official story that the Broncos top brass made a mistake giving McDaniels too much power and that he was not equipped for the strains of running the organization from the top down.  For one, I've seen a lot of coaches come and go around this league, so I think I have a good handle on the kind of personality traits a guy needs to be successful in this league. Josh McDaniels has all of the strong personality traits and work ethic that men like Bill Belichek, Mike Shanahan, Bill Walsh and Bill Parcels have or had. It wasn't McDaniels ability that ruined him, it was his inexperience and perceived failures that brought him down. Where patience should have ruled the day with Bowlen and Ellis, the feeling that something needed to be done ruled instead. 

Instead, Josh McDaniels will return to be an offensive coordinator somewhere and in a year or two, because he is far too driven to be held down by his previous employers dysfunctions, he will be a head football coach again. He won't be given the power he had in Denver, at first, but he will prove to the NFL that the Denver Broncos should have been more patient, they should have known there would be a learning curve and they should have been able to recognize the direction he was taking the Broncos - even if the results on the field did not immediately become apparent. 

You see, this organization does not know how to lose. It can do mediocrity, but it cannot handle the pressure of failure. It is my sincere hope that McDaniels will bear the brunt of blame for any failures that are sure to come over the next two years, for as long as McDaniels is the villain, the next head coach will have enough time to actually rebuild this football team. To fix the lack of mental toughness that has been a mainstay for this organization since 2007, to fix the homefield disadvantage that has existed since 2007, to fix the culture of losing that has existed sine 2007 and to fix and restore the blind faith and belief in this organization from the fans. Which leads me to my final resignation.

I am resigned to waiting for inspiration from the coming reorganization of the front office of the Denver Broncos. I was planning to write about the dysfunctional structure that exists within the Broncos organization that was created by Mike Shanahan and left unchanged since his departure, but that was the kind of research project that would demand a weekend of my time. Thankfully, Dave Keiger wrote a pretty solid piece for the Denver Post regarding this very issue, so this already fully-employed father of two didn't have too. 

It just seems to me that every year that Bowlen extricates himself more from day-to-day operations the further into disarray the organization descends into. Pat Bowlen's semi-retirement has taken its toll on everything - he is the Denver Broncos. I liked the structure suggested in this MHR Fanpost by worleybird. Regardless of who eventually is named the General Manager, I support the idea of John Elway and Joe Ellis being more equals who run separate sections of the organization. It would be very disheartening if Elway becomes just another layer of middle management, since that has been this organizations problem in recent years. If something close to this reorganization occurs then we will all have something to bring us out of resignation and into reloading season excitement!

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