I'm going to come right out and say this, I did not hate every move McD made, GASP! In fact I'm sure 90% of you just went "McD, McHoodie, McDumbass, McWhatever, is a terrible person who did horrible things to the Broncos. You should be ashamed to even mention his name. In fact from now on McDaniels should be known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Ironically though I'm sure 80% of you who said this are wearing a #15 Tim Tebow jersey (though I'm sure they're all restitched Marshall one's right :p). However the truth is, McD made a ton of questionable decisions but we have yet to see how a lot of them will pan out.
This post isn't going to be about McD. In fact this will probably be the last time I mention him. This post is about the youth movement that is currently taking place at Dove Valley and how McD's 2010 draft (+ 2 09 guys) along with the EFX's 2011 draft along with some Shanny leftover's will be the face of the Broncos for at least the next 11 games and possibly more. So the question now is, how will the youth movement turn out?
Looking at the current starting offense for the Broncos, only two players were not drafted by us within the last 5 years and they are McGahee and Fells. Every other position, QB, WR, the entire OL, FB, and even our backup RB's and TE's were either drafted or undrafted FA's. Defense right now is sitting closer towards the middle with Dawkins, Bailey, Goodman, and Bunkley being drafted by other teams along with DJ being the only player drafted by us to be here longer than 5 years. However if you consider that Carter, Woodyard, and Vaughn have both replaced injured vets, we've had a ton of youth starting on defense as well.
If this were an essay I was writing, I'd have introduced the question or problem by now (which I have) and then used the rest of the essay to solve the question and explain the reasoning behind it with examples. The problem is the question has yet to be solved. So how can I answer this problem if it has yet to be solved? Simply put, I can't.
To relate this back to football, how will this youth movement turn out, or better yet how will each player carrying a huge question mark turn out? Like I said before, I don't have a clue, neither does EFX and neither do you. We all have a hypothesis but no definitive proofs.
While there might be a ton of questions it will ultimately begin and end with two players, Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas. Both are unproven players replacing veterans which have been with the team for the past couple years. The only difference is that one is an incredibly popular player replacing a not so popular one and the other is a somewhat popular one replacing a pretty popular one. So naturally when Tebow is given the shot to show his question mark can be answered everyone (including myself) was ecstatic. However people seem to be reacting to Thomas getting his shot with rather lukewarm feelings. So why are people mad that Lloyd is gone and Thomas will now be given the shot to be our #1 guy?
Some have given up on Thomas because he's been injured a lot as a Bronco and if he get's injured again then question solved. Some have said they want Lloyd here because it will help with Tebow's growing pains and while yes I do agree it will help him, if Tebow is going to be a good QB he'll should be able to prove it without Lloyd. I don't want Tebow hiding behind Lloyd like Orton did. If Tebow is the player we want him to be, he'll be able to get the ball to Thomas. If one player screws up, in live action it might look bad for both players but on film it'll show who's at fault. Tebow won't get dinged if Thomas drops a pass or runs a wrong route and Thomas won't get dinged if Tebow underthrows him.
So to summarize I'm glad the Broncos have chosen to go with both Tebow and Thomas over Orton and Lloyd. We now get to see if we have our future franchise QB and his future #1 receiver. However WR and QB aren't the only questions that need to be solved. There are plenty of other questions like will our young o-line continue to develop and improve? Can Ayers continue to develop and improve at his natural LE position? Can Miller learn how to be a true SAM LB? Is Joe Mays or Nate Irving our future at MLB? These are just a sample of the questions needing to be solved. These next 11 games over the short term have little meaning since it's pretty clear we suck but long term, they will be the most crucial games this franchise has played in a long time. These next 11 games will officially determine what direction the Broncos will be taking.
Maybe it's just the Math/Science student in me but this is what I love. The unknown is fascinating to me. I hate easy fixes because they never last long and just ignoring the problem is worse. I love the draft because it's the future. It's exciting to me watching young, unproven, and unknown players and teams develop, mature, and go from the bottom to top. That's why I always cheer for teams like the Packers, Lions, and Bucs. Teams that built through the draft and are having all their long hard work and patience finally paying off. That's why I hate teams like the Eagles, and Yankees who just buy quick fixes and don't take the time to truly develop.
We've all heard EFX preach they are gonna develop their own talent and build through the draft time and time again and I'm sure everyone of you at one point has gone, "we should be like the Packers who develop all their own talent and build through the draft". Well we are now in the beginning phases of this plan and the beginning phase is never pretty. It's hard to imagine that 5 years ago the Packers went 4-12 or that the Lions were started 1-5 last year or that the Saints use to be the laughing stock of the NFL. Building a super bowl team takes time to develop and patience is needed. Patience is hard in sports, especially nowadays when everything is win now but it will be needed.
So while I'm not expecting many wins to come during the next 11 games, I am far more excited now than I was at the beginning of the year when everyone was predicting 7-9 wins. We might not win a lot but at least majority of our questions will be answered. If we are crap then we will know exactly what needs to be fixed. However what if we witness the future over the next 11 weeks and it is as bright as we our hoping it will be... the future is now and we're just along for the ride.
Go Broncos... Orange Crush FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!