Thoughts and Musings on a long offseason
I haven't watched a game since the end of the Super Bowl. Really, I haven't watched a football game with any sort of thoughts or emotion since the Broncos lost to Indy. It's the way it goes as a blogger of your favorite team, highest of highs and lowest of lows.
But now that things are on the horizon here are my two cents about a variety of topics out there.
There are two players on this team who I have sat back and watched get turned on by the fanbase. The first was Peyton Manning. Now with a deal not yet in place it's Demaryius Thomas.
There's a narrative that goes around Broncos Country. One in which John Elway "willed" sub-average teams to Super Bowls only to have the superior NFC talent crush them time and time again.
In any GOAT argument, the first thing brought up in John Elway's defense of a 2-3 Super Bowl record is the fact that he was throwing the ball to "the three amigos" or some other non-descript no-name, no-talent bum.
So, if talent was the only thing keeping those teams back
WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE DEMARYIUS THOMAS WALK JUST BECAUSE HE WANTS TO GET PAID???
This makes NO SENSE, and y'all (you know who you are) are making it seem like it's your money the Broncos are spending....to a degree they are, but to that I say---Hey Elway, take the $400 or so I used for Broncos tickets and give it to DT. He deserves it.
You know what being stingy with cap money gets you? A lot of holes on your roster. If you're willing to tag and make a player earn a living under the ERFA, RFA tags, then you better be ready to pay them when they earn their contract.
Demaryius Thomas is special. He made Orton look good, he made Tebow look good, He's made Manning look good. When a talent can transcend so many different playbooks and styles of play, you know you have a keeper.
PAY THE MAN
Elway the GM, Elway the Player
Both will always be overrated by the Bronco fan base. And let me get something out there right now. Fellow blogger Tim Lynch is the biggest Elway fan in the world. Being the troll that I am, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE to rub any Elway failure right in his face, you know because it gets a rise out of him. It's nothing personal to Elway, and if I'm being fair, nothing really objective. In fact I'll let you in on something--just like most children who grew up as a Bronco fan in the 1980's John Elway was my hero.
Then something curious happened. I GREW UP. Hehe. Anyway....
Elway was magical to Denver because he was ours. We drafted him......errr....not really, but we traded for him, watched him play his entire career here, suffered through devastating SB loss after devastating SB loss (three blowouts in four years folks), only to watch "The Duke" ride off into the sunset in a vindication of his storybook career with two consecutive Super Bowl victories.
We are more than 17 years removed from those events and Elway is still the face of the franchise. This time as a GM. I'm not sure if many people remember this but Denver was not exactly an attractive landing spot for any coach...one reason being John Elway. He was to be the man in charge with only the AFL as previous experience and that freaked some experienced coaching candidates out.
It's one of the reasons that this team was saddled with a coach like John Fox---someone much like Dan Reeves who is often accused of stunting the performance of Elway during his playing days.
One Peyton Manning, four AFC West titles, and one improved GM later and Denver is now a prime destination.
Elway has done much better than many expected he would do on this side of the field.
Just like Elway the player, Elway the GM has some flaws and here are a few of them at least as I see it:
1) Gives up way too much value when trading draft picks
2) Has taken too many shots on highly physically gifted players with injuries
3) Has struck out along the OL in the draft sans Orlando Franklin
4) Has not received enough production from early round picks (Williams, Ball, Hillman, Webster to name a few).
5) Has been willing to pay top dollar for outside FA's while getting home grown guys like Chris Harris Jr. to take the hometown discount.
This last one I'll be watching closely. There are a lot of our own players that SHOULD be resigned to deals. Whether they are or not will be a byproduct of someone else paying them more while we offer to pay them less.
Now see what I did there? I had a perfectly civil conversation about the pros and cons of John Elway's front office tenure so far and it had nothing to do with being a hater or fanboy. Try it out sometime!
This rule MUST be changed
The spot of the foul penalty for PI must be changed. I have felt strongly about this for sometime. I love the college way of making all defensive PI penalties 15 yards from the line of scrimmage. Never seemed right to me that a desperate team late in the game could take a shot downfield just on the off chance there is some contact and the stupid ref forgets how to swallow his whistle.
A game should not be altered by a penalty that has become so inconsistently identified and called. Give some of the power and schematic higher-ground back to the defense.
Kiko Alonso trade brings back memories of Champ for Portis
Well sort of. This trade features a younger defensive player with some question marks while the counter is an aging East-West runner with a lot of tread on his tires.
Still though, you never see trades in the NFL anymore when it comes to players and it is exciting.
If you were the Broncos and you could trade any offensive player for any defensive player---straight up or vice versa who would it be?
I think on offense I would trade Demaryius Thomas straight up for JJ Watt....and if that's too wishful thinking how about DT for Luke Kuechly.
On defense I would trade Von Miller straight up for Rob Gronkowski. Those are mine, what are yours? You may even assume guys like JT and Pot Roast are still on the roster.
Biggest disappointment of 2014
Somewhere in the chase of a championship, call it the dreaded "Super Bowl or Bust Syndrome," I think I and a lot of Broncos fans forgot how to enjoy football. Winning a game became more of a relief than a happy event. Watching one of the greatest of all time for a third consecutive season become more of an inquisition than spectacle.
I'm not sure about you guys but I'm not approaching 2015 as "Super Bowl or Bust" if/when Manning returns. Life's too short--and I'm being completely honest.
My pops just had a heart-attack. Though he's fine and will bounce back better than ever, I'm looking forward to 2015 as another season I can spend watching football with the man who taught me how to love the game. You never know when it will be the last you ever get.
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In a recent article Jake Marsing questioned John Elway's reign as GM. Jake brought up some interesting points, but I disagree with many of them. I believe Elway has done a great job as GM, and this video will break down the majority of his player acquisitions. (Photos Courtesy Ron Chenoy and Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)
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