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Broncos poised for long-term success

Under the leadership of John Elway, the Denver Broncos soared above and beyond the dreadful Josh McDaniels era and have set themselves up for the long haul, with the potential of more Lombardi's in the near future.

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When John Elway took over as Vice President of Football Operations in 2011, the Denver Broncos had just endured their worst season since the turn of the century.

The short-lived Josh McDaniels Era left Dove Valley smoldering in a pile of rubble, with a roster relatively devoid of talent.  The 2010 season was the first time the Broncos had finished last in the AFC West in eleven years.  In many ways, that 4-12 season was a bigger heartbreak to Broncos Country than the last four years of the Mike Shanahan Era which signified perpetual mediocrity and underachievement.

It was never going to be an easy task for Elway to turn the tide of the Broncos recent misfortunes, but unquestionably, there was no better man than him to partake in such an endeavor.

Five long years have passed since Elway became the leader of our beloved franchise and the results have been nothing short of amazing.

Five straight AFC West Division titles.  Two Super Bowl appearances.  One championship.

Moreover, Elway and his staff have redefined the culture of the Denver Broncos and restored the winning tradition that was prevalent during his time as a player.

The roster has been reloaded and the current and future outlook for the franchise is as bright as ever.  Something that Elway is looking forward to.

"I’m excited about it. What we try to do is look at if we’re a better football team than we were last year. I know that any time you have the year that we had last year, winning the Super Bowl, you look at it and say, it’s hard to get better. I think we feel good about where we are offensively," said Elway in regard to the evolution of the Broncos roster.

"I feel like we have a chance to be better on the offensive side. Obviously we lost a couple players that were big contributors on the defensive side, but I believe we have the people that can take those spots. I look at it and say that we feel good about where we are."

And where are the Broncos? On top of the football kingdom, in the midst of training camp preparations that will test and guide them toward a run at a second straight Super Bowl.

The most important positions on any football roster are already filled by veteran players or promising youngsters.  In a pass happy league, the Broncos are fortunate to boast the best trio of cornerbacks in the NFL with Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby.  They possess the league's most feared pass rusher in Von Miller for the next six seasons, but the amalgamation of talent doesn't stop there.

Elway dealt former Pro-Bowl and All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady to the New York Jets after acquiring the athletic and talented Russell Okung via free agency in hopes that he can be the man to protect the blindside of whoever wins the Broncos' quarterback position battle in camp.

Perhaps most importantly, he was able to acquire the teams' quarterback of the future in Paxton Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Elway and his staff have worked diligently over the past several off-seasons creating a roster that won't just compete now, but from now on as well.  Certainly, every team has some weakness, but when glossing over the Broncos' roster it is hard to pinpoint many troublesome spots outside of ambiguity at a few positions.

But there is no time for the Broncos to reflect on the past.  What is done is done and the 2016 season will bring forth new challenges.  One of those big challenges is finding the identity for this years' squad — which will be different than the Super Bowl winning team of 2015.

"I think that’s the big thing is that we all understand it’s over, it’s gone, and this year is a new group," remarked Head Coach Gary Kubiak.  "There are going to be some new leaders and there are going to be some new people and we’re going to have a new identity and we don’t know what that identity is going to be yet. We’re working on each day. I think that’s part of the message we sent last night."

While the Broncos will continue to search for their new identity over the next few weeks and months, there is one thing Broncos Country should find solace in knowing:  The Denver Broncos are in it for the long haul — poised for success and the realistic possibility of more championships in the near future.