Everywhere we turn (whether it be here at milehighreport.com, any mainstream media (MSM) site, or the talking heads populating the airwaves) what we keep hearing is doubt about the Denver Broncos. Our Super Bowl 50 champions are going to take a nose-dive off of a cliff. 8-8 would be a good season for them. The AFC West is stronger and deeper and they have regressed. The end is nigh.
The narrative on Denver so far in 2016 absolutely mystifies me as a fan of the NFL. I get it. Denver won the Superbowl and no one outside of Denver thought they had any business doing so. We heard it at every step of the playoffs. Even Denver’s own Mark Schlereth picked against us twice until finally getting a clue that the Broncos were for real.
The mainstream media bias against Denver makes everyone on the coasts poo-poo any notion that our backwater team out in the middle of nowhere has any clue about what it is doing.
This offense is going to stink without Manning.
Our QBs are no-name nobodies who haven’t done anything in the NFL.
Denver’s running game is pedestrian and comes from an antiquated offensive system.
The story is old and tired though and it has gone on for far too long.
Setting the stage for 2016
So here we are. Let’s get away from that bull and talk about what is happening. Take a step back and look at the situation with me.
The coaching situation is kind of a big deal
First and foremost, the big point that everyone is missing about the real story in Denver is that this is year 2 for Gary Kubiak’s coaching staff. One factor that cannot be overlooked here is that in year 1 of Gary Kubiak’s tenure, he had to compromise his offensive system to fit better into the kind of play Manning was used to.
This year, there is no big heads on offense that Kubiak needs to keep happy. This year, we get to see what he really can do with his system and luckily he’s had input for 2 years on the kind of personnel he needs from Elway.
Am I saying that Kubiak is a world-beating genius from an offensive perspective? No, not at all. But what I am saying is we get to see for the first time his offense getting drilled, executed, and in live fire for the first time in Denver. I don’t know how everyone comes to the conclusion that this offense is going to suck given this scenario.
The last time Kubiak ran his system, it was a pretty solid success. That was 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens. The guy made Joe Flacco actually look like a good QB, for heaven’s sake. His antiquated offensive system led them to a dominant rushing attack and made Justin Forsett a household name.
Denver has done more with less
Also, let’s be real. What bar are you starting with? Take a peek and look at how our offense ranked. We led the league in INTs last year. We were bottom 5 in scoring TDs.
Do any of you who can step back and objectively use logic to apply to this team think we will actually perform worse than that?
Now with the strange amalgamation we saw last year between the Manning and Kubiak offenses out of the way, let’s take a look at what this offense can do with a fresh arm at QB and full integration into Kubiak’s system.
Speaking of QBs
Take a look at what Sage Rosenfels wrote about Kubiak back in February. When you look back at Kubiak’s history coaching QBs, he has had quite a bit of success. Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels, Joe Flacco, Jake Plummer, Brian Griese, JOE FLACCO all have thrived in Kubiak’s system.
So here we are and Trevor “who-the-heck-is-this-seventh-rounder” Siemian is getting ready to line up and start the 2016 season for the Broncos.
Do you want to know why I’m not so worried as all the talking heads are about this guy?
Because it isn’t about Trevor Siemian. It is about the Kubiak offense. It is about 11 players executing plays successfully.
Gone are the days where we need the most intelligent and football-wise mind ever to grace the field in the huddle in order to help find ways to get the ball moved down the field or (in the case of 2015) keep the clock running so the defense can catch their breath.
Is Siemian the next Tom Brady? Who knows and who cares? This isn’t the New England Patriots. Denver won’t be stealing video footage of team’s defensive calls and feeding them to him pre-snap to make him look better than he is while he develops.
This system makes it easy for a QB to come in, know what his reads are, and get the play executed without having to know that if a gnat farts in the left ear of a linebacker and he shifts his right foot, that the defense is in zone and he needs to audible to cover-3 beater, OMAHA! SET-HUT!
The big picture is here on Thursday
Sit back and enjoy the show on Thursday, Broncos Country. But I encourage you to not focus on Siemian. Focus instead on the drive production of the Denver Offense.
Do we move the ball at all?
How does the run game look?
Does our pass blocking hold up to a devastating pass-rushing opponent?
Does the offense turn the ball over and why?
This Denver Bronco offense isn’t about Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch. It is about Gary Kubiak and his offensive system. Siemian doesn’t have to be Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler. He just needs to be like Sage Rosenfells and he’ll look better than anything we saw on the field in 2015 and lead this team to victory.