With the amount of talent on the team, Peyton Manning leading the way, and John Elway in the front office, optimism and excitement was not hard to come by in previous years. Of course, at the end of any season, unless the Lombardi Trophy is being passed around, fans are never that happy. However, it was always easy to look at the Denver Broncos and feel pride.
Division championships rolled in like it was nothing. It started to feel like a birthright. But even birthrights can come to an end. With the failures of the Broncos in 2016 came doubts. The departure of the head coach brought trepidation, and a strange malaise. No, the thrill was definitely gone. Gary Kubiak’s retirement was the final spurt of a fire extinguisher dousing Broncos Country in disbelief and anger.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio podcast, Elway has already brought back some of that fire. The hiring of Vance Joseph was met by some with disappointment, but Elway new what he wanted, and made it happen. There was no question that Joseph made an impression when he interviewed before.
The new head coach, along with the GM, have used their short time together to create a coaching staff that makes many in Broncos Country smile. Whether you agree with all the hires or not, there is no doubt that there is a clear direction for the Broncos in 2017. Elway wasted no time, and his move to hire Joseph early has paid off.
The offense will be faster. There will be that swagger that Joseph talked about. Bringing in Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave sends a clear message about where this team is headed. The Broncos are going to be up tempo, rapid fire. A far cry from the stagnation that defined 2016.
The defense should continue the dominance of the past 2 seasons. Imagine how much better this team can get. Yes, losing Wade Phillips is not ideal, but youth always overcomes, and the Broncos will maintain their supremacy. These moves have been fast and decisive. The buzz is real. It’s hard not to get a little giddy thinking about 2017.
With free agency coming, and then the NFL Draft, it is a very exciting time to be a Broncos fan. It didn’t take long for Elway and company to grab the fans’ attention. That malaise following the final game of 2016 may have turned to sadness when Kubiak retired, but it was quickly replaced. With a clear strategy, and true authority, Elway has created relentless anticipation. Bring on 2017!