Good morning, Broncos Country.
It’s been a turbulent and forgettable season for the Denver Broncos. After starting off the year hot with a 3-1 start, the team has dropped an embarrassing eight straight games. If you would have told me this would have even been a remote possibility prior to opening day, I would have laughed. But after two months of nightmares, I’m eager for this woeful campaign to be over with and look forward to what the future has to offer. Sometimes it needs to rain for the sun to shine, and amidst all the chaos and calamity, light exists at the end of the tunnel for the struggling Broncos.
It may be hard to believe, but let’s not forget that this team won a Super Bowl two years ago. Sure, it might not be the exact same team, but a lot of the players who helped them reach the NFL’s highest peak to raise the franchise’s third Lombardi Trophy are still on the roster. There is no doubt that the Broncos could certainly use upgrades at a handful of positions, especially quarterback and the offensive line, but it isn’t as if this roster is devoid of talent and potential. All it needs is a little bit of a boost in certain areas to be competitive for next year.
With nine picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, five of which currently slated in the top 100 overall, Denver could do some serious work acquiring highly-talented collegiate players to help bolster their roster. While Elway has struggled to acquire impact offensive players in his time as the general manager, he has rarely had the prime opportunity to be selecting high in each round of the draft. Picking later on in each round makes it harder to get the best players available, but with the tank fully embraced, the Broncos are almost a virtual lock to be picking in the top ten, perhaps even top five of this year’s draft. That will help their chances at adding blue-chip prospects at a variety of positions in need up upgrading.
Not only that, if you count for potential rollover — Denver will have nearly $35 milllion dollars in cap space for the upcoming free agent period. That number doesn’t include any potential trades, restructures or cuts which could improve that number to well above $50 million in total space. After such a woeful season, I would expect Elway and the Broncos to be extremely aggressive in this year’s free agency period and expect them to land several high-caliber players to help the team compete for another AFC West title and the playoffs in 2018.
Last, but not least, while it has been reported that no coaching changes will be made until the end of the year, I would bet my bottom dollar that the Broncos will have a new head coach, as well as many new coordinators and position coaches (especially on the offensive side of the ball) next year. The Vance Joseph experiment is coming to a close, which is good news for Denver. Remember the last time we had a coach who left Dove Valley in ashes? I do — it was Josh McDaniels. And what happened after he got fired? John Elway and company did whatever it took to make the team better and helped guide the franchise to five straight AFC West titles, two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl victory.
History tends to repeat itself, and I’m confident that the Broncos will get back on track and embrace their storied tradition of success in the years to come. That’s the Broncos Way we’ve come to know and love over the years, and I believe that not too far off on the horizon, that such a path exists.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
John Elway 'embarrassed' by Denver Broncos' season
Broncos president John Elway said he won't make any in-season coaching changes, even though Denver is guaranteed its first losing season since 2010.
Broncos will need more from homegrown players to dig out
The Broncos can point to a recent spate of poor drafts, particularly along the offensive line and at QB, as a reason for the on-field downward spiral.
Denver Broncos' struggles have them near bottom of NFL Power Rankings
With just four games left and mired in an eight-game losing streak, the Broncos sit at No. 27 in the Week 14 rankings.
Denver Broncos know there are losses and then there are blowout losses
It's been a lost season for Denver, which already has had four losses by at least 20 points. And it could get worse before the year is done.
Return to AFC West games reason for hope for Chiefs
The Chiefs, reeling after losing five of their past six games, get two at home against AFC West rivals, against whom they have feasted since 2015.
Remember him? Clive Walford stepped up for Derek Carr, Raiders
Clive Walford has rarely been used in 2017. But with the Raiders missing three key pass-catchers on Sunday, the TE managed to connect with Derek Carr.
Travis Coons overcomes rough start in Los Angeles Chargers debut
With the Chargers in the thick of the playoff race, they need kicker Travis Coons to solidify what's been a shaky position for Los Angeles.
Ryan Shazier undergoing further testing at hospital - NFL.com
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier remained hospitalized Tuesday and will undergo further testing and evaluation, Dr. David Okonkwo (UPMC) and Dr. Joseph Cheng (UCMC) announced.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, George Iloka banned one game - NFL.com
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was suspended for his violent hit on Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict on Monday night. George Iloka was also suspended one game for his hit on Antonio Brown.