When John Elway finally had the opportunity to raise the Lombardi trophy his surrounding cast was filled with cast offs and "never wills." As a GM he knows the motivation that comes from a lack of faith. Now he is piecing together a team that will have a huge chip on their collective shoulder.
Look no further than the signing of Jamaal Charles to understand the philosophy. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio podcast, Charles comes in with a desire that is only born out of teams losing faith in a player. He joins a pretty successful group of players that came to Denver looking for redemption.
Those back-to-back Super Bowls had players like Neil Smith and Mark Schlereth. Both guys had success on previous teams but were shown the door when it looked like they were losing to Father Time. Ed McCaffrey couldn't stick with the New York Giants and failed to find success in San Francisco. Rod Smith could be the best undrafted free agent in Broncos history. And of course Terrell Davis was a 6th round pick that surprised the whole league.
History lesson aside, the 2017 Broncos have young and old players with a nasty attitude driven by the desire to prove people wrong. Jamaal Charles is happy to get a shot at his old team twice a year.
Charles: "I'm just happy that I get to play the Chiefs twice a year."— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) May 2, 2017
Menelik Watson and Ronald Leary can't wait to help Charles, and rub it in their former teams' faces. Garrett Bolles was drafted in large part because of the battleship sized chip on his shoulder. It may be cliche, but it fits so well with what the Broncos are currently piecing together.
The defense is no different. DeMarcus Walker was not happy about falling to round two in the draft. He should fit in nicely within the defensive rotation. His motivation to prove teams wrong should push the defense to be even better than in recent history.
There is so much anger with the Denver Broncos heading into 2017. If they can harness that determination, a return to form in the AFC West won’t be out of the question. There is a long way to go, but confidence is high. The targets are plentiful, and Denver is out to make a statement.