Good morning, Broncos Country.
It seems like only yesterday that the Denver Broncos were sitting at the top of the National Football League and proudly hoisting their third Lombardi Trophy in front of the world. Now three years removed from their thrilling Super Bowl 50 victory the franchise is back to square one and facing an uncertain future. A stark reminder of just how quickly things can change in such a short span of time.
On the surface things don’t appear too promising for the Broncos who have a laundry list of issues to combat. An ownership battle, a stadium without a sponsor, a team without a head coach and a roster that is undoubtedly going to endure a significant face lift this offseason. Some of those questions will have answers shortly but others, in particular the first two, are likely going to take some time. Though most would likely agree that the sooner those items get resolved the better.
Regardless of what anyone says, including John Elway, the franchise is indeed facing a complete rebuild. In fact, one could say it will take a revolution to set things straight in Dove Valley. It’s time to evolve and adapt to the way the league is trending — if not don’t be surprised if the Broncos wallow in mediocrity for years to come.
Whoever the next head coach is will inherit an ambiguous pool of talent and should be given several years of grace. Patience must be exercised from the Broncos’ brass because it simply isn’t realistic to believe a new head coach will be able to transform this roster into a competitor immediately. The franchise had a tremendous draft in 2018 and possess several high-quality players on the roster but significant changes are on the horizon.
As it stands now, the Broncos appear to have just under fifty million dollars to spend in free agency but should have more when tough decisions are made with respect to several veterans such as Emmanuel Sanders, Ronald Leary, Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart. If all four were to be sent packing there wouldn’t be much in the way of veteran leadership on the team outside a handful of players. It will be a youthful roster moving forward and one that will look significantly different compared to years past.
On top of all the aforementioned another big problem needs to be addressed. The team lacks a franchise quarterback. Until the Broncos can actually draft and develop someone they are going to struggle to compete, especially in a division that features Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers. But is the front office going to be enamored and fall in love with Daniel Jones, Drew Lock or Dwayne Haskins. Moreover, will they be willing to sell the farm or do what it takes to acquire their highest-rated signal caller? We will just have to wait and see. If they do pull the trigger and acquire one of those prospects they better have a solid plan in place to make their transition from the college ranks to the pros a bit easier. The team will need an innovative offensive coordinator to make that happen, but will they end up finding one?
As we all embark on the start of a new year there is no doubt that the Broncos are about to make some of the biggest changes they have in the past decade. Though it is important to remember that no matter what happens, it will likely take some time before the franchise is able to compete and adhere to the lofty standard they have made for themselves. Believing otherwise will likely result in setting yourself up for major disappointment.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
Broncos offer mixed bag for next head coach
AP Pro Football writer Arnie Stapleton chimes in with respect to what is in store for the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Elway, Broncos veterans eye offensive changes in 2019
Both Chris Harris Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders talked about the need to adapt to the way the NFL is trending.
Chris Harris sees 'big rebuild coming' for Broncos - NFL.com
Following the firing of coach Vance Joseph, cornerback Chris Harris believes a "tidal wave" of change in personnel and philosophy will hit Denver in the offseason.
Broncos Need a Reality Check Because John Elway Is the Problem, Not the Solution
John Elway's tenure as the Denver Broncos general manager and president of football operations is one Peyton Manning signing away from being a disaster.
Opinion: 2018 was a wasted season for the Denver Broncos | Mile High Sports
Mile High Sports writer Justin Michael gives his analysis on why 2018 was a wasted season for the Broncos.
Detroit Lions part ways with OC Jim Bob Cooter - NFL.com
The Jim Bob Cooter era is over in Motown after five seasons. Cooter and the Detroit Lions have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced Tuesday.
Big Ben: Antonio Brown hasn't returned my calls, texts - NFL.com
Ben Roethlisberger says his relationship with Antonio Brown is great, and he's downplaying any on-field incident that might have led to the wide receiver not playing in Sunday's season finale.
USC OC Kliff Kingsbury interviewing with Cards, Jets - NFL.com
Less than one month after signing on to be USC's next offensive coordinator, Kliff Kinsgbury is back on the interview circuit. The former Texas Tech head coach is interviewing with the Cardinals and Jets.
Lincoln Riley agrees to extension with Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has agreed to a contract extension, putting rumors that he might draw interest from NFL teams to rest.
Ezekiel Elliott on Saturday's wild-card game vs. Seahawks -- 'I'm ready to go right now'
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is feeling rested and fresh entering Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks after sitting out of the regular-season finale.
Eight things we learned during the 2018 NFL season one for each division
From never doubting Andy Reid's QB instincts to knowing when it makes sense to pay defensive studs, here's what we found out in 2018.