The Denver Broncos are 2-5 and up until last week were competitive in every game. It would seem those first six games were a house of cards that all came crashing in at home in front of a national audience in the teams 30-6 ass whooping by the Kansas City Chiefs.
So who do we blame for this? I wanted to give myself some time from that game before asking this question, because after a bad loss like that the easy finger to point is at the head coach. It’s what we did the previous two seasons with Vance Joseph.
The problem with that is, I actually think Vic Fangio gets it. Which makes it hard to place blame on him.
“With that performance, they have every right to be angry and they have every right to boo,” Fangio said of the fans booing the team. “We probably deserved it. It’s a loyal fan base and one that I’ve grown quickly to appreciate. We’re doing everything we can to get this fixed as quickly as possible.”
Even more importantly, he gets it with the players. The time for superlatives like ‘world of suck’ has passed. The season is no longer young and full of hope. Fangio realizes he must coach his butt off in the final nine games.
“That was a statement I regret making,” Fangio said of his ‘world of suck’ statement. “I still believe in these guys. We had a poor performance tonight really in all three levels. We had a poor first drive defensively. We had a long stretch where we played decent after that. Kicking game let us down. We missed a kick. We don’t get a fake punt off and obviously our problems on offense. I still believe in these guys, the players we have, who they are and what they’re about. I think we’ll take this extra time to refocus and get going here on the second half of the season.”
While I come away from each of his press conferences feeling like Fangio totally ‘gets it’, I am unsure if he’ll be able to ‘fix it’.
The ‘it’ being the 2019 Denver Broncos.
Peter King wrote quite a bit about the Broncos situation in his column this morning. Mostly he focused on the quarterback and John Elway’s inability to find one. That is the ‘it’ that this team continues to have no answer for and no coach will be able to fix that.
If I’m Elway, I’m putting Emmanuel Sanders and Chris Harris Jr., on the block, hoping to get two picks in the first five rounds for them. Then I decide whether the best plan is to go all-in on Lock as the quarterback of the future. If so, you use the 2020 draft to build around him, particularly on the offensive line. If not, you use the top-10 pick Denver will have and supplement with the extra picks (Denver has Pittsburgh’s three from the Devin Bush trade-down last April) and move up to get in prime passer position. Another quarterback after acquiring Keenum, Flacco and Lock in the last 20 months seems almost malpractice. But if Elway and his staff don’t have the confidence in Lock, they’ve got to be aggressive to get one of the good guys in the ’20 draft.
It’s a tangled web. Elway might not have many more drafts to run to get the quarterback right.
If we had more faith in John Elway as an evaluator of talent in the NFL Draft, maybe we’d hop on board with the selling out for the future approach. My concern there is that Elway will blow most of those high draft picks and the roster gets disparagingly worse over the near future.
Sure the 2018 draft class is considered great mostly because Denver hit on their first three picks, but if Noah Fant ends up never taking the next step to a truly legitimate starting tight end, then how good could the 2019 draft class ever be outside of Dalton Risner? Through seven games, we have yet to see Fant flash anything that resembles first-round talent.
The fixes simply won’t come in 2019. They will come in 2020 during the offseason when Elway and his team go back to work to improve the talent on the roster.
What we have to hope for until then is that Fangio is able to coach this team to some wins down the stretch. He’s done an okay job up until now, but the real test comes when the players realize there is no more hope to be had. If I see a competitive football team in most games, then I’ll feel pretty good about Fangio getting another year to continue growing as a head coach.
Who do you have more confidence in?
This poll is closed
John Elway the GM
Vic Fangio the HC
Fire all the things