The Denver Broncos week off has given Broncos Country all kinds of time to analyze the team. We have looked at all the issues that face the team in 2019, and where the team is headed beyond that. However, there was a bit of an unexpected theme from a couple guests on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify).
Andrew Mason of theDNVR.com joined Ian St. Clair and me on the show, and he kept using a phrase that stood out to me: The light at the end of the tunnel. The big takeaway from the Broncos bye week has to be about the sense of cautious optimism around the team.
Mase has always been a wealth of knowledge. As a Broncos insider, he has an incredible amount of information, but he kept coming back to this same idea of an end to the woes in Broncos Country. There was the obvious hangup of finding out if Drew Lock could be the QB of the future. He brought up the needs on the offensive line as an area that needs improvement, but he seemed to be arriving at a place of contentment with what the Broncos future could look like.
The defense is there. The emergence of Alexander Johnson has had ripple effects throughout the defense. Derek Wolfe has played well enough to earn a contract extension (at a discounted rate). Chris Harris, Jr. should also be brought back if possible. Vic Fangio has constructed a playoff caliber defense, and the next step is completing the offense.
It is also apparent that results in 2019 are not the most pressing issue. Believing the Broncos are a playoff contender is a bit of fantasy. So, rather than sit down on Sunday and scream at your TV if the Broncos lose, remember how it improves draft position. That’s not to say that losing is what you root for, but you look for a long-term solutions, accepting a need to continue to build this franchise.
Having Mase on the podcast after having Cecil Lammey on was really quite fascinating. Both Broncos insiders fell in the positive category when looking at the future of the team. They may have taken different paths, but eventually they both landed in the same place. Denver is a team that looks to be on the upswing.
The question is whether the light at the end of the tunnel is the sunshine of winning football games, or a freight train bearing down on us all, about to run us over.