When the season ended, I like many of you, was relieved the shambling mess that was the 2018 Denver Broncos collapsed in a smoldering heap. Coach Vance Joseph was clearly out of his element, Case Keenum left his baller cleats in Minnesota, and dark clouds hung over a franchise that, for the first time in decades, notched back-to-back losing seasons.
Broncos Country now finds itself in the later half of March and things are vastly different. Gone is the frustrated and ineffective coach. Gone is Case Keenum, taking his unique brand of check-down terribleness to the Washington Redskins (consider it Elway’s payback for the Super Bowl XXII beatdown). The 2019 schedule isn’t even out, but something feels different already... and no it has nothing to do with Pat Bowlen and Champ Bailey going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August.
Putting the emotional baggage Broncos Country has against Joe Flacco aside for a moment, it’s hard to deny that Keenum’s dismissal and Joe’s arrival is a net positive for the offense. I’m not going to swing wide and say how big an improvement, but it would be shocking for Denver’s offense to be even worse than it was in 2018.
Kareem Jackson?! Bryce Callahan?! I’ll be honest, before free agency started, I wouldn’t have been able to point either one of those guys out of a lineup. You could say I was too concerned with raging dumpster fire in Denver to look up and see what was going on with other teams around the league. However, since they signed, I have taken time to see with my own eyes, and, these guys are incredible additions to an already solid defense.
Ja’Waun James you say? I like what I’ve heard and am hopeful for the Broncos perennially awful offensive line. It’s tough with linemen since nobody really notices them until get penalized or completely screw-up... Or open massive holes for running backs. Outside of Phillip Lindsay’s terrific year last year, it’s been too damn long for Broncos Country to go without noticing stellar line play in the running game. However, with the addition of Mike Munchak, offensive line woes are reported to be a thing of the past. Phillip Lindsay has to be thrilled.
Things just feel different under Vic Fangio. I’m terrified of letting him down and I’m a lowly blogger who has zero interaction with the team, staff, janitorial, or pretty much anyone else outside of twitter. I can’t imagine what the players must feel when he coaches them. Discipline and respect were lacking in recent seasons and it’s great to see those tenets of Broncos football have returned in Vic Fangio’s form. Lastly, I absolutely love how he says Broncos... “Brancos”... Vowel confusion is totally acceptable when it sounds tough coming through a thick Chicago accent.
Buckle up Broncos fans! The draft is right around the corner and things are just getting going.
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