Good morning, Broncos Country!
The talk has been dominated by defense and receivers.
For good reason.
The Denver Broncos need to get the right pieces to fit Vic Fangio’s defense, and John Elway has already started with his trade for A.J. Bouye earlier this week. By all accounts, Elway isn’t done with the secondary. It appears Denver will also target cornerback Prince Amukamara. There’s also interior linebacker and defensive line.
In terms of receiver, Elway and Fangio made it clear their No. 1 priority for the offense was adding speed and the ability to score points. The other area that needs to improve is the interior offensive line.
On the MHR Radio Podcast, yet again I pounded the table for free agent guard Joe Thuney. I get that he will cost a ton of money, but the Broncos finally have their quarterback in Drew Lock, so protect him. You have one franchise guard in Dalton Risner, add another with Thuney. You add a piece like Thuney to your offensive line, and it makes the whole unit better. It will make, hopefully, Ja’Wuan James better if he’s able to get on the field and stay there.
Earlier this offseason, Jeff Essary laid out why the Broncos need to do this with his free agent profile, and I’m in total agreement. Thuney is the top guard on the market, and he can do it all. He can run block, he can pass block, and Risner and Thuney give Denver one of the best guard duos in the NFL.
Joe Thuney through 3 NFL seasons:— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) May 16, 2019
• 48 regular season games, 48 starts
• 9 playoff games, 9 starts
• On the field for 4,093 of 4,105 total offensive snaps (99.7%)
Elijah Wilkinson is a fine player, but if you have the chance to drastically improve your offensive line, why not do it? If the argument is that the Broncos have the best offensive line coach in the NFL to coach these guys up, there’s only so much that gets you and there’s still a greater chance of failure than by adding Thuney.
We’ve seen this song and dance from Elway before and we know how it plays out — see the debacle at right tackle the last five years or more. Stop using hope as a means to run the offensive line. Denver has the means and the capital to add Thuney, so do it. You have the quarterback now, do whatever it takes to protect him and improve your chance of success on offense — moving the ball and scoring points.
Yes, Lock was only sacked five times in his five games with a makeshift line. That doesn’t mean you don’t continue to look to improve or add pieces that make you markedly better. Remember, Elway didn’t win a Super Bowl until he got Gary Zimmerman at left tackle and had one of the best offensive lines in football. Take the same proactive approach that Pat Bowlen had. You have an opportunity to add an elite player at a position of need, and the means and resources to make it happen.
Cecil Lammey told Adam Malnati and me that Elway won’t bargain-bin shop when free agency starts on March 18. Thuney is the top-of-the-shelf player Elway and the Broncos need to go after.
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