As much as Ryan Edwards wanted to rename Monday’s KOA show “Tebow Country Tonight” with “wall-to-wall coverage of Tim Tebow signing with Jacksonville,” they did spend a little time talking about a guy who actually knows how to play quarterback - but not before they spent 20 minutes debating NFL’s crazy Tebow obsession.
And as much as there’s not a debate I could care less about, I have to admit that the conversation was highly entertaining and I recommend it.
What makes you optimistic about 2021?
But the more interesting debate came over a poll Edwards tweeted asking which reason would make Broncos fans the most optimistic about the team this coming season - better turnover margin, improved health of the team, fifth easiest schedule or depth on defense.
Tonight’s #BroncosCountry Tonight Poll Question w @redwardsradio @AllbrightNFL:— KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM (@KOAColorado) May 11, 2021
Absent a trade for Aaron Rodgers (which would obviously change everything) which of these options best describes why you’re optimistic about the upcoming season?
& : https://t.co/OGeN87y2h7
Benjamin Allbright argued that “there’s only one right answer and it’s probably losing in the poll” - which turned out to be correct - and that was turnover margin.
His primary basis was that the Broncos had the worst turnover margin of any team in the NFL (-16) and also lost every game by one score or less. So improving the turnover margin would undeniably improve the outcome of each game.
He also asserted that playing defense in the modern era requires getting turnovers because the rules don’t allow for the same kind of hard-hitting defense of 80s and 90s.
“It’s bend-don’t-break and hope to turn people over because you’re not going to be able to stop people otherwise,” he said. “You’re just not.”
Allbright then predicted that the likely “winning” answer would be “improved health of players,” noting the argument would be that if many of the Broncos’ starters were healthy last season, the turnover margin likely would have been better, play overall would have been better and therefore, the outcome would have been better.
Ironically, on Tuesday’s show, that was exactly Steve Atwater’s rationale.
I would completely buy the turnover margin argument IF you could guarantee it. Am I optimistic about next season because I know it will be better? No. But with healthier players - particularly all starting defensive backs staying healthy and able to get more turnovers - then that turnover margin will be improved.
Could Aaron Rodgers be a Bronco?
But of course the ultimate optimism for 2021 will come with vastly improved quarterback play, and the addition of Aaron Rodgers to the roster is just too tantalizing.
Edwards and Allbright discussed a report from NFL Network’s James Palmer on Monday tying the likelihood of the Broncos to Rodgers for no official reason but just that it makes a lot of sense.
As Allbright noted from Palmer’s reporting, the Broncos have the cap space, the assets and the interest of the QB himself.
Aaron Rodgers to the #Broncos. It’s a fit that makes sense to a lot of people. Including ones inside the organization. My report on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/4danQDARRM— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 10, 2021
Of course nothing can officially happen between the Broncos and Rodgers yet - and it may not happen ever given the difficulty that comes with actually getting a deal done with a major star.
But No. 12 in the green and yellow is interested in the orange and blue, and that’s about as close as any team is to putting Rodgers on a roster.
And for mid-May, that’s a good reason for being optimistic too.
Let’s do a modified poll on optimism for the 2021 season:
This poll is closed
Predicted better turnover margin
Depth on defense
Improved health of players
Better QB play from either No. 3 or No. 5
QB 12 in Denver