I know these statements can become the preverbal beating a dead horse with a stick, but I thought what is the real reason for the fans anger and I think it boils down to relevancy in the NFL.
This team is filled with talent, so are a lot of teams in the NFL. The fact that it has talent should not be a great surprise to many, in fact it's almost darn near impossible to not find talent in the NFL. A team like the Lions or Jaguars may seem like they are devoid of talent, and maybe in some positions they are, but in others you can definitely say looks, there are guys who will be starters on other teams. The issue comes down to what makes a team relevant in this day and age.
The first thing I will point to is tradition, there are classic teams that regardless of record will likely always remain relevant. I would point to the Cowboys, Steelers, Giants, Packers, Raiders, Bears, 49ers, and up until a few years ago I would also say the Broncos. These teams have huge followings and have fans all over the United States. They are almost always in national conversations for what the team is doing (right or wrong), how the team is playing, and what is happening within the organization. Most of that has been from the decades the teams have been prominent in the NFL. They have a brand so to speak, all have iconic players and coaches that helped define football past and present. Right now, however, I don't see the Broncos mattering from a national perspective despite have great tradition for over 4 decades.
Next we look at coaching, do we have a iconic or great coach. No, in fact I would guess if you were not a Broncos fan or a fan of an AFC West team or hardcore NFL fan that many would even know who the coach of the Broncos is. Everyone knows the coach for the Pats, Steelers, Rams, 49ers, even the Raiders when Gruden was still there or Jags with Meyer. Now I know in the grand scheme of things, having nationally recognized coach isn't the end all or be all of football, but it goes to the relevancy of the Broncos. Not having the person who is the clear leader of the Broncos goes to the point. When Reeves and Shanahan were here they became the figurehead, even McDaniels as much as I can't stand him, came in and was nationally known. As bad as the Broncos became under his watch, they remained relevant because people were vested in what he was or wasn't doing.
Now lets look at the players. Up until this season, ask most casual NFL fans to name a Denver Bronco player and the simple answer was Von Miller. Ask them now that Von has been traded, and I am sure you are going to get a host of answers. There is nobody iconic with the Broncos. Justin Simmons may be the best player on the team and arguably the best safety in football, but he didn't even get a pro bowl invite. Few outside of hardcore NFL fans appreciate him. Even broadcasters seem to gloss over how good he is. Who are the other names associated with the current team seen as stars, Simmons? Bolles? Gordon? Sutton? There really are none right now. We don't really have a face of the franchise that is a national name. While there are some players may become the next face, my money is on Williams and PS2, we do seem to lack those truly elite level players that the rest of the league sits up an takes notice of.
I think it really comes down to how you make the Broncos relevant again. I think it starts with the HC, it also starts with getting a true QB that can take the team on his shoulders. It also comes with finding some true impact players that can grab headlines week in and week out. I don't know what that combination will look like, but I know right now, we just don't have it. And that is what is truly frustrating.