As the Broncos team from the top to the bottom give less and less to Broncos Country to cheer for, I honestly find it pretty disingenuous to continue intently watching the games and geeking out on what good there is on game day (and there is some to be sure).
But it is very clear to me that this Denver Broncos organization is completely okay with being perennial losers while they rake in gobs of money week after week with little or no effort put toward trying to put a winning product on the field for game days.
This team is broken.
No longer is it about the roster.
No longer is it about the lack of a good quarterback.
No longer is it about bad draft picks.
No longer is it about choosing incapable head coaches.
All of those things have merits. All of those things have led to this team losing for 7 years straight.
But the #1 problem with this team is that it is run by people that do not care about winning.
Why else would we be listening to at least the 10th time this season where our head coach talks about how he “has to get better,” “has to find better plays for 3rd down,” or the team “needs to hold each other accountable.”
I don’t know if anyone in the organization from the ball boy to the Walter Penner Group even has a clue what the word “accountability” means.
What is clear to me is that all the leaders on the team are just slinging stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.
George Paton went cheap with Nathaniel Hackett and made a hugely risky trade (that is really looking terrible as it stands today). Then he doubled down by giving Russell Wilson a massive contract extension without ever seeing him play a snap in uniform under this new offense with this new head coach. For all of his solid drafting we’ve seen, this aspect of his leadership is highly questionable and may lead to another 3 years of this team being hamstrung while they try to claw their way back into legitimacy (if that is even what their plan is...I’m not sure they really care).
He’s also stuck with Lauren Landow whose job it is to keep the players healthy. It is hard to know what is the true cause of such things, but since he joined the Broncos, the Broncos' injury issues have gotten atrociously worse. If accountability were something that was understood, he would have been fired already.
Nathaniel Hackett decided that his coaching and leadership were about being buddies with the players. It is more important to be good pals with everyone than it is to make them work hard and hold them accountable for actual performance on the field. Let’s just skip the preseason for all the essential players and keep everyone happy and healthy. Add to this that Hackett was brought here to implement a functional offense and was handed an arguably future Hall of Famer in Russell Wilson. He’s failed at every level in this endeavor.
Let’s also point out that he brought in a ton of young coaches with him to run this team. First-timers abound at every level for the most part. While Ejiro Evero is the one point of light in all of that, he’s the exception, not the rule. Our coaches have followed Hackett’s lead on how to hold players accountable. Our offensive line can’t run block or pass block to save their lives. Our wide receivers drop passes that hit them in the hands constantly while hardly ever getting separation on those critical 3rd downs we keep hearing about. Our running backs are just awful. Our Special Teams units are still looking like they are completely out of their depth. You gotta love Nepotism.
Let’s not forget this friggin’ guy. All we hear from him is about what “hard work” is. How he knows what it takes. How great he thinks everyone is.
But I don’t see jack squat on the field of play that looks like a consistent, impactful NFL football quarterback. What I see is an aging quarterback who honestly looks like he is mailing it in.
This is not a quarterback who comes into a team and raises all boats like a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady. This is a quarterback who needs someone to manage their neuroses and set the stage around him to set him up for success. Seeing what we’ve seen from the field of play this season tells us everything about what kind of quarterback Russell Wilson is.
Don’t get me wrong: he’s got legit skill. This team can absolutely win a championship with him. He can be a big part of a winning culture. But for that to happen, we need a coach who can keep him guided properly and build a team around him that executes at a high level.
Walton Penner Group
The most disheartening thing about this season is that we finally got out from under the atrocious leadership of Joe Ellis and the Bowlen Trust only to see more of the same from the Walton Penner Group. They have shown that they are A-Okay with this team sucking. As long as the die-hard Bronco fans show up and keep the money machine churning, they don’t really care what the team’s record is.
It does not take some kind of superb football mind to see that this head coach is out of his depth. You don’t need to “know football” to know that what Wilson is doing on the field is far short of the value of the contract extension that was given to him. Yet the team seems to be completely okay with staying the course and tanking the season to take another swing next year with no steps taken whatsoever to establish any real actual sense of accountability to the organization as a whole.