In a world that measures success as wins and losses, the Denver Broncos will take a slightly different approach. After falling off the proverbial cliff, Greg Penner says success will come with a cultural shift.
We all know that Denver has missed the playoffs every year since winning Super Bowl 50. When the Walton-Penner Group took control of the team in 2022 the hope was that the addition of Russell Wilson would bring about big changes.
It was a disaster. Nathaniel Hackett was awful, and Wilson seemed to lose all semblance of understanding of how to be an NFL QB. Needless to say, it was a bumpy start for the new owners.
After getting bucked off the horse in their first season as owners, the group led by Greg Penner went out and made a huge splash. Hiring Sean Payton signaled that the new owners were no longer willing to accept the product that had become the norm in Broncos Country.
Ian St. Clair and I broke down some of those shifts, and we looked at the way the sports books reacted. The win projections by DraftKings came out the other day. The Broncos were set at 8.5 wins for the 2023 season.
That feels right. No one really knows what the combination of Wilson and Payton will bring offensively. The AFC West is still a juggernaut division with the defending Super Bowl champs entrenched at the top. The optimism for ‘23 is tempered by the experience of last season, and the enormous mountain that is the Kansas City Chiefs.
As someone who wants to be positive about what is happening in Denver, 8.5 wins seems like the right projection. As Ian mentioned on the podcast, the Broncos could win 3 games or 13 games, and neither would be all that surprising.
So, measuring success in a conventional way, through wins and losses, will continue. However, for the wins to become more common, the culture at Dove Valley will have to change. We are already seeing some of it, but we won’t know what this team truly is until the pads go on.