Finally, we have put the last stake in the heart of what has been the worst year for long-term Bronco fans. Finishing with a pathetic 4-12 season wasn't on most true fans' radar before this season started.
Even though there was a lot of speculation as to what Josh McDaniels' second season would deliver, there was not much to predict how bad he drug this team down. His arrogance, lack of draft talent evaluation and general immaturity has set this organization back at least two-three years.
Now, Mr. Bowlen and most likely John Elway will have the one opportunity to begin the climb out of the deep hole this once-proud organization has fallen into.
It is true that we can't put all of this at the feet of Josh McDaniels. Truth be told, Shanny did little to develop the defensive side of the ball, and McDaniels just continued that movement. Somehow, both of these "masterminds" forgot the overriding mantra of the NFL: "Defense wins Championships."
The lack of focus on the D-side of the ball over the last few years of Shanny's reign, and the total lack of focus by Hoody West has created a huge vacuum in the defensive talent pool that will take some major drafting and free-agency signings to overcome.
The selection of the head coach and the subsequent hiring of the coaching staff will tell us a lot about where this team is headed. If we end up with another "offensive genius" with no real experience in building a defense, we are screwed. But if we pick the right head coach, right coordinators and talent evaluators, this thing can be turned around in a few years.
Now, to get to the point of my title, there will be a decision made as to where and with whom the Bronco brain trust feels the QB position will be most effectively positioned, not only next year but for the reasonable future as well.
What are the options?
ONE, go forward with Orton and Tebow fighting it out for who will start in whatever system is decided on by the new regime for the next few years. This will mean the entire offseason and preseason will be devoted to seeing who is the best fit.
TWO, decide if there is a QB (or two) who would warrant going after in the draft to the potential detriment (again) of the defensive side of the ball. Be that Luck, Mallett or Gabbert, would they offer more upside than either Orton or Tebow in the next two years?
THREE, they could trade Orton for maybe a second-round pick and use that to continue their defensive buildup. Then, see if there is another backup QB available and cut Quinn or keep him as the backup.
FOUR, they could look at some free agents to bring in to challenge Tebow for the starting slot. I am not sure if there are any really great options out there for this scenario, but it might play out, depending on who does end up as head coach.
FIVE, Trade Tebow and let Orton and whoever else comes in fight for that starting position. This would drive the Gator-land and some other Bronco fans crazy, as they see TT as the second coming of Elway.
What to do, what to do?
My perspective is that the only real options open to this team right now are ONE, TWO and FIVE.
With option ONE, let Orton and Tebow go toe to toe; see if the new coaching team feels more comfortable with either player and let the other be the backup. This would make for an interesting offseason and one that would draw a great deal of attention to every snap at camp and in the preseason games.
It might also allow Tebow to spend another year learning at the feet of an NFL QB and begin the transition from a college running QB to that of a true NFL QB. It would also allow using Tebow in more plays where his unique talents can be magnified and keep the opposing defenses on their heels preparing for both players
With option TWO, the incoming coach would have the ability to bring in who he thinks would be the best fit for his offensive and defensive scheme. Yes, defensive scheme, because a QB that can stay on the field for longer periods of time can reduce the amount of time the D has to be on the field. And that can go a long way when trying to rebuild a defensive foundation.
Option FIVE is the one that will leave most of the people reading this article pulling their hair out and calling me a ________, _______ or even a __________. But that is what these forums are for—the exchange of ideas and approaches.
In FIVE, there would be the possibility too garner maybe a second-round pick for Tebow or maybe package high for a move up or down in the draft to acquire either the first pick (Luck?) or more defensive picks later in the second or third rounds.
That would have a huge impact on jersey sales but might also position Denver to move ahead with an established NFL QB leading the team and also rebuild the D while we are at it. Would it be as exciting? Maybe not, but in my opinion, it would allow Denver to be in a position to win more games over the next few years and regain our rightful place as a player in the first tier of NFL teams.
And from what I saw in the last three games, it didn't instill in me the confidence of placing the entire team's future on the shoulders of Tebow. Yes, he can run the ball, and yes, he can make some of the passes needed in the NFL, but he didn't show me that he has the release or the accuracy to be a true NFL QB. And running will eventually get him hurt and may shorten his career significantly.
I am sure I have pissed off a lot of people with this article, but it is my opinion, and anyone that either agrees or disagrees with me has nothing else, just opinions. None of us have a crystal ball.
That's what makes this so fun.
Let's get it on and see what happens.
Just one Bronco fan(atic)'s opinion.
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