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Denver Broncos: The Steps To Make an 8-8 Season Possible in 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 03:  Correll Buckhalter #28 and Daniel Graham #89 of the Denver Broncos celebrate after Buckhalter's game-winning touchdown against the Tennessee Titans late in the fourth quarter at LP Field on October 3, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Denver won 26-20.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Vaden ChandlerCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

At the date of this writing, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Denver Broncos. The process of rebuilding this team has been beset by many questions. Who will be the Broncos quarterback? Who will the Broncos draft? Will Dumervil come back in full form? And if so, will he adjust well to the 4-3 defense? What kind of record will the Broncos be able to get in 2012? Will there even be a 2012 season for the Denver Broncos to get a record at all?

The author of this article believes that it is actually entirely possible, if everything falls into place, for the Broncos to be playing at least close to .500 NFL football next year if there is a season. (Note that I said .500 football and not 8-8 football) With that being said, here are some steps that could be taken to at least give the Broncos a fighting chance at finishing at .500 next year. 

1. Bring in another RB to help shore up the offense and lighten Knowshon Moreno's load. Whoever is in charge of the Broncos' running back situation really needs to face facts. Moreno is a good running back, don't get me wrong, but the big elephant in the room is whether or not he can stay healthy. This is why Denver should really consider bringing in a free-agent running back for some depth. DeAngelo Williams from Carolina, Tim Hightower from Arizona or even Joseph Addai of Indy all come to mind. I am sure there are others as well, and by doing this, the pressure on the passing game will not be quite as heavy.

2. Think defense, defense and more defense in the draft. Part of the reason why the offense was on the field so much and being worn out was because of the poor defense of the Broncos. Fox and company should focus heavily on defense in the draft and pick up some good guys to complement Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil. If they can do that, it will go a long way in helping the Broncos to become a sound team again.  

3. Figure out how to become more successful in the red zone and inside the opponent's 20. The coaches for the Broncos really need to analyze just why the team had such trouble scoring in the end zone. Was it because of the lack of a running game? Was it because of the quarterback? Or was it something else? Whatever it may be, the Broncos have got to become more successful at scoring in the red zone if they any hope of being competitive next year.  

4. Figure out how to play to each QB's strengths. In Denver and on B/R this year, there has been a lot of people who are Tebow haters; there have been some who are Orton haters. I don't know about you, but at the end of the day, I do not really believe that either of these men will be shipped out this season. Either Orton or Tebow is going to be the starting QB for the Denver Broncos; the other will be the backup.

What the Broncos must do is determine how to play to each of these individuals and their strengths. For Orton, how do you translate his yardage into points? How do you get players to rally around him and not simply just give up when the Broncos do not have the lead? How do you protect him better in the pocket? For Tebow, what strategies can be put into place to improve his accuracy? What can the team do to draw from his competitive fire? 

5. Consider some underrated free agents for more defensive help. A couple of things are on the table here. First of all, I mention "underrated" because it seems to me the more hype a player on either side of the ball has, the more hefty his price tag. The Broncos should then focus on team-first guys that simply can get the job done and are not prima-donnas. Second, the Broncos should possibly consider what to do with Brady Quinn. They could possibly trade him for a defensive player.

Conclusion: A .500 season is well within reach for the Broncos if everything falls into place. If they can bring in more running help, focus on getting some defensive studs and maybe a tight end in the draft, figure out how to improve their quarterback's play (whether it be Kyle or Tim) and beef up the defense as much as they can, they could surprise a lot of the pundits! 

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