Broncos' fans, I am here to tell you there is room for hope. Considering the offseason changes in philosophy and personnel, I have compiled a list of players ready for breakout seasons.
Tim Tebow needs to build on the limited success from the end of last season.
For Denver, all hope runs through Tebow.
Whether you are a fan of No. 15 or not, there is one thing all viewers can agree on at this point—Tim Tebow is electric. The way he ignites his teammates with his passion and swagger—not to mention the addition of a monster right tackle via the draft—points to Tebow getting the reigns full time this season.
Tebow was able to compile some decent numbers through his limited use last season.
He was 41 of 82 for 654 yards with five TDs and only three INTs. He also added another 227 yards and six TDs on the ground.
The majority of these stats came in the final three weeks of the season after Kyle Orton was sidelined with an injury.
With Orton almost assuredly gone and a bevy of eager talent around him, Tebow is set to have a breakout season.
The 2011 season could be "make or break" for the former Georgia standout.
Entering his third season, running back Knowshon Moreno has a lot to prove. The Broncos have yet to receive the kind of production out of the young back they had hoped for since drafting him in 2009.
Some of his underproduction can be attributed to the system andsome of it to injuries. Whatever the reason, for the system to run properly under new head coach John Fox, Moreno has to perform.
With the addition of Orlando Franklin, a hole-opening monster offensive tackle, the implementation of the run-oriented Fox offense and a young QB needing to find early success, Moreno is set to have a breakout season.
Spencer Larsen breaking a tackle.
One only has to look into this young man’s eyes to see the desire it takes to build a champion.
In a league full of situational players and pampered divas, Larsen feels right at home playing not just one but two positions at times. He is one of the last iron men to play the game. In 2009, Larsen sometimes was both the starting linebacker and fullback.
It is no secret around the NFL Fox is a run-first coach.
It's not that flashy, jitterbug, evasive-style running, either. Rather, it's the smash-you-in-the-mouth, wear-you-out, grind-you-down type of running.
That style of running needs key elements to be successful, most notably lead blocking, and Bronco fans, I am here to tell you this young man brings back visions of the "A-Train," Mike Alstott.
Larsen doesn’t just open holes in the run game. He clears paths and can pound the rock with the best of them when the need arises.
Larsen is the old-school answer the Broncos need for their looming questions in short-yardage and goal-line situations, and he is set to have a breakout season.
Decker looks to have a breakout 2011 campaign
It may just be my opinion, but Eric Decker is Ed McCaffrey 2.0.
This fearless former Golden Gopher did not see much action in his first campaign as a Denver Bronco. He totaled only six receptions for 106 yards and one TD.
Rather, it was his contributions on special teams that give me reason to believe he is on the rise.
Decker returned 22 kicks for a total of 556 yard with two returns going over 40 yards in 2010, good for an average of 25.3 yards a return.
My fellow fans, this will only help in the field-position game, a game so important when playing ball-control football for coach Fox, which is exactly why Decker is set to have a breakout season.
Robet Ayers introducing himself to Manning
This pick is sure to garner both praise and scorn as I am sure there are differing opinions as to Robert Ayers' value.
In Elvis Dumervil's absence last season, Ayers was able to make an impact in the 11 contests he played in.
The addition of new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, as well as the resurrection of the 4-3 defense in Denver, will only help this former collegiate standout.
With the influx of new talent, both in staff and players, Denver's defense will allow this team to become relevant once again in the AFC West and should provide young Ayers with all the tools he needs to have a breakout season.
Thompson snags a ball intended for the Jets Dustin Keller
Syd'Quan Thompson stepped out of the pages of obscurity and into the NFL record books in 2010 when he became just one of two active players to record an interception in his first game playing defense after being drafted in the seventh round. He also became one of only seven players in the NFL to have an interception, a special teams tackle, a defensive tackle and a punt return during the 2010 season.
When given the opportunity, Thompson showed he is up to the challenge of not just playing but excelling as a CB at the NFL level. Given the unknown result of charges being faced by Perish Cox, Thompson looks to inherit the role opposite Champ Bailey, giving him every opportunity to have a breakout season.