Who will be Denver's QB come week 1? Probably not who you think
With Week 1 of the preseason fast approaching, every NFL fan has expectations for their teams. For the first time since the 2000 season, it would seem expectations are next to nothing for the Denver Broncos.
Under new management, new coaching and new systems and philosophies, many people view this season as a rebuilding year for the Broncos. Let's look beyond the national consensus for just a minute, and peer into a different outlook for our Broncos.
Here are five bold predictions that you could see this upcoming season.
Moreno has gotten an unfair look in his first two years. He's on a team that clearly prefers the pass to the run and plays for a coach who substituted running plays with screen passes galore. Moreno never had a chance.
Now, he plays for a coach who values the run game, in a system that runs first to open up the pass. He will get his touchdowns too, as the days of lining up in shotgun at first and goal from the 5-yard line are likely over. At 10 pounds lighter and much, much quicker than years past, expect a breakout season from Knowshon.
The Broncos may have the best receiving corps in the AFC West in 2011. With Royal, Thomas and Lloyd, it will be hard for defenses to defend against the pass, especially when they are going to be respecting the run game in Denver for the first year since the AFC Championship run.
With Lloyd as the deep threat, Thomas as the go-to guy and Royal in the slot, not to mention the young promising tight ends (Julius Thomas) and the receiving threat of Knowshon as well out of the backfield, opposing defenses are going to have their hands full with Denver's passing game.
Last year, the Broncos were clearly the worst team in the AFC West, but with the strides they made on defense, as well as the return of key players lost to injury last year, that title will not be theirs for a second straight year.
That title will be reserved for the Oakland Raiders or the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders lost key players and are transitioning to a new coach. People are going to be shocked at how different the defense looks when half the field will once again open up to opposing teams. The Chargers are aging and their window of opportunity is closing fast, not to mention they have a pretty tough schedule.
Expect Denver to finish second (and nowhere close) to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yup. I went there.
The new Broncos defensive coordinator is training a scoring defense out in Dove Valley, just like the one that made the Saints world champions. Every ball that hits the ground at camp, the defense treats it as a live ball and is learning to scoop and score. While this unit certainly won't reach its potential until, at the earliest, Week 14 or 15 in the season, they will show mountains of improvement over the pitiful defense we as Broncos fans have become accustomed to.
With the return of Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers returning to his natural position and the additions of Ty Warren, Broderick Bunkeley Von Miller and Rahim Moore, Denver's defense will make young mistakes, but has the potential to be downright nasty.
He is miles ahead of where he was at this point last year and has, by far, shown the most improvement in his game between the three quarterbacks. I have attended every practice thus far open to the public, and I do not understand why Orton is being touted as the best QB in camp. Orton threw back-to-back picks...in a freakin' walk-through.
I myself am pulling for Tebow, I really am, but I am a realist. Folks, I am telling you, Brady Quinn will be the guy when it's all said and done, for three reasons: First is that he is more accurate than Tebow. Second is that he is more mobile than Orton. Third is that he by far has the strongest arm on the team.
It will become evident in the preseason that Orton will not be able to throw when the pocket collapses, and that Tim Tebow just is not ready. Meanwhile, Brady Quinn will come out and wow everyone. Last year, I correctly predicted that Kyle Orton would have the best year of his career. This year, I'm saying the same for Quinn.