This season an unprecedented eight NFL teams will have new head coaches. And for six of these coaches, it will be their first time running the whole show.
Bruce Arians has stepped out of the booth and back onto the field in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have floundered recently and Jameis Winston hasn’t grown or flourished the way we expected him to when he was drafted in 2015. Perhaps promoting former NFL QB turned offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be the first step in turning Winston around.
But the seven other coaches have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at these “rookies” and, maybe the biggest key to their success, who will be under center as they take the field.
To look at the NFL today it’s hard to imagine it without the diversity it displays, but there was a time when there wasn’t. In honor of Black History Month, we will look at the changes the NFL has gone through as it pertains to African American players.
African Americans have been a part of the American Football evolution as far back as the 1920s with players like Fitz Pollard and Bobby Marshall leading the way. The position of quarterback had not been a position that was openly offered to African Americans, but in 1968 that all changed with Marlin Briscoe.
Going into the 2019 NFL season many teams have needs. Some have different needs than others, but no need is more important than that of the quarterback. There are at least 5 teams that are going to need some help at that position.
The Denver Broncos addressed theirs by agreeing in principle for Baltimore Ravens benched QB Joe Flacco. While Flacco won’t be the answer long term for the Broncos, he will at least give them some time to find their franchise quarterback.
Many NFL analysts have ranted that this 2019 quarterback class, to say it nicely, is average. No one guy stands out at this moment. You’d have to assume Bronco’s GM John Elway agrees with that assessment since he pulled the trigger so quickly on Flacco. I’ve always felt that if you pick a player in the first round, that player has to start day one. I just don’t feel that there are day one starters in this draft, which in my mind is why Flacco is a Bronco.
So what does this signing mean for the other teams that are quarterback-starved? It means another free agent/ “Gap” quarterback is about to hit the market. If the Broncos can’t find a team to trade their one and done QB, Case Keenum to, then he is expected to be released.
Even after being named MVP of a Super Bowl LII, even after saving the Eagles 2018 season and taking them to the playoffs, Philadelphia continued to tell quarterback Nick Foles he just wasn’t good enough. QB Carson Wentz, who has been injured the last two seasons, will be their starter. Foles decided that it was time to move on, and he paid $2 million to do it.
The Eagles had picked up Foles $20 million option, but that would mean he would continue to carry a clipboard for Wentz. Foles paid the fee to be released from that option, but Philadelphia still has the ability to franchise tag him. This would give the team the ability to trade him. It has been reported that multiple teams are interested in bringing Foles on board. This isn’t surprising considering the state of the quarterback situation in the NFL.
It wasn’t pretty by any means, but for the first time since 1990, the Cleveland Browns beat the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium.
Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is everything fans have waited for these long, lonely years. While many questioned General Manager John Dorsey’s pick of Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft, week after week he is proving why he was the right choice.
It’s officially time to start panicking, Broncos Country. The 2018 season is eerily feeling like a repeat of the 2017 season, and we all know how that ended.
The Denver Broncos fell to division rival Kansas City Chiefs after holding a sizable lead for the majority of the game, and are 2-2 on the season. Experts expected the Broncos to lose in a blow-out, which might have been easier for fans to accept.
Instead, the Broncos kept the pace with the Chiefs during the first three quarters, only to fall apart in the last quarter.
After coming from behind in the 4th quarter to beat the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos remain undefeated.
It is way too early in the season to celebrate though, especially when you play in the same division as the scary-looking Kansas City Chiefs. This should give any Denver fan a reason to be cautiously optimistic.
The Broncos continue to struggle on offense, as quarterback Case Keenum works through the playbook learning curve. Keenum finished the night 19/35, with 222 yards, and one interception. These are stats that would make anyone itchy to hit that ejection seat.
His regression from Week 1 should not be an immediate cause for alarm, however. Halftime adjustments, particularly on the offense, helped the team finally find the end zone in the 2nd half. Keenum was calmer in the pocket during the 2nd half. He even scored a touchdown on a QB keeper early in the 4th quarter.
The Denver Broncos are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons since the McDaniels era (5-11, 4th place in the AFC West). This, after coming off a slightly-less disappointing season in 2016 (9-7, 3rd place in the AFC West).
Once quarterback Peyton Manning retired, and offensive coordinator Wade Phillips left to go to the Los Angeles Rams, the team fell into disarray. When Head Coach Gary Kubiak retired the end of the 2016 season, the proverbial last nail on the coffin was hammered down. It’s crazy to think that this is the team that won Super Bowl 50, and yet, here we are.
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
If you like short pieces to read, this is one. If you left the country for a month-long walkabout, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. The 2018 Broncos look exactly like the 2017 Broncos except they released a starting cornerback and signed a third string one. They also signed an expensive quarterback, who has to prove himself.
That’s it, kiddies. Seriously.
Well, I lied. They also allowed free agent wide receiver Bennie Fowler and their former second-round pick WR Cody Latimerto walk. Either Elway believes this team only needed quarterback Case Keenum, or he has a ton of transactions up his sleeve.