By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole
Do you know what happens when you cut corners and deny? You get Denver the last two seasons. It’s a year overdue, but it appears Joe Ellis, John Elway, and Vance Joseph saw a mistake was made, took a deep breath and are undergoing triage on it. More importantly, Broncos Country needs to accept it’s going to be a while before the results are seen.
Changing quarterback isn’t an easy thing. For Denver, going with Trevor Siemian was about far more than skill, it involved money and fear and ego. Former Head Coach and current Senior Personnel Advisor Gary Kubiak wanted his hand selected choice, as did QB Coach Greg Knapp. Elway backed his friend. That set the ball in motion which has lead to now.
When Peyton Manning retired, suites went unsold and Sports Authority Field went under. Result? The Broncos losing money. Because Paxton Lynch was basically red shirted. His experience and knowledge are lacking. How could Denver stop the money bleed by going with a QB the media and fans had decided was garbage?
So, instead of going all in on Lynch by trading Trevor, they keep him around and have a sham of a QB battle. The thought was, hey, if Manning with a noodle arm and slow legs could win a Super Bowl, why not the smart kid who had a little more oomph? The defense can carry the load.
Peyton Manning was underrated in what he did in 2015 and that’s where ego comes in. Kubiak is thinking his guy could be Manning and McCoy and Vance are thinking the same. We can coach a last round smart guy to be enough. The irony is, Brock Osweiler sat for four years before they found out he’s not that good and they were ready to do that again. Wait another year to see what Lynch has.
When you have a top notch defense, fear oozes in that it would be easier to go with a safe pick with the “best chance to win,” over an unknown and waste the defense. Plus, head coaches don’t want a losing season their first go. They want to at least have a shot at a playoff.
All of the above combined, created a mistake that has snowballed and now there’s no easy way out. And it may take until 2019. New starting QBs fail far more than then the occasional Dak Prescotts or Deshaun Watsons come along. They’re the exception, not the rule. Both had coaches who drafted them specifically, put game plans in place around them, had good offensive lines, running backs and receivers. The right fit at the right time.
Because money, ego, and fear has governed the decision making process, it lead to Lynch getting hurt. That has compounded the problem. One that started with Kubiak not wanting Lynch, not scheming for him and McCoy/Joseph not drafting him. Suddenly, the front office and coaching staff have to chose between a raw guy who’s had three light practices in two months or the guy who had limited success on three teams. To compound matters, Lynch isn’t quite ready. they now have to start Osweiler with the plan to switch to Lynch later.
That opens another can of worms. It’s no secret the media hated Lynch. If Osweiler starts, he will get full on media love and excuses for any mistakes. If he plays just enough to not lose, how do they bench him for Lynch? The media will not criticize his every mistake and downplay any bad. And the media drives the fans.
If that happens, what do they do with Lynch? Waste another season and miss the playoffs, again? Let’s not forget that in his 15 starts with Houston, Osweiler threw 15 TDs, 16 INTs and lost three fumbles. So, split that in half and you have where Siemian is today. Vance describes him the same way, too: a leader, good professional, etc.
It’s doubtful they want to start Osweiler and introduce another quarterback “controversy” but they have no choice. Three practices and on a short week isn’t enough time for Lynch. The issue then becomes what if Brock does just enough? Wins one, loses one, wins one, loses one and the next thing it’s week 12 and the playoffs are just one game out of reach? 2016 part two. And same result.
They will have mishandled Lynch from the jump. Worse, this team’s future. Because drafting another one will most likely see an up and down season as most rookies show. Now, you’re out to 2020. Or, pick up a retread and kick the can down the road, again. This is a mess and there’s no simple solution. The past is over; and there won’t be an easy resolution.
We can have it all, we just not right now. Just like it took 1.5 years of mistakes to make, it could take that long to repair. Long time Broncos fans have been here before. It’s like giving birth the second time, you know the pain that’s coming and you just want an epidural. Unfortunately, labor is too far gone and you just have to grin and bear it. I’m hoping it delivers a bouncing 6’7” baby pirate holding a trophy with his teammates in 2019.
Talk Broncos on Twitter with Julie // @ABroncoNole