Yesterday, following the first official team workout on the Denver Broncos offseason schedule, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders told assembled reporters, “If we don’t bring a Super Bowl to this city this year, then it’s a bust season.”
That “Super Bowl or Bust,” all-or-nothing mentality has governed Broncos Country with malicious results for the past three seasons. The goal has been to ride the considerable abilities of quarterback Peyton Manning all the way to a world championship, before Father Time can conquer the now 39-year-old 5-time MVP.
All three “Super Bowl or Bust” seasons have ended with gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, slobber-knocking postseason losses.
This offseason, things were supposed to change. Head coach John Fox was fired and replaced with Gary Kubiak, the coach who’s supposed to lead the Broncos into the post-Manning era. Many fans had believed the era of pressure packed, all-or-nothing seasons had ended. Based on Sanders’ comments, that’s not the case.
The Denver Broncos have a serious problem. More specifically, they’re dealing with an identity crisis. The Broncos and General Manager John Elway can’t seem to decide whether they want to embrace the future and begin rebuilding, or double down on Peyton Manning. Instead, they’re stuck between the two. Denver wants to move away from the past, yet they fear the future.
The Broncos now have three great offensive minds on their payroll—Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, and Peyton Manning. It’s nearly impossible to imagine the Broncos finding a way to maintain order in the offensive meeting room.
Who among those three will have veto power in offensive play calling? The Broncos were so mentally ill-prepared to either begin the next generation or double down on the Manning era, they’ve now got too many cooks in the kitchen, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Denver Broncos have been unable to make a decision about their future. Now, they’re stuck between two eras. The Broncos are the kid at the hotel swimming pool who really wants to stretch his legs and take a swim, but can’t seem to force himself to drag his big toe out of the nice warm hot tub.
That’s a problem for the Broncos long-term championship hopes. No team can win if they can’t decide who they are. And, the Denver Broncos face serious questions heading into their offseason program.
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