AFC West Rival Breakdown: Denver Broncos

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When you hear the name “Denver Broncos” as a football fan, you instantly think of a team that has won 2 Super Bowls and the one player that represents the face of the organization will always be John Elway. There are many other notable players to come through Denver such as :Rod Smith (WR), Shannon Sharpe(TE), and Terrell Davis, ETC. However, this is far and out from the team that lies within the AFC West currently.

The Denver Bronco’s are looking to find their way out of the division cellar. They have not made the playoffs since 2005 under head Coach Mike Shanahan and Quarterback Jake Plummer. The recent Denver Bronco’s cannot seem to figure out which of the 3 quarterbacks on roster will be their starter. So let’s look at the recent history for them.

It all started with the hiring of Josh Daniels at head coach. He instantly came in and in effort to make a lasting impression he boldly traded off Jay Cutler (the gun slinger) for Kyle Orton (the unproven kid from Chicago). After putting all his eggs in one basket with Kyle Orton the Broncos actually got off to a hot start. Denver shot out of the gates to a 6-0 start on the season as many people around the United States hopped on the Bronco bandwagon. Little did they know that the wheels were about to fall off as they skidded to stop. They then proceeded to lose 8 of the folling 10 games to finish the season 8-8 and lost the division to the Chargers once again.

The Broncos then proceeded to prove their brilliance with the outing of Brandon Marshall. Given that Marshall was throwing “temper tantrums” in Denver and hasn’t done much in Miami, he still carried that team to many of their victories in recent years. It seemed to most as is Denver had done the worst of trades to come, but wait.. The biggest one yet is still to come.

In 2010, after jumping to select quarterback Tim Tebow in the draft (WTF?) the Broncos made the move of trading away running back Peyton Hillis to Cleveland in exchange for ANOTHER Quarterback, Brady Quinn! Wait a second, why would a team need to roster 3 potential starting QB’s unless they have no faith in any of them? Unfortunately for Broncos fans, they got to sit back and watch Peyton rally in Cleveland for almost 1200 yards rushing as he proved to be one of the NFL’s elite top running back’s.

But it can’t all be bad in Denver, right? Correct! Don’t get me wrong, Denver does have their own threats! So let’s take a look deeper into Broncoville!

1. Von Miller – (LB)
Miller is bar none my favorite player to enter the draft this season. I feel that he has more potential than any other player to come in right away and make a solid impact. Denver hit a gold mine with this pick and he will put up elite numbers in his rookie campaign. He is explosive, athletic, smart, experienced, and does not appear to have any character issues that will have a negative effect on the team. As a Charger fan, I am not looking forward to facing him as he could be in the running for the Defensive R.O.Y. award come end of the season.
Just for fun, and to show what kind of raw attributes he brings to the team I have attached his sports science clip for all to view.

2. Brandon Lloyd – (WR)
In 2010 most fans were expecting Eddie Royal and Rookie Demaryius Thomas to step if up and rack up the receiving stats. Much to their, and our surprise it was Brandon Lloyd who let the Bronco’s in receiving. Lloyd has amazing hands, great speed, and an uncanny ability to get open. Now if only they could figure out which QB was going to be throwing it to him so he could develop some chemistry with him, that would be very beneficial for the club! I see Lloyd being a 1000 yard receiver easily next season if camp goes will and the QB situation is settled.

3. Jabar Gaffney / Eddie Royal – (WR, WR/KR)
These 2 guys could add very nice compliments to the passing attack of Denver, but for some reason Eddie Royal can’t seem to catch traction. He has blazing speed and is a great return man, but he cannot get open and drops key passes. Jabar Gaffney on the other hand is a silent threat. You don’t hear his name in big time discussions, but few actually know he puts up good numbers. What kind of numbers? 875 yards last season with 12 catches with over 20 yard gains.

4. DJ Williams – (LB)
Williams has a knack for getting to the ball. He found himself in on 119 tackles in 2010 and 122 in 2009. He is very active on every play and also provides a great pass rush. He put up 5.5 sacks last season alone and coming off 2 hot seasons he will continue to put up solid numbers in the near future.

5. Champ Bailey – (CB)
He is turning 33 soon, but guess what? He still found himself tied for 22nd in the NFL with 13 passes defended. To put that into perspective, he broke up the same number of passes as Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson(Green Bay), veteran Ronde Barber(Tampa Bay), and AFC West Rival Stanfor Routt (Oakland). He is a great player to have on the team, but age will be catching up with him soon enough.

6. Brian Dawkins – (FS) / Rahim Moore
Brian Dawkins is on a steady decline of stats and effectiveness on the field. Why do I put him as a threat? Because he has 16 full seasons experience in the league, has been a top performer his whole career and in 2009 at age 36 he put up 116 tackles and didn’t miss a single game. He energized the entire defense in 2009 and was one of the only shining stars in a cloudy Denver sky. If Denver can get a young stud free safety like Rahim Moore (2011 2nd round pick) to train under Dawkins, he could have the best coach and mentor any DB could ask for. Rahim Moore has the raw talent to be great in the NFL and should be ecstatic to play alongside Dawkins!

There are a lot of holes in the current lineup, and it will take some serious effort to find the missing pieces and put together the puzzle that is the Denver Broncos. Only time will tell, but it could be a long 2011 season for the Orange and Blue if they can’t work out the kinks.

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