Monday, April 2, 2012

National Football League (NFL) Offseason 2012: The Denver Broncos, the AFC West, and the AFC East

By Evan Troxel
Well, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning coming off of free agency finally decided to play for the Denver Broncos.  I was happy about that but it meant that former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow got traded to the New York Jets.  

My early thoughts about the Peyton Manning sweepstakes were that the Denver Broncos really didn’t need Peyton Manning.  Why?  Denver has been a predominantly rushing team.  Not to mention Denver has only won one playoff game since after the 2005-2006 season and that came in the 2011-2012 season.  Thirdly and vaguely put, the Broncos just “don’t have the pieces together” and some of the players just don’t want to help the team win because they somehow find ways to get into trouble (with the law) which is one of the many reasons I think that the Broncos just “don’t have the pieces together.”  

To elaborate more on that third point, the notable Broncos players on offense are quarterback Peyton Manning, quarterback Caleb Hanie, running back Willis McGahee, wide receiver Eric Decker, and I guess wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (for catching a Tim Tebow pass in the 2011-2012 playoffs vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers in Overtime and then running and scoring the game winning touchdown).  

The Broncos “don’t have the pieces together” in my opinion because (this past season) on offense they simply couldn’t do much except run the ball effectively.  Actually, that’s not even a legitimate reason for my argument because it supports against my argument and the previous sentence is a little exaggerated.  The leaders on the Broncos are the only players who are going to give the team an 80% to a 100% effort all the time and on every play in my opinion.  The non-leaders on the Broncos I’d say are going to give the team less than a 50% effort to a 65% effort.  The only leaders I would say on the Broncos offense (or perhaps even on the entire team) is Peyton Manning and Willis McGahee.

The notable Broncos players on defense are defensive end Elvis Dumervil, outside linebacker Von Miller, and cornerback Champ Bailey.  I would say that Von Miller and Champ Bailey are the leaders on the Broncos defense.  I’m also going to say that Miller and Bailey are two players and each is probably one of the best players at their respective positions in the entire NFL.  Von Miller’s rookie season was this past season (2011-12), was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl, and he was named the 2011-2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

To conclude one thought about the Denver Broncos, I gave to you some of the reasons why that I don’t think they “have the pieces together” to play well this upcoming season.  I would give more reasons (and I’m sure there’s more reasons) but I just cannot think and develop those reasons right now.  Tim Tebow could have probably turned the entire Broncos future franchises around but if he were still playing for them I think he would’ve worn out his welcome and “Tebow hype (Tebowmania)” was soaring that the hype couldn’t go any higher.  Tebow probably would have demanded not to have been traded if he didn’t want to be a starting quarterback this upcoming season.

I don’t understand why Peyton Manning wanted to come to Denver.  Maybe it was because Manning’s old team “the Colts” are a horse and so are “the Broncos.”  Manning wanted to come to Denver to be in “win now mode?”  It doesn’t make any sense to me why he chose Denver.  I don’t see how the Broncos can do much better than last season (if at all) with Peyton Manning.  Tim Tebow helped the Broncos win a playoff game for the first time in a long time, is a motivating person, and is a leader.  Peyton Manning is not a motivating person in my opinion and that’s why the Broncos players probably won’t listen to him now and in the future.

It also doesn’t make sense to me why the Broncos chose Peyton Manning because Denver has been a predominantly rushing team over the past several seasons and Peyton Manning is a passing quarterback.  Not to mention that if Peyton Manning gets hurt the Broncos chances of making the playoffs in my opinion go to “almost zero percent” or at least winning a playing game goes to “almost zero percent.”  Another reason why it doesn’t make sense to me is the Broncos will have to rebuild their entire roster around Peyton Manning and when Peyton Manning finally decides to end his NFL career most NFL teams will probably realize that the passing game is not predominantly and/or always the way to go and therefore the Broncos future franchises won’t be able to have much success for awhile after that happens (if that happens).

I also don’t understand why the Broncos chose to get Peyton Manning because the Broncos are going to need a new “franchise” quarterback in five years.  Former Broncos third string quarterback Brady Quinn left because he’s tired of sitting on the bench.  If Quinn had stayed with the Broncos, he might get a realistic shot to be a starting (and relevant) quarterback five years from now.  Instead Quinn decided to join the Kansas City Chiefs and he might actually get a chance to start if he can beat out Matt Cassel for the job.  Former Broncos and Chiefs quarterback Kyle Orton joined the Dallas Cowboys this offseason and will likely be the Cowboys backup quarterback when the upcoming regular season rolls around.

Finally I would like to bring up one final thing about an individual for the Broncos…offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.  NFL Analysts have been saying basically since Tebowmania went off the charts is that Mike McCoy is a flexible offensive coordinator.  I completely disagree with that statement.  Mike McCoy is not flexible.  There’s just no way he is.  I would say Tim Tebow is flexible and everyone in the NFL knows that Peyton Manning is (to an extent) which is why Peyton Manning is so good.  The other Broncos offensive coaches (in my opinion) deserve a lot more credit than Mike McCoy does!  Okay and alas, I’m done ranting now.

The 2012-13 NFL Regular Season looks to be a good one (or a dandy) in the AFC West.  The Broncos have Peyton Manning, the Kansas City Chiefs have a promising head coach in Romeo Crennel, the Oakland Raiders have quarterback Carson Palmer and a new head coach, and the San Diego Chargers ended up getting rid of their best players in running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles in previous recent seasons and simply just have quarterback Phillip Rivers.

The AFC East looks to be interesting this upcoming season as well.  The New England Patriots appear to be done winning Super Bowls; the New York Jets have Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and New York Knicks basketball star Jeremy Lin all in the same area; the Miami Dolphins this offseason have dismantled their team this offseason and I hope (as a Dolphins fan) the Dolphins new head coach Joe Philbin gets fired as soon as possible; and the Buffalo Bills just need to find a way to get to the playoffs so that they can actually win a Super Bowl!

Seriously I’m kind of hoping the New York Jets have an awesome upcoming Regular Season (and possibly postseason) with the brand new duo of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano (former Dolphins head coach) and quarterback Tim Tebow coming to town.  If the Jets have a fairly successful 2012-13 season then I hope Dolphins owner Stephen Ross feels really bad about firing Tony Sparano or at least feels bad about not trying to pursue Tim Tebow while current Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is dismantling the team by trying to establish a passing attack when Miami has been a predominantly rushing team for years!  

The reason I say that the Dolphins should have pursued Tim Tebow is that if none of the Dolphins best players had already been or still could be let go by the Dolphins this offseason, then in my opinion, Tim Tebow “was” (and quite possibly still is) the perfect missing puzzle piece to the Dolphins roster and I think they would be Super Bowl contenders this upcoming season. 
But “Noooooooooo” said Joe Philbin, so in my opinion the Dolphins upcoming regular season possibility of having a lot of success just went down in flames.  Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has wanted a really good quarterback this offseason and a high profile player who will help sell tickets and ultimately get Dolphins fans back into the seats at Sun Life Stadium. 

Tim Tebow will sure sell tickets and he (and the Broncos) eventually did beat the Dolphins in 2011 when Miami was leading by 15 with 5 minutes left in regulation (in Miami) so why not take a chance on Tim Tebow?  I’m sure Tony Sparano would have taken Tim Tebow in a heartbeat if he were still coaching the Dolphins.

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