Sorting through a collection of Broncos pre-training camp thoughts
• NFL people seem to think highly of this Broncos roster. I’ve seen rankings as high as sixth and consistently in the top 10 to 15. The defense I get. This group should be salty. If Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are in top form? Watch out. This group could accomplish 2015 type things.
• The offense looks great – on paper. The whole unit is dotted with first- and second-round picks. As my man Stink likes to say, however, “Potential only gets you fired.” There are absolutely reasons to be excited, but this side of the ball as a lot to prove.
• If they are legit? Then this team is only above average QB play from being a slam-dunk playoff team and a legitimate threat to KC in the AFC West
• Count me in the (dwindling?) group of people who think Aaron Rodgers is still in play. I don’t see him ever playing for Green Bay again and I don’t see the Packers squatting on him for the entire season. It just doesn’t make sense. This isn’t Deshaun Watson who’s only 25. That’s a guy you dig in for. Rodgers will be playing this year in his age 38 season. His career has an upcoming expiration date. The Packers have already acknowledged that by drafting Jordan Love. This is a golden opportunity for them to cash in on a Rodgers trade. Letting him rot would just diminish that value and leave a cloud hanging over that franchise that does them no good.
• I see some folks on our station seem to be getting squeamish about the cost of getting Rodgers. Is it worth it for someone who will only be here three to four years? Let me ask you this question: If you had to go back and do it all over again for Peyton Manning, knowing what you know, would you have traded multiple first-round picks to make it happen? Of course you would. Case closed.
• If Rodgers doesn’t happen, or doesn’t happen by the beginning of the season, then Bridgewater vs. Lock needs to go this way: Lock needs to win the job and do it emphatically and early. If this starts to drag without any real separation then Vic Fangio needs to call it and give the nod to Teddy.
• Whoever wins the QB battle, I’m confident the Broncos can win with that guy. Provided the defense is legit. Provided an improvement in overall roster depth translates to better special teams. And, provided Pat Shurmur has gotten being an NFL head coach again soon- out of his system – and is prepared to run this offense as to what’s best for the Broncos instead of what’s best for Pat Shurmur to get another chance. Putting aside ego could lead to the biggest improvement for this offense-not who the QB is.
• Maurice Jones-Drew ranked Melvin Gordon as the 24th best RB1 in the NFL. That’s way too low in my opinion. Gordon has never been embraced by Broncos Country because of misplaced loyalty to Philip Lindsay and how much he’s getting paid. Gordon is a good back. Funny, everyone complains about the Broncos offense from the QB play to the offensive line to Pat Shurmur. All of that is not going to affect the impact Gordon can make? Put him in a real functioning NFL offense and this guy looks much better than 24th.
• All of the talk about Fangio being on the hot seat and can he be better with clock management and using timeouts makes for good hot take radio, but all I care about is him living up to his reputation as a defensive mastermind. I go back to what I said at the top. This defense has the potential to be really good. Like 2015 good. We know around here how that kind of defense can dramatically change the fortunes of a team even if they’re getting ordinary QB play. Fangio was brought here to bring that kind of performance out of a defense. I don’t care if he ever becomes a classic CEO-type head coach. Make this defense feared and he’ll have done what he was supposed to.