After five seasons without a trip to the playoffs, Broncos Country is tired of losing. On the heels of the worst four-year stretch in the NFL history of the franchise, the fan base is getting restless.
And they aren’t the only ones.
The people inside the Broncos facility are also fed up with the unsuccessful seasons. At the top of the list is Joe Ellis, the team’s defacto owner.
“Our fans have been very, very loyal to us,” Ellis said on Tuesday during the team’s press conference to kick off training camp. “And it’s been pretty thin lately, I acknowledge that.”
It didn’t end there. Ellis continued to bemoan the team’s losing ways throughout his time in front of the local media.
“We’ve got to win; we just have to win,” Ellis added. “It’s kind of enough already.”
He went on to lament the last four seasons, rattling off the team’s miserable records. Obviously, the 5-11, 6-10, 7-9 and 5-11 stretch doesn’t sit well with him.
“I would like to be able to stand up in front of the group here and talk about a good season,” Ellis concluded. “I just want to see us turn the corner and be successful. We’ve got to really do that now.”
That’s certainly encouraging to hear. Broncos fans want to listen to the person at the top of the organization talk about winning being important.
They also want to know that the guy making the football decisions understands the situation. On that front, it was mixed news on Tuesday.
“We expect to win,” George Paton said at the press conference. “We have high expectations here.”
That goes beyond the general manager.
“The players want to win, the staff (wants to win), everyone wants to win,” Paton added.
What they consider “winning,” however, is up debate. An organization that once went into the every season with a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality now has much lower expectations.
“We want to be relevant in November and December,” Paton admitted. “We want to make a push for the playoffs.”
That’s a far cry from being a title contender. Playing meaningful games in the final two months of the season is now the hope. It’s what’s considered a success.
After a stretch that’s seen the team go 23-41 in the past four seasons, however, that might be a realistic response. While Broncos Country may not like it, that would be a huge step in the right direction.
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