I might as well start the season with a confession.
There was a time about a month ago, right before the preseason opener against Dallas, that I was afraid that the Broncos just might have a dismal season.
It’s amazing what a little time can do.
After what the Broncos have shown this preseason, I’m feeling a whole lot better about the prospects they will have at least a solid season.
Bring on the games. I’m ready to see where the Broncos stand.
Among those who cover the NFL nationally, the expectations for the Broncos seem to be overwhelmingly underwhelming. I get that. Given how the Broncos performed last year and the needs they still have on the roster, I wouldn’t predict a complete turnaround in one season. Sure, anything can happen in today’s NFL but I would have to see that to believe it.
On the other hand, I will be more than disappointed if the Broncos don’t show marked improvement in 2011. Here are several reasons why.
1 – AN IMPROVED OFFENSIVE LINE. The guys up front can do so much to influence a game. Ryan Clady is healthy. Chris Kuper is really good. J.D. Walton and Zane Beadles have a full year of experience and seem to be getting better. Orlando Franklin is a rookie but wow, the guy sure looks like he’s legit. Four of these five starters have played a lot of football together.
A better offensive line should mean a better running game. That should mean the Broncos do a better job of controlling the clock and thus, do a better job keeping the opposing offense on the sideline. Plus, a better offensive line should mean more success in third-and-short as well as red zone situations, not to mention making play-action even more effective.
2 – A BETTER DEFENSE. We all know it’s tough for the Broncos’ defense to be any worse than it has been the last couple of years. But that is the past. The Broncos, while still having plenty of pieces to add to the D, are off to a good start in turning the defense around, thanks mainly to getting Elvis Dumervil healthy and drafting Von Miller.
There is just no substitute for a good pass rush and the Broncos should be really good in that department.
Yes, I’m concerned about the interior of the defensive line and the rush defense. Like I said, the defense still has issues, but not as many as before.
3 – THE JOHN FOX FACTOR. I don’t mean to keep bringing up how much I like the Broncos’ new coach but I can’t get away from it. The guy is an absolute pro and the players, to this point, seem to have bought in. That means a lot.
Coach Fox seems to have created an atmosphere the players like being in. Of course, that will be tested if the Broncos struggle out of the gate.
But I have faith in his ability to keep this team united, grounded and headed in the right direction regardless of circumstance.
It’s time to play games that count. And I am really looking forward to seeing how the Broncos stack up.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming season? Thanks for reading and enjoy the opening weekend.