Before you can get to where you want to go, you have to know where you are.
The Broncos are painfully aware of the latter.
“Let’s not lose touch with reality,” head coach John Fox said this week. “This is a 4-12 football team under a new staff. We’re four games into it. We’re 1-3, that’s the reality. That’s where we are.”
John Fox is four games into his tenure as the Broncos’ head coach. Four games. In the NFL world of 100-hour work weeks, that’s hardly enough time to organize one’s office, although I’m assuming Coach Fox was able to get that done at some point during the lockout.
I thought Coach Fox would get a honeymoon, or at least a general good-feeling stage, that would last longer than four games.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying the Broncos are a good team right now. I’m not saying they’re one player away from contending for the playoffs or the Super Bowl.
They aren’t. And no one in the organization is pretending otherwise. Sunday’s game against Green Bay showed how far away they are from those things.
Somehow the Broncos have to reconcile the reality of where they are with the desire to still win as many games as possible this year. It’s too early in the season to play for next year yet the reality of where they stand is also impossible to ignore.
“Everybody wants it now,” Fox said. “That’s not just in football, it’s in everything. I can understand. We want to win now, too. We’re done with the first quarter and we have three-quarters (of the season) to go.”
In the final three-quarters of the season, I want to see how this team develops. I want to see what parts of the foundation they can put in place that will contribute to long-term excellence.
If they win a bunch of games doing that, great. If they don’t, but there are identifiable elements of the foundation of a quality organization and team, that is also great because without the foundation of a strong front office, coaching staff and roster, the Broncos will not get back to where they once were and where the Packers now stand.
For many, that kind of progress this season is just not good enough. Win games or else the season is a waste. I get that line of thinking but I don’t subscribe to it.
For me, wanting to see progress in building the foundation is not an excuse to lose games. It is simply a rational expectation given the reality the Broncos currently face.
“We aspire to be where they (the Packers) are and that means win the Super Bowl and be the defending Super Bowl champs,” Fox said. “It didn’t happen for them overnight and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would think it’s going to happen for us overnight.”
That is abundantly clear. In the final twelve games of the season, I’m ready to see how many steps they take towards one day realizing their aspirations.
Thanks for reading,