Thankfully, the waiting is over.
Broncos training camp is here and I am excited as I have been going into camp as I have been in a long, long time.
There are several reasons.
1) THE BRONCOS HAVE SOLID LEADERSHIP. I think of the changes John Elway has made in his first year-plus on the job and I am astounded at how far the Broncos have come in such a short time. Starting with Elway’s hiring John Fox as the head coach right through his ability to land Peyton Manning, Elway has shown himself to be, at the very least, a more than capable executive. And I still think there are better things to come.
That doesn’t always happen when a Hall of Fame player makes the transition to the front office. Elway said he wanted to run the Broncos and put in the necessary work to do that in a way that would get them back to the top of the NFL. He is off to a great start. If anyone thought that Elway wouldn’t be willing to put in the time and effort his job demands, he has shown those concerns to be completely unfounded.
As an extremely talented player, Elway worked hard to help get his team to the top of the mountain. As an executive, he is taking the same approach. How refreshing.
It is a good foundation for success when things are solid at the top. There is no doubt things are solid at the top for the Broncos and I believe it is a major reason the vibe around the team has improved so much.
2) THE OFFSEASON MOVES WILL IMPROVE THE TEAM. Signing Manning put the Broncos on the front page, as well it should. For them to pull that off was nothing short of sensational and gave them well-deserved respect around the league. It should.
But the Broncos did more than land a high-profile free agent quarterback this offseason. They brought in Jack Del Rio as their new defensive coordinator. They addressed some pressing needs in the defensive secondary. They upgraded the tight end position in a major way.
All of these moves involved the Broncos turning to talented veterans. Having young talent is certainly important in the NFL. At the same time, experience is also critical. There is no substitute for having players who have been through pressure situations in the league. Tracy Porter, Drayton Florence, Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, Mike Adams and others are really good players who still have good years left to play.
I acknowledge there are no guarantees that any given move will work out. Sometimes they don’t. I believe, however, that the Broncos made some moves that, over the course of the season, will prove to be really, really good.
3) THE HAVE “THE GUY” AT QUARTERBACK. I know some people will take this as a shot at Tim Tebow. Even though it isn’t and even though I don’t have to apologize, I will. I’m sorry some people will think that. This isn’t about Tebow at all.
This is all about Peyton Manning being the Broncos’ new quarterback.
Elite NFL teams typically have an elite quarterback. The Broncos now have one for the first time since John Elway wore number seven. Again, I am fully aware that doesn’t guarantee any amount of success. But it sure increases the odds.
Some people wonder if Manning will stay healthy. That doesn’t concern me. Every player in the league is a play away from missing games. I’m not ignorant to Manning’s recent health issues. I’m also not going to assume he’ll continue to have them after so many doctors have cleared him to play.
Peyton Manning is a winner. He is Hall of Fame-caliber talent at the game’s most important position. He is a Denver Bronco.
How in the world could I not be excited about that?
What gets you most excited as training camp gets underway? As always, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to another season with everyone.