With free agency and the draft now over, we get to sort through the pots and pans of the offseason. Let the organized team activities (OTAs) begin.
OTAs typically lack excitement and it is hard to take anything of substance from them. But they are an important part of the preparation process for the season. For a Broncos team that has a number of new faces, it is a key time.
So where do the Broncos stand? I think they stand in a pretty good place. Why? Several reasons.
1 – THEY HAVE SOLIDIFIED THE QUARTERBACK POSITION. This is an absolute no-brainer to me but I still have to include it. They signed a sure-fire future Hall of Fame player and, in the process, upgraded the position in a major way. I believe Peyton Manning will be healthy enough to be an incredible addition.
2 – THE BRONCOS MADE MOVES TO SOLIDIFY THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD.
The Broncos signed veterans Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence. They drafted Omar Bolden. They have Cassius Vaughn and Syd’Quan Thompson coming back from injury. Chris Harris, Tony Carter, Coryell Judie, Ramzee Robinson, and Joshua Moore are also on the roster. To top it off, Champ Bailey is still going strong.
While I have no idea how many cornerbacks will make the 53-man roster for the regular season opener, Elway gave a not-so-subtle hint at the importance of the cornerback position before the draft when he said the Broncos struggled last year when teams spread them out.
They seem determined to have plenty of options at that position. I give them a big-time thumbs up for that.
At safety, the Broncos added a key player when they signed free agent Mike Adams. He is talented, experienced and versatile. Those are all really good qualities to have.
3 – THE BRONCOS ADDED KEY PLAYERS IN OTHER KEY SPOTS. Defensive lineman Justin Bannan is one example. Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are other examples. Among the young players, they used some draft picks to attempt to shore up some needs with quality players. Defensive lineman Derek Wolfe fits into this category. So does running back Ronnie Hillman.
I like the Broncos’ mix of veterans and youth. Overall, I like their personnel. No doubt they all have to get it done on the field. But I feel good about the moves they made and how those moves could not only contribute to a better season in 2012 than they had in 2011, but also how those moves could help set them up for long-term success.
4 – THE ELWAY FACTOR IS ESTABLISHED.
I love the fact that Elway is honest and realistic in assessing where the team stands or where a given player stands. At the same time, he remains upbeat and does not slip into degrading players.
Elway and his front office staff have tried to do everything in their power to improve the talent on the roster. They have made it a priority to do more than give lip service to the importance of character. They have seemingly put a premium on how players perform in games and not just how well they work out.
In short, I love Elway’s approach. Over time, I believe it will pay huge dividends.
In the NFL, one never knows how things will turn out in any given year. There is no doubt, however, that I like the Broncos’ starting point for 2012 much more compared to where they were at this time a year ago.
Quite honestly, I have never been a big fan of covering OTAs. This year, I am really looking forward to watching the Broncos start to come together.
Outside of signing Peyton Manning, what move do you like the most this offseason?
Thanks for reading and sharing.