Denver Broncos: 3 Observations for the New Year

Denver Broncos (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Broncos are rebuilding.

Pictured above, Case Keenum fist-bumping Vance Joseph out-the-door.  The biggest mistake of the Joseph era, in our opinion was the decimation to the Denver Broncos culture.  This is a team with a stellar reputation, an unassailable win-loss record over the last 35 years and a healthy trophy case.  They’ve been to eight Super Bowls, winning three. The Broncos are an elite NFL franchise.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos /

Denver Broncos

Or, they were.  Things have gotten to a place many longtime Broncos supporters aren’t comfortable residing in.  They aren’t quick-fix bad, they are long-term bad and it starts at the quarterback position.  Actually, it starts with the ownership dispute and resonates all the way throughout the franchise but for the on-field product, quarterback is the issue.

We profiled Case Keenum before the season and touted him as a talented player that limits mistakes but is more than a game-manager.  He had improved each season in the NFL until this one.  We thought we were getting an above-average quarterback on an upswing in his career. What we got was indecisive play, nervous throws, too many interceptions, too many three-and-outs.

To be fair, the offensive line never shook the injury bug, receivers were shaky, the top two (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) were either traded or hurt.  Denver entered the season with Royce Freeman starting at running back but he gave way to Lindsay by mid-season.  That was a significant improvement to production but a dropoff in pass-protection.  Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave could never seem to get the offense out of neutral, so there are mitigating factors to Keenum’s play.

Still, entering 2019 with Case still the signal-caller would have to be seen as a failure.  Our friends at Predominantly Orange advocated recently for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and we couldn’t agree more.  Sell the farm for the kid from Jersey.  With Patrick Mahomes in our division, the Broncos can’t afford to be this deficient at QB and it’s time to stop nibbling around the edges, trying to find that diamond-in-the-rough and pick an actual diamond.

It all has to start at quarterback and drafting, developing and playing a rookie in 2019 is an admission that the Broncos are rebuilding.  They have to get there at some point and better to just rip that band-aid off and shoot for glory rather than the slow-death dance that the Broncos are currently engaged in.