MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 02: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball during an NFL preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 2 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
Is there a more topsy-turvy franchise in the NFL today than the Denver Broncos?
It's as if the spirit of Al Davis desired thinner air to stay alive. For a writer, the Broncos present a dream franchise given the myriad of things to write about. If you're a fan... eh, not so much.
Consider the Broncos incredible offensive power of recent years. Brandon Marshall was perhaps the most promising wide receiver in the NFL. Jay Cutler had an arm teams were scrambling for once he became available. Tony Scheffler was a great young tight end. The offensive line executed so well, anchored by the incredible Ryan Clady at left tackle, that you could stick [insert name here] at running back and they'd find 1,000 yards before too long. When the team added New England's offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, the thought was that the sky was the limit for this unit.
But every single one of those guys (save Clady) was run out of town.
The primary reason? Drama.
The Pats are a "no drama allowed" club with 53 members and the Broncos would never become New England West. At the same time, it seems McDaniels has an ego that needed to outshine both Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan. To do that, he needed his players installed in his system -- therefore, the need to flush out all of Shanahan's guys.
So it's interesting then that McDaniels drafted his own drama with the Tim Tebow pick. If he cried foul over the number of reporters and questions asking about a specific player (i.e. Marshall) before, then why grab the quarterback? It's something I don't think I'll ever understand, even if Tebow ends up a fine NFL quarterback.
Also, don't forget the absolute collapse of the Broncos. Everything was fine in the early going as the Broncos won their first six games of the season, but then the team lost eight of its last ten, including an absolute drubbing on their home turf from the Chiefs. The Broncos became just the seventh team in the last 40 years to miss the playoffs after a 6–0 start. So the early injuries to Ryan Clady's knee (should be ready for season-opener) and Elvis Dumervil (maybe back in December) set both sides back by hitting the best players on either side. Knowshon Moreno has missed all of training camp and the preseason and he wore down enough last season by the end. First round choices of Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow both have question marks surrounding and the same can be said of last season's choice of Robert Ayers.
All in all, the Broncos remain a mystery from the coaching staff to the top draft choices. Some top-notch players remain, especially with a defensive backfield that boasts Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins, but the Chiefs know best that having a talented secondary doesn't guarantee a winning season. The Broncos have to hope the question marks become sure things and that the drama settles enough to play quality football. For now, it seems the forecast is cloudy.