Congrats to the Denver Broncos for winning the Super Bowl. No, not the 2013 Super Bowl in which they completely choked in. No I’m talking of course about this one 6 weeks later that they have won. Of course the problem with winning this title is that so many fans believe winning the off season Super Bowl means winning the Super Bowl.
How many years did the Washington Redskins do this? Basically every year since Daniel Snyder has owned the team, and it has NEVER worked. But fans and media would argue that the Broncos are far from what the Redskins ever were. Great point. The Redskins were hoping that signing a bunch of free agents would push them from the bottom to the top. The Broncos are hoping that these signings push them from Super Bowl losers to Super Bowl winners.
But while that is the logic, it is very far from bullet proof. It is pretty sexy for Broncos fans to see a D with Terrance Knighton, a healthy Von Miller, a healthy Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware so I understand their euphoria. But I don’t know why so many intelligent NFL media and fans are anointing them already. How many times we have seen it in the NFL where a team brings in a lot of talent and it just doesn’t gel?
I have to poke holes in this right away and maybe the most obvious hole is that both Ware and Ward have excelled in 3-4 D’s, where John Fox and Jack Del Rio run a 4-3. Ware played in a 4-3 last season making the move from outside linebacker to defensive end….and had the worst season of his career. Some of that without a doubt is injuries, but some of that is getting used to the scheme.
Another hole is who knows which Aqib Talib will show up in Denver? He was great in New England, and stayed out of trouble. But the Broncos organization doesn’t have the track record that the Pats have of taking problem childs in and getting them to clean up their act. Will he revert back to his undisciplined ways that we seen in Tampa? I don’t know the answer, but it is a pretty vital question.
And I have to say, out of these moves I’m not sure I get why they went out and got Emmanuel Sanders. He fits, no doubt. And he’ll put up great numbers in that offense with some guy named Peyton throwing him the ball. And he’s a change in speed from Eric Decker, so I’m guessing that will make them tougher to game plan for…if that is possible. If he plays 15 games, just 15 so he can have a slight injury, he’ll have a 1,000 yard season. So I completely understand all of that, but the problem I have with it is…so would most guys playing with Manning, playing opposite Demaryius Thomas, with Wes Welker in the slot and Julius Thomas at tight end. I just don’t understand why not save some cap space, or use that space on perhaps a guy like Ansante Samuel? You can’t have too much depth at corner in this era of pass first, second, third, fourth, fifth.
Then of course you have Von Miller who had a roller coaster season to say the least. Of course he started the season suspended for 6 games for violating the NFL’s drug policy. It originally was a 4 game suspension but was increased to 6 after it was discovered that he tried to cheat the system by working with a specimen collector who accepted a fake sample. So after that mess was out of the way he played a few games, played ok, and then broke his ankle in week 15 and was out for the playoffs. Now some people don’t believe Miller was busted for a performance enhancing drug (he had tested positive in 2011 for marijuana), but he is now one failed test away from a year long suspension. And then of course who knows how he will come back off the ankle injury.
Don’t get me wrong in all of this. I flat out LOVE what the Broncos are doing. John Elway sees that this group has a small window to win a championship and so he is going all in now. And the biggest addition this team will see next season will be left tackle Ryan Clady who missed most of last season with a torn ACL. Clady is an elite LT. And they can still fill some holes in the draft. I know some Broncos fans are clamouring for an inside linebacker with the 31st pick. With how aggressive Elway has been it wouldn’t shock me if he were to trade up into the 15-20 range of this draft to snag Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley should he fall to that point in the draft. He is a versatile player and would give defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio even more options in his schemes. Another kid like this who I know some Broncos fans love is Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier whom they likely wouldn’t have to trade up to land.
But can we just cool it on handing these guys the Super Bowl? You know the number 1 reason the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year? They stayed healthy. And every year health is the most overlooked stat by NFL fans and media. You need to stay healthy to have success and it is a lot more likely an older team like the Broncos have injury problems. The Seahawks were 4th youngest team ever to win the Super Bowl, and they stayed healthy….no coincidence. The Broncos should be one of the favorites without a doubt, but flashy names don’t equal flashy rings.
Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups