Photo credit: Denver Post / Andy Cross
Author: Jon Kuzma
In many ways John Elway has already solidified himself as a successful general manager. Elway led the Broncos to one Super Bowl victory in 2016 and he signed Peyton Manning who is one the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen. All of those things were great accomplishments for John Elway but they are also in the rearview mirror. Now the Broncos are coming off a 9-7 record and the team failed to reach the playoffs just a year after winning the Super Bowl. That puts Elway in a rare underdog position, which he hasn’t found himself in since taking over as the Broncos lead man back in 2011. One thing that that stands out when you see the moves that John Elway has made is the fact that Elway wants to win in the trenches. The Broncos signed three defensive lineman this off-season ( Billy Winn, Domata Peko, and Zach Kerry) and two offensive lineman (Ron Leary and Menelik Watson). Those upgrades should yield great results on the offensive and defensive fronts which will help Denver dominate the line of scrimmage. If that wasn’t enough to convince you how much the Broncos love lineman, the Broncos also drafted an offensive lineman with their first round pick in the draft (Garrett Bolles). Elway then followed that selection with DeMarcus Walker a defensive end out of Florida State University. Boles and Walker are expected to come in and contribute sooner rather than later. Which let’s you know that John Elway wants to do two things effectively in 2017 and that’s protect the quarterback and rush the passer. All of these adjustments have been made and there are two other major story lines going on within the Broncos organization right now. That’s how Vance Joseph will hold up as the new head coach and who will emerge as the team’s starting quarterback? Those two factors will have a large outcome in the Broncos performance and also keep in mind the AFC West is maybe the toughest division in football right now. The Chargers have gotten much better and the Chiefs, and Raiders are both Super Bowl contenders. So Elway is facing the most pressure he has ever faced in Denver and it will be interesting to see if his transactions will improve on this team’s 9 win record from a year ago?
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