The Denver Broncos are aware of their situation. They are one of a handful of NFL teams, which have a small window in which to win.
It would be safe to assume that the Broncos have a window over the next two years in which to win another NFL Championship.
After that time who knows if Peyton Manning will still be around, or if the mega receiving duo of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker — who both will have expiring contracts in that time — will still be in Colorado.
The Broncos brass is fully aware that these next two seasons represent their best chance to win.
So what about an insurance policy for Manning? I mean, what if something were to happen to Manning and his surgically repaired neck?
The Broncos are preparing for such a negative scenario, and are being realists about the situation.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler whom the Broncos drafted last year in order to become the heir to Manning has been getting a large number of repetitions in training camp and saw extensive playing time in Denver’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Broncos know they are a deep football team and feel they can still be competitive if the unthinkable happened and Manning went down, although they know their best chances lie with Manning under center.
But what if they were forced to play Osweiler?
Denver is preparing the second-year pivot as best they can, just in case. The last thing the Broncos want is to be heading into the postseason, and have Manning go down, similar to what happened to the Houston Texans a couple seasons back.
Starter Matt Schaub went down and rookie T.J. Yates came in and actually led Houston to a playoff victory of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Broncos want Osweiler to be ready in case a similar scenario arises. Zac Dysert and Ryan Katz are also in camp fighting for the third quarterback spot, but have been forced to watch most of the time as Osweiler gets the reps.
Dysert saw limited action in San Francisco while Katz saw none.
“Right now our plan is to keep bringing Brock along,” Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said. “And then obviously Zac is the third right now. If we can get Ryan in there, we will, but nothing is guaranteed. Zac, we’d like to see him work a little more. But we can’t take anything away from Brock because he needs as many reps as possible.”
Sounds like a plan.