The embarrassment of riches just keeps piling up for the Denver Broncos offense. Peyton Manning already had one of the league’s best passing arsenals with two excellent receivers in Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas coupled with a savvy tight-end tandem of Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme. In Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin enjoyed one of the league’s best pairs of protectors at offensive tackle.
To make life significantly more unfair on the rest of the AFC West, the Broncos traded in aging receiver Brandon Stokley for the best slot man in recent memory — or perhaps ever — with Wes Welker leaving Tom Brady to join his archrival. Not only must defenses try to cover that, but also spend time thinking about what on Earth Denver’s doing in the pistol formation, which they are at least pretending to be interested in running for the NFL regular season.
“Don’t confuse the pistol with having to have a mobile quarterback,” Broncos coach John Fox told USA TODAY Sports after Saturday practice. “This is time for us to experiment. Time for us to expand,” added offensive coordinator Adam Gase. “If we see something that we like, we’ll investigate. We’ll try it in practice. … You’ve got to think outside the box sometimes. I’ll give you that.”
Thomas and Decker each topped 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and give Manning big, physical forces on the edge who can win deep balls and beat cornerbacks after the catch. The only missing element was a savvy force in the slot, which Welker brings.