Where do we begin? The Denver Broncos have had a tumultuous offseason, to say the least. First it was the fax machine debacle that saw Elvis Dumervil leave for the Baltimore Ravens. Then the drunk round table started with executives Matt Russell and Tom Heckert arrested for D.U.I.
Training camp started, and it couldn’t come soon enough for the franchise who just wanted to concentrate on football.
Even more bad luck, injuries to a bevy of players have thinned out the Broncos’ depth chart to a worrisome point.
And of course there is Von Miller. Miller is arguably the Broncos’ most important player not named Peyton Manning. Miller, as we know, has been suspended for the first six games of the season for violating the leagues substance abuse policy.
These things have had a major effect on the Broncos, and what looked like a promising season ahead has been replaced with questions, and plenty of them.
How will the Broncos generate a pass rush? Will they be able to protect Manning? Is the secondary, once considered the deepest area of the team, now in trouble with Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hobbling?
Did the suspensions of Russell and Heckert have a negative affect on football operations?
There is a black cloud hovering over Dove Valley (Broncos’ training camp home) this summer, one that looks like it’s filled with a big bad storm.
Can it be that there is a rainbow at the end? Can it be that these distractions can actually propel the Broncos to the Promise land?
One only has to look at the past three Super Bowl Champions to realize it doesn’t matter what happens in the summer, or in September, October, November and December either. To a degree the regular season is important, but what really matters is what happens come January.
How is this relevant to the 2013 Broncos?
Consider the problems each team had before winning the prize.
Last years’ Ravens went into a swoon, losing four out of their final five games, and had to replace offensive coordinator Cam Cameron with Jim Caldwell along the way. So not only were the Ravens losing, they had to adjust their offensive philosophy. Ray Lewis‘ impending retirement brought the team together at just the right time, and the rest is history.
The 2011 Giants were in a similar situation, losing four out of five in November and December. There were rumblings that some of the players wanted head coach Tom Coughlin to be fired. Alas, the team put together a run for the ages, with two road playoff wins (preceded with a home win over the Atlanta Falcons) before beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The 2010 Packers problems were not as severe as the Giants or Ravens, but they did suffer a slide late in the year which saw them lose three out of four games.
As it relates to the Broncos, it doesnt matter what happens in the summer. Miller will be back. Bailey and other injured players will be back. The front office is already back, and once the Broncos start to play football, the offseason from hell will be long forgotten.
Denver has too much leadership with Manning and coach John Fox to let these distractions dictate their season. Overcoming things like this tend to bring a team together, and this can be exactly what the Broncos need moving forward.
All is not lost for the Broncos.
It’s not where we begin, but where we end.