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The Denver Broncos Need a 12-Step Program

After a weekend of binge drinking and complaining about the Denver Broncos, a friend suggested that I look into a 12-Step program to try and solve my problems.  The program talked about being honest with yourself after years of denial, accepting character defects, and that recovery is a process.

I told my friend that solving the Broncos’ issues would take way more than twelve steps, but I would give it a try.

  1. Hire a New General Manager – The first step of any successful program is admitting that you have a problem, and John Elway was a problem. The hiring of George Paton leaves Denver with only 11 more steps to fill before the team finds success.
  2. Get a Franchise Quarterback – Nine starting quarterbacks since Peyton Manning retired and Denver is still stuck with Drew Lock. Trading the farm for Deshaun Watson (HOU) or overpaying for Dak Prescott (DAL) would certainly solve the quarterback issue, but look for Denver to negotiate a trade for Matthew Stafford (DET).  Detroit recently announced that Stafford will not be back and that they are looking to rebuild, so the cost to Denver would be reasonable in draft compensation, and doable with a cap-friendly restructured deal.
  3. Hire a New Head Coach – Vic Fangio is fine, but assuming the Broncos now have a franchise quarterback and a new GM, it’s time to hire a visionary. Giving Fangio an explosive passing offense with speed at all positions, is like giving your 90 year-old grandfather an iPhone 12.
  4. Hire a New Offensive Coordinator – The best way to maximize a quarterback’s talent is to find an OC that can build a system around that quarterback’s strengths, whether it’s Matthew Stafford or anyone else. Between Paton, the new head coach, and Stafford, the three men should be able to find something a little less Pat Shurmer, and a little more Eric Bieniemy.
  5. Hire a New Defensive Coordinator – Pat Mahomes throws no-look passes, Lamar Jackson runs a 4.3 40-yard dash, and Denver still has a defensive coordinator from the Vince Lombardi days. A new GM, a new head coach, and a new organization from top to bottom means a defensive coordinator that shares in that vision.  And don’t worry Ed Donatell.  I’m sure Elway will find you a nice office for you somewhere in the building.
  6. Clear Salary – Even if Stafford restructures his contract, there are still plenty of moves to be made to clear up cap space. Denver has about $19 million of cap to work with while AJ Bouye ($13.375 million) and Jurrell Casey ($11.8 million) are both most certainly gone.  That leaves them enough to re-sign Justin Simmons, but not much more.
  7. Decide on the Future of Von Miller – Assuming that the investigation by the Parker Police

    Department doesn’t force Denver’s hand, Miller’s future could go many directions. If released, the Broncos would clear about $22 million in cap space. If Miller’s contract is renegotiated or extended, Denver could work the numbers to clear cap space while keeping the 31-year-old future Hall-of-Famer.  Playing on the final year of his six-year/$110 million contract, I would roll the dice on Miller and keep him as a bookend with Bradley Chubb.  He’s earned it.

  8. Sign Justin Simmons – Simmons made around $11 million on the franchise tag last season. At 28, it makes complete sense to sign Simmons to a three-year/$40 million contract if the money is available…and he decides to stay.
  9. Low Ball Phillip Lindsay – Everyone loves Phillip Lindsay, but his history of injuries and thecontract of Melvin Gordon make it almost impossible to keep him. Offer Lindsay the lowest two-year contract you can without insulting him and hope for the best.
  10. Draft an Offensive Lineman in the First Round – Assuming you still have a first-round pick and Matthew Stafford behind center, get some protection for your franchise quarterback. OT Penei Sewell out of Oregon would be a great selection if he falls that far.
  11. Find Another Linebacker – Paton was the assistant general manager when the Minnesota Vikings snagged Eric Kendricks in the second round out of UCLA. Another LB would help greatly to shore up the weakness in the middle. Assuming Josey Jewell doesn’t have a growth spurt during the off-season.
  12. Find Another Defensive Back – Unless Kendall Hinton is due to change positions again.

Now it is said that we must have faith and a belief that a higher power will lead us to our goals.  I assume that higher power is George Paton, and our goals, the playoffs.  Sure hope this program works.


Images via mobstub.com, 104.3fan.com, stampedeblue.com, bucsreport.com, 9news.com, bleacherreport.com, yahoosports.com

Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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