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John Elway’s Ability to Build a Super Bowl Contender has Diminished

At the start of the decade, the Denver Broncos were a football team that was always in the conversation of contending for a Super Bowl title. Under the leadership of John Elway, the team made trips to the postseason for five consecutive seasons, dating back to 2011.

During those years, the club endured highs and lows in the playoffs, but would eventually capture a Super Bowl title in 2015. Now that the decade is coming to a close, the Broncos are becoming one of the most poorly ran teams in the National Football League.

They have not advanced to the playoffs since 2015 and no longer have consistent performances at the quarterback position since Peyton Manning decided to retire after the conclusion of Super Bowl 50. The team’s sudden failures fall right on the shoulders of team president and Hall of Famer John Elway.

The two time Super Bowl winner assumed the position of general manager and president of football operations back in January of 2011. Under his watch in Denver, the team made two trips to the Super Bowl which includes a championship run in 2015.

But as of lately, John Elway has been unable to recapture the magic that made him one of the best team executives in the National Football League. On the surface, it looks like he put too much stock into a defense that had a historic run during the 2015 season. You do not see too many teams that can sustain the success of a great defense and mediocre quarterback performance on a consistent basis.

Franchises such as the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens are the outliers. However, both teams are now transitioning over to ball clubs that are being built around a solid franchise quarterback. Elway has missed opportunities to move up and draft quarterbacks such as Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, or Sam Darnold.

Instead, they have settled for subpar QB’s under center such as Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, and now Joe Flacco. During training camp, Sports Talk 365¬†believed that Flacco was surrounded by a supporting cast that was capable of shaking things up in the AFC West. As for right now, the team had failed to live up to expectations.

Their current record is 0-4 which places them dead last in the division. After their most recent loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, the talks of the team getting rid of John Elway and head coach Vic Fangio are starting to heat up. Firing Coach Fangio in his first season in Denver would be unfair, but John Elway’s termination would be justifiable.

If the team had hired a head coach with an offensive pedigree, it may have elevated the Broncos in 2019. However, maybe John Elway and Vic Fangio should have taken a page out of the book of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. Hire a young offensive mind to take total control of the offense while Fangio oversees the decisions made on the field.

Even though it’s the collegiate level, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has handed the reigns on offense over to former New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady. So far, the transition has paid enormous dividends for the Tigers as they are off to their best start when it comes to the production on offense.

I believe that it is a strategy that John Elway should seriously consider going forward. The Denver Broncos are 0-4 right now, and the playoff chances are slim to none. They still have a shot at finishing the season with a 500 record. But if no changes are made to how their football team is constructed, they will be back to drawing board once again. Be prepared for the first scapegoat firing of the 2019 season with this ball club.

Photo Courtesy of the Denver Post.

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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