The John Fox era will begin tonight against the Oakland Raiders on MNF in which Fox will try to improve a Broncos team that had many issues. The Josh McDaniels way (similar to the Bill Belichick method) back fired tremendously in which many players were cut or traded (see Brandon Marshall) and it also included a “Spygate II.” So McDaniels is out and the proven Fox is in. Fox’s regime didn’t start off the way he liked with rumors of QB Kyle Orton on the trading block and it looked like Tim Tebow was going to be handed the team. Then Tebow was dropped down to backup then third string and the team was in the hand of Orton.
Offensively, the Broncos are not half bad. They have the makings to be a very productive offense. Kyle Orton, who can’t get respect anywhere he goes, is an above average underrated quarterback. Orton will be able to throw to Brandon Lloyd and not much else after Demaryius Thomas (billed as Brandon Marshall’s replacement) looks like he will be out for a large portion of the season. But the heart of this offense should and will be the run game. Knowshon Moreno is back and he needs to stay healthy if the Broncos want to have any chance of being successful. To ensure healthy, the Broncos signed Willis McGahee for short yardage and goal line attempts. The Broncos will only go as far as Moreno and McGahee.
Defensively, it was no secret that last season the Broncos were bad (worse in the NFL in 10’). So the Broncos made sure they addressed this issue in the offseason. The most important move they made was actually one they didn’t need to make at all. 2011 will mark the return of Elvis Dumervil, who was out for the whole 2010 year with a torn pectoral muscle. Add free agent signings Ty Warren, and former 8th overall pick DE Derrick Harvey. In the draft, Denver selected LB Von Miller 2nd overall and S Rahim Moore (2nd round, 45th overall). The additions to go along with veteran CB Champ Bailey will improve this defense.
X-Factor: John Fox – This is my first non-player x-factor. Fox is known for his defense and he must improve this D if they want to be successful. April’s draft was a good start with Von Miller, as he looks like an absolute beast. On offense, Fox must not fall for the Tim Tebow pressure. Tebow should not step on the field all that much. If he has a few running packages, okay, I can live with that. But Kyle Orton is this teams QB and they must stick with him and show confidence in him.
How They’ll Finish: This could be another long football season for the Broncos but the good news is that they can be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes (Stanford connection with John Elway). I see them finishing 4-12.