On Wednesday, a somewhat equivocal Brock-Osweiler-will-be-the-starter-in-Denver-for-the-rest-of-the-year-unless-he-isn’t-type report emerged. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak disputed it.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” Kubiak told reporters. “Listen, like I told you guys before, we’re totally committed to getting our quarterback — getting Peyton healthy and getting him back. Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed with where we’re headed this week. Brock is our starter this week, and we’re all-in getting ready for San Diego. We are week-to-week and doing everything we can to win the next football game. Absolutely nothing has changed.”
It’s the smartest and safest position for the team to take, since it provides the Broncos with maximum flexibility without locking in to any specific position or approach. And it keeps everyone on the same page. And Kubiak seems to believe everyone is one the same page.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I mean I can’t speak for the players. You can ask them the question, but I can tell you right now, we talk every day. They know exactly what we’re doing. Peyton knows exactly that we’re trying to get him as healthy as we possibly can and myself and [trainer Steve Antonopulos] and everybody. We’ve got other players, too, that we’ve got in the same position. Brock knows that he’s the starting quarterback for this team this week.”
The week-to-week approach will work, until it doesn’t. At some point, Peyton Manning will believe he’s healthy enough to play. If the team doesn’t agree and react accordingly, the tensions that everyone is working so hard to keep under wraps — tensions dating back to the decision to hire a head coach who uses a dramatically different offense than the one Manning had been running, the $10 million pay cut the team proposed in the offseason, and the no-trade clause that Manning requested when agreeing to take $4 million less — could quickly surface.
Kubiak seems prepared to deal with that issue if/when it ever becomes an issue. Maybe it never will. But if the team keeps winning each week under its current week-to-week approach with Brock Osweiler playing well, the Broncos may at some point need to hope that Manning hasn’t realized exactly how healthy he has become.