Broncos roster needs plenty of work


The Broncos improved from a four win team in 2010 to a .500 team in 2011, but their 1-4 finish to the season shows they have a lot of work to do.

Denver showed they can win close games, but they were also blown out five times during the year, including four times after Tim Tebow become the quarterback.

Tebow will get all the attention this offseason, but he’ll enter next training camp as the team’s starting quarterback. The Broncos need Tebow to improve, but they also have questions throughout the roster.

Running back

Willis McGahee will be back, but Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes the Broncos don’t want to rely on him to carry such a big load next year. Knowshon Moreno isn’t guaranteed to make the team.

Defensive tackle

The team is weak at the position and their two starters (Brodrick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas) are both free agents. Bunkley is going to make good money in free agency.


Brian Dawkins looks likely to retire. The team’s young safeties were victimized late in the year and the team lacks depth at cornerback. This may be the number one priority.

Free agents

Bunkley, receiver Eddie Royal and kicker Matt Prater are all free agents. The team has Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas out wide, so Royal may leave town. The team also has three free agents at linebacker including starter Joe Mays. There is a lack of depth throughout the defense.


Don’t freak out Tebowmaniacs, but the Broncos are going to add quarterbacks. Maybe two of them if Brady Quinn leaves town. They may get a veteran backup for Tebow and possibly a mid-round draft pick.  You know, just in case.

58 responses to “Broncos roster needs plenty of work

  1. Nothing against Tebow, who I’m sure plays his heart out. But that gimmick offense isn’t the long term solution. They surprised some people this year … and combined it with an amazing number of lucky breaks … to snatch a measure of success. However that’s nothing you can depend on. Remember Miami and the Wildcat? How’s that working out for them?

  2. Tebow should be the 2012 starter. The Broncos went 8-6 this year with him under center and he showed improvement.

    You’ve got to look at 2011 as an entire body of work and the Broncos won 4 more games (in 2011) than they did all 2010 and only their second playoff game since Elway retired.

    They have some holes on both sides of the ball and it’s now clear the defense wasn’t the main reason for their success (4, 40 point games). It will take another solid offseason and Denver will be right back in the mix for the playoffs.

  3. Also worth mentioning the Broncos were a good deal under the cap this year. I look for a lot of resignings, a draft targeting DBs, DTs, a RB and a running/option style QB. FA will probably focus mostly on those positions as well.

  4. No need to add a Wide reciever. Thomas and Decker would be all pro if they had an accurate QB. Why give Tebow another good target that he’ll miss?

  5. Objectivenflfan,

    The defense really sucked toward the end of the year, hence the 1-4 finish.

    The win streak the team had going where tebow would score about 13 points a game, yeah, the defense was awesome during that stretch.

    Not a big shock to say when youre defense doesnt hold up, you dont really expect to win, but with tebow, you know you cant win…and thats not right. Look at rodgers and brady. AWFUL defenses, stellar qb’s = team still wins.

  6. Tebow is a 1st class person but he is not a NFL caliber QB. he reminds me of Paul Hornung who had been a QB in college but who was switched to HB by Vince Lombardi and was very effective at that position, and the fact that he was always liable to throw an option pass made him that much more dangerous.

  7. hopefully they will keep tebow as their starter next year so the tebowmaniacs and god squad people will see what happens when a team plays tebow the second time.. chiefs.. pats.. big difference.. he would be great to have on your team around the goal line or for short yardage packages but not as a starting qb in this league. the clock has officially struck midnight on Tebow Time.

  8. I think Elway is smart enough to realize that he needs to do more than bring in a veteran backup QB and a mid-round draft pick. Tebow is awful- an NFL team can’t waste their time on a guy who is still throwing wounded ducks at this level. That gimmick offense was figured out towards the end of the season and as you saw and when the defense couldn’t hold teams to one or two scores, the Broncos didn’t win. Tebow wasn’t going to bring them back from large deficits by shot- putting wobbly 10 yd passes to his recievers.

  9. Broncos need some playmakers on offense. They need speed at the WR position and a TE. Thomas has to improve on all of his drops from this year. He makes some great catches, but he drops way too many passes. I agree they need to address the RB position. I don’t think Moreno should come back….he’s been a big disappointment. On defense, they need to focus on secondary and hopefully keep one of the interior lineman in free agency. I don’t know what he’ll want, but I’d love for them to keep Prater. He was vital to them this year. This team has a lot of needs and unfortunately, it’s not going to be all fixed in one off season. If Tebow gets some weapons, I think his performance will improve dramatically with a whole off-season of work.

  10. 2 words: offensive line.

    I’ll admit Tebow needs work with a QB coach, but a little protection goes a long way, especially with his style of play. He’s great at breaking the pressure, but even that talent only goes so far…

  11. Long time Bronco fan here. Yes, they played better when Tebow took over, but I believe that he is clearly not the answer at quarterback for them. There were too many times when he looked completely lost out there. Too many times when his passes weren’t anywhere close to his intended receivers.

    Great guy, but not a viable option at the most important position on the field. If his primary receiver is covered his second option is to panic and get out of the pocket. It was shown this year that it can work for a while, but long term, it will be an exercise in futility.
    We will continue to flounder until we get a real quarterback. The NE game was NOT an aberration.

    Yes, he had a couple of good games… but a broken clock is right twice a day, every day.

  12. I haven’t watched First Take on ESPN in a long time, but my goodness, could Skip Bayless just say that he is in love with Tim Tebow already. I thought Joe Buck had a bad man crush, but I think Skip takes the cake on that one.

    And of all the players to have a love affair with, it makes so much sense that such a horrendous commentator would love such a horrendous QB.

  13. .

    “Moreno isn’t guaranteed to make the team ”

    What happened to this guy ? When the Broncos drafted him, I thought they made an astute choice ….the return of the Terrell Davis style attack. With Tebow and Thomas, it would have made Denver much tougher to defend.


  14. first off Denver needs to keep Tim Tebow as the starter, but i do think they need a vet to backup and a rookie backup to be the 3rd string. i would like to see them draft Kellen Moore, Russell Wilson or Case Keenum and the vet i think should be Jake Delhomme, BUT this team really needs playmakers at WR. i do think they should use a high pick on WR and if a good WR isnt on the board, go defense, in round 2, i think they should get LaMichael James.

  15. “He showed improvement”???

    So that one playoff game that he completed 10 passes for 300 yards, the previous 3 games where he sucked, and the last playoff game where he sucked says “improvement” to you?

    Ya, that’s improvement. They say he throws hundreds of balls every day. All he’s doing is groving the wrong throwing motion into his body. After 14 weeks as the starter he still can’t find open receivers. He can’t check down. His brain can’t take the position needs. Rudy=Tebow

    If he’s your QB after week 6 next year, you’re screwed. KC and Oakland were banged up all year, SD just can’t get out of their own way. Denver was lucky to win 8 games but 11-12 will win the west next year.

  16. What a mess in Donkey Land.

    Tebow’s arm is a joke, but that lucky streak was the best thing that’s happened to the Donkeys since Elway left.

    The best decision for the team would be to get a real QB in and move Tebow to another position, or trade him to the Jags.

    They listened to the fans and for that they’ll pay for a hell of a long time.

  17. QB, QB, QB. Teblow fans and most importantly Denver fan have got to realize this gimmick is not a long term answer. Despite it’s failings, it was this defense NOT Teblow that got this team to the playoffs. Denver needs a QB.

  18. The Broncos are in big trouble.

    Since the total mediocrity posted by Tebow apparently counts as “success” for Denver fans, the organization is forced to try to make it work with him.

    Which means they need to tailor their offensive schemes, draft decisions, and free agency decisions around the type of offense Tebow can run.

    QBs who complete less than 50% of their throws don’t win championships in this league. And you can’t tell me he is going to miraculously start completing 60-65% of throws just because he had a full training camp.

    Doesn’t ANYONE remember the months and months Tebow spent before the draft working on his passing with the best QB coaches money could buy? They completely changed his throwing motion and then he completely changed it back as soon as got to training camp.

    Now they are stuck with him and they deserve it. They foolishly succumbed to fan pressure when they knew they didn’t want him. In the words of the immortal Buddy Ryan, if you start listening to the fans soon enough you’ll be sitting with them.

    8-8 isn’t going to win too many division championships.

    I know I’ll get tons of thumbs down for this post, but that’s OK. I know the truth hurts.

    When you are watching Tebow slinging the ball over his reciever’s heads next season, Broncos fans, picture this scenario:

    Fox never succumbs to fan pressure, Tebow never gets in, the Broncos go 4-12 and get a high draft pick, and your watching Matt Flynn throw strikes to Justin Blackmon instead.

    Coulda happened, Bronco Fan, coulda happened.

  19. Tebow is garbage, elway go get you a QB. He got slot of credit for what the defense was doing during there win streak. Any other QB that would have put up his number would have got bench.

  20. The number one problem holding the team back is Tebow….

    Reality is, Tebow:
    – is dead last among qualified starting QB’s in the league at yards per game at 123.5…. this is a stat worth getting cut for just on it’s own
    – he’s also dead last in completion % at 46.5%… also cuttable for this.
    – is 28th in rating at 72.9… this also warrants getting fired
    – is averaging less than 1 TD passing per game… this is the QB basic function and as the playoffs proved, you have to be able to put up passing TDs to win
    – he’s 86th out of 96 QB’s in sack yards lost without even playing the full season

    He should be canned… he is literally the worst starting QB in the league … and that is saying something…

    if it wasn’t for the hype, everyone would be screaming “how fast is Elway gonna get a real QB?”….

  21. John Fox did a great job this year. Bottom line is Denver with a first place schedule, teams going to school on Tebow, and the luck running out (Kicker hitting 60 yard bomb, Marion Barber falling out of bounds etc)- Denver will be about 5-11 next season.

    San Diego lives under a cloud with Norv.

    AFC West will come down to the Raiders and Chiefs.

  22. well denver looks like you are about to find out the hard way that your defense carried you and not tebow..since your d will most likely be no were as good as it was these past 2 months after you guys start 0-6 next year you will all try to run timmy out of town..then you will all turn around and blame elway for not gettin a qb…hahahha..see what happense when you fall for gimmick and instead of talent..

  23. After the wins Timmy was all about posing for the cameras on bended knee or pointing skyward in gratitude. Where was that after the loss in NE? I saw an angry man throwing his arms around in rage who left the field before the on-field interview with Gronkowski was even finished (of course the cameras had to cut to him going up the tunnel during the interview). Only grateful to the almighty if he wins?

  24. If they are going to continue with Tebow as their QB they better ignore offense and stack their defense they are going to need it with all the 3 and outs he will produce.

  25. If EFX brings in camp competition at QB and seriously have an open camp then Broncos will have a new starter.
    #1 priority is to make Dennis Allen DC/Asst HC because he is our HC after next year.
    #2 is to resign Bunkley and Prater
    #3 is to install an NFL offense
    #4 draft/FA for the DB
    #5 draft/FA for the DL
    Nate Irving and Julius Thomas to show-up
    Chris Kuper to come back healthy

  26. The Denver D is close to being pretty good w/ Fox. Need to add a DE and some more CBs. Quinton Carter had a good rookie year and he looks like a future star. Resigning Bunkley should be a priority.

  27. @r8rsfan…you saw what you wanted to see. I don’t believe in God, yet I saw Tebow the same after losses as after win. Plus, you can only see what the cameras allow you to see. Obviously, you didn’t watch thet post-game interviews with Tebow. Why are you filled with so much hate anyway…I mean your a Raiders fan, yet you took time out of your dayto read an article about the Broncos and to write disparaging marks about Tebow? I guess that loss to Denver still hurts, huh?

  28. I would suck to be Elway. He is now in a position where he almost has to play a quarterback who can’t play and a college system which does not work in the NFL. The fact that New England could stop the Denver offense cold should be proof positive the read-option offense won’t work.

    If Elway has any stones, he should go after Manning (if healthy) or Luck. The longer Denver goes with Tebow, the farther away from a championship run they will get.

  29. Denver will definitely need a qb. Next year everyone will have their scheme figured out and Tebow will be rendered ineffective.

  30. Yes!! I love that we are talking personnel already.
    We need a CB, MLB, DT, FS, TE, Center, WR….

    Shoot that’s a lot of needs.
    Well in all serioiusness, I don’t think the Offensive Coordinators need to be in the draft room for the first 4 rounds.

    Hopefully we can find some good Free Agency talent though too. Build the Defense!!

  31. People who keep saying “look at the Wildcat, that died!” forget that Ronnie Brown wasn’t posting better passing numbers than Peyton Manning in the SEC (like Tebow did…look it up). Teebs may never be better than a 55% passer, but he’s always a threat for 500+ rushing yards, so that evens out. & he was a 66% passer in college against major league athletes. There is a chance he’s good for the long term…

  32. A lot of comments about how Denver needs play- makers…..Royal and Decker were fantastic when Cutler was throwing to them…face the facts if Denver wants to move forward with the worst qb statisticly in the NFL then go for it. 46% passing will not hold up in the long run….to much luck associated with the Tebow magic…good kid i like him a lot but clearly not the long term answer.

  33. Overlooked when dissecting the Broncos team is that the team was 4-12 for a reason last year.

    Going into this year, people were split on if Von Miller was the right pick with such a gaping hole up the middle. Marcel Dareus was there for the taking but Denver chose free agency pick-up Ty Warren. Solid choice, but he didn’t make it out of camp with triceps injury.

    John Elway said the defense was priority #1 when he took over last January. He and Fox will do this the right way and build the D first through the draft and free agency.

    Any objective observer of the Broncos last games could see the D couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Not excusing the offense by any means, but gotta start somewhere.

  34. gln9213 says: Jan 16, 2012 1:10 PM

    A lot of comments about how Denver needs play- makers…..Royal and Decker were fantastic when Cutler was throwing to them…

    Pretty sure this is a total FAIL post… Decker came in last year if I’m not mistaken… at the same time Cutler started slinging passes to Chicago Bears.

  35. Are these guys reporting that Peyton Hillis, whoops, Tim Tebow, will be the starting qb next year or are they just rooting for it?

  36. @gln9213…

    last 4 games for Packers 2-2 with a loss to the Chiefs. Rodgers throws under 50% against KC.

    fine line in this league between “the best team with the best QB” and everyone else.

    team game, Denver will get better, with Tebow.

    luck, right.

  37. Im a Bronco fan and the post is prettys pot on. I disagree with the DB situatino though. Champ is old, but Chris Harris is a good young corner. Rahim Moore will be a lights out saftery adn Carter lllooked good back there too.Its a young D and as we ahve seen, Defenses can go from worst to first pretty quickly (See Houston Texans). Tebow well no one knows what will happen. Just like every year, the AFC West will be up for grabs and the team the sucks the least will get it.

  38. Im a Bronco fan and the post is prettys spot on. I disagree with the DB situatino though. Champ is old, but Chris Harris is a good young corner. Rahim Moore will be a lights out saftery adn Carter lllooked good back there too.Its a young D and as we ahve seen, Defenses can go from worst to first pretty quickly (See Houston Texans). Tebow well no one knows what will happen. Just like every year, the AFC West will be up for grabs and the team the sucks the least will get it.

  39. Everyone talking about “playmaker TE’s and WR’s” coming to Denver needs to step back and think for a second. Do you really think any good to great WR or TE is going to come to a team that only passes the ball 15 times a game, and has a QB who can only complete 5 of those passes?

  40. A lot of people posting on here seem to have little perspective. The offense that started the Patriots game included the #2 QB (Orton was #1) the #3 and 4 WR (Lloyd and Decker were the original starters), a new guard, and more. The D had similar losses. The Broncos showed grit and talent and a full offseason which doesn’t feature McDaniels is a step in the right direction. This isn’t just about Tebow. It’s a rebuilding project that show positive signs ahead of schedule. I’d rather have a leader like Tebow learning schemes and mechanics in the offseason than a gun slinger that the team can’t get behind – or be stuck under a coach who hasn’t helped the team.

  41. The OFFSEASON:

    Like Bart Scott said: “Can’t wait!” As Tebow says: “Let’s Go!”

    My vision for the Broncos offseason is:

    QB: All in with Tebow, draft a late round project, bring in a Veteran as backup. I am thinking Vince Young. He would be able to run the offense the way Tebow does. I don’t think anyone else will sign him as a starter so this would be a good fit

    RB: Need a another starter to help take pressure off Mcgahee. Draft would be a good way to go but there are so many good free agent rbs. Michael Bush is a stud and it would kill the raiders to lose him. The same with Mike Tolbert who is really under-rated. But the wet-dream pick-up would be…. Peyton Hillis. He can’t go back to Cleveland and he’s not going to get the big contract he wants. Why not bring him back in the fold to a fan base that appreciates how good a player he is. That would take our power rushing game to another level.

    WR: They need a veteran wr that can catch the ball and help tebow on tough downs. To many balls that hit the wr hands were dropped. Go after a Reggie Wayne or a Pierre Garcon (colts won’t keep both).

    DL: DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT. Defensive Tackle at least 2

    LB: Stephen tulloch

    CB: Terrell Thomas, draft

    TE: Resign Fells develop Julius Thomas

  42. @stopthehate15bowdown, I like the way you think, but that’s probably too many big names in FA. I think they may look at someone even more obscure as a back-up vet QB. Young could run the same offense, but so could a lot of late-round QBs in the draft. I look for a guy who is more of a clipboard holder/mechanics fanatic to work with Tebow in the vet market.
    As far as RB, there are a lot of guys who will make a big splash. If Bush and Tolbert leave their respective teams, they’re not likely to float under the radar. Forte and Benson may even command less money because of their age. I think Hillis might have turned into a bit of a headache and I don’t like his health concerns for a bruiser. Probably an early pick gets used here and a mid-tier FA.
    WR, I think the team likes Decker and Thomas, but we’ll see. I think they may try to get someone in to push Royal to #4 and get him back to KR.
    TE I see as a big deal if they can get a pass catcher and blocker. Our rookies don’t block well yet and Fells isn’t enough of a receiving threat.
    DT, resigning Bunkley and Thomas are high on our list, I think. Drafting will help too, but I don’t know how hard they’ll chase any new starters.
    As far as DBs, I think we should target in the draft early and often, but Fox has leaned toward experience if memory serves. We’ll see.
    LB, again, I think we go after resigning our guys and see who is left out there – I’d be surprised to see a big name signing like Tulloch.
    I also wouldn’t be surprised to see us targeting a high-level guard. Our line is underrated and very talented, but we need depth and supreme talent.

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