The Broncos have spent the last few months telling anyone who would listen that they believe they’ll be OK at quarterback after Peyton Manning’s retirement and Brock Osweiler’s departure as a free agent.
It looks like Mark Sanchez or Trevor Siemian will get the first chance in the starting lineup and the Broncos’ success through sketchy offensive production last season suggests they can do enough on the field to keep the team winning. That doesn’t mean they won’t miss Manning, however.
During an interview with Alex Marvez and Kirk Morrison of Sirius XM NFL Radio, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said that Manning “carried us more than just his play on the field” and that the team will miss what he brought as a leader.
“I just think you can’t replace a guy like him,” Williams said. “Because he’s such a powerful guy that you’ve just got to figure out other ways to bring some of that energy back to the locker room because you will never have another Peyton Manning in the locker room that’ll touch the team the way he did. Because, for one, Peyton was a guy that was a hundred-percent business, so when he did speak, a lot of guys sat up in their chairs and paid attention. It was unbelievable, man.”
Regardless of how confident the Broncos are that their quarterbacks will be able to handle things on the field this season, it seems foolish to expect any of them to have the same hold on the locker room that a player with Manning’s resume enjoyed in Denver. The Broncos do have plenty of other veterans who can work to fill that void and a team effort may have to suffice until there’s a long-term sheriff in charge of the offense again.