Written by Mark Kiszla at DenverPost.com
All Broncos Country wants to know: Who’s the quarterback?
Well, here’s all you need to know: If it’s all about the quarterback, all is lost for the defending NFL champions.
Mark Sanchez is a worse quarterback than San Diego’s Philip Rivers, Oakland’s Derek Carr and Kansas City’s Alex Smith. If Sanchez starts, Denver is doomed to have the fourth-best QB in the AFC West.
Trevor Siemian might be Gary Kubiak’s pet project, but does the coach really have the guts to tell the Broncos that Siemian gives them the best chance to beat Carolina in the Sept. 8 season opener?
So, while all the attention at training camp will be on the quarterback competition, the real work for the Broncos at training camp will be to find ways to minimize the impact of the quarterback. That’s what Denver had to do last season, when Peyton Manning was on his last legs and Brock Osweiler proved that he wasn’t the team’s quarterback of the future, at least in the mind of general manager John Elway.
To determine what the Broncos want to be in 2016, all you have to know is what Elway emphasized in the weeks after Denver upset Carolina to win Super Bowl 50. Elway rebuilt the offensive line. There will be four new starters: Russell Okung at left tackle, Max Garcia at left guard, Ty Sambrailo at right guard and Donald Stephenson at right tackle.
Although long defined by Hall of Fame quarterbacks from Elway to Manning, the Broncos are going to be 100 percent Kubiak’s team this season. And Kubiak loves to run the rock. His toughest chore last season, maybe even bigger than keeping the ego of Manning from unraveling, was patching together an offensive line that was unable to consistently execute the coach’s physical style of football.
In 2015, the Broncos averaged 107.4 yards rushing per game, which ranked 17th in the 32-team league. Compare that with Kubiak’s two most successful seasons as coach in Houston, when the Texans won division titles. In 2012, the Texans were eighth in the league with 132.7 yards per game. And the year prior, the Texans rushed for an even more impressive 153 yards per game, which ranked them No. 2 in the NFL, second only to a Denver team that made the playoffs with Tim Tebow, a quarterback who ran far better than he threw the football.
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