I pointed out back in August that John Elway didn’t have a good track record in judging quarterbacks.
As it turns out, his quarterback decisions have turned out to be even worse than I thought they would and it is a major reason why the Denver Broncos season is quickly falling apart.
Since he’s been running the Broncos, Elway’s made only one good quarterback move. He talked Peyton Manning into signing with the Broncos after the Colts cut him to make room for Andrew Luck.
And while Manning was winding up his career with two Super Bowl appearances, you would think Elway would have been planning for the future at the position after Manning retired.
Elway did build a great defense, but he’s whiffed on every quarterback move he’s made except for signing Manning and understanding Tim Tebow wasn’t the answer.
His three quarterbacks currently are Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch (a former first-round pick who’s been inactive all season with a shoulder sprain) and the immortal Brock Osweiler.
Yes, the Osweiler who left the Broncos a year ago to sign with Houston and was such a disaster that the Texans paid Cleveland to take him off their hands. Yet Elway bought him back when the Browns dumped him. I guess Elway can’t get over the fact he drafted Osweiler over Russell Wilson.
New coach Vance Joseph thought he could win by running the ball and playing good defense, and that worked when the Broncos started out 2-0.
But it didn’t take defenses long to figure out they just had to stack the box, stop the run and force Siemian to throw. Siemian seems more ineffective than he was last year. He’s playing like the seventh-round pick that he is.
The result is the Broncos are 1-3 the last four games while averaging 10 points a game.
They got just 10 points in the loss to the New York Giants (who were 0-5) a week ago and were blanked by the Los Angeles Chargers, 21-0, last Sunday.
Once the Chargers took a 7-0 lead on a 65-yard punt return, Philip Rivers played it safe. He knew the Broncos weren’t likely to score many points.
So the Broncos defense wasted a strong effort, holding the Chargers to 242 yards, 3-of-12 on third down and three sacks. And they forced eight punts.
But the defense didn’t score and the Broncos couldn’t score.
Joseph didn’t pull Siemian when it was 14-0 at halftime, saying it was a two-score game and, “Why make a change when we’re still in the game?’’
But they weren’t. Siemian wasn’t going to put two touchdowns on the board in the second half.
Joseph probably figures Osweiler isn’t an improvement.
Joseph said he will stick with Siemian in the Monday night game at Kansas City. And then they go to Philadelphia and New England. The Broncos figure to be 3-6 in three weeks.
Elway is such a hero in Denver that he hasn’t gotten much flak for the state of their quarterbacking and their offense. But the blame is on his shoulders.
Now the task for Elway is to find a quarterback for next season.
In his term as general manager, he’s yet to hit on a young quarterback. He tried signing veteran Mark Sanchez but cut Sanchez after he was beaten out by Siemian.
Talking Manning into signing was the easy part. Finding a young quarterback seems to be more difficult for Elway.