As we all know last season Peyton Manning had one of the worst statistical seasons turned in by a quarterback in the last decade. This is why the team eventually landed in the hands of one Brock Osweiler who did a decent job filling in. We also know that the job was eventually turned back over to Peyton half way through the season finale in San Diego. While the job originally transitioned to Brock due to Manning’s ineptitude to complete a pass that wasn’t to the opposing team, it was undoubtedly handed back to him due to Osweiler’s inability to overcome some bad breaks and lead his team to victory. Regardless of his physical capabilities in his last hour, there was never any doubts when it came to Peyton’s ability to elevate the play of his teammates seemingly by osmosis. The level of perfection he demanded coupled with his teammates desire to please him is what made him truly great. To go from a guy like that under center to either a journeyman that has a reputation of crumbling when the weight of a team is placed on his shoulders, or two unproven guys that have never taken a snap in a regular season game should be very worrisome for fans.
Now no one says your quarterback HAS to be the undisputed leader of your offense, but when you can’t look around and find one guy on that side of the ball you can point to and say “he’s the guy. He’s our leader” it poses concerns. So who do the Broncos have that could be that guy? Judging by the amount of 0’s at the end of their checks the most apparent candidate would be Demarius Thomas right? Unfortunately the past would tell us that’s not the case. Other than his super bowl record for receptions, he has tended to fade into the shadows in the spotlight. Last seasons super bowl run was the biggest example of this as DT posted some pretty miserable stats with 21 targets, only 7 receptions for 60 yards and no touchdowns. To a certain extent these numbers are understandable when you look on the offensive passing output, but I think the fans can point to the countless number of drops in crucial situations and expect more from a wide out making a guaranteed $43.5 million over the next 5 seasons. CJ Anderson could potentially be the guy for this offense. He has certainly earned the respect of his teammates and proven himself on the field. His injury history however is something to be cautious of. So is the fact that the Broncos chose to take another running back in Devonte Booker at of Utah in the 4th round when QBs they liked such as Cardale Jones, Chris Hogan, and Dak Prescott were well within reach. Early reports from OTAs are that they are also very impressed with Kapri Bibbs who they signed as an undrafted free agenet out of Colorado State University in 2014. It would appear CJ is going to have his hands full trying to maintain his status on the depth chart. Arguably the most emotionally charged player on the Broncos offense is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. He is very flashy, very competitive, and very exciting to watch. He is also one of the older, more veteran players on that offense with this being his 6th season in the league. I believe Sanders has the best case for being the motivating force to keep this ship sailing straight and keeping everyone accountable. That being said, just because you are the most sensational player, or the flashiest does not make you a leader.
Time will tell which, if any of these players are ready and willing to step up to the plate and lead this offense. If none of them are prepared to take on these responsibilities I fear this could be an incredibly mediocre year for the defending super bowl champs.