After missing the playoffs for the first time in half a decade last season, the Denver Broncos are now considered one of the favorites to break out of the NFL’s 2016 non-playoff pack and get back to the postseason in 2017.
They won’t get there without better play from their quarterback.
To be fair, they won’t get there without better play from their offensive line, their running game or their rush defense, either, but it appears as though general manager John Elway fully understands that.
During an offseason dominated at least early on by talk of adding a veteran quarterback to push Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch back down the depth chart, Elway focused instead on rebuilding his team’s infrastructure.
It was a smart move, because one of the best things a team can do, not only to help a young quarterback get better, and to build up his confidence and that of his coaches, teammates and fans, is to build up the team around him.
So, while most everyone else was watching to see if he would successfully lure Tony Romo first out of Dallas and later out of retirement, Elway kicked off the offseason by luring fifth-year left guard Ron Leary out of Dallas instead.
For the Broncos, it was by far the better of the two options. After all, the chances of any quarterback, veteran or otherwise, succeeding behind the offensive line the Broncos finished the 2016 season with were pretty slim.
That Broncos line allowed 40 sacks and 98 quarterback hits (ninth- and eight-most in the league, respectively), but Leary, who didn’t allow a sack in…
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