by Gus Ramsey
As a life-long Denver Broncos fan, I fully endorse any plans they have to pursue Peyton Manning.
Does he want Mile High Stadium to kick whatever sponsor has it's name on the roof this week to the curb and call it Manning Stadium at Mile High? Done. Perhaps he'd like a a new Broncos logo where the Bronco's horseshoe is emphasized a little... No problem. The Broncos would have to unretire Frank Tripuca's #18. I'm good with that.
Presently the Broncos have 45-million in cap space so financially they may be able to put together a nice package to go along with whatever demands Peyton may have.
What about the quarterback who beat the Steelers in the playoffs last season? What about the guy who rejuvenated the team and caught the imagination of people around the world? Look, Tim Tebow is a great guy and might be a good NFL quarterback, but Manning is a legend who I believe can still perform at a high level. Certainly at a higher level than Tebow. The Broncos have a really good, young offensive line. They should be able to provide more than adequate protection for Peyton and his neck. They have a good running game, which would help keep Peyton on his feet and certainly help make that play-action pass that he loves so much, a dynamic weapon.
The Broncos Three Amigos 2.0, Thomas, Decker and Royal are pretty good and suddenly would be much better when passes are hitting them in stride and in their hands. Again, nothing against Tebow, but 46.5% is 46.5%. Manning is a career 64.5% passer. Look at what Manning has done for his slot receivers. Eddie Royal could become a weapon again. Look at how quickly Manning makes young receivers better. Wayne, Garcon, Gonzalez, Tammi, Colli, the list goes on and on. How much better can Thomas, Royal, Decker and the two young tight ends get with #18 running things?
As for Tebow, the Broncos could still use him in certain short yardage and goal line packages. And if Tebow can't improve being around John Elway AND Peyton Manning, then there is no hope for him. Oh, by the way, who has a better temperament to take a back seat to Manning than Tebow?
And let's not forget the AFC is down right now. 8 and 8 won in in 2011 and it may not take much more to win it in 2012. The defense is solid, but the clock is ticking for their secondary. There is an element of "let's try to win this right now," with this team.
The Broncos have a tough first place schedule next year. With Tebow under center, I don't think 8-8 is likely. With Manning running the offense? Take a look at his career W-L against the Broncos opponents next season.
That win percentage is even better than Manning's gaudy .677 career win percentage.
I'm just saying, for a lot of reasons, this move makes sense. What if Manning gets hurt you ask? You certainly couldn't expect Tebow to run Manning's offense, right? No, of course not, but the Broncos proved this year they could change plans mid-stream and make it work, so that isn't really a concern.
In the back of my mind, I've always felt that if Elway has any reservations about Tebow it's that he doesn't "look" like an NFL quarterback is supposed to look when he's on the field. Elway can't truly believe in what he truly doesn't see. That always leaves Elway a little queasy. If someone hands you a hamburger that doesn't look like a hamburger, but swears it's a hamburger, you may eat it but that first bite or two will be taken with a healthy dose of trepidation. Elway looks at Peyton and thinks, "Now that is an NFL quarterback!"
Lastly, the Broncos will play the Giants in 2013, so Peyton will get one more game against Eli before he hangs them up, not counting this year's Broncos-Giants Super Bowl of course, when they will meet in their home town of New Orleans.
What? It could happen. What's more natural than going from being a colt to being a bronco?
We just need Peyton to get back on the horse.