When Vance Joseph signed on as Denver’s head coach, I wonder if he realized the depth of the snake pit he stepped in to?
This poor man has to make a decision; no matter what it is, unless it ends with a ring, 1/2 of Broncos Country will damn him to hell for going with the wrong quarterback. When Gary Kubiak was hired and hobbled Peyton Manning with an archaic system, fans grumbled, but Kubes had the shield of being a former Bronco to protect him.
While many fans wanted Asweiler, even called Kubes a coward too afraid to stick with the kid, he still got a pass from outright vitriol. Wade Phillips’ smothering defense and Brandon McManus’s McMoney foot delivered a SB trophy. Year two, the QB division opens wider, but the ring has magic powers, along with his shield and while Kubiak botched the offense, he picked the QB the press and most of the fans wanted.
Three years later, here we are again, only this time, the rift between the fans, heck the media, too is now the, Great Divide. Straddling this chasm is new a head coach. One without a shield or a ring and he’s faced with a decision far greater than Kubes ever had.
Besides his shield, Gary had the “luck” of Manning getting hurt for six games, so he could see what Asweiler had. Anyone reading this who’s followed me on Twitter knows my answer: not much. Yes, I thought Asweiler was crap. Didn’t think he had IT. Even though it was plain to see that Asweiler wasn’t franchise material, many fans despised benching him, but that big beautiful ring has a way of tampering hatred.
Kubiak also had the luxury of having the press on his side. They stayed fairly objective during the Manning vs Asweiler debate. When he then went with Trevor Siemian, they loved it. They proclaimed Trevor as having an, Arm of the Gods. They got a fairy tale story to write about.
The self proclaimed nerd, the last picked guy, the guy who wears socks with Birkenstocks. But this endeared him to many. His next door neighbor wholesomeness sold the grammas, too. What’s not to like about Trevor? He’s flannel pajamas on a cold night.
Backed by the Broncos top notch PR department, the selling of, Underdog, was complete. The force of the ring, the shield and the press became an impenetrable barrier. One that the media has turned into Valarian steel after Kubiak and his staff’s departure.
Now Vance has to make a decision and if it’s the wrong one, he’s left outside this force field. One of his quarterbacks doesn’t have a shield, plus he’s been shoved into the abyss. If he goes with the raw and hated guy, he will be out on that plank alone. Tied to the guy dangling deep below him.
That decision begins the second Trevor throws his last pass in San Francisco. Maybe sooner, depending on how Lynch does.
No matter how each guy looks, even if one lights it up and the other fails, the choice of whom to play against GB (signaling THE starter) will be called into question. Even worse if it’s a tie. From that moment on, any time that QB stumbles, Vance will be judged.
Every missed throw, every mssed score, every lost game, the chatter will grow. If he goes with Lynch, the press will keep adding anchors to the rope. Most of the media in Denver have walked so far out on their own Trevor plank, they need Paxton to fail. For more reasons than one.
Back when Elway was a rookie, he was bad. The press wasn’t as biased then, as they are now, because there were fewer of them and no internet, but he was still called a bust, trash. Today’s media has a much broader audience to hear their shouts of, “boo”. Something else Elway heard a ton of. Time erases unsavory memories, but the fact is, Elway wasn’t good as a rookie. Go watch those games. He was lost, out of his depth. From Stanford hero to Bronco zero in a few short months.
If Vance goes with Trevor, and he stumbles, he will have a far easier go of it because the media and over half of the fans will forgive it. Up until the playoffs are missed or a loss in them. Not to say he picks him for this reason, only that it will be a more popular choice.
However, if Trevor has the same season as last year, eventually the Lynch crowd will outnumber the Siemian crowd and the media will be forced to join them or else they will lose followers. Vance will be excoriated for wasting another season of developing the pirate.
I don’t envy his choices. As of today, one appears to be the same guy Vance has said a few times: Trevor is Trevor. He makes the read, he puts the ball there. Trevor is the safe, mature and polished guy. And although both Mike McCoy and Vance Joseph have been vocal about Paxton Lynch’s talent and skill level, he’s still raw. And he won’t become fully done until he plays. There’s the rub.
If he does start and has a rookie season like Elway, the Broncos PR staff will have a greater sell then they did when the team lost three in a row. And this time, the Denver media won’t buy in. Elway taking a big swing at them, may have made him feel better, but it most likely hurt Vance and Lynch in the process.
The guy left holding the bag though, won’t be the Duke, it’ll be the first time head coach. Ride with the QB who needs a season to learn (like Elway got) or go with the far easier choice, everyone’s darling, the guy who makes the right reads. No matter what happens, without a ring, it’ll be deemed the wrong answer.
Whichever way he goes, I offer to be a small tiny piece of a shield because he has a long season of ahead of him unless, at the very least, he wins the AFCW. No matter who he chooses, it won’t be a rash decision and I will back it. Back it every week. I don’t have a golden lasso, but I have a golden pen, er, keyboard and I’ll use it to the best of my abilities, good luck Vance, you’re going to need it!