Elway deserves loads of blame for Lynch debacle
Things was fine and dandy last year around this time when it came to the Denver Broncos’ quarterback situation, considering then-rookie Paxton Lynch was undoubtedly going to have to sit and learn before ever taking a snap.
Fast forward a year and Lynch still isn’t ready to take over the starting job, having lost the gig to Trevor Siemian for the second straight summer, putting the former first-round pick in rarified air for a first-round quarterback, joining Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel and Brady Quinn as first-round quarterbacks since 2006 to not assume a full-time starting gig by their second season.
Know what all those quarterbacks (minus Lynch) have in common?
Each one got their general manager and head coach fired.
That won’t be the case with Lynch because John Elway is essentially a god in the state of Colorado, but if we’re being absolutely fair with this situation, Elway deserves to be blasted for his drafting of Lynch.
Now, Lynch might end up developing into a viable starter in the next three years that the Broncos have him under control, but the fact that Elway went out of his way to trade up for the Memphis product, only to see him lose the starting competition two years in a row is a colossal failure on Elway’s part.
In no way, shape or form am I saying Elway deserves to be fired for the Lynch mistake — you can’t say that about a GM who just won a Super Bowl two seasons ago and continues to produce one of the better rosters in football every year — but he has failed miserably with the drafting of Lynch.
It’s curious to me that nobody, and that includes both national and Denver media, has even so much as raised an eyebrow at Elway’s failure with the first round pick in 2016.
Too often, it seems that Elway is immune to any sort of criticism when it comes to the Broncos and decision-making.
Well, not from me.
Yes, Elway completely rebuilt the Broncos a short time ago, pulling off one of the greatest free agent signings in NFL history, getting Peyton Manning to come to the Mile High City.
From there, Elway then added sack artist DeMarcus Ware, hard-hitting safety TJ Ward and shutdown cornerback Aqib Talib. That group obviously went on to win a Super Bowl.
Elway has also had a strong track record with drafting defenders, grabbing Derek Wolfe, Shane Ray, Shaq Barrett, Chris Harris Jr, DeMaryious Thomas and others, but it all really doesn’t matter without a quarterback.
I like Siemian; I really do.
He has a strong arm, is smart with the football and has the respect of his teammates. But you can’t be fooled into thinking he’s a championship-caliber starting quarterback. That’s just the cold, hard truth.
You would think that being a Hall of Fame quarterback with two Super Bowls, nine Pro Bowl appearances and one NFL MVP, Elway could find a high-level quarterback to replace Manning.
Maybe that will take some time, but Elway was all in on Lynch when he drafted him and reportedly pressured new head coach Vance Joseph into giving the second-year quarterback every possible shot to win the job, but the big, mobile quarterback couldn’t come through when he was needed the most.
The level of play is on Lynch, but the decision to trade draft picks to move up for Lynch is all on Elway.
No matter how good the defense, rebuilt offensive line or running game is this fall and winter, the quarterback situation is a problem.
Elway is certainly the man to fix that problem moving forward, but there’s egg on his face thanks to Paxton Lynch, and there’s no two ways around that.
Spending a first round pick on quarterback who can’t even beat out a seventh-round pick, let alone get on the field, is a massive failure on Elway’s part.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.