Kiszla vs. O’Halloran: How confident is coach Vic Fangio in the abilities of his first Broncos team?

Kiz: I’ve got a theory about this Broncos team. New coach Vic Fangio decided weeks, if not months, ago that he believes his 22 starters can compete with Kansas City, the Chargers and any other foe on Denver’s schedule. But for quite some time, Fangio has exhibited very little confidence in the final 25 to 30 players on the 53-man roster. And I think the Broncos’ uncommonly active 24 hours after the league’s big cutdown date only reinforced my suspicions.

O’Halloran: When the Broncos hit the practice field Monday, they had six players who weren’t on the roster last week — an 11.5% turnover. Unheard of around these parts. The machinations of the weekend, both in setting the initial 53-man roster and then acquiring new players, have Vic’s stamp, which should be encouraging for a Broncos fan, because it means his opinion is being heard/respected/acted upon by John Elway. The acquisitions of Duke Dawson, Corey Nelson, Diontae Spencer and Davontae Harris were all made with special teams in mind. Fangio understands the importance of that phase of the game.

Kiz: The NFL schedule is a grind. So while there’s every reason to believe the Broncos could open the season with a 2-0 record against Oakland and Chicago, the lack of depth makes this team poorly suited for the long haul of a playoff run. The Broncos seem disconcertingly thin at offensive line, wide receiver and inside linebacker. And did adding Brandon Allen from the waiver wire really address Denver’s concerns at backup quarterback? Talk me off this ledge, please.

O’Halloran: Ultimately, this will be a team that hangs tough, winning some, losing some and is always competitive until attrition sits in. And I would throw tight end into the list you provided. Allen has never played in a regular-season game, but his arrival shows how little the Broncos thought of Kevin Hogan and how they felt Brett Rypien wasn’t ready to be the No. 2 quarterback until Drew Lock is healthy. Injuries have a ripple effect on the depth chart. If right guard Ron Leary (knee/Achilles) breaks down, Elijah Wilkinson (their backup tackle) has to move inside. If tight end Jeff Heuerman misses time, more pressure is on rookie Noah Fant. If cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) can’t stay healthy, second-year man Isaac Yiadom is thrown into the fire.

Kiz: Fangio celebrated his 61st birthday less than two weeks ago. So I think it’s safe to say neither he nor front-office honcho Elway has the patience for a five-year rebuilding plan to return the Broncos to serious Super Bowl contention. But I’ve heard you talk about this being Year Zero for Fangio. Explain what you mean by that. And how much patience will anyone, from Fangio to Elway to fans in the South Stands, allow this team to master the way Uncle Vic wants to play football?

O’Halloran: You’re a college football fan, which is where I stole the “Year Zero” theory. I’ve heard college coaches use the term. They use their initial season to find …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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