ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Through free agency and the draft, as the Denver Broncos added players to the depth chart in some places and left others alone, they haven’t always done what people outside of the walls of the team’s complex expected them to do.
In the end it likely boils down to the fact the Broncos, chiefly executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway and coach Gary Kubiak, simply think more of some of their players than other people do.
“I’m excited about our team," Kubiak said. “I like where we are ... this is a good football team."
As the Broncos have gone about their business this offseason it has almost appeared if Elway was looking to do the opposite of what the fans thought he needed to do.
Start at quarterback, where the Broncos took a slow and steady approach after they made a trade for Mark Sanchez. The Broncos kicked the tires on some other options, including Colin Kaepernick and Brian Hoyer, but didn’t show any real urgency to add another passer until they traded up in the first round to select Paxton Lynch.
That’s because the Broncos’ decision-makers don’t talk about Sanchez in the offense without using the word “excited" as well. Elway has gone as far as to say Sanchez simply hasn’t been in an offense that fit his abilities.
That means Sanchez, with an enormous head start on any other quarterback the team has, or could have, continues to act like a starter, even as Kubiak keeps repeating nothing will be “handed to anybody."
“We sure have a long way to go ... but I really am enjoying this process," Sanchez said. “I love the concepts here. I love what Coach Kubiak has done with quarterbacks in the past ... That’s very encouraging."
Then there’s linebacker, where the Broncos lost Danny Trevathan -- who led the team in tackles in 2013 and 2015 -- in free agency. Throughout the lead-up to the draft draft much of the public discourse about the Broncos included mention of an enormous need at linebacker.
“We feel good about Todd [Davis]," Elway said. “He played quite a bit for us last year. Corey Nelson will play. So we feel pretty good about the depth in that."
Whether the Broncos are right or wrong won’t really be decided until the games are played. But the Broncos’ salary-cap situation -- they have dealt with a limited amount of room throughout the offseason, even as they try to position themselves to potentially sign Von Miller to a long-term deal -- has dictated many of the choices they’ve made.
But they also have made it clear they like the way the roster looks in the wake of the draft.
“I tell you what, I’m really excited about it," Elway said.
Yes, he’s excited about it, even if many others are not. Or, as running back C.J. Anderson said early on in free agency, “We all trust Elway."