Denver Broncos: 9 Reasons for Excitement in Broncoland in 2011-12

Jake WhiteContributor IApril 29, 2011

Denver Broncos: 9 Reasons for Excitement in Broncoland in 2011-12

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    ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 14:  Denver Broncos head coach John Fox addresses the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coac
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Even though the Broncos playoff chances in the 2011-12 season look slim, they still could still fight hard and show promise for the coming seasons.

    The new leadership, new players and ridiculously difficult opponents should make this season fun to watch. Here are a number of reasons why this team is worth following.

The Home Opener

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Tommy Kelly #93 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after the Raiders scored a safety during their game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Sh
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    59-14. Who would have thought Oakland would have embarrassed Denver in this fashion post the 1970's?

    The Raiders? The worst team over the past 5 years?

    This team will come into Denver to open the season on Monday night. Oakland has a winning streak in Denver and should be favored heavily in this game. A lot of their fans will be out of jail and on parole at this point, so their fan base will be well represented.

    Will Denver have the moxie to make a game out of this one?

Excitement at the Quarterback Position

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos scrambles against the San Diego Chargers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Tim Tebow will compete with Kyle Orton for the starting spot.

    Even if Orton is the more polished and ready for the spot, the Bronco front office should start Tebow. They have to see what they have got. Just by winning a game and leading the Broncos back from a 17 point deficit gives Bronco fans hope.

    His scrambling ability and leadership is something that hasn't been witnessed in Denver since 1998. Even if there are some beat-downs and some learning to do on the job, Tebow will provide excitement.

Improved Defense

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Von Miller, #2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    A lot of people speculate that Denver could have done what Cleveland did in moving down for additional draft picks. I am one of them. However, if Von Miller turns out to be anything close to Derrick Thomas or any other linebacker great, he will definitely be worth the second overall pick.

    Josh McDaniels imagined that Denver had the personnel to run a 3-4 defense. Obviously, this was not the case. Moving back to a 4-3 defense should show improvement in 2011.

    Elvis Dumervil will return and with that half of Denver's pass rush capabilities. Heck, when you're the 32nd ranked defense in 2010, there is nowhere to go but up.

A Legend in Management

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    20 Oct 1996:  Quarterback John Elway of the Denver Broncos celebrates after scoring the winning touchdown during the Broncos 45-34 win over the Baltimore Ravens at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Bringing John Elway into the Broncos organization is speculated to be a PR move after a disastrous season.

    This may be the case, but he will help Tebow grow into the potential franchise quarterback that this organization hasn't had since, well, Jay Cutler.

    There could also be a few aces up his sleeve that will help this team win some games that they should lose. We will see.

New Head Coach

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    ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 14:  Denver Broncos head coach John Fox addresses the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coac
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    In hiring Josh McDaniels, Pat Bowlen tried to accomplish the same feat he did when he first brought in Mike Shanahan. He tried to capture lightning in a bottle.

    He failed. Miserably. Instead of bringing in another upstart, Bowlen brought in a veteran. Foxy is about as good of a potential head coach who was on the market at the end of the season.

    He's been to the Big Game before and lead Carolina to a number of winning seasons. He has a lot of work ahead, but there is reason to believe that he is capable of getting the job done.

Offenisve Improvement

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    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 12:  Runningback Knowshon Moreno #27 of the Denver Broncos runs with the football during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defe
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    If you look at this offense, it's really not that bad. In fact, between the 20's, it's really good. Though they're efficient and explosive, it's the red zone where they fail. This should improve in 2011-12.

    Ryan Clady has another year under his belt after his knee injury. The rookie offensive linemen have more experience working together as a unit.

    Moreno proved that he can be a pretty explosive back when he has some run blocking. And Denver's receiving corps is among the best in the league. Perhaps later today Denver gets a tight end in the draft.

    Assuming this unit stays relatively healthy, they should be more effective than last year.

Non-Division Opponents

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    GREEN BAY, WI - FEBRUARY 08: Green Bay Packers wide receivers Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson address the fans during the Packers victory ceremony at Lambeau Field on February 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
    Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

    Is it me, or does it seem like every year the Broncos face a ridiculous slate of opponents?

    This year their non-division opponents include Cinci, Tennessee, Green Bay, Miami, Detroit, the New York Jets, Minnesota, Chicago, New England and Buffalo.

    NYJ, New England and Chicago are at home. I'm guessing Cutler will act like a jerk before his game in Denver and during the game.

    How fun would it be to beat Chicago? It should make for good times.

Division Games

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Phillip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers losses the ball for a sack as he is pressured by Defensive Linebacker Vonnie Holliday #99 of the Denver Broncos during the second half during Monday Night Football on Oct
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    The Chiefs won the division last year. The Chiefs. A mediocre team.

    They won like 2 games the year before. And the Broncos beat the dog doo doo out of them last year. Denver was one pass away from beating San Diego in the final game of the year.

    Anything is possible.

Good Riddance Josh McDaniels

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 14:  Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs has some unwelcome words with head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos as he refuses to shake his hand after the Broncos 49-29 win at INVESCO Field at Mile High on November 14,
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    And finally, the worst coach, by far, in the history of this franchise is no longer calling the shots.

    This guy single-handedly destroyed a team on the verge of greatness. The throwing away of draft picks, trading and cutting of good players, and acquisition of tired old free agents ruined this team.

    His play calling was predictable. Everything about this guy sucks. Now he's gone and the Broncos can resume normal operations.