Osweiler owed the Broncos absolutely nothing. When called upon last season, he did his job. The Broncos would not have won Super Bowl 50 without his contribution over the seven starts he made for Manning. His contract was up and was allowed to explore his options. There’s not much more to it.
The Osweiler situation led to a quarterback scramble for the Broncos, and they finally landed Mark Sanchez (who hasn’t yet been able to beat out 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian in camp) and drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round. The Broncos had a significant talent drain this offseason, like many Super Bowl champs — talented players like Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan and Evan Mathis will play elsewhere this season — but Elway believes that the team got better.
“That’s how I look at our team this offseason: Did we get better as a football team? I believe we did,” Elway told the Denver Post. “And the other thing is, when people are doubting you, it adds that incentive. We’re kind of in that situation right now. Hopefully we can continue to use that chip and keep ourselves mentally on the right track.”
I understand, Elway has to say that. I like Elway, I think Elway has done a fantastic job as a GM, but that statement is a little crazy. You can’t look at the talent that left, the talent that came in and come to the conclusion that the roster is better. The Broncos still might win another Super Bowl, because a lot of the great core players who helped them win Super Bowl 50 are still around. The defense should be the best in the NFL again. But the roster isn’t better, on the whole.
The Broncos are one of the most fascinating teams in the NFL this season. A lot went right last season, the roster took some hits in the offseason (sorry, John) but the team still has a lot of top-level talent. Elway could still get the last laugh in all this.
Brett Favre and Tony Dungy were the clear headliners for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, each charming the crowd in far different ways, but there were other great highlights throughout Saturday night’s induction ceremony.
Two of the funnier other speeches came from pass rushing great Kevin Greene, who played for four teams, and former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
Greene traced his career from Auburn to the NFL and dropped several hilarious lines — including a great one on Bo Jackson — and also spoke from the heart.
DeBartolo, who said he “might be the only inductee in this Hall that didn’t make his high school football team,” is a great storyteller, and he managed to zing one of his former players, Jerry Rice, with an unflattering nickname from the old days. It was enough to make Rice get out of his seat (twice) in an exchange that make the crowd roar.
Dungy was the penultimate speaker of the night. He spoke about the importance of his faith and the significance of being the first African-American to win a Super Bowl as head coach with the Indianapolis Colts and the second in the Hall of Fame after Fritz Pollard. He closed his speech by mentioning the 10 African-American coaches who where in the NFL when he started his coaching career, saying that “those men were like my dad.”
But the night belonged to Favre.