In every life you have some trouble....when you worry you make it double-Don't Worry....Be Happy!
This original Bobby McFerrin tune is something I'm teaching to my current group of kiddos. It's one of those songs that can put a smile on your face no matter the circumstances....Bad day at work, restaurant screws up your order, cat makes confetti out of your favorite article of clothing, Jets trade away Revis, doesn't matter.
While I'm on that subject let me take you back to 2010-2011. Broncos had just finished off the worst season in Broncos Mike's existence. It all went downhill early in the season after "buttfumble" chucked a ball up and our safety at the time Renaldo Hill interfered near the goalline. Jets punch the ball in with seconds left and win the game all but ripping the hearts out of a very weak and non-resilient team.
From there it only got worse. The week after we got curb-stomped at home to our most hated rivals the Oakland Raiders to the tune of 59-14. The week after that, McDaniels' buddy who he brought over from the Pats videotaped the Niners walkthrough before our game in London. That was a black mark our franchise never experienced. From there we lost 4 out of our next 5 with the last one being yet another blowout by 30+ points to the lowly Cardinals. That was Josh McDaniels last game as Broncos head coach as that malcontent was fired with three games left. We finish off the season at a craptacular 4-12 with a historically bad defense and porous offense sparked to a bit of life by your current punt protector and end up with the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
John Elway is brought in as VP of football operations--a move like by Broncos fans, but quite frankly not a move that was guaranteed to bring success. Broncos went on to hire John Fox---the coach who's previous team finished one slot ahead of the Broncos in mediocrity.
As far as our roster? Kyle Orton/Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Daniel Fells, Ryan Clady, Zane Beadles, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper, Ryan Harris on offense. Decker and Thomas are stars now, but at that time Thomas was injury prone and had played a handful of games with minimal impact. Our line that is now universally lauded as pretty solid featured a couple of rookies in Beadles and Walton that had a rough go at it. Ryan Harris was let go the following offseason due to chronic injuries.
On defense 8 of our 11 starters were either cut or demoted to backup and support roles. Altogether from 2010-2011, we saw 14 new starters from the 22 available slots. Elway weeded through the roster and kept guys that would play a role in 2011.
Going into that draft, the universal feeling was that we draft Marcel Dareus. DT had been a huge hole for us in the preceding years. Von Miller looks like a slam dunk now, but many were enraged with the pick because they figured he was more of a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 SAM. Turns out he's more of a hybrid player that does a bit of both roles, what I'm getting at though, this pick was seen as "risky" by some at the time.
In round 2 we picked up OT Orlando Franklin and S Rahim Moore. Going into 2011 without a full offseason for the new regime to implement it's program, we started off a very discouraging 2-5. From there we change QB's, systems, and reel off a six game winning streak to put us in the playoffs in a very weak division--in fact I think we made it after beating out the other two teams with identical records on the 3rd tie breaker. Some Tebow Magic in the playoffs and Broncos fans had recovered from the darkest time in our recent history.
Now I'm not in anyway going to compare trading Revis to Tebow...but point is we had another very tumultuous offseason. We sign Manning, get rid of the Teebs, and have another solid draft. In two years of overseeing the draft Elway and Matt Russell have drafted about 6 current starters give or take, developed lesser known and cheap FA's, grown some of our own UDFA rookies into some of the best players in the league (Chris Harris), made a splash with Peyton Manning, and surrounded him with solid and inexpensive talent.
In two years we went from being a joke, one of the worst teams in the league, void of talent up and down the roster, someplace FA's avoided like the plague, to a SB contender. Manning has a lot to do with it sure, but we were both a top 5 offense and defense last year.
Looking ahead, four current starters on offense are 30 or older--Manning, McGahee, Dreessen, and Welker. On defense we have two--Kevin Vickerson and Champ Bailey. Entering this draft, though we have needs, outside of one or two positions they are all needs for depth, not starters. With only 6 picks, we can fill every one of them.
It seemingly happened overnight. From 4-12 to 13-3 and homefield advantage. It's fun being a Broncos fan because I can be excited to watch my team play. This wasn't the case even in 2011.
A few decent drafts, shrewd FA signings, and good management of financials as well as players and the Jets can absolutely be in a position to contend not to far down the road. The nightmare of seeing your team gutted and mismanaged will be a distant memory and it will be fun to be a Jets fan again. Bronco Mike makes few guarantees but I'll go ahead and make one now.
Within a few seasons you guys will be able to put this chapter of Jets history behind you. Things like the buttfumble, Tebow, Sanchez, Revis, Tanny will all be behind you. Until then, stay strong and remain hopeful--the NFL is built for teams to make huge turnarounds in a short amount of time. When it does turnaround for the better, I'll be the first one to congratulate you. Hopefully we can see a Broncos/Jets matchup in the AFC Championship game soon.
Take care my friends!