Tyrod Taylor

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor Could Solve Broncos Offensive Riddle

Denver, Colo – On Wednesday morning, Vance Joseph announced that the Denver Broncos would replace Trevor Siemian with Brock Osweiler.  Osweiler started seven games for Denver during their 2015 Super Bowl season, but is he the answer to Denver’s problems?

Osweiler recently returned to Denver after being cut by the Browns – he previously was the Texans quarterback after signing a 4-year, $72 million contract ($37 million guaranteed) with the Texans.

Osweiler is a controversial player among the Broncos fan base. During the 2015 season, Osweiler started seven games. In those seven games, Denver compiled a 5-2 record, which helped them secure first place in the conference – Peyton Manning made a triumphant return in the seventh game to help Denver snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Osweiler was unhappy when Peyton Manning was given the starting nod for the playoff stretch in Denver, which I can understand. Osweiler went 5-2, but Denver made the correct decision.

Brock hit free agency following the 2015 Super Bowl. Denver attempted to resign Osweiler – Peyton Manning had elected to retire. To John Elway’s dismay, Osweiler made a business decision. Texans were offering Osweiler more money, so he took them up on their offer.

Brock’s leaving Denver for Houston initiated a perplexing chain of events. Denver brought in Mark Sanchez and traded up to draft Paxton Lynch in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Lynch, Sanchez, and Trevor Siemian preceded to battle for the starting quarterback job. Sanchez would prove to be the odd man out as he was cut by the Broncos. In a shocking upset, Trevor Siemian beat out Paxton Lynch for the quarterback job.

Then head coach Gary Kubiak entrusted Siemian, a former 7th-round draft pick out of Northwestern, to lead the Broncos title defense. Siemian’s job was simple: don’t screw anything up.

Siemian went 7-6 for Denver in 2016 – the Tampa Bay game was excluded as he was injured early.

In contrast, Osweiler started only one more game for Houston. Brock managed to lead (?) Houston to an 8-6 record in his 14 starts. He was replaced by Tom Savage in Week 15 of the season. Osweiler led Houston to a playoff win, but they were eventually eliminated by the Patriots.

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Prior to the 2017 season, Osweiler was traded to the Browns. Later, he would be released by the Browns. Houston drafted Deshaun Watson, who has taken the league by storm.

Back to Bronco land, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch prepared to battle over the starting job once again. Siemian ultimately prevailed over Lynch. Lynch, who was drafted in the first round, had then lost to Siemian twice.

The decision to start Siemian looked like an excellent choice after two weeks of the season. Denver started 2-0, but has since lost four of their last five games.

Following a Monday Night loss to the Chiefs, Denver elected to replace Siemian with Osweiler for the upcoming game against the Eagles.

Denver is turning to Osweiler as they try to save their post-season hopes. The Broncos are 3-4 and face a daunting stretch. Their next two games are the 7-1 Eagles and 6-2 Patriots. However, Bronco fans do not consider Osweiler to be the quarterback of the future.

So, who would be a good quarterback of the future in Denver? I have a suggestion, but who doesn’t?

We ran a poll to ask who would be the Broncos quarterback of the future. The four candidates were: Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly, and a trade/draft pick – there were no comments under telling us we should have added Osweiler.

The results of the poll were not surprising, to me at least.

Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch combined received less than 20% of the votes. Chad Kelly, Mr.Irrelevant out of Ole Miss, received 28% of the votes.

Kelly was taken with the last pick in the 2017 NFL draft, but mainly due to injuries. Before suffering a multitude of injuries, Kelly was projected to be a mid-round selection. One could make a good argument that a healthy Chad Kelly is the best passer of the four quarterbacks in Denver. However, he is not my suggestion.

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The next category received 53% of the total votes. That category calls for a quarterback not currently in Denver – I agree.

The broad realm that consist of quarterbacks not currently in Denver begs a new question. Will the savior be drafted or is he already in the NFL? Some would argue a draft pick such as Josh Rosen – I wouldn’t.

Denver needs to go after a proven quarterback. The Broncos defense is aging, so waiting around for a young quarterback to develop would be wasting the championship defense. Also, Denver has a poor offensive line, which means they may get a young quarterback killed.

Now that we’ve found our candidate pool, who should be the quarterback of the future? I present to you Tyrod Taylor –  I suggested Taylor back in August.

ESPN’s Mina Kimes recently wrote about the great Tyrod Taylor debate, and it is just that a great debate.

Taylor is oft-criticized in Buffalo. Many Buffalo fans feel he is not a franchise quarterback, and believe they can do better. However, this is a common occurrence throughout the NFL. Unless you have, say, Tom Brady, Aaron Roders, Matt Ryan, or Drew Brees, fans will think their team could do better.

Quarterback is the most scrutinized position, and often the position with the most blind stereotypes. A few are as follows: White quarterbacks are smarter, you can’t win a super bowl without a white quarterback, and Dual-Threat quarterbacks don’t work in the NFL – I never said the stereotypes were smart; they are not.

Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl, Cam Newton nearly won a Super Bowl, Deshaun Watson is thriving in the NFL. As more and more offensive coordinators are willing to adapt to the strengths of their quarterbacks, the potential of Dual-Threat quarterbacks appears brighter than ever.

Back to Tyrod, he’s only 28, so he could be in Denver for years to come if they were to pursue him via trade.

Let’s talk about the notion that Taylor is “not a franchise quarterback”. First off, Pro Football Focus ranks Tyrod Taylor as the NFL’s 6th best quarterback through Week 8 of the 2017 season. Taylor is ahead of quarterbacks such as: Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, and Cam Newton.

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A common theme surrounding Taylor is the notion that he is not a proficient passer, especially out of the pocket. While it is true that Taylor sometimes struggles with short passes, he makes up for it with a beautiful touch for the deep ball.

Over the past few seasons, Taylor has worked with a lackluster receiving core that battled injuries. Despite the downfalls of his receiving core, Taylor posted the 9th highest QBR in the 2016 season.

According to Pro Football Focus, just .8% of Taylor’s passes are “turnover-worthy”, which is the best mark in the league. Tyrod also ranks 4th in passer rating against pressure, and he is ranked 5th when blitzed.

Taylor’s skill set could translate well to Denver. Denver has two excellent receivers – Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders – but they also have a lackluster offensive line. Taylor has proven to be excellent when under pressure, and he has the ability to extend plays with his legs.

Tyrod’s dual-threat skillset and lack of turnovers would provide the necessary production Denver lacks from the quarterback position.

John Gillon

John Gillon

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Denver Broncos Senior Analyst providing - hopefully - non-biased, intelligent analysis. An example: Denver has been less than optimal at the quarterback position.