Deviating from the rest of his national cohorts, Tony Romo bestowed a powerful shine onto the Denver Broncos.
The retired former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst, appearing Thursday on Mad Dog Sports Radio with Adam Schein, tabbed the Broncos as the AFC team that could “really shock some people” this season.
“They’re in a very tough division, so it’s going to be difficult for anybody to run off and go 14-2, 13-3 other than the Chiefs, because their talent level is just so high,” Romo said. “When you’re in that division, every game is going to be difficult. But that reminds me of the old NFC East; if somebody got in, they could win the Super Bowl. Well, this division has three or four outstanding teams. Three of them for sure — Oakland, we’ll see how that plays out. But you know the Chargers are really good, you know the Chiefs are really good, and I think that Vic Fangio will show how great of a head coach he is. You give him Von Miller, and now they went and got the one quarterback I think a lot of teams should have gotten this offseason in Joe Flacco.
They have leadership on offense. They have a great defensive coordinator, a great defensive player. I think, if they keep Flacco upright and they can block for him, this is going to be a tough team, especially if you have to go to Denver.”
As previously mentioned, Romo’s prognostication flies in the face of other media types and outlets which ranked the Broncos’ roster near the bottom of the league, pegged them to finish 2-14 in 2019, earn a third-consecutive top-ten draft pick and … well, you get the point.
Only Romo and NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt, who claimed Denver “absolutely” can capture the AFC West, seem to be believers in a franchise reeling from its worst two-year stretch in a half-century.
Tuning Out the Noise
Interestingly, Romo’s affirmation — football’s version of the Amazing Kreskin — came two days after Broncos star outside linebacker Bradley Chubb pushed back against negative news coverage surrounding the organization, which devolved to basement-dweller status under the previous regime.
“At the end of the day that doesn’t matter,” Chubb told reporters. “All that matters is what we do in this building right here. How we build each other up, how we practice, how we meet, how we do the small things right. And at the end of the day, if we do all those little things right, if we keep winning and if we do everything that the people want us to do, then that’s when they’re going to start talking about us. But at the end of the day we’ve got to win first, we’ve got to earn the respect first and I feel like we’re going to change a lot of people’s minds this year.”
Winning Cures All
Super Bowl 50 feels like eons ago following 5-11 and 6-10 campaigns, the Broncos falling from the mountain top and off the relevancy map. Chubb is correct, and teammate Courtland Sutton echoed, that outsiders won’t view Denver in a positive light until they prove worthy on the field.
Although Sutton is entering just his second NFL season, he’s aware of the standard that exists for those who don the orange and blue. And he, too, knows that standard hasn’t been met since 2015. Thus, if they want the naysayers to shut up, they’ll need to shut them up.
“When you come to a club as successful as the Broncos, all you want to do is win,” Sutton explained. “You want to win, you want to be able to add to the tradition that’s already been left here and keep building on that because the blueprint has already been laid. The Super Bowl-winning teams, Mr. Elway (President of Football Operations/GM John Elway) has put together great teams and the talent’s here. We want to be able to be successful, we want to be able to win. Losing isn’t fun. You ask anybody that, losing is never fun. and when you work as hard as we work you want to be able to have that reward of being able to win those games and being able to take this organization to the playoffs and take this organization to the Super Bowl and win it. I know if you ask anybody on our team, that’s our ultimate goal. Our class, we know that’s something that we want to do for a long time here and we’re going to continue to go to work every day so we can achieve those goals as a team and as a unit.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL