Broncos Notes: QBs, Defense, Elway

Broncos defensive tackle Sylvester Williams offered some insight into the team’s three-man quarterback derby Tuesday, telling SiriusXM NFL Radio, “I think [Mark Sanchez] has to go out there and lose the job” (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today). Sanchez, 29, is the elder statesman of a troika that also includes 2015 seventh-round selection Trevor Siemian and first-round rookie Paxton Lynch. While Sanchez was previously at the helm of two defensively brilliant Jets teams that went to AFC title games, the 2009 fifth overall pick from USC hasn’t had much personal success in the NFL. It’s worth noting, though, that the Broncos’ dominant defense led them to a Super Bowl title last season in spite of subpar quarterback play.

More notes on the reigning champions:

  • Although Sanchez looks like the favorite to win the No. 1 job, the seven-year veteran’s history suggests it would be a mistake for the Broncos to award him the role, argues Adam Schein of Given that Sanchez is known for wilting in the spotlight, as Schein writes, Denver’s best hope is for Lynch to grab the reins and take advantage of the excellent receiver duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
  • Safety T.J. Ward believes the Broncos’ defense can improve on its output from last year and go down as a legendary unit. “We can become the best defense of all time. That’s what we’re working toward,” he said Monday (via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post). Last year’s Broncos ‘D’ is arguably among the premier groups ever, having led the league in total defense, pass defense and sacks before steamrolling its three playoff opponents. Of that defense, general manager John Elway told John Clayton of in February that “it’s the best I’ve ever seen with the way they play and with the speed they play.” The squad has incurred a couple serious losses since then, however, with lineman Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan taking bigger paydays elsewhere in free agency.
  • Elway’s reign as an executive is beginning to rival his Hall of Fame playing tenure, contends Mike Klis of 9News. The Elway-led Broncos have accumulated 64 victories, the second-highest total in the league, in his five years as the GM, and have won a Super Bowl, two conference championships and five straight AFC West titles. Among Elway’s best work in the front office, offers Klis: Convincing Canton-bound veterans Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware to accept pay cuts; re-signing Pro Bowlers Von Miller, Thomas, Chris Harris Jr., C.J. Anderson, Ryan Clady, Champ Bailey and Matt Prater (the latter three of whom are now retired or elsewhere); and serving as the league’s only GM to pick up a Pro Bowler through the draft (Miller and Julius Thomas), street free agency (Manning, Ware and Willis McGahee), unrestricted free agency (Ward, Aqib Talib and Louis Vasquez) and undrafted free agency (Harris and Anderson) over the past half-decade.
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