Posted Sun Jun 13th by Ian Henson
In a move that’s not going to be news to most fans, the Indianapolis Colts have signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Tom Brandstater.
What does this mean and why would a quarterback, of all the draftable positions, not be good enough for the Broncos, but good enough for the Colts?
Yes, I know, the Colts employed Curtis Painter as their back-up last season. The guy played six quarters last season and ended up ruining what could have been another 16-0 season in the NFL.
Well, that’s six times as many quarters as Brandstater has played in the NFL.
Well, at least Brandstater landed on his feet.
Brandstater, as my colleague Dave Krieger (who am I kidding, I blog, Krieger is a consummate professional and a gentleman) pointed out in one of his last musings at The Denver Post the Brandstater watch is over.
Fans expected young Brandstater to ride the bench (and the Orton era out), until he was ready to take over. Fans ultimately gave it two months and even I was calling for Brandstater about three minutes into the first Chris Simms performance of 2009. I don’t see how Brandstater could have done much worse, but what would be said about Josh McDaniels had he started Brandstater over Simms against the San Diego Chargers. The risk outweighed the reward, but I can imagine he gave it heavy thought following the Washington Redskins.
Now Brandstater’s a Colt and by default a perennial Super Bowl contender, but why him? Hundreds of Broncos fans said the words ‘Brandstater’, ‘Super Bowl’, ‘2012’ with the word ‘Madden’ inserted in between last year around this time… Maybe I was just talking to myself one-hundred times.
Hey, I was wrong once (but it was just to see what it felt like), I couldn’t see Denver giving up on Brandstater this quickly. Heck, mark my words, the Broncos will sign another quarterback before training camp starts. Despite McDaniels saying that he can only see carrying two quarterbacks on the active roster this season. There are just too many receivers in Denver for three quarterbacks to throw to during training camp.
The really troubling part is this; once again, no one expects the Broncos to do anything this season. Yes, this is a very fair assessment, Denver’s heading into their fifth season since they’ve been in the playoffs. They’re in the second year with a young coach, no 1,000-yard rusher, three Pro Bowlers on the roster (a tackle, a cornerback and a safety), Kyle Orton at quarterback and not a single receiver that anyone outside of Denver could name.
You know what though? I pointed it out in my last long article did anyone give the Colts more of a run for their money than the Broncos last season outside of the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl? Here’s the long list of who in the AFC could match up or beat the Colts this season:
- Baltimore Ravens
- San Diego Chargers
- Pittsburgh Steelers (with Ben Roethlisberger)
- New England Patriots
- Houston Texans
…and the Denver Broncos.
The Texans, Patriots, Chargers and Broncos all play the Colts this in the regular season this year. The Texans, the Colts can’t avoid, they play them twice a year by default, the Patriots and Chargers, they seem to pull every season as well. The Broncos typically only get the Colts following a less than first place finish by the team. During the regular season games the Colts and Broncos seem to flip-flop wins and losses (I said regular season, not playoffs).
And now… As my childhood radio hero Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story…”
Brandstater was hand-picked by McDaniels, then hand-picked by him to be cut in favor of better choices: Orton, Brady Quinn and rookie Tim Tebow. However, Brandstater was good enough for the Colts.
The move for Brandstater says two things about the Colts: they either respect McDaniels choice and scouting of quarterbacks or they’re worried about the Broncos. The later makes much more sense, reminiscent of when Mike Shanahan picked up Brandon Stokley following the 2006 season after falling so much in love with coaching Peyton Manning following the 2005 Pro Bowl. Either one should mean a lot to Broncos and their fans.
The Colts are worried about the Broncos and McDaniels is 1-0 against the Patriots. That’s not mathematics, but it is two of the three teams (other than the Chargers, whom the Broncos have split with games with over the last two seasons) that control the AFC and the road to the Super Bowl.
I can hear it now from the comments section reach! Yet, it’s undeniable, McDaniels may not have the respect of the writers, sports commentators or fans, but he’s got it from the coaches of the NFL.