In 1995, the Denver Broncos finished 8-8 — not bad for a team with a new head coach (Mike Shanahan) that had spent the past three seasons hovering around .500 (8-8 in 1992, 9-7 in 1993 and 7-9 in 1994).
That offseason, former Broncos center Tom Nalen recalls, Denver completely overhauled its roster.
When the Broncos went 13-3 in 1996 but failed to escape the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Denver overhauled again, said “The Drive” co-host.
“After the 13-3 year, the entire roster was overhauled, until we got to the Super Bowl. That’s what works,” Nalen said Thursday.
So, if the vision for John Elway and the Broncos brass is to quickly turn around the club into a Super Bowl contender once again, “8-8 is not good enough,” Nalen said.
And that, Nalen said, means letting go of Elway, Vic Fangio, Joe Ellis, finding new ownership — whatever it takes to turn things 180 degrees.
“I need a complete ideology shift at that point, I guess,” Nalen said. “We’re looking at a Kingsbury type of coach in here. And we’re going to find a quarterback. If Drew Lock’s not that guy, we’ve got to find a quarterback that fits that coach.”
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