Denver, CO. When the Denver Broncos selected QB Brock Osweiler with the 57th overall pick in the 2012 draft, it was obvious what their intentions were going to be for the 21 year old from Arizona State. Being that a month earlier, they signed Peyton Manning for the next five years, Osweiler was drafted with the idea that he could slowly learn and develop behind one of the truly greats the NFL has ever seen. Coming out of college, just about anyone who saw him play said the same sorts of things. A very raw QB, but someone who has outstanding size and a big time arm. The situation in Denver immediately seems like it is a perfect one for Brock. No pressure, with no plans for him to play in a meaningful game anytime soon, as he should just concentrate on being a sponge for the better part of the next few seasons. If all goes according to plan, when Peyton does decide to hang up his cleats, Osweiler will hit the ground running and be the main man under center for a decade or so in Denver. But an interesting situation may develop as training camp progresses. With Osweiler locking down a roster spot for sure, who will be the third QB heading into September? The 26 year old Caleb Hanie, or the 24 year old Adam Weber?
If any of the three QB’s….Osweiler, Hanie, or Weber play much at all this year, then something went terribly wrong for the Broncos in 2012. It will have meant that injury struck #18, and the plan for this season went up in smoke. But as any NFL fan knows, the unexpected does occur more than anyone would want, and this is why teams usually keep three QB’s on the active roster. So the last roster spot will go to Hanie or Weber. Hanie was signed as a free agent from the Bears, basically as a cheap veteran who could manage the offense should he get thrown into a game. The Colorado State product has shown at times in Chicago that he can be somewhat productive, but has also shown to be mistake prone as well. The underdog here is Adam Weber, who will turn 25 tomorrow. Weber, who played with Eric Decker at the University of Minnesota, was signed in July of 2011 as an undrafted free agent. He did play some in the preseason last year, and showed some nice flashes of playmaking ability. The disadvantage he has is having no NFL regular season experience, which Hanie does have. The preseason games will determine which guy sticks, but the hunch here is that the Broncos keep Caleb Hanie, mainly because he has taken meaningful snaps in the NFL already.
Like John Elway said shortly after Peyton Manning was signed, “Plan B? We have no plan B, we are going with Plan A”. For any Broncos fan, the hope is that the other QB’s on the roster will be irrelevant for several years, as their only jobs will be to hold the clipboards and learn all they can. And more specifically for Brock Osweiler, continue to get better and study hard. 2017 will be here quicker than he might think.