Anyone who catches passes or runs with the football on the Broncos offense is blessed. Their task is eased by the presence of Peyton Manning, one of the top dozen offensive players in NFL history.
But there’s a burden that goes along with the blessing. Skepticism stalks these skill-position players.
Almost anyone, the thinking goes, can put up big offensive numbers while Manning distracts and terrorizes opposing defenses.
I had little problem with the Broncos waving goodbye to Eric Decker.
I do have a problem with Knowshon Moreno running away to Miami.
Moreno enjoyed a breakout season in 2013. He rushed for 1,038 yards. He caught 60 passes and offered superlative protection for Manning on the passing downs when he remained in the pocket. He struggled for tough yards, battling with the massive men in the middle, but he also outran the fast guys in the secondary.
He became a special player.
The Broncos will struggle to replace him. Montee Ball? Nah. He fails to match Moreno as a receiver or a blocker.
John Elway has made a long list of brilliant moves as the Broncos Godfather.
This is one of his mistakes.