Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

KLEE: One question around Broncos - is it Super Bowl or bust?

by PAUL KLEE paul,klee@gazette.com - Published: June 11, 2013

ENGLEWOOD - Want to know the big story around NFL minicamps? Scan the headlines.

In San Diego, it was Manti Te'o (and whether he brought a plus-1). In Washington, the health of quarterback Robert Griffin III. In New England, Tim Tebow.

In Denver?

"Is this season Super Bowl or bust for this team?" ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio asked one of the Broncos after their first mandatory workout Tuesday.

You don't need a scout's eye to see what's going down at Dove Valley.

These are the highest expectations ever associated with a pro sports team in Colorado.

The successes (Peyton Manning's spectacular first season as Bronco) and failures (the playoff collapse against the Ravens) formed the perfect storm for Super-Bowl-or-Bust.

I counted 36 media types at Dove Valley - about the norm for a Broncos minicamp without Tebow, according to veteran writers. That number doesn't include Eric Decker, who grabbed a TV camera and pretended to film Manning during an interview session.

Here were the main topics of interest:

Is Willis McGahee in the doghouse for skipping the team's voluntary OTAs?

What are your thoughts on Tebow signing with the Patriots?

"Good for him," Champ Bailey said.

And the dominant theme of the discussion: Is it Super Bowl or bust for the Broncos?

When a reporter can ask that question and not earn a quizzical look, it says plenty about the state of a franchise. This is where the Broncos are, Super Bowl or bust.

"I think every year you touch the field you've got to think Super Bowl," Bailey said. "We know we've got to get better to get there. But in the end we want to be holding that trophy."

No one can say 500 words and actually say nothing better than Manning.

Reading between the lines - a necessity with Manning - even the quarterback hinted the time is now.

"That's certainly every team's goal at this point," Manning said when asked if his second season in Denver qualifies as Super Bowl or bust.

That's as far as Manning will venture into this topic.

"I know it's a boring, old, clich? answer, but it's about putting the work in to achieve that goal," he said. "That's what we're trying to do."

There is precious little drama in this Broncos minicamp, the final go-round before their training camp opens July 24.

There is the McGahee situation, an overblown issue that really isn't one. The veteran running back missed voluntary OTAs. Note the key word: voluntary.

"I'm healthy. I'm cleared," McGahee said. "Everything is good."

There is the Ryan Clady situation. Manning's best security guard wasn't there Tuesday and will miss the minicamp since he doesn't agree with Denver's decision to franchise him.

"I've kept in touch with Ryan (and know) he wants to be here," Manning said.

There is the Tebow situation. Always, and forever.

But on a Broncos roster with no glaring question marks, there is only one question.

Is it Super Bowl or bust?

No doubt about it.

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Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

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