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Paul Klee: Broncos need the return of Gary Kubiak. Here's how he can help.

By: Paul Klee
November 27, 2017 Updated: November 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm
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Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak looks over his playbook during the third quarter Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. The Broncos won 24-6. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

DENVER — The Broncos are running a daycare without supervision. As soon as they're ready to stop crying and beating the Raiders and Patriots returns to Dove Valley as priority No. 1, here’s a new job title to consider.

Gary Kubiak, general manager.

Name another football man ’round these hills who consistently identified the best quarterback for the Broncos with only shaky options at his disposal, while also managing a proud, combustible locker room that doubles as football’s version of “The View.” That’s one idea to help fix this hot mess.

I’m not saying Kubiak should return to coach the Broncos. That party boat sailed.

Think of this move as more of a balancing act, someone to say “no” to drafting an immature quarterback from a basketball school, or to lend a helpful voice when the head coach decides to publicly reprimand a respected team captain after months of letting other digressions coast by without so much as a discouraging word. The buck will still stop at John Elway. And it should. Ol’ Kubes simply would have a say, like his enlightened say when he stuck with Trevor Siemian over Paxton Lynch in last year’s meaningless season finale. Plus, when coach Vance Joseph lists his mentors, Kubiak often comes first. 

Yes, a roster that’s short on talent lands on Elway’s desk. So it’s cool if folks want to run Elway out of town, a sentiment that’s stronger with those who oppose his political views, but I’ll ride with the guy who’s brought only two losing seasons in 22 years with the Broncos. To each their own, I guess.

Either way, a little help never hurt.

Hate to be the bearer of good news, but NFL teams are not relegated after bad seasons. If you need proof, the Raiders played on Sunday. According to — a handy-dandy website I used to bookmark for Nuggets research, never before for Broncos research — the Broncos currently own the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The basement dwellers directly in front of and behind them drafted a quarterback last year (the Browns, of course, and Bears), traded for a quarterback this season (San Francisco) or already possess a bazillionaire quarterback (Colts, Giants). If there’s ever been a good time to need a quarterback — via draft, free agency or trade — 2018 is it.

But I want Kubiak in the room to help with that decision. His push to draft Siemian in the seventh round gave the Broncos their most productive player of the 2015 class and a superior quarterback to first- and second-rounders Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler. Enough with “he’s tall.” Brains and maturity trump size every day, twice on NFL Sundays. The Lynch era should be over. Siemian will make millions as a backup. Osweiler is a really nice guy.

The Broncos need a quarterback, but first they need help in choosing the right one. The way Kubiak identified Siemian late in the draft and managed the Great Quarterback Shuffle on the road to Super Bowl 50, I trust his expertise more than what’s been going on over there lately.

Oh, that reminds me. Your weekly Broncos QB update: Siemian will start against the Dolphins on Sunday, Lynch is injured again (this time for 2-4 weeks with a bum ankle, Joseph said) and Osweiler is still a really nice guy.

What happened in Oakland on Sunday can’t happen with the Broncos. I get that Paxton Lynch was bummed at his latest injury and wayward performance. The Black Hole is no place for tears of shame. And the Raiders baiting Aqib Talib and the Broncos into a fake fight and costly ejections clearly was premeditated. The Broncos fell for it — right hook, line and sinker. It should go down as Jack Del Rio’s best work since his Broncos defense, without four starters, stuffed Handsome Tom and the Patriots in the 2013 AFC championship game. Talib earned a two-game suspension from the NFL.

Broncos Raiders Football
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree, center, fights with Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko, left, and cornerback Aqib Talib during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. Crabtree and Talib were ejected. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) 

Vance Joseph’s response on Monday: “I'll say this: I’m not sure how it all started.”

Huh? Either the coach didn’t ask his players — and Joseph said he spoke with Talib after the game — or doesn’t trust his players' word.

“He (Crabtree) sucker-punched me,” Chris Harris Jr. said.

“He punched Chris and the next play he came and punched me,” Talib said Monday.

Meanwhile, too many Broncos spend their free time arguing with total strangers on social media like a clique of insecure teenagers. Dudes, you’re 20-something millionaires. Why do you care what a Twitter egg says?

This Broncos’ comeback — and it's going to be a beauty — starts with signing the right personnel. Actually, let’s change that. It starts with signing the right football minds to select the right personnel. GK for GM. Go from there.

Twitter: @bypaulklee

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