Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/24/12

The Denver Broncos were a mediocre team in 2011 but were thrust into the spotlight because of their former quarterback and spiritual leader, Tim Tebow.

His Football-ness was jettisoned in the offseason in favor of perhaps the greatest to ever play the position, Peyton Manning, who is also a pretty good guy.

With a crop of promising young stars that are rich on talent and character, there is a lot to like about the composition of the Broncos' roster.

Not everyone on the Broncos is cut from this mold, however, and there are a handful of guys the team would probably be better without, regardless of their talent.

Since 2000, there have been at least 605 arrests among NFL players (Source: www.utsandiego.com).

Despite being portrayed as a first-class organization, the Denver Broncos have amassed the 3rd highest total of those arrests, with 34 Donkeys getting 'cuffed for one reason or another.

Granted, that number is skewed because of the Brandon Marshall years, but it still doesn't bode well for the Denver Broncos Football Club's reputation. 

Let's take a look at the three current players we Love and Hate the most:

Love 'Em

Champ Bailey - Champ became a Bronco before the 2004 season in what will be looked back as one of the best trades in the organization's history, sending the recently retired Clinton Portis to Washington. An unparalleled talent on the field and a class act off it, it's no accident that you see almost as many No. 24 jerseys at Mile High on Sundays as No. 7's.

Soft spoken and honest, you'll always find Champ with a smile on his face while being interviewed and fire coming out of his earholes when he's between the lines. Bailey is no doubt a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer for his play on the field (cornerback record 11 Pro Bowls) and the class he displays off of it.

Von Miller - The highest draft pick (No. 2) in Denver Broncos history in 2011, Miller showed in his rookie season that the hype was real. His 10 1/2 sacks in his first 11 games as a pro locked up his Defensive Rookie of the Year honors despite being limited in the last five games after suffering a thumb injury.

Von's infectious smile, trend-setting glasses, and non-stop motor have made him one of the brightest young defensive stars in the league. It would be very easy for a guy with his God-given talent to coast every once in a while, but Miller is a shooting start that knows he has the potential to make an impact far beyond the football field. 

Eric Decker - Not many people knew what to think about Decker when "The Coach Who Shall Not Be Mentioned" drafted him in 2010 along with Tebow and Demaryius Thomas. Decker had a great college career but was under the radar at the University of Minnesota (current Broncos backup quarterback Adam Weber was his teammate).

Since joining the Broncos, nobody has worked harder at becoming a professional and the results are starting to manifest on the field, as he's quickly become Peyton Manning's favorite target this preseason.

Off the field, Decker has done outstanding work for the Aurora theater shooting victims and Waldo Canyon fire victims, making volunteer appearances for both. Having a significant other such as his fiance, country/pop singer Jessica James, doesn't hurt his stock either.

 

Hate 'Em:

D.J. Williams - Williams has become Public Enemy No. 1 in Denver over recent years as his play on the field has slipped to a level where it's questionable if the headaches he creates when off the field are worth keeping him around. The former Miami Hurricane is living up to his alma mater's "bad boy" reputation, and then some.

Williams was suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season for failing multiple drug tests conducted by the league. Recently convicted of DWAI (his 2nd), Williams is facing further punishment from the Ginger Hammer and the Broncos can't count on any contributions from him whatsoever for the 2012 season.

Knowshon Moreno - Another questionable draft pick from "The Coach Who Shall Not Be Mentioned" Era, Moreno has never lived up to the hype of being the 12th overall pick in the 2009 Draft. If you're going to take a running back in the first half of the draft you can't miss.

And 1,905 rushing yards on 4.1 YPC and six touchdowns in three seasons doesn't quite cut it, although it looked like he was finally starting to get it last season before he was cut down with a knee injury.

Moreno must have been mentored by D.J. Williams, because this last off-season he was arrested for suspicion of DUI when he was pulled over in his Bentley doing 70mph ina 45mph zone. His personalized license plate read, "SAUCED". Can't make this stuff up, folks.

Peyton Manning - In what may go down as the biggest free-agent acquisition in the history of the NFL, John Elway & John Fox convinced Manning to make Denver his new home after he was a victim of the Indianapolis youth movement.

Despite being a great guy, excellent endorser, and possible franchise savior, it's just not that easy to like Peyton because he pulled an orange and blue jersey over his pads.

After watching him torch the Broncos time after time, ending their season in the playoffs two consecutive years (2003, 2004) by a combined score of 90-34, Manning never did anything to endear himself to the Broncos' faithful until he appeared in that press conference back in March holding up the previously retired No. 18.

If he can deliver on the prospect of Super Bowl glory. If he isn't able to lead the Broncos above the mediocrity that's engulfed them for the better part of the last 15 years, he will leave Denver in no better graces than he arrived. 

 

 

 



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