By James Smith
May 29, 2012
Expectations. We all have them. The 2012 Broncos were no exception. They had them too, and it is for this reason that the season did not go as planned. Going into the 2012 regular season, if there were expectations in the mind of the Broncos, they were bad. We had won only 17 games in the 2011 season, we had lost much of our great talent to our graduating seniors the previous spring, and we had a brand new coaching staff, all of which left us unsure of how our year would play out. After a late September night meeting, however, the team’s five seniors – myself included – knew something was going to be different.
After the September practice in which our skipper demanded we get down on our hands and knees around the field and literally start talking to the grass, I knew something was going to be different – and better. He does things differently, and he does them better. He, unlike several of the players, had high expectations. They weren’t result-oriented and driven solely on the prospect of winning. Rather, they were great expectations. Not the Charles Dickens kind, but the kind that were rooted in the team’s process, effort, and heart. He has the innate ability to motivate the Broncos internally and externally – something few of us had ever had the chance to experience. He was the great leader we had been looking for. He is someone who can get in our face and challenge us to be great. Through these challenges, if we accepted them, we could become great. And through the fog of a thousand different philosophies and hundreds of O’Brienisms, he became our leader, and we bought into it.