TERRY COLUMN: Last chance at a first impression

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Brock Osweiler’s second chance has arrived.

It might be his last one.

The 2009 Flathead High grad is getting another shot at the Denver Broncos starting quarterback job this weekend, taking over for Trevor Siemian, who has thrown two touchdowns and six interceptions in his last three games, all losses for the Broncos.

The last time Brock took over the starting role in Denver, he was the future. There was hope that his flaws would be flattened out with experience in the starting role. He was learning from one of the best ever and he’d eventually be a caretaker for a team that had everything else in place.

The last 18 months have changed everything.

The Broncos gave the starting role back to Peyton Manning for the playoffs, won the Super Bowl and Brock cashed in on all that hope in the offseason for a big contract in Houston.

Some Denver fans never forgave him for taking a higher-paying job in a sport without guaranteed contracts. Some lamented Brock for leaving the Broncos’ quarterback situation in a lurch, the best quarterback left on the roster being Siemian.

Then the rest of the country turned on Brock. With high money come high expectations and Osweiler struggled on the big stage. New coaches, new system, new players, no matter, he didn’t play well in the big games and because of that saw his goodwill erode.

He was sloughed off on the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, who then cut him to avoid winning games.

All of that turned his name into a laughing stock in the national media.

Less than two years later, he’s back where he started and all of that hope for the future has worn off.

But he can turn all that around.

The Broncos are still good. Most of the same players that won the Super Bowl two years ago are still on the roster.

Osweiler doesn’t have to be great. He doesn’t have to lead the team to the Super Bowl this year. All he has to do is be good.

The Broncos still have an elite defense. Brock doesn’t have to be Peyton Manning to change opinions. He just needs to be Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson.

If Osweiler can keep the offense moving and stay away from turnovers, opinions will change. He just needs to keep the Broncos in contention and he’ll go from being an expensive albatross to being a valued veteran that can add to a team.

There’s always the opportunity to do more, too. But, if Brock is going to continue on as a full-time starter in the league, he can’t do less. Another mediocre showing may leave him searching for another team in the offseason and lead to a series of backup roles.

But, the opportunity is there.

After a long, arduous journey to get back here, the opportunity is all you can ask for.

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