Broncos co-captain Corey Parker reckons they are no one-man band for 2014 despite the hype surrounding Dally M Medallist Ben Barba’s signing.
Fans may be excited about Ben Barba’s arrival but don’t tell the Brisbane that he’ll be their saviour in the 2014 NRL season.
Statistics alone indicated Brisbane needed something special to spark the seemingly dormant fire in their belly.
The once mighty Broncos slumped to 12th place on the 2013 ladder – the worst finish in the club’s proud 25-year history.
And they have not won a premiership since 2006 – the longest title drought the six-time champions have known.
No wonder the nimble-footed Barba’s off-season arrival from the Bulldogs was met with such fanfare by supporters.
But Broncos co-captain Corey Parker says the team won’t be burdening Barba by pinning their title hopes on the former Dally M Medallist.
“I don’t think we have ever been a one-man band and we certainly aren’t one now,” he said.
“Ben’s a quality player. No one can question that.
“But we won’t be looking at him to get us out of a hole.
“We believe we have the depth to challenge the best. We look forward to proving that when the season comes along.”
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin must sure hope so.
In a remarkable power play for an unproven coach, Griffin was given the green light to a stunning off-season overhaul ahead of the 2014 kick-off.
Gone were head conditioner Tony Guilfoyle and football manager James Hinchey.
In came highly-regarded Melbourne conditioner Alex Corvo and ex-Cowboys trainer Steve Hooper.
Then came the real bombshell.
Last month Test forward Sam Thaiday was paraded before reporters as a sacked Brisbane captain.
Hours later Brisbane media were asked to return to their Red Hill base, this time with Parker and fellow veteran Justin Hodges – who will miss at least the first four rounds due to an Achilles injury – unveiled as co-skippers.
Griffin won’t have to be reminded that he will quickly be in Thaiday’s shoes if 1990s juggernaut Brisbane does not rise again.
Not surprisingly Parker backed Griffin, who is contracted until the end of 2015.
“I would not say Hook (Griffin) is under any pressure. I would say the Broncos are under pressure after a couple of ordinary years,” he said.
“We haven’t made a grand final in a couple of years but we are backing ourselves.”
Apart from staff changes, Griffin also injected Barba, prop Martin Kennedy, unheralded forward Todd Lowrie and outside backs Daniel Vidot and Stewart Mills to the Broncos 2014 squad.
He also helped ensure disgruntled Kiwi international Josh Hoffman stayed on the books after a three month contract battle.
Emerging from a recent 90 minute honesty session with Griffin and Broncos boss Paul White, Hoffman finally confirmed he would see out the final two years of his contract and claimed he did not care where he played despite his prized fullback role being threatened by new recruit Barba.
Now for Griffin’s next trick – finding a five-eighth.
Unheralded youngster Kodi Nikorima appears to have the jump after combining well with halfback Ben Hunt at the Auckland Nines.
But the jury is out on when the Broncos will finally find a consistent, long term post-Darren Lockyer No.6 option.
Griffin will be hoping it is sooner rather than later.