Hey Bronco Nation! I am a first time poster and nearly gitty about it. I have been browsing and mulling over various posts on MHR for about a year. In light of some recent events, I wanted to finally send some of my thoughts about the team out there as well as hear some of yours.
I have been to at least one game every year for the last 4 years and every time I have walked away a bit bitter towards the team. Not bitter enough to never watch again or cheer without reason every Sunday. But it seems that I have just had a bad streak that has left a dirty, sour taste in my mouth. My first game was the San Diego butt-whooping at home. (That one really, really hurt... for days and days.) A couple of meaningless preseason games with very little significance or things to root about. And the last game I went to was the Bills game last season. Going in I was pumped... we were going to lock up a playoff spot... and crush all of the doubters. Well, as we know, that didn’t happen and I was bummed, super bummed. From then on, I vowed to never go to other game and spend hundreds of dollars to just to be kicked in the good and plentys by my beloved, cherished Broncos.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have always been completely obsessed with the Broncos, treating every game day as sacred, learning about every player… practice squad to an every-down starter and even the coaches. I absolutely love this team (almost as much as my wife…please don’t tell her). But I had started to get the feeling they have never loved me back, that they don’t play as hard as I cheer, that they aren’t committed to me (a dedicated fan) as much I am to them. But then there was change… With the new regime, I got a renewed spirit and excitement. That bitter taste was a little less sour. For only the mere reason that the hope was fresh, my relationship with the “new” team had not yet been tainted by failure and disappointment. It was a new beginning… something we all need sometimes.
McDaniels and Xanders was not necessarily was my first choice for this team’s authority but I was open-minded. At times, I struggled to agree with their decisions during the draft and free agent signings. The former quarterback trade also brought some inklings of doubt. But nevertheless, I remained dedicated, trusting that the moves being made were all for the better, even though maybe I couldn’t see it. Then as I attempted to study the moves and decisions, I began to see the light. I got the feeling that it was all a plan… someone was determined to make changes for the better. They were not afraid to stick with their mission, their plan for success. They were not afraid to cut some loose strings and make the firm statement that things WILL be better, the Broncos WILL be dedicated to finding players who want to win and play for the team. I finally felt as though maybe the team was showing some affection back to me as a fan. (Evident in how training camp was run this year and the character of the players brought in.)
Prior to my new findings, I was approached with the opportunity to go to another Broncos game. At first, as you might imagine, I hesitated. Not wanting another swift kick or yucky taste. But these tickets were a bit more appetizing then any others. They were to the Bears-Broncos preseason game. At the time, the only reason why I was interested was because my best friend was diehard Bears fan. As obsessed with his team as I am with mine. So, after some encouraging from my wife, I brought tickets to the game with only the mindset of trying to enjoy myself as best I can. I suppose I was willing to give the new staff and players a chance to knock that wicked taste out of my mouth. And then…not hours later… fuel was added to out fire…it was no longer just a small, heated battle between two friends.
The trade occurred and those tickets, that game, carried a bit more power, a bit more excitement for me as a fan. It was almost destiny…I was meant to go to this game. I believe this is the game where I turn a corner in my fanhood, where I am renewed and reinvigorated by the Broncos. With a buddy rooting for the bad guys, this game not only means more to me as a fan but now the team itself has some extra incentive. They have had fuel added to their fire. This is no longer a meaningless preseason game, and I get to be a part of that. I get to experience the Broncos having something to play for beyond just a victory. I have no doubt that McDaniels and his staff have circled this one on the calendar just like I have. The players want to prove that they have a team worth playing for. The Broncos finally have the same bitter taste I know all to well, and they are ready to wipe it clean, to give it to someone else, to knock it out and taste something sweet.
So, it is with great passion and excitement that I enter this week as a Broncos fan. I want to be prepared and ready for it all. All the hype, the hope and the sweet taste of success.With that, I would love to share a few thoughts about this weekend’s game.
1. I am dieing to see the full Broncos squad out there competing. I know there is little control over this due to injuries and such. But having Dawkins, Marshall and Moreno in the mix on Sunday would be great. We would be able to finally see all of the pieces of the puzzle together and hopefully be a force.
2. Lets continue the number of sacks we get each game. I realize some were due to factors other than our athleticism and skill but pounding JC into the Invesco turf would be great. Plus, I think it is essential to get some good looks at the mobile QB and wrangle him for a few sacks.
3. We must limit the turnovers (6 in first two games) and get some of our own. As they all learn and stay controlled, I have faith that it will improve on our end. But with the likes of McBath and Phonze, we got to get some INTs. Goodman and Champ could redeem themselves a bit for less then great play in the other games. JC does have a tendency to force things (as we all know) and we could really capitalize.
4. A more balanced offense would be nice. I know that McD is trying to throw all he can at the O and Orton but I would like to see a bit more running. I truly believe that Hillis and Buckhalter can be problems for folks if you give them the rock and let them work. On the goal line, this is especially true. Yes, we will be more of a passing team but running is still effective.
5. I hope to see most of the starters play for 3 quarters. They all have something to play for, more in this game than in most. Worrying about injuries is always an issue but its football. It happens in practice, it happens in game, we can’t be afraid to compete because of injuries. Half time adjustments is also huge when having the starters play more than a half. Not only can the players can adjust and improve their play, but McD and the staff will have to revamp the game plan and it would be a great test.
6. I believe that if Orton continues to progress we will be just fine, better than fine. If he can progress between games 2 and 3, like he did between 1 and 2 it would be awesome. The system McD runs is difficult and a player progressing each game is good news. I think both McD and Orton want and need to be successful against the Bears.
7. Win baby, just win. Knock that freakin’ taste out of my mouth!