Okay... let's face it. We Bronco fans tend to get our expectations up every preseason (and for good reason back in the '90s). In fact, I think it's safe to say EVERY team's fans get their hopes up before the start of regular season games (except the hapless Bengals, but that's another story altogether). I remember feeling excited when "He who shall not be named" was hired as the new head coach and even feeling excited the next year for our team to gel in its second year working with the golly-whiz-would-you-look-at-that? offensive plan.
As Rooster Cogburn might say: "Well, that didn't pan out."
So... here it is preseason again, and would you believe it? I'm excited.
But this time it feels different.
Why does it feel different? Let me count the ways...
1 - You don't hear much about the coaches. To me, that means the assistants are doing their jobs and getting their marching orders from the top. There are no mavericks out there trying to make a splash and/or looking for media attention and a head coaching gig next year. Nice to have grown men doing their jobs.
2 - The running game. I've heard from multiple sports sources that Moreno is having his best camp as a pro. Those assertions passed the eye test for me in the past couple of preseason games. He appears to be running with more confidence and authority, as well as showing very well in the passing game out of the backfield. The addition of Willis looks like a better add than I first expected. He's looked good in short yardage and his receiving TD the other night was great. I'm hoping Slaton gets released by the Texans so we can pick him up and we'll have a better backup situation than Ball or Minor, but that's just wishing at this point.
3 - The Defense. Just having Doom back seems to be making the unit respectable all by itself. Adding Miller's speed rushing abilities and then watching Moore bring some nasty back to the safety position is making me downright giddy. I'm trying to temper the enthusiasm, however, since I've seen this defense fold in the second half like a cheap suit over the last number of years. But it's the preseason and I'M EXCITED.
4 - The Tight Ends. Did we actually see the offense feature passes to the tight end position in the last preseason game? I think we did and me likey! Fells looks like a nice target over the middle and I'm hoping Thomas lives up to his potential. He needs to learn to block, but he can learn that while Fells makes us forget the debacle in that position over the last number of years.
5 - The New Kick Return Rules. Yes, they're stupid and make the game a bore-fest, but I have to tell you, after watching our special teams coverage units stink up the field in past seasons, I'm kind of glad I don't have to hold my breath on Broncos kickoffs this year!
Those are 5 reasons I'm excited, so far, for 2011. Tell me yours!
Did you notice this post wasn't about - oops, I almost blew it!