The first day of Quarterback Camp has come and gone, and while it gives us something to write about on the field there really wasn't all that much that happened...
There were some stories to talk about, and here are some of my thoughts about Day 1....
Part of any healing process is getting back on the saddle so to speak. Anytime you lose someone there is going to come a time when you have to face a situation that brings their memory back to the forefront of your mind. The Broncos experienced that yesterday, stepping on the field for the first time without Darrent Williams and Damien Nash. It is another important step in the healing process, not only for the team as a whole, but for each individual Bronco personally.
D.J. Williams is one of those players, and with his increased leadership roll on the defense this season he'll have an important impact on helping the D get over the loss.
"Every time we hit the huddle, me and Darrent had a little secret handshake, and for the first time to go out there and not actually do it, that's the one time I thought about it," the linebacker said. "But out there, you have to be focused on the task at hand."
The Broncos revealed the first in what might be several ways to remember their fallen teammates.
My thanks to Andrew Mason's blog for the photo.
The helmet decals will be a small reminder for everyone everytime they put their hat on to go to work, and while the tribute is small, the reminder is a substantial one, and every player should be motivated each time they put their helmet on.
Alot of the attention from now until the season starts will be on D.J. Williams, who will take over for Al Wilson at Middle Linebacker. There is no doubt that Williams has all the physical tools to make the switch but what remains to be seen is if D.J. can fill the leadership void the release of Wilson will cuase on defense and in the locker room. Yes, the Broncos have several leaders, especially on defense, but some of those guys aren't the in-your-face, rah-rah type leaders that Wilson was. Guys like Champ Bailey and John Lynch lead more by example than by cheerleading.
Williams got his first chance yesterday, leading the team's "breakdown" session, just like his predecessor did in years past. We'll have plenty of time to discuss Williams strengths and weaknesses on the field, but his attitude and leadership off of it could have jus as big of an impact in 2007.
I listed all the new numbers yesterday, and I have to be honest, I agree with loyal MHR reader SD Bronco when it comes to Mike Bell wearing the #30. Sure, the Broncos are very particular when it comes to retiring numbers, and Pat Bowlen has basically said it would take something Elway-esque for a player to have his number removed from the available stock. That said, some numbers are better left in the equipment room and out of circulation. I know Mike Bell asked TD, and Davis seemed to be ok with it, but Mike Bell should better know better. Terrell Davis is a legend in Denver and his number deserves a bit better than Mike Bell, no offense.
I mentioned on MHR Radio last night how good of a feeling it was to head into this season knowing full well who the quarterback will be. Since Elway retired in 1999 there has always been this shadow of doubt surrounding the most famous postition in Denver sports, until now that is. Sure, there weren't huge quarterback controversies heading into many of the season's since Elway called it quits, but the position never had the air of certainty it has today. Being a quarterback in the NFL takes more than raw ability. The player has to "look the part". Brian Griese never really did, and neither did Jake Plummer. Jay Cutler LOOKS like a NFL quarterback. I think we are in for something special with ole' #6.