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Horse Tracks: Broncos aim for better 'consistency' after bye

Coaches insist the problem in the first three games has not been inability of players or the play-calling. Rather, it's fixing the details so good plays become the norm and not the exception.

Steve Dykes
Good morning, Broncos Country!

Well the talking point out of a relatively silent Dove Valley this week was consistently "consistency."

"I don't think we've played with the consistency we've wanted," GM John Elway said this week. "We've showed a lot of good things in spurts, but we haven't been consistent."

Coach John Fox agreed consistency is what is missing.

"I think it's our whole football team," Fox said, noting better consistency would move the Broncos from good to great. "We have a lot of work to do. Everybody in there, coaches included, needs to improve. We had some good things in the [Seattle] game, but it wasn't good enough to win and we have to learn from that and work to be more consistent."

We feel good about the people we have in place. It's just getting everybody on the same page and working together as a team. -John Elway, Vice President and GM

Elway elaborated that teams establish this by taking care of the details in their play.

"We feel good about the people we have in place. It's just a matter of getting everybody on the same page and working together as a team," Elway said. "We just continue to practice together and continue to get the trust of the players in the system we're doing."

Wes Welker, a key cog in the offensive wheel whose original four-game suspension was reduced to two allowing him to play in the Seattle slugfest, said chemistry is still coming for the offense.

"The more repetitions ... and playing together, the better off we're going to be in forming that chemistry within each other and that trus," Welker said. "All those things take time and I feel like they're really starting to build that and it'll get better as the year goes on."

Elway added that consistency and chemistry means players "gotta buy in" whether it is how they're running routes, the depth of a route, blocking, etc. "It's just the little things...the little details leading up to big things. If you do a lot of little things wrong, that leads to inconsistency."

In spite of the inconsistency that has plagued the Broncos in their first three games, Emmanuel Sanders has been a praiseworthy - and consistent - highlight.

Sitting atop the NFL leader boards in number of catches, Sanders' performance is just what the coaching staff and Front Office expected.

"I wouldn't say he's surprise. We knew we were getting a heck of a football player when we signed him," said Elway, who snagged Sanders just hours before he was going to ink a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. "He added quickness, explosiveness and speed to our wide receiver corps. He's a great competitor; he's been a tremendous addition."

Though this competitor would prefer to be 3-0 going into the bye, Sanders could not be happier with his role on the team and its outlook for the rest of the season.

"I'm happy," he said, adding it is "a blessing" to be part of a Super Bowl team. "For Peyton [Manning] to have that kind of trust in me, that kind of confidence in me to throw me the ball, it's definitely a blessing. I'm enjoying it."

So are we, Emmanuel, so are we.

With 25 catches and 334 yards so far, Sanders is first in the NFL for number of catches and third for yards. But he'd rather see big numbers for the entire offense.

"Last year [this offense] broke an NFL record and that's something we're trying to get back to," Sanders said. "That's something that we want to get back to-putting 40 points up on the board and scoring a lot of touchdowns. Every day, we're out here practicing, trying to get back to that type level."

There'll be no argument from the fan base if the Broncos decide to put 40+ points on the board every game. No argument whatsoever.

But that will have to wait another week as players take their assigned bye during Week 4 and gear up for a marathon of tough games to finish the season.

"I know I need it," said defensive end Derek Wolfe. "We've been grinding hard. These first three games have been tough, so it's good to regroup and kind of go look at things we've been doing wrong and go fix them."

Although many of the Broncos said they'll go into the bye week putting the Seattle loss behind them, Wolfe acknowledged that thinking about the loss an extra week isn't all bad.

I love the grit we played with in Seattle. You can't coach that. Either you have it or you don't. There's a lot of upside to this team.   -John Elway, Vice President and GM

"You love it to fuel you throughout the season," he said. "Anytime you get in a rough spot, you remember that we've been here before so we can do this. We have to put it behind us, but we also can't forget how it feels to lose a game like that."

It all goes back to consistency, says the Broncos fearless leader.

"I love the grit we played with in Seattle," Elway said. "You can't coach that, you can't teach that. You either have it or you don't. 2-1 is a good start. We also know we have a long way to go, but there's a lot of upside to this team to get where we want to get."

Horse Tracks

  • Despite much speculation on the reason for his low productivity so far in 2014, Demaryius Thomasremains the upstanding player he is and only blames himself.
  • There's nothing lacking in the productivity of Emmanuel Sanders who has 25 catches and 334 yards so far, already more than one-third of the way toward beating his stats last season.
  • There's been a change in the stats from last weekend. No, the score has to stay 26-20 (damn!) But Terrance Knighton gets credit for a blocked field goal and DeMarcus Ware gets a forced fumble on his sack.

  • John Fox told the players before they headed out for their weekend off "to make good decisions, be smart, relax, enjoy the time off, come back ready to work and whatever we've done up to three games, evaluate it and do better when we come back." Here are a few of the things the Broncos are planning for the time off.
  • In case you haven't heard, the real reason the Seattle Seahawks beat us last weekend was thanks to witchcraft and sun salutations.
  • Although it was Peyton Manning's little brother with the big numbers last night, the elder Manning is amongNFL's mind-blowing stats heading into Week 4 for his 300+ yards in first three games in 2009 and 2013.
  • If you haven't kept up with this heartwarming story on the 4-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengals' DTDevon Still, here is your chance. She had a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, and Still's pep talk to his daughter will make your day!