It is always a fun week of radio when the team you are covering just won the Super Bowl. Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of The Afternoon Drive had a good time talking Denver Broncos football with Michael Pritchard on Monday. The topic? Super Bowl 50, of course.
On what he thought of the Super Bowl
"I was not surprised at all. I think it just speaks to what John Elway wanted to accomplish years ago and that is building a Super Bowl team. They had a Super Bowl caliber team all year long and they just capped it off with a great football game. And now they are World Champions. Perfect. Love it."
On if it was like every other game the Broncos had this year
"Well, Les, I think the Denver Broncos were the more comfortable team. Think about this, okay, Coach Kubiak and a lot of that staff were familiar with that area in Santa Clara, practiced at Palo Alto where John Elway went to school, played at Stanford. A lot of guys were familiar and certainly that was coming home for John Elway. It was just a calming effect. All the trips to the Bay Area in preparation and everything as the home team, they just seemed very calm. Where Carolina was clearly 'the visiting team'. They were the ones who had to trek across country, they didn't have the friendly confines of 'home'to protect them, so they were defensive team in terms of how your treat the media and approach the game. I just thought that the Broncos being settled would have the mental edge and that's how it played out."
On if being in Super Bowl 48 helped the Broncos more
"Yeah, I would lean that way Less. I wouldn't lean towards the experience factor, but I think the biggest factor that led to a World Championship for the Denver Broncos is that that team learned to win football games without Peyton Manning. They weren't reliant on him. Remember John Elway wanted less reliance on Peyton Manning and he got it and all of sudden they had a Super Bowl caliber team from that. They belief they have in each other and the fact that they wanted to play for each other as opposed to just looking at one player to make all of the plays. It was a great team effort."
On the media 'chatter' firing up the Broncos defense in the playoffs
"Well everybody chats, everybody talks smack throughout the year. I think what the Broncos understand is how to turn it up. You're right, they played great in the regular season and turned it up two more notches and then they got to the Super Bowl and turned it up even more, but that's also experience. It's also very talented players understanding what's at stake and a very fine coaching staff instilling the notion that they have to turn it up. So you have an unworldly talent in Von Miller who hasn't even reached his potential, I believe, I think this guy is going to rewrite the record books and he's going to do everything imaginable at that position. When you have somebody like that and you couple him with DeMarcus Ware, the best front seven in football. We talked about that earlier, Eric, I just think the Broncos were more prepared. Ready for the moment. And they showed up and executed."
A big narrative going around the media is the presumption that the Carolina Panthers lost this game more than the Denver Broncos won it.