Good morning, Broncos Country!
Over the last 12 months, there's been a lot made about the culture of the Denver Broncos' locker room.
How that is a huge reason the team was able to win Super Bowl 50 and get the Lombardi Trophy back to the Mile High City.
There have been stories on how laid back it is. How much fun it is. How it's like a band of brothers.
Heck, even Von Miller has teammates over to his house.
But how does that culture respond to a new guy? Say, for example, Mark Sanchez.
Just as you would hope: with open arms.
A lot of the credit for that has to go to Gary Kubiak. He allows the guys to be who they are. In turn, that makes it fun. It shows the players Kubiak trusts them. Look no further than the Super Bowl week. Through the first few days of being in Santa Clara, Calif., the players didn't have a curfew.
It may seem like a small thing, but it's huge to the success of a team. It adds to the drive to become the best, and remain there.
"These guys are fun to be around and they love football, that's for sure," the new Broncos quarterback told the media on Monday after Phase II of offseason workouts." It's pretty impressive the way they just kind of police it on their own. It's a good veteran team.
"It reminds me a lot of those first couple of years in New York where Coach (Rex Ryan) didn't really have to say much. Coach Kubiak, we've had a few team meetings and stuff, but there is not like a, ‘Don't forget to be on time, lace your shoes this way and do this or do that.' There is not a lot of dialogue that way. It's pretty quick, big-picture stuff. Everybody really knows what to do, so just fall in line and follow the guys around you. That's encouraging."
So when a new guy like Sanchez does come along, it's seamless. He's a brother. He still has to put in the work and prove himself to his new teammates, but he knows he has the support of the guys he plays with.
"It's cost a lot of money for those compliments (laughing)," Sanchez said. "Very receptive. For the guys to come out to California, a few of them I hadn't even met. For them to really put that thing together - sure I led the charge, these guys were calling each other and making sure that they were going to be there holding each other accountable.
"Jeff Heuerman coming off of a knee injury, wants to be out there throwing with his new quarterback. Emmanuel Sanders is calling other guys, ‘Hey, make sure you get there on Sunday. Don't come in late.' That kind of stuff means a lot for a quarterback. It's tough to find guys like that. Now that you're here, you just want to maximize all of this time together and realize our potential."
Whether the starting quarterback is Sanchez, Trevor Siemian or even Paxton Lynch, that makes the grind fun. You want to get better, but you also want your teammates to get better. Each guy wants the job, but each also knows it's in their control. Do the work and you become the starter of the defending Super Bowl champs.
In terms of Siemian, he has the advantage over both Sanchez and Lynch. This is his second year in the Kubiak offense, and he wants to take that next step.
"Absolutely. It was a great opportunity for me last year to learn a lot obviously from Brock (Osweiler) and Peyton (Manning)," Siemian said. "At this point, I'm kind of getting antsy to apply some of those things I picked up from those guys. It's a great opportunity for me and I'm ready to get to it."
What helps all three quarterbacks is the support of your brothers and a locker room that has a culture of winning. Where it's not about the success of one but the team.
"Mark is a great guy," Siemian said. "I have a year of experience in the offense. I'm doing whatever I can to help him out. He's picking it up pretty quick. Like I said, just helping him out when I can."
Added Sanchez: "That's a heckuva knee (kneel-down at Pittsburgh, in his only snap as a rookie) that he took (laughing). We talked about it (Monday) morning actually. It was pretty cool. He's a great guy. He came out to the camp as well. He's been just an impressive, young guy.
"For a young guy going into his second year and not playing as much, he's got a good grip on the system and really helped out in California. He was almost like a player-coach kind of thing in helping me out with reads and footwork and things like that. A lot of the plays I had heard before, but some of the stuff was new to me. He was instrumental in picking that stuff up."
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