clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hope returns to Broncos Country

New, comments

What’s that warm feeling? It ain’t spring, it’s hope!

NFL: Super Bowl Rings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the season ended, I like many of you, was relieved the shambling mess that was the 2018 Denver Broncos collapsed in a smoldering heap. Coach Vance Joseph was clearly out of his element, Case Keenum left his baller cleats in Minnesota, and dark clouds hung over a franchise that, for the first time in decades, notched back-to-back losing seasons.

Broncos Country now finds itself in the later half of March and things are vastly different. Gone is the frustrated and ineffective coach. Gone is Case Keenum, taking his unique brand of check-down terribleness to the Washington Redskins (consider it Elway’s payback for the Super Bowl XXII beatdown). The 2019 schedule isn’t even out, but something feels different already... and no it has nothing to do with Pat Bowlen and Champ Bailey going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August.

Putting the emotional baggage Broncos Country has against Joe Flacco aside for a moment, it’s hard to deny that Keenum’s dismissal and Joe’s arrival is a net positive for the offense. I’m not going to swing wide and say how big an improvement, but it would be shocking for Denver’s offense to be even worse than it was in 2018.

Kareem Jackson?! Bryce Callahan?! I’ll be honest, before free agency started, I wouldn’t have been able to point either one of those guys out of a lineup. You could say I was too concerned with raging dumpster fire in Denver to look up and see what was going on with other teams around the league. However, since they signed, I have taken time to see with my own eyes, and, these guys are incredible additions to an already solid defense.

Ja’Waun James you say? I like what I’ve heard and am hopeful for the Broncos perennially awful offensive line. It’s tough with linemen since nobody really notices them until get penalized or completely screw-up... Or open massive holes for running backs. Outside of Phillip Lindsay’s terrific year last year, it’s been too damn long for Broncos Country to go without noticing stellar line play in the running game. However, with the addition of Mike Munchak, offensive line woes are reported to be a thing of the past. Phillip Lindsay has to be thrilled.

Things just feel different under Vic Fangio. I’m terrified of letting him down and I’m a lowly blogger who has zero interaction with the team, staff, janitorial, or pretty much anyone else outside of twitter. I can’t imagine what the players must feel when he coaches them. Discipline and respect were lacking in recent seasons and it’s great to see those tenets of Broncos football have returned in Vic Fangio’s form. Lastly, I absolutely love how he says Broncos... “Brancos”... Vowel confusion is totally acceptable when it sounds tough coming through a thick Chicago accent.

Buckle up Broncos fans! The draft is right around the corner and things are just getting going.

HORSE TRACKS

Mason's Mailbag: Adding Ja'Wuan James shows commitment to O-line
In the past 25 months, the Broncos have twice made offensive linemen their biggest free-agent expenditure of that year, while also using a first-round pick on a tackle.

Denver Broncos' Chris Harris Jr. Takes the 'Outdoor Dog' Challenge | Multimedia | wisconsingazette.com
In an attempt to show others how "backyard dogs" suffer, PETA asked Denver Broncos' Chris Harris Jr. to tackle frigid winter temperatures himself. How long did he last out in

Kareem Jackson’s position with Denver Broncos ‘yet to be determined’ - al.com
The Denver Broncos signed Kareem Jackson to a three-year, $33 million contract in NFL free agency without having a specific position for the former Alabama standout.

Kareem Jackson's willingness to play safety could help extend career | 9news.com
He is one of three top 10 cornerbacks GM Elway has assembled for coach Vic Fangio.

The Denver Broncos' Ja'Wuan's James credits family for becoming richest offensive tackle in NFL history - Longmont Times-Call
ENGLEWOOD — To understand Ja'Wuan's appreciation for becoming a Bronco and the richest tackle in NFL history requires a trip back to Christmas Day, 2001, to the living room of an Atlanta suburb.

28 players still available on PFT’s Free Agent Top 100 – ProFootballTalk
The steady flow of signings since free agency officially opened last Wednesday has taken almost three-quarters of PFT's Free Agent Top 100 list off the board. Free agency opened at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon and Sunday morning finds 72 of the players who were on the list off the market.

Four years later, all quiet on Ndamukong Suh – ProFootballTalk
Four years ago, Ndamukong Suh was the hottest free agent in football. Before teams were even allowed to make offers, let alone finalize them, there were reports that he was going to leave Detroit for Miami and sign the richest contract for a defensive player in the NFL, and that's what happened.

The full details of the Le’Veon Bell contract – ProFootballTalk
Various summaries of the new contract signed this week by Jets running back Le'Veon Bell have emerged since Bell put pen to paper. PFT has obtained a copy of the raw document, which means that (like it or not) you're now getting a full and complete explanation of all of the details of the deal.

NFLPA, agents at odds as CBA talks near (and the owners love it) – ProFootballTalk
Lost in the commencement of free agency was the climax to long-lingering hostilities between the NFL Players Association and the agents who represent players in contract negotiations.

Raiders part ways with OT Penn after 5 seasons
The Raiders released offensive lineman Donald Penn on Saturday, cutting ties with the longest-tenured player on their roster.

Unger's surprise retirement leaves void on Saints
The Saints' Max Unger, a captain and a leader for one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, has decided to retire. He turns 33 next month.

When will “ongoing” contract talks get Russell Wilson the richest contract ever? – ProFootballTalk
On Friday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told Jimmy Fallon that there's "a great potential" for Wilson to eventually become the highest-paid player in NFL history. So when precisely would that Wilson eclipse Aaron Rodgers' $33.

Blake Bortles to reportedly visit Rams, who need new backup behind Jared Goff - CBSSports.com
If anyone can resurrect Bortles' career, it's Sean McVay

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thanks the Browns for trading for former Giants receiver Odell Beckham - CBSSports.com
Beckham caught 35 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns in seven games against the Cowboys

Steelers reportedly signing former first-round pick Mark Barron to two-year, $12 million deal - CBSSports.com
The Steelers have yet to adequately replace Ryan Shazier at linebacker

Dolphins reportedly sign Ryan Fitzpatrick to two-year, $11 million deal after trading away Ryan Tannehill - CBSSports.com
The Dolphins might've just found their 2019 starting quarterback