20,000 plus fans showed up to cheer on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium for a practice. Not a game, not game, we’re talking about practice. Practice. It’s a sign that folks are excited about this version of the Colorado football team and that hope springs eternal after two weeks of Training Camp. At least, there’s hope if you talk to the fans, while the media - in general - has a different view of the team through the first days of Vic Fangio’s tenure as top-dog. They’re overwhelmingly negative.
The O-line is terrible. Receivers are terrible. Flacco is brutal and old. Nothing sexy is happening at camp. The Broncos are going to be bad for years etc...
All of this after just a few weeks of camp with an entirely new coaching staff, scheme, QB and O-line. Really, it’s just largely manufactured drama. There have been no major storylines coming out of camp and thus people (especially those needing to fill three hours of talk-radio) have to produce something, anything to talk about. That’s fine. It’s their job and we should realize that. However, as intelligent fans, we need to take a step back and remember that what we see in camp - both positive and negative - is hard to judge in black and white. It’s a time for learning new things and especially during the first weeks, guys making mistakes should come as no surprise and should not create any sort of panic.
In the first few weeks we should focus more on health, the coaching staff’s control over the team and the QBs - and other players - being able to grasp the basics of the schemes.
With that said, what should we look for while watching the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday? It’s a game where winning and losing doesn’t matter and we will likely not witness a single snap by the first-team players. Still, there are a few things we hope to see during the exhibition game.
#1) The starting O-line should get more than a few snaps together. Yes, it’s an injury risk but this group needs to gel and they have a long way to go before they do so. There’s a lot of talent in the group but they’ll need to come together and work as a single unit if this team will have any success in 2019. Thus, we would love to see them out there and blocking for whatever QB straps on the helmet first against the Atlanta Falcons.
#2) Drew Lock should get significant playing time and he should be allowed to sink or swim in a not 100% vanilla offense. As we all know, the schemes will be hardly attractive or irregular for both sides of the ball but we would love to see the rookie QB get the chance to chuck the ball down the field and run some play action and bootlegs. There is zero quarterback controversy but this is time for Lock to impress and show that he has the tools to be the future face-of-the-franchise.
#3) Vic Fangio needs to show us that he can coach a live game. He’s never done it and it’s hardly a given that the veteran coordinator will be able to make the proper calls as the HC as he did as DC. It’s not an easy job and we’ve seen some of the greatest schemers ever (Andy Reid) truly struggle with in-game decisions. He will, no doubt, look calm and in control on the sidelines but let’s see how he manages the game and if he can change with the flow as the game goes along.
Maybe the game is meaningless but we sure as heck are ready for it. FOOTBALL BABY!
What would you most like to see at the HOF game?
This poll is closed
Starting O-line get some snaps
Drew Lock gets the chance to sling it
Vic Fangio makes few mistakes in-game