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(Real) Broncos football is almost here

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In eight days, the Broncos open the regular season on Monday Night Football vs the Oakland Raiders.

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Good morning, Broncos Country!

The last free weekend without the NFL.

As I said on Twitter in reference to the Denver Broncos preseason, it’s been 84 years. All joking aside, the time for speculation and hope is about to end and we’ll see what 2019 has in store for the Broncos. And I cannot wait.

On the MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam Malnati and I breakdown Denver’s move to get to the regular-season roster.

For the first time in three years, it feels like Denver is on the right path, and it starts with Vic Fangio. I’m all-in on the first-time and first-year head coach. As I said when he was hired in January, he’s exactly what the organization needs — even if that doesn’t lead to success this season.

The aspect I’m most excited about is the Broncos defense. We’ve seen flashes in the preseason, but I’m champing at the bit to see what this unit does with a full game plan; especially Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. The secondary has the potential to return to the level we saw in 2015, and it needs a new nickname. I like the Mile High Hit Squad, or even just the Hit Squad, to play off The Godfather nickname for Fangio. Give your thoughts in the comments on the new secondary name. As I told Adam on the podcast, Shelby Harris could explode onto the scene this season and be a difference maker in the middle of the defensive line. That’s an aspect the Broncos have missed since Malik Jackson left for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The biggest questions remain inside linebacker and the offensive line. What would help the inside linebackers is the return of Todd Davis. James Palmer tweeted on Friday that he spoke with Davis and he said he’ll be ready for the opener at the Oakland Raiders. If that’s the case, it would serve as a huge boost for the defense. How effective Davis would be is still up in the air, given he hasn’t practiced since early in training camp.

As for the offensive line, who knows? I liked what I saw from the starting offense in the limited game reps it got and also in practice. As with the defense, it’ll be fun to see what Joe Flacco and the guys do with a full Rich Scangarello game plan.

Soon enough, we’ll get answers to those questions. In the meantime, the last free weekend without the NFL is upon us. It’s felt like 84 years.

Labor Day Sale

Our partners are having a sale on the Broncos and Denver collection. With fall closing in, it’s the first time to get the Orange Rush hoodie.

  • 20% off everything in the store
  • Shirts starting at $8; hoodies $16
  • Use code LABOR20 at checkout
  • Sale ends Monday at 11:59 p.m. PT

Follow this link to the Denver collection.

MHR Radio is now on ApplePodcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher,TuneIn and anywhere else you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.

Horse Tracks

Breaking down the Broncos' initial 53-man roster
With injuries striking players such as Jake Butt, Drew Lock and Theo Riddick in recent weeks, the Broncos had some tricky waters to navigate and will likely be busy in the coming days.

Broncos to place QB Drew Lock on IR, sign backup quarterback
Head Coach Vic Fangio said he’s seen enough from the rookie quarterback to suggest Lock can progress even without participating in practice.

Demaryius Thomas could end up back in Denver – ProFootballTalk
Nearly a decade after arriving in Denver as a first-round pick, receiver Demaryius Thomas could be coming back. Per a league source, the Broncos could be bringing Thomas back to town. If it happens, Thomas will be working for a new coaching staff in a new offense.

Broncos-Cut-Hogan-Rypien-Others | 9news.com
Another veteran QB is headed Denver's way and the final roster is on the verge of being completed, for now.

Broncos make final cuts, mull IR decisions on Lock, Riddick, Butt
The Broncos face no shortage of information in making their final cuts Saturday. With a new coach, they started offseason workouts two weeks earlier in April. They began training camp nine days sooner because of the Hall of Fame game. Now, it's time to make tough choices for the final roster spots.

NFL Tracks

Seahawks make a worthwhile bet by trading for Jadeveon Clowney - SBNation.com
It’s a high-priced roll of the dice for the Seahawks, but it’s clear they believe they’re contenders.

Ask a former NFL player: What happens when a team cuts you? - SBNation.com
In his final mailbag before the season starts, former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz explains what it’s like to be cut and why the Cowboys will be fine without Zeke for a while.

Barnwell -- Bill O'Brien wants the Patriot Way. His trades go against it
In sending away years of valuable draft picks, Bill O'Brien and the GM-by-committee group running the Texans mortgaged the future for a quick fix.

NFL cuts for all 32 teams - Who's in and who's out
NFL teams cut their rosters from 90 to 53 players Saturday. What was the biggest move for each franchise?

NFL 2019: Pass interference reviews main topic in season 100
The NFL would love the main focus of 2019 to be on the celebrations of its 100th season. Sorry. While the history of the league is a widespread and fun topic, what happened last...

Source: LeSean McCoy, Chiefs agree to 1-year deal
It appears LeSean McCoy will be reuniting with his old coach in 2019.

Ranking the five most surprising players released during the 2019 NFL roster cutdown - CBSSports.com
Nobody thought these players would be shown the door by their respective team, and for a few reasons.