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Ultimate Fan: Broncos need to show the same ‘fight’ Floyd Little showed every game

Broncos fans in the 60s remember the running back who gave it his all every game - even on a bad team. There are good lessons there for this current Denver squad.

Denver Broncos v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Oh, Broncos Country, it’s definitely fate that WyoBronco is our Ultimate Fan this week because against all odds he has picked the Broncos to win, and that’s exactly what I would do!

And if you’re wondering why a Broncos legend like Floyd Little is the cover photo (aside from it being the reason our author became a fan), it’s because - as WyoBronco points out in his ending comment - Little always left everything he had on the field, and that’s what this Broncos team is going to need the final two games of this season. They’re going to have to dig deep and show fans what they’re made of.

It also seems a fitting tribute as No. 44 is in final stages of battling cancer, so let’s say a little prayer for him and hope some of his fighting spirit finds its way to our Broncos out in L.A. this Sunday.

MHR - Last week’s game was the blowout we all knew it could be but hoped it wouldn’t be. Thoughts?
WyoBronco: Buffalo has been a very good team this year. Their targeted acquisition of Stefon Diggs was the last piece of the puzzle to click into place for them. I thought the only chance we had to win that game was to play a smart, error free game by establishing the run and using a lot of play action. Alas, it all fell apart too soon and we were playing catch up after that.

MHR - With last week’s loss, the Broncos can’t finish better than 7-9, which is still a losing season. In your opinion, what would be the psychological cost of losing the next two but likely ending up in a better spot for the Draft? And is that worth it to you?
WyoBronco: I NEVER advocate losing! Losing only leads to more losing! It leads players to check out of the game - witness Jerry Jeudy’s apparent lack of effort late in the game last week.

MHR - Obligatory Drew Lock question, part 1: Analysts and fanalysts have differed quite a bit on their assessment of Drew Lock’s “growth” this season. Because he’s in a unique situation of sorting “finishing his rookie season” and “beginning year 2” just a week ago, is it fair to judge his progress ultimately yet...or give him another season (with an offseason)?
WyoBronco: The Broncos have painted themselves into a corner on this one. The only thing they can do at this point is ride with Lock for 2021 and hope he spends the off season picking Elway’s and Peyton’s brains. Hiring a top QB coach is to get his footwork and throwing motion dialed in is also what he should do.

MHR - Obligatory Drew Lock question, part 2: On the other side of the field, a true rookie QB who also didn’t have an offseason with his team seems to be doing quite well and proving his worth as a long-term solution for the Chargers. Should the Broncos be recognizing the writing on the wall and moving on to finding a QBOTF this offseason?
WyoBronco: The only sure hit is Lawrence and there is no scenario I can see that gets him to the Broncos. The cost to move up would hamstring the team in draft picks for years!

I do believe Elway should invest a mid-round pick in another QB to push Lock some. I don’t see any vet they could bring in except maybe Fitz to help mentor him.

MHR - Phillip Lindsay has been put on IR, which leaves Melvin Gordon and maybe even LeVante Bellamy. Would you prefer to see more Gordon plus some Royce Freeman or bring in the practice squad rookie for some reps? Related...do you think Phillip Lindsay will be a Bronco next year and could we have seen his last game in Orange and Blue?
WyoBronco: Unfortunately, and although I hate the thought of it, I think Lindsay is as good as gone. Shurmur doesn’t see him as a receiver and only seems to want to run him between tackles on the right and that is not where he shines. Our o-line is not doing him any favors either, and when he is in everyone knows it’s a run and stacks the box accordingly.

MHR - Fortunately for the Broncos, Joey Bosa has been ruled out for this game, which should help Lock with pressure. What kind of offensive game plan would you start with to get Lock in rhythm, get the running game going but avoid third-and-long?
WyoBronco: First of all the run game needs to get established. I don’t care if we need to run 22 personnel all day with an extra tight end and use some pulling line stunts to set up the blocking for some running lanes. Lock also needs to let the game come to him with some dink and dunk to get him in a rhythm. Once LA decides to try to stop the run with a heavy box, the passing game opens up.

The Raiders had some good success with running two receivers to the right with a crossing concept with the inside guy on a go route crossing under the outside guy with the outside guy running a shallow hook to the inside of the zone.

MHR - For the first season in a while we haven’t had major offensive line complaints every week. Do you think we have the pieces in place to move into the offseason only looking for depth or are there still some pieces missing?
WyoBronco: I have finally become a member of the Tackle Bros this year. We need a right tackle! I have zero confidence James will play more than half a game next year and I am sorry but Wilks is not getting it done. I don’t know what Munchak sees in this guy. Right Tackle, Elway!

MHR - The depletion of the secondary was very obvious last week against the Bills as Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs picked apart the backup corners. How should Fangio/Donatell avoid the same problem with Justin Herbert and possibly Keenan Allen or Mike Williams?
WyoBronco: We have squat for corners right now. I like Ojemudia’s potential, but he’s not there yet.

The key to winning this game on defense is to pressure Herbert early and hitting him often and get him off his game. He makes plenty of mistakes and doesn’t have the time to find his receivers when pressured. Now, I don’t care who the QB is, if you give him time to run around behind behind the line he will eventually find someone open.

MHR - Despite the struggles of Michael Ojemudia and De’Vante Bausby last week, they were going up against one of the better receiving corps in the NFL. What are your thoughts about the cornerback room moving into the offseason?
WyoBronco: Keenan Allen is no slouch and Williams is a pretty good #2! We’ve got to get to Herbert, or these guys along with Henry are going to feast!

MHR - Earlier this week Bucky Brooks noted that the Broncos’ top item on their “wish list” was pass rusher. First, do you agree with that? Second, what are your thoughts in general about keeping an expensive and aging - but still awesome - Von Miller next season?
WyoBronco: Sorry but Bucky Brooks is almost right. It depends on if John keeps Von around for 2021. I hope he does. If not, edge needs to be looked at.

I think corner should be our first pick. Patrick Surtain may be gone by pick 13 but the guy on the other side, Josh Jobe, should be there. There’s a couple of other guys like Baron Browning or Dylan Moses at linebacker that are enticing as well.

MHR - Broncos will have to make some big decisions about Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris. Financially, can the Broncos bring back both? If not, which player is more important to keep for Denver?
WyoBronco: Simmons is going to get paid, period, and of the two I consider him more important. I’d like to see him remain a Bronco, but Elway is a cheapskate and may let him walk. I hope a new contract can be done because K Jack is not getting any younger and I’m not seeing anyone on the roster to step in for either one.

I’d like to see Shelby stay a Bronco as well and I hope we can retain him and Simmons both for a fair price.

MHR - Name a player on offense and defense that has really stood out to you so far this season and why.
WyoBronco: Garett Bolles on offense. I was part of the tar and feather crowd with him last year and I am proud to say I was wrong. He’s really turned the corner with his play this year.

Malik Reed on defense has been a nice surprise and you could say the same about Attachou. They’ve been able to generate some real pressure on opposing QB’s.

Predictions

Stats for Drew Lock? 18 - 275, 2 TD, 1 INT

Stats for each Broncos RB? Gordon 19 for 90, 2 TD; Freeman 10 for 43

Number of yards receiving/TDs for each Broncos’ receivers? Patrick 4-43; Fant 3-79, 1 TD; Jeudy 5-34; Hamler, 3-48, 1 TD; Vannet, 3-30; Gordon 3-23,

Longest FG for McManus? 49

Number of sacks to Lock? 4

Number of sacks to Justin Herbert? 5

Broncos player with the most tackles? Alexander Johnson

Who gets the most sacks? Reed

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? Simmons, 1 INT

How many penalties will the refs get wrong? 4

Final Score? Broncos 28, LA 27

The Favorites

Favorite Broncos game EVER? Super Bowl XXXII. I cannot tell you how great was the feeling to finally win one after watching the 4 previous losses!

Team you hate to lose to the most? Chiefs followed by the Raiders

Non AFC West team you hate to lose to the most? Patriots

Team you love to beat? Whomever we play each week!

What percent confidence do you have that the Broncos will beat the Chargers and Raiders on their second outing this season? I’m actually not confident at all but it could happen. I can only hope.

Favorite time Broncos were the underdog and won? Beating the world champion Oakland Raiders, October 16, 1977. We finally got the monkey off our backs! Tom Jackson yelled at John Madden, “It’s all over, fat man!”

Which game is tougher - Chargers or Raiders? Raiders

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Von Miller, of course!

Favorite Broncos player of all time? Randy Gradishar, hands down!

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? KJ Hamler

Superstitions on game day? I don’t have any.

Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Collinsworth

Favorite sports cliche? I don’t have one.

Favorite sports movie? “Miracle”

Favorite gif? I don’t have one of those, either.

How did you become a Broncos fan?

I moved to Denver to continue my education one week after graduating high school in 1971. I didn’t care about any sports when I moved there but the Texaco station I worked at was running a Broncos promotion and I got to know the roster.

They really sucked at the time, but you could go to a game pretty cheap and they had this running back by the name of Little who left everything he had on the field, every play, every game. He made me a fan, and a few years later, Randy Gradishar kept me one. Gradishar was a joy to watch. He just had a nose for the ball!