We are a few days into Denver Broncos training camp. Maybe the biggest takeaway is just now fantastic it is to be talking about action on the football field.
As Ian St. Clair mentioned on the MHR Radio Podcast, we are less than 3 weeks from actual games being played. Training camp is just the start of what Broncos Country hopes is a fun and successful 2020 campaign.
There is a different excitement around practices this year. A certain feeling that has crept in. It isn’t just affecting the fans. Players are feeling it, too.
As we discussed, the excitement of the future stems from the potential of Drew Lock and this young offense. Videos of KJ Hamler shaking up defenders make us smile. Jerry Jeudy running perfect routes gives us hope. Even AJ Bouye is excited:
“When I watch Jerry Jeudy, he kind of reminds me a lot of Amari Cooper in Oakland with how he’s running his routes, especially when guys are playing off,” Bouye said Tuesday. “… The stems that he showed, leverage and how he attacks everything — he gets your feet to stop and that’s when it’s over. I like seeing things like that. It’s just helping me game plan myself against him because you never know when other receivers are going to try and implement that.”
Hamler and Jeudy aren’t the only thing to be excited about. Seeing Courtland Sutton’s toe tap touchdown from Drew Lock was like staring into the future. It was glorious.
And yeah, I know it’s just practice. I know that Lock still has a lot to prove, but I can’t help but feel a little giddy. And I don’t think I am alone in that.
Von Miller seems to be feeling the youth movement, as well. For the first time since Peyton Manning retired, the burden of carrying the team isn’t perched on the shoulders of the defense.
The defense has been the only thing to really smile about in recent seasons, but last year Miller endured the talk of him losing a step. After losing his running mate in Bradley Chubb, Miller’s 2019 season wasn’t quite to the standard he has set for himself.
Now, Chubb is back. Jurrell Casey is plugging up the middle. Miller looks like he spent his entire quarantine turning into the Hulk. On top of that, it looks like the Broncos defense won’t have to hold teams to 12 points to win games.
When defenses don’t have to be worried about the offense being inept, they can take chances. Players can time up snaps, pin their ears back, maybe even make a mistake, and it won’t be the end of the game.
The burden lifted, and something to prove, coupled with Chubb returning and Casey arriving... you see where this is going. Add to all that the fact that this will be year two in head coach Vic Fangio’s defense, and Von Miller is going to be a force in 2020.