Good morning, Broncos Country.
Great gridiron days are on the way. Training camp is on the horizon. The preseason and official season will come shortly thereafter. After months of waiting we are almost there. How can you not be excited for the return of football?
So what’s the pulse in Broncos Country? In my eyes, most fans appear to be optimistic for the battles ahead. There’s no doubt it’ll take some major strides and improvement to make their way back to the playoffs—but the Denver Broncos have improved demonstrably through free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.
Sean Payton is in charge and developing a new culture at Dove Valley. A Super Bowl winning head coach can go a long way in tuning the roster back into a contender. He knows what it’s like to win. He’s been there before. A lot of these guys on the roster? Not so much—unless you want to go back to their college days which aren’t really relevant anymore now that they are in the National Football League.
In order for the Broncos to summit the next peak, they will have to develop cohesion and consistency on both sides of the ball. And for that to happen, several players will need to take big strides in their development. So who is most likely to step up and give the team a much needed boost? I’ll give one candidate from each side of the ball.
Offense - Greg Dulcich, TE
Modern NFL offenses need a diverse player who can be a difference maker at the tight end position to operate at maximum efficiency. Second-year player Greg Dulcich fits that mold. If he stays healthy Dulcich will definitely help revive the Broncos’ aerial attack and become a focal point of it.
During OTAs, Payton referred to him as a ‘Joker’ player—one who is capable of being utilized in a myriad of fashions for strategic advantage. There is no doubt his size and speed give the franchise an added dimension of attack.
His skillset allows him to be dangerous at all levels, but I would love to see him used to concepts that go over the middle of the field. He had a lot of success in that manner for the Bruins and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Payton flex him out as a ‘big slot’ in order to push back and carve up opposing secondary's.
I think he is a shoe-in for well over fifty catches. In fact, I think he winds up darn near 75 catches on the season. He will be one of the team’s most productive players on either side of the ball. I’m all in on Dulcich in 2023. Who is with me?
Defense - Frank Clark, EDGE
With the news of Baron Browning’s injury, the Broncos made a late splash in their free agent endeavors by bringing in former Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs standout Frank Clark. He might have not been fan’s most preferred option, but I can see why Denver’s brass went that way.
Like I said before, Coach Payton knows how to win? But how many other players on the roster can relate? Who can help make a winning culture a reality?
Much to the chagrin of Broncos Country, former rival Clark has two Super Bowl victories underneath his belt in recent memory. That kind of experience should pay dividends in the locker room and on the field. After all, how many other players on the roster have won a Super Bowl?
On the field, I believe his size and ability to set the edge will be a difference for the Broncos against the run. That is something which was missing before he was brought into the mix. He also tends to quality pressure often even if his sack totals don’t show it. I think he could have the most productive season of any EDGE defender on the roster.
I’m optimistic that his veteran presence will help keep the Broncos’ defense in check and add some much needed consistency in both phases. There is a lot of youth in that room, so I’m glad Denver brought in a guy who has a lot of experience to help round it out.
Who do you guys think will surprise us the most in 2023? Sound off in the comments section and let me know what you think.
As always, thank you for reading our morning Horse Tracks. Here are a few other articles to start off your day.
Broncos News and Tidbits
Vance Joseph returns to Broncos with no hard feelings
"This is a league of winning, so when you don’t win, there is going to be change," Vance Joseph said. "It was never personal for me."
Bill Romanowski, 4-time Super Bowl champion LB, sued by U.S. for $15 million in back taxes, penalties - The Athletic
The Department of Justice said Romanowski and his wife have not paid prior tax deficiencies dating back to the 1998 tax year.
Will Russell Wilson Be A Top-12 Fantasy Quarterback In 2023? | Fantasy News
RotoBaller's Mike Fanelli gives his opinion on Wilson's fantasy football impact this upcoming season.
Keyshawn: Broncos need Dalvin Cook for both Payton and Wilson - Denver Sports
Former Pro-Bowl wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson thinks Cook to Denver makes a lot of sense for the Broncos.
Broncos believe CB Pat Surtain will be leader they need - ESPN
Surtain figures it's best to lead by example and the Broncos' secondary is happy to follow.
NFL News and Tidbits
Saints' Cameron Jordan sets high goal for 2023 season: 'I expect a Super Bowl' - CBSSports.com
The longtime veteran has a lofty goal for New Orleans.
Tank Bigsby "shined" at Jacksonville Jaguars Minicamp - Sports Illustrated
Tank Bigsby has been a standout for Jaguars to date. I sure wish the Broncos would have drafted him.
2023 NFL season: Player departures that will have biggest impact on their former teams
Brendan Walker takes a look at player departures that will be hard to overcome and replace.
Lions unveil new alternate helmet for 2023 season
The Detroit Lions revealed their new alternate helmet on Wednesday, a blue-shelled piece of protective equipment featuring the club's classic logo used during the 1960s.
Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill under investigation for an allegation of assault and battery
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill is being investigated for an allegation of assault and battery, the Miami-Date (Florida) Police Department confirmed on Tuesday.