Good morning, Broncos Country!
So now that we've made it through the Demaryius Thomas drama, it's time to finally, finally start talking about Von Miller's contract negotiations that are just around the corner.
Yeah, that's the season that comes after the one we haven't even played yet ... or that our monster edge rusher hasn't even performed in yet.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about signing Miller next year, and assuming he shows us more of what he has given us glimpses of the past three seasons (which I'm fully anticipating, despite Adam Schein's insane omission of Miller from the top players of the 2011 draft class ...whaaat??) I'm going to be in the "Pay that man his money" camp. And I understand the interest in Miller's contract based on the potential cap/cash impact of Thomas' five-year deal signed Wednesday.
.@NFL @AdamSchein "Wait, what?!" @millerlite40's 49 sacks in 56 games isn't enough? pic.twitter.com/0pI7CrP4X7— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 17, 2015
But after the rumors, speculation, misdirection, circus sidelights from the NFLPA and everything in between over the Thomas deal this last month, I can't think of an off-the-field issue I'm not looking forward to more than the media circus that's going to come with the Miller contract negotiations (and if there happens to be a "Is Manning coming back?" question next offseason, I might have to retreat to Germany for the entire offseason).
Personally, I'm hoping Elway and Miller pull a Chris Harris, Jr. and get that contract hammered out in December while no one is even paying attention. I realize that's highly unlikely given the implications Manning's contract could have on Miller plus other free agents that include most of our starting defense, such as Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan, Brandon Marshall, but a girl can dream, right?
But back to important stuff...the actual upcoming season. The one that officially begins two weeks from today when Training Camp gets underway and the Broncos have two weeks to prepare for the 2015-16 season that will open with a trip to Seattle and Century Link Field for the first preseason game Aug. 14 at the Seahawks.
Talib. Ward. Harris. NONE on the #NFLTop100. Next season? They're ready to make a statement: http://t.co/jATPMo4Mun pic.twitter.com/hXw7M1XXdm— NFL (@NFL) July 15, 2015
While that is only a preseason game - and as usual we won't expect to see our starters for very long or any flashy plays on either side of the ball - I consider this first preseason game to have a little more importance because of all the off-the-field drama with players, new coaches, new scheme, "Iron sharpens iron" mentality, etc.
An away game at Seattle should be hyped, and I want to see this year's Broncos show some serious chutzpah right out of the gate. Even if the starting offense and defense only play a few series, I'm looking forward to finding out if this 3-4 is going to be as aggressive as we hope and if the offense will show it can once again be a well-oiled machine in the running and passing games.
I know preseason games are for figuring out players and plays, but I want to see the winning attitude we thought we were getting last year. I want to see that "chip on our shoulder" be abundantly clear on defense from Harris, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward.
I'm expecting Miller plus veteran linebackers Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall and perennial underdog-but-also-Pro-Bowler Harris Jr. to get that defense fired up. Really hoping to see that Miller/DeMarcus Ware pass rush in full force and anticipating a fully healthy Trevathan/Marshall duo to wreak absolute havoc on the inside.
Work after work. You Gotta Love It ! pic.twitter.com/bjpHgSm46u— Danny Trevathan (@Grindin_59) July 15, 2015
I'm very interested in how Peyton Manning handles the play action/TE-heavy Kubiak offensive plan and how Brock Osweiler can run an offense when given a little more to work with.
I cannot wait to find out whether Cody Latimer is ready to step into the offensive spotlight, especially while Thomas slowly gets back into playing and the second-year receiver tries to prove he can handle the show.
Which running back looks the best of the backups? (Because, yeah, I've got C.J. Anderson at No. 1 on the depth chart!)
And like so many of us, I'll be very excited (if not completely nervous) to see how the offensive line shakes out in this ZBS.
So much exciting stuff to look forward to right now. On the field.
No rumors needed.
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