Guten Morgen, Broncos Country!
So, Ja...that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?
Let me try that again...
Good morning, Broncos Country!
That's better. So while I'm donning my Bayern München jersey for a couple of weeks and consuming viele Brezeln und Bier, my heart will still be in Orange and Blue, thinking about Training Camp.
And here are the players I'll be most interested in:
The Usual Suspects:
You all know I love this man. And I have never given up on him as our QB, even when he lost his swagger down the stretch (yes, that's a euphemism for "sucked at the end of the season"... get over it :) ).
But I'm not so blind in my orange and blue glasses not to notice that Manning is not as good of an athlete as he was 176 years ago when he started playing this game.
So I'll be very interested to see how he physically and mentally responds to all the changes in the offense and operating under center more ... and I'm expecting it to be very Manning-like (read: way above average), given the man loves a good challenge and appears to be relishing the opportunity to do something new and work with a new coach.
The bigger question will be how fans and the media look at Manning. I'm guessing sensational on both ends of the spectrum.
But Training Camp won't tell the story we are all wondering on No. 18. How well this season is going to go will best be measured in November. Say, oh, a certain away game Nov. 8 ... or that key home game Nov. 29? (I'll give you time to go look those up!)
All the same, our 39-year-old quarterback will be talked about a lot ... and I'll be interested, of course. (but really, the better QB to be paying attention to is going to be Brock Osweiler. Perhaps this year we will finally know what we have in "the future offense" of this team.)
I'm not gonna lie...I want to see this guy succeed partly because everyone - ok, mostly just BroncoMike (RIP) - confuses our last names as the same. So I want to see No. 14 light it up just to watch "my name" on the back of his jersey become famous in prime time.
But also, I'm very curious to see how he handles the spotlight at camp this year. We know Latimer is athletic. We know he can catch. We even know he can block the snot out of some defensive backs when necessary.
And we know he thinks he's ready. So let's see if all that playbook studying was for real, and if the second-year wide receiver can handle playing with Peyton...because I understand it's not for the weak of mind ... or heart.
Undoubtedly the biggest question mark of this whole Broncos team (and that includes our patchwork kicking unit), is the entire o-line. While most people seem interested in how well a rookie can protect a 39-year-old quarterback, I have to admit I'm more interested in what's going on with Chris Clark.
His story is intriguing - from becoming the unsung hero in 2013 as he stepped in to replace an injured Ryan Clady to being mysteriously benched mid-season in 2014 to suddenly being named a starter for 2015 by new coaches in a new system. I have no legit analysis on Clark's abilities as a tackle (right or left), but I'm more than a little curious to see how this plays out.
Enter CH74 and sadaraine for debate.
And with the potential entrance of Jake Long to our offensive line, Clark's role - and Sambrailo's for that matter - become even more interesting - if not totally confusing.
Danny Trevathan & Brandon Marshall
I put these two linebackers together because they seem almost joined at the hip anyway. Both are coming off big years - Trevathan in '13 and Marshall in '14 - and both are returning from injuries, eager to prove their starter quality.
I'm hopeful we get to see these players on the field at the same time, tearing it up with pads on during camp. Whether that happens is yet unknown, but I'll be ready to watch it whenever it happens.
And watching Todd Davis step up in the meantime will be worth paying attention to also.
I loved watching Thompson run last year, and I'd like to see him have another big camp to make a case for a roster spot as the fourth (maybe third?) running back. Having run for 272 yards on 54 attempts while adding three touchdowns last year in his rookie campaign, Thompson proved he has some talent to build upon.
I really just want to see this guy jump this high in a game as he intercepts an opposing quarterback, preferably Tom "deflated balls" Brady but any will do. And with Derek Wolfe out for a few games, he might get his chance.
Had Norwood not gotten injured last year, he was in the hunt for a roster spot as a returner and depth wide receiver, and I'd like to see him earn that back this season. There's a lot of competition for the fourth WR, including Isaiah Burse, Bennie Fowler and Bubba "I like short-shorts" Caldwell. But if Norwood's knees hold up, his experience could serve him well.
On the bubble
It's no secret I'm a Bruton fan. After all, in addition to playing football, he rides bikes and reads a lot. And while I know Darian Stewart is the named free safety on the top of the depth chart, I'm still hoping Bruton comes into camp and proves he can be the starter.
And if not, I'll be looking for more outstanding special teams from No. 30...like this:
I am a sucker for a good underdog story, and "Tev" could easily be our next Chris Harris, Jr.
An undrafted free agent who signed with the Broncos the same week Gary Kubiak was hired, Brandon is eager to prove he belongs in the NFL. He's fighting for a spot at cornerback, which is arguably one of the Broncos' strongest positions, but good competition there will only make all the starters and backups better.
Hoping to see this Monmouth University grad on the roster when the regular season begins in earnest.
Because why not? He's 6-foot-6 and has one of the biggest wingspans of any tight end, ensuring his catching radius is among the largest in the NFL.
MHR Hall of Fame - VOTE NOW!
MHR Hall of Fame
MHR Hall of Fame
Honestly, you don't even need to vote as much as you need to read the comment thread because it is pun for the ages. Nowhere HAV-ana seen such cleverness. You CAN-nada believe it until you PERUse it. (ok, I'm done. Just go read the comments and that will make more sense).
Oh, and you actually should vote if you haven't because today is the last day. I'll save you some time...here are the links (minus any maps - sorry Whorfin!)
A (temporary) parting gem just for you!
While I'm enjoying a little European fußball/fütbol/football, you can enjoy this hilarious gem from DJ Flula on the confusion Europeans have with our much-superior version :)
Horse Tracks - Broncos/NFL news
New scheme fits Clark at right tackle
Offensive lineman Chris Clark says he is built to play right tackle in this offense and can't wait to show the coaches once training camp starts.
Broncos want to confirm Ty Sambrailo is ready protect Peyton Manning
The Broncos' second-round pick will run with the first team and probably be the starter at left tackle with the ACL injury to Ryan Clady.
Denver Broncos face some difficult decisions on special teams - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
Because of their mix of specialists, the Broncos may be forced to keep a third kicker, which would cost a roster spot elsewhere.
Miller excited to see fans back at training camp
Von Miller talks about his excitement for the start of training camp.
Off the wall with Lorenzo Doss
Here are 15 off-the-wall things you didn’t know about rookie cornerback Lorenzo Doss.
July 27: Happy Birthday, Haven Moses
I love this old school stuff, especially when it means watching clips of the Broncos wearing the D helmet. Love that thing. So Happy 69th birthday to former wide receiver Haven Moses!
Rest pays dividends as Shane Ray is '100 percent' for Broncos camp - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
The Broncos have plenty of optimism for their first-round pick, Shane Ray, who is expected to take part in training camp this week.
Grantland's Top 100 Rankings NFL: Part 2 — Who Is Football’s No. 1 Player? "
Beginning with DeMarco Murray and finishing with Aqib Talib, I worked my way through players 100-61. Now comes the other 60. J.J. Watt was a surprise pick as the players’ top choice; will he be no. 1 on this list, too? (Just don’t scroll down.)
32 camp questions for 32 teams -- Part 1: The NFC
Who runs the ball in Dallas? And can Colin Kaepernick carry the load? These are some of the questions facing NFC teams as camps open.
Ranking the NFL's top offenses -- Why New England Patriots are still No. 1
Even with Tom Brady suspended for four games, Mike Sando remains high on the Patriots offense. The Broncos could be shifting to more of a run-oriented offense and some believe Peyton Manning has declined markedly, but it's impossible to know for sure.
Peter Schaffer, prominent Denver sports agent, stars in new series on Esquire TV
Peter Schaffer, a longtime Denver sports agent who represents a number of Broncos players, is part of a new Esquire Network series that gives viewers a more realistic look at the life of an agent.
Tim Tebow works out with death machine before camp - NFL.com
Tim Tebow kept himself in extremely good shape during his time away from the Eagles this summer. Here's the proof.
Eric Berry on recovery: 'It was a battle every day' - NFL.com
Eric Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma last December. On Wednesday, he was on the practice field for the Kansas City Chiefs and spoke about his struggle after his first on-field action.
Devon Still: Leah's recent tests are negative for cancer - NFL.com
With the swirling of bad news recently, it's good to pass along a good note: Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still announced his daughter's recent test were negative for cancer.
Kam Chancellor wants more money, could hold out - NFL.com
Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor wants a raise and could hold out of the team's training camp. The hard-hitting safety is the latest Seahawks player to ask for more money.
Pete Carroll on SB loss: You'll never know the pain - NFL.com
Pete Carroll opens up about his Super Bowl loss pain and how he's trying to move on from it. Find out what else the Seahawks coach had to say.
The reason Tom Brady put this on Facebook is b/c he'd never get through with a straight face in a press conference. pic.twitter.com/tc3nYk0tVk— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) July 29, 2015
Horse Tracks - Deflategate saga/delusion
Patriot Way strikes back: What we learned Wednesday - NFL.com
What we learned? We learned that the Patriots are delusional. Oh, and that Robert Kraft is back front-and-center of the Deflategate saga and he's mad at the NFL. Big deal.
Can the Patriots win with Jimmy Garoppolo? - NFL.com
The New England Patriots have a new starting quarterback. At least for September. So can the Patriots win with QB Jimmy Garoppolo?
Tom Brady says he did no wrong in Deflategate
In a statement on Facebook, Tom Brady said he did no wrong in replacing his cellphone after Deflategate and called the controversy "manufactured." Oh, please.
Robert Kraft: I was wrong to put my faith in the league - NFL.com
Robert Kraft addressed the media Wednesday morning, apologizing to New England Patriots fans for accepting the unprecedented penalties for Deflategate and underscored his support of Tom Brady.
Bill Belichick predictably mum on Brady's upheld ban - NFL.com
After Patriots owner Robert Kraft openly eviscerated the league on Wednesday morning, coach Bill Belichick was predictably closed-mouthed on the matter of Tuesday's ruling.