Good morning, Broncos Country!
There has been a lot of talk lately about all the ways the Broncos have been disrespected...even after winning Super Bowl 50 when no one seemed to think the Broncos could do it.
Apparently the analysts have short memories as this week has been one snub after another for the Broncos:
PFF ranked its top 101 players in 2015, putting Von Miller at No. 7 - which would have been fine, except Raiders' Khalil Mack somehow finished one step higher than the Super Bowl MVP.
Forget Madden. The only cover you want is the cover of Sports Illustrated the week after a Super Bowl win.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) May 12, 2016
But the ultimate snub came Wednesday with the Football Outsiders projecting the Broncos to go 7-9 and place third in the AFC West (behind a 12-4 Chiefs and 8-8 Chargers) but just ahead of a 6-10 Raiders.
Thank you ESPN for 7-9 motivation lol we wasn't even 7-9 with KO and tebow at QB— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) May 12, 2016
So what should we make of all this? Is it just offseason hyperbole or is it more motivation for that perennial "chip on our shoulder?"
"I don't know, but it really doesn't matter," said T.J. Ward on Monday. "We lost a couple guys on defense. Maybe they like us to play with a chip on our shoulders. It's more entertaining that way."
Darian Stewart was a little more matter-of-fact about it.
"Nobody believed in us, nobody gave us a chance," Stewart said of last season. But look how that turned out. "I don't mind working for my respect. We did it last year. We'll do it again."
I made a comment in a thread earlier this week stating that I'm all for players using whatever they can to get motivation for what will be a long and grueling season. And especially as the defending Super Bowl champs - when every team is going to be hungry to knock us off - players should use whatever they can to stay energized, pumped up, even angry for a win.
At the same time, too much Rodney Dangerfield just gets annoying and cliché - and I'm no fan of annoying and cliché. Mostly because it's offseason and none of this matters. (As Scotty Payne famously said yesterday, "It's May, everyone loves the Chiefs this time of year.") But also because it's just granting too much credibility to these pundits not worth the attention.
Ultimately, though, I'm not worried about our players and their motivation because the Broncos have the X-factor.
We have the guy who will keep players grounded, humbled, hungry - and definitely angry.
We have Bill "I can wrestle a freakin' bear" Kollar.
Did he back out of the PR deal?
"I just bulled it. I just went and put it over backwards, I'm on top of him now. Everybody went nuts. This bear was probably 7 feet. I told the guy, 'I know how to do it now.' He said, 'We're going to Columbus next week, we've got a Kodiak coming in. Would you like to wrestle him? He's 10 feet.' I said, 'No I'll end up passing on that.' Nowadays these players walk across the street and they make a thousand bucks."
It's just a hunch, but I have a feeling this guy isn't letting one single defender rant out loud for very long "we just can't get no respect."
Stewart told me last week that he believes the secondary has the best DBs coach in the league in Joe Woods, but he also has tons of respect for "Coach Bill."
"I love Coach Kollar, man," Stewart said. "He's another coach that just gets us pumped and ready...gets us fired up. I just appreciate the way he has passion for the game."
Kollar reminds me of a history professor I had who yelled at me every day: "Lattimore! You've supposedly read your textbook?!? Then tell me why the Russians invaded. AND don't give me a silly high school answer!"
He was intimidating and hilarious all at the same time. And I didn't want to disappoint him, so I always came prepared. Kollar strikes me as that kind of motivator. He knows what he's talking about, he comes prepared and he puts all he has into coaching them up. And they better put all they have into playing right - or watch out.
Mic'd up for practice on Wednesday, Kollar was his usual awesome-sauce (see quotes below but read with ALL CAPS and lots of !!!!! in mind). Enjoy!
"I got to go, got to explode out, got to get after the passer!"
"Sly, he runs 4.7. You run 5.7. You beat him!"
"Got to go, got to go, got to go get that sack, got to get that ball out!"
"D-ware, you're LINED UP offsides. Behind the line! You're offsides every time!!"
"Wooo! Good LA-AWD! That was on the money, brother!"
[whispers to D-Ware]: "You're a lot slower than you were last year."
I guarantee this guy doesn't care a lick about the respect or disrespect his defenders are getting from the media - or even other teams. Instead he's going to make them earn it on the field every. single. time.
And a guy who wrestled a bear is probably pretty motivating.
Horse Tracks - docllv's "pick of the day"
How Reche Caldwell Googled his way from the Patriots to prison
SWAT raids, a gambling ring, coffee cans full of money, Molly by mail? The former NFL wide receiver - and older brother to former Broncos WR Andre Caldwell - tells his story for the first time. And before you want trash Bubba for all he wasn't with the Broncos, you may want to consider all that he was (unlike his big brother).
Horse Tracks - 'Chip on the Shoulder' edition
Rob Gronkowski will be on the cover of 'Madden 17' - SBNation.com
Gronkowski made it to the finals of the fan vote last year, but this time he's made it to the cover.
PFF wrongly gives Khalil Mack edge over edge-rushing master Von Miller | Broncos Wire
Deciding which pass rusher is more devastating between Khalil Mack and Von Miller is difficult, but PFF got it wrong in their Top 101 list.
Denver Broncos think folks seem to forget they won Super Bowl - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
The Broncos are No. 8 in ESPN's latest NFL Power Rankings, yet another source of motivation for the league's reigning champion this offseason.
Denver Broncos didn't see their roster needs same as others did
The Denver Broncos' brass had a different perspective on what they needed to add this offseason than the experts, which showed in their moves.
Sacco Sez: Return of the fullback
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Joe Namath thinks Mark Sanchez still has some gas in the tank | Broncos Wire
Broncos newly acquired quarterback, Mark Sanchez, will likely always be known for his infamous "Butt Fumble." The comedic chain of events was listed on SportCenter's "Not Top Ten: Worst of the Worst" for so many consecutive weeks that it had to officially be retired by ESPN executives...
Day at Colorado legislature an inspiration for Chris Harris Jr.
Ahead of the team's trip to the White House to receive congratulations from the president, Chris Harris Jr. got a little political tune-up when he visited the Colorado State Capitol Wednesday to receive an honor on behalf of the Broncos and to speak to the general assembly on its final day of a four-month legislative session.
Broncos sign sixth-round picks Andy Janovich, Will Parks
Janovich and Parks became the latest picks to sign their contracts.
Von Miller leads six Broncos on Pro Football Focus' Top 101 NFL players for 2015
Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller led a group of six Broncos on Pro Football Focus’ top 101 NFL players list, which was released Thursday.
Ricardo Lockette gives heartfelt retirement speech - NFL.com
Ricardo Lockette has walked away from football. The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver announced on Thursday that he has officially retired from the NFL.
Carson Wentz signs contract with Philadelphia Eagles - NFL.com
The Eagles have their quarterback of the future under contract. Carson Wentz has signed a four-year contract with the team, the team announced Thursday.
Rob Gronkowski thinks Tom Brady will play 16 games - NFL.com
NEWSFLASH! Rob Gronkowski said he believes Tom Brady will play in all 16 games for the New England Patriots in 2016.
Some early posts from the first Mile High Report gurus
A little history and tons of links compiled by metalman5050 about the first posts on MHR.