Good morning, Broncos Country!
Rookie minicamp begins today in Dove Valley, where all those highly touted draft picks will get their first chance to hear from the coaches and get a taste of what the next few months/years will be like.
For second-round pick Adam Gotsis and his fellow defensive linemen, we can only imagine what those early sessions with bear-wrestling Bill Kollar will be like (oh, to be a fly on the wall!)
Gotsis actually talked with Kollar prior to the draft, and it seems likely that one of the main reasons Kollar wanted Gotsis so badly was that the Georgia Tech defensive lineman actually enjoyed the tough talk from the bear wrestler.
"I have heard about coach Kollar's reputation from numerous people. I think our first conversation he blasted me a little bit and that's what I wanted," Gotsis said in his first news conference with the Broncos last week. "He said I played with great effort and I have a great motor. He also said looking at your film you have a lot to improve on. I can't wait to play for him."
It turns out there are transcripts from press conferences for hundreds of players at the NFL Combine, and Broncos' draft picks Gotsis, Connor McGovern and Paxton Lynch were among those talking to reporters and giving us all a few more insights into their work ethic and fit with the Broncos.
Most everyone knows by now that Gotsis has only been playing American football for a few years, a sport he happened upon after reading a flyer about a rec league in his hometown of Melbourne.
And while the Aussie version of football certainly has some similarities to our version, it focuses much more on kicking, with the average-size player being closer to 220 pounds, not 290 like Gotsis.
Plus, the scheme tends to be a lot simpler.
"We went from Australia [having] two plays on defense to coming here and having 100 different plays on defense," Gotsis said, adding the speed of the game is much different. "We went from barely any playbook in Australia to having a full playbook here."
This lack of experience, yet high level of play, is what Gotsis considers his biggest "upside" coming in to the NFL.
"I came in as a true freshman and ended up playing 12 games," Gotsis said. "For a kid who's never really played semi-professional at a high level, that was a big thing and showed how quickly that I developed into a player. Hopefully a team can see that in me. They can see that the production that I put (out there) for a guy who is still really learning a lot of ins and outs of this game."
And as we've said so many times before, if ever there were a coach (or coaches) who could get the most out of his players, Kollar and Wade Phillips would be at the top of the list.
Gotsis said at the Combine that his versatility on the field will serve him well in the NFL. This is most certainly going to be true with the Broncos.
"I definitely think my ability to get in the backfield, making negative plays," the 290-pound lineman said. "Just being able to play anywhere - across the front if they need me, whether it's a five-technique or three-technique...I think I fit any system."
Gotsis added that his size is more like a defensive end, but he's confident he can put on 20 pounds and play inside if needed.
"I feel like I can get to 310 and still be the same player that I am, a guy who can run sideline to sideline all day."
On the other side of the ball, McGovern also believes versatility is a big draw for his play. The guard actually preferred D-Line in high school, but he knew his body type was made for the O-Line.
"Mizzou recruited me. They said, ‘We don't know where we're going to put you. We're recruiting you because you're an athlete. We're going to teach you how to play football,'" McGovern recalled.
Although McGovern prefers to play guard, he can play tackle or even center if needed.
"I know I'm not the world's best left tackle, but I can play it," he said. "If a team needs me to finish a game or play one game at left tackle, I can do it. If a team needs a tackle, I'll play tackle."
This is definitely good news for the Broncos who were plagued with injury (and mediocrity) on the offensive line last year, so a player who can plug in at any position is always going to get Gary Kubiak's attention.
"Teams only travel seven, so they need a guy that can snap and play guard and tackle and do all three, so I think it helps me a lot."
And of course that O-line is going to be Key No. 1 to the quarterback succeeding next year. Even before Paxton Lynch was chosen by the Broncos, he was saying all the right things.
"I'm not sure what situation I'm going to get put into," Lynch said at the Combine. "I'll be happy and honored to go wherever I go, and however a team needs to use me, that's how I'm going to be. I've always been a team guy. I'm not about myself."
And if he needs to sit for a year?
"Whatever I need to do to help that team, I will do," said the new No. 12 for the Broncos. "But if it's coming in and sitting behind a guy, I'm still going to compete and push him. That's how teams get better in my opinion."
When he gets to minicamp today, Lynch knows the NFL will be different from college and all the players will be elite. But he believes his height and athleticism will still give him a leg up (arm?) for adjusting to the NFL-style game.
"I've always relied on my athletic ability with my size and arm strength in college, but I know that'll be a little different when I get to the NFL. Those guys are a lot faster, those windows are a lot smaller and those defenses do a lot more tricky stunts than they do in college," Lynch said. "But I'm working hard. I'm training. ...It's obviously going to take some time to adjust. But I'm ready, and I'm excited for it."
Emmanuel Sanders goes undercover at Fort Carson
Donning a self-described "sweet disguise" with some kickass dreadlocks and shades, Broncos' beloved wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders transformed into Ernest Miller to interview a few soldiers at Fort Carson this week.
Their reactions - or really their non-reactions - were priceless.
Sanders, aka Ernest: "Do you know who No. 10 is?
Soldier: "Uh, Mark Sanchez?"
Although Sanders tried to convince a few soldiers that "No. 10 would be a great quarterback," his best exchanges came while trying to convince soldiers that Sanders should have been the Super Bowl MVP.
"...I mean it was a ridiculous number of plays this guy made!"
Watch for yourself...if it's possible to actually like Sanders more, you will!
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