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'Play the man, not the odds' should be the Broncos mantra in 2016

The funny thing about odds is that they don't play on the field - men do.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

A mere four days remain until training camp starts and we can officially "open" the 2016 season.

So to pass the two weeks since Von Miller signed his contract (ending our "VonWatch" fascination) and the opening bell of training camp, I've been binge-watching the first five seasons of "Suits," USA Network's legal thriller. And like any good football fan, I have found a connection between it and the Denver Broncos.

The main character in "Suits" -€” a badass litigator named Harvey Specter -€” has a gambling/legal philosophy that I absolutely love: "Don't play the odds, play the man."

"I don't play the odds, I play the man."   -Harvey Specter, litigator in USA Network's "Suits"

Given the fact that way too often the "odds" for the Broncos succeeding at any given NFL milestone -€” such as winning the division, the conference, in the playoffs, or ultimately, the Super Bowl -€” are against us, Specter's approach is brilliant.

Our team continues to be overlooked on lists, ranks, polls and awards, but at the end of the day, those are just meaningless compilations from a writer created because he/she needed a story idea.

"Odds," on the other hand, are far more intriguing. The fact that a ratio predicting the possibility of a certain outcome can somehow be quantified using statistics, calculated risk, past outcomes and even a little intuition is interesting, if not somewhat mind-boggling. Throw in that all this complicated analysis is for sporting events -€” contests specifically designed by rule and practice to draw us in for their unpredictability -€” and it's downright amusing.

Yet it's a multibillion-dollar industry that has fueled a lot of opinions about the potential for our team to win.

If those betting against the Broncos had "played the man," they would have remembered the punishing blows from Von Miller, ball-hawking prowess of the No Fly Zone and run-stuffing magnificence of the Front 7.

Take the odds in last year's Super Bowl, for example The Panthers, who played practically nobody all season, were a six-point favorite over the NFL's No. 1 defense.

And the odds for last season's AFC Championship Broncos-Patriots rematch? Tom Brady and Co. opened as the 3.5-point favorites, even in Denver, a stadium where they've lost more than they've won.

All those betting against the Broncos should have followed Specter's advice. Had they "played the man," they would have remembered the punishing blows from Von Miller, the ball-hawking prowess of the No Fly Zone and the run-stuffing magnificence of the front 7.

And had they paid any attention to Broncos' history, they'd know "the man" they were really playing is John Elway, a guy who has made a career on the field and in the front office out of beating the odds.

So all those betting against the Broncos this season (our own fans included) should quit worrying about the odds - the odds of winning back-to-back Super Bowls, the odds of the defense being as strong as it was last season, the odds of Mark Sanchez being able to lead this offense, the odds of Elway re-signing Emmanuel Sanders, and on and on.

Instead, always bet on the man -€” be that man John Elway, Wade Phillips, Von Miller, Emmanuel Sanders, Mark Sanchez or any one of our 53.

Because this is a franchise that understands the odds...and knows not to play them.

Horse Tracks - docllv's picks of the day

Von Miller, now handsomely paid, returns to lead Broncos’ title defense – The Denver Post
For the first time in six months, Von Miller will have it all when he trots onto the Broncos’ practice field for the start of training camp Thursday.

Chris Froome is the best part of the Tour de France, just like no one expected - SBNation.com
I know, I know - this is a football blog. But I LOVE the Tour de France, so indulge me and read about the second-best sporting event in the world. Plus, the Team Sky rider who will officially win the 2016 Tour de France today is giving soul back to the iconic cycling race.

Horse Tracks

Imagining NFL without franchise tag - How much money would Von Miller of Denver Broncos get?
The Broncos linebacker is now the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history, but the franchise tag limited his negotiating power. Just imagine if Miller had hit the open market.

Broncos and King Soopers to hold inaugural 'Back to School with the Broncos' event
The Denver Broncos and King Soopers will hold the inaugural "Back to School with the Broncos" event on Monday, July 25.

20 days, 20 Broncos camp questions -- 15. Is Matt Paradis ready to step forward as leader?
Docllv told you on Friday that Paradis was poised for a leadership role, and now Andrew Mason confirms that Paradis and the Broncos think so too.

Andy Janovich aiming to revive the fullback position
Sixth-round draft pick Andy Janovich is ready to become the fullback the Broncos need.

Broncos’ starting QB job is the No. 1 battle to watch in training camp – The Denver Post
Now that outside linebacker Von Miller is signed, the question of who the Broncos' quarterback will be returns to center stage. The depth chart, written in pencil by coach Gary Kubiak after watching offseason workouts, has veteran Mark Sanchez holding the coveted No. 1 QB spot.

Report: Steelers' LeVeon Bell facing 4-game suspension
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been looking forward to the return of running back Le’Veon Bell after the RB tore his ACL in Week 8 last season. Now they'll have to wait a little longer.

Players and Police: A Summit in Austin | The MMQB with Peter King
At the University of Texas, the NFL’s Emmanuel Acho and Fozzy Whittaker joined Austin’s police chief and others in a panel to foster better understanding between cops and African Americans, and lead more athletes to take an active role in working for change.

Analyzing No. 10-1 in NFL Fantasy LIVE's top 50 - NFL.com
Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell both land in the top 10 in the "NFL Fantasy LIVE: Top 50 Players of 2016" countdown. Who deserved to be higher? Alex Gelhar breaks down each pick here.

Randy Moss on ESPN rumors, NFL catch rule, marijuana | The MMQB with Peter King
Relaxed and rested on a tropical island, Randy Moss took a break from teaching Turks and Caicos youths about football to talk about that ESPN rumor, the catch rule and why everyone should leave Laremy Tunsil alone.