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These Broncos may be 'divas' but they have a winning culture

Because they just want to get the job done.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Having divas on a football team is a recipe for disaster in the locker room and on the field.

Unless by "diva" you mean ballers who want to be accountable for doing their jobs.

That’s definitely how wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders views it, and he’s proud of the label.

But more importantly, Sanders added, he and the rest of the Broncos offense want to do their part to put the Broncos in another championship. They don’t want to be known as just a "defensive-led team." They want to be known as "a team."

"When the defense scored two touchdowns and you’re looking and Aqib Talib has more touchdowns and the defense is holding us down, we’re looking at ourselves and saying offensively that we have to step it up," Sanders said, acknowledging that the offense doesn’t want to get to the end of every game and pray for a defensive stop. "We have to pick up our slack, we have to do better on offense and that’s what we’re saying and that’s what we did last week."

Reporters speculated that Sanders and his compadre Demaryius Thomas got so many passes against the Bengals because they complained about not getting the ball the previous week.

But Sanders and Thomas don’t look at it that way at all.

"It was just wanting our team to be better, especially on the offensive side," said Thomas.

And when the calls came, the two definitely were better.

"Kubiak was calling some plays. He was on," Sanders said of his coach’s game plan, and Thomas added, "Coach called great plays and we just took advantage of them so that we can show everybody that we are the best duo in the game."

They certainly were on Sunday in Cincinnati, combining for 15 catches on 217 yards and three touchdowns.

"If you’re going to double team me, you’re going to have to deal with [Sanders]. If you double-team him, you’re going to have to deal with me," Thomas said. "That’s not being cocky, it’s just that we put in the work and we know what we can and what we can’t do."

Sanders is lightning quick while Thomas can overpower most of the DBs covering him. "Thunder and Lightning" might just be the perfect name for the powerhouse tandem that is tough to beat.

"I think we can be dangerous," Sanders said of the potential for the entire offense. "We know that we can have a balanced attack and we can go out and throw 300 yards and four touchdowns and we can also run the ball, too. We can rush for 150 yards. …The sky’s the limit for this offense and this defense and this team. As long as we go out and work."

That’s not going to be problem, say the "divas" on the defensive side of the ball who also like being accountable for getting the job done.

Because it’s all about football.

And winning at football.

"It’s just the attitude that we have. It’s 100 percent football," said Von Miller, the same day he was named Defensive Player of the Month for his five sacks in three games.

Miller credits the arrival of Peyton Manning five years ago with a cultural shift in the locker room that put the Broncos on the right track – that attracted "football divas" and not diva divas.

"It’s been a constant evolution," Miller said. "When we got Peyton, it was just an immediate sense of urgency. We need to go win a championship. Then, when we got DeMarcus and Aqib and all those guys, it just evolved into what it is today."

And what it evolved into is a group of guys who love playing football, love playing together, and love winning.

And if a player does let his ego get out of whack, the team will reel him back in.

"It’s just not like that here. If it was, we’ve got the guys in the locker room to check it," Miller said. "That’s why we said no matter who we get on this team, they’ll be able to fit in. It’s just the culture that we have in the locker room. It’s great."

And it’s also a winning culture. The Broncos are 3-0, and that’s exactly where they expected themselves to be – whether anyone outside Dove Valley believed it or not.

"I expected nothing less. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to be undefeated if we can," said safety T.J. Ward, adding that he and the defense aren’t concerned about if the Buccaneers will be looking for a weakness in this team. "I hope they are. They should be trying to find something, but it’s hard to find. It’s hard to find a crack in this defense. We pride ourselves on that."

Ward pointed out that there are so many playmakers on the defense, and they are all over the field.

"You have to come up with something creative. That’s hard because even if you have a scheme, you still have to beat us one-on-one. You have to block Von, you have to get open on Chris [Harris Jr.] and Aqib. You have to get open on me. You have to stop the blitz and you have to protect.

In fact, these defensive divas have so much pride in their job on the field, they prepare extra on their own.

"We were at Von’s house after the game reviewing the tape – me, Talib, Von and ‘K-Web.’ Before we even get in the meeting room, for them to tell us where we made mistakes, we already know," Ward said. "That’s the next level if you want to be great. Everyone has to be great, not only here, but on their own time."

I am really liking this team of "football divas."

As Miller said, there is something special here.

"I don't know. There's something special that's going on with this team right now. It's great to be a part of of it," Miller said. "We've got great leadership here. We're coming out here to work. It's 100 percent football. That has to be a birth of some of the success that we had."

Horse Tracks - docllv's picks of the week

Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing. - The Washington Post
Why your broad-brush claims of "bias" are pretty ridiculous in this day and age.

Slot cornerback, the new defensive back position | The MMQB with Peter King
Once the domain of backups, the slot cornerback now plays an essential role in combating spread offenses—and some teams are putting their best defensive back at the position.

Take Care of Your Players | The Players' Tribune
As dedicated as we players are to this game, it’s getting more and more difficult to ignore the fact that we don’t have a league that shows the same kind of dedication when it comes to taking care of the players who are laying their bodies on the line every Sunday. - Richard Sherman

Horse Tracks - Broncos

Through my eyes: Emmanuel Sanders recounts his first TD of the 2016 season
The Broncos wide receiver reflects on his two-touchdown performance Sunday and what this Broncos' offense can become.

Five things you should know from the Broncos' Thursday: Why being a "diva" is fine, and more
Emmanuel Sanders admits to being a "Hollywood diva." He says Demaryius Thomas is a "country diva." But they work hard -- and they work well together.

Broncos snap count notes Week 3: Andy Janovich used more than any other FB in the NFL | Broncos Wire
The Denver Broncos used fullback Andy Janovich in 40 percent of their offensive snaps in Week 3, the highest fullback percentage in the NFL.

Why did Trevor Siemian settle into the NFL so quickly? A trip back in time tells all. – The Denver Post
Siemian's sudden spike, and his return home Sunday for the Broncos' 2:05 p.m. kickoff against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium, has a nation of football fans asking, "where did this guy come from?" The answer will become clear this week.

BMW Ultimate Performance: Trevor Siemian continues his growth
It's about the little things for Siemian as his progress continued with a stellar performance last week.

Broncos' DeMarcus Ware stays involved in game plan despite being sidelined with injury - 7NEWS Denver
Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware remains sidelined with a broken right forearm.

Broncos will wear orange jerseys against Buccaneers in Week 4 | Broncos Wire
The Denver Broncos will wear primary orange jerseys on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Here's what NFL rules allow.

Denver Broncos' Trevor Siemian adds to his football tale - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
The Broncos' Trevor Siemian was the last quarterback selected in the 2015 draft, and now he's the starter for the Super Bowl champions.

Broncos on brink of major win milestone under owner Pat Bowlen – The Denver Post
The Broncos under owner Pat Bowlen have been one of the most consistently successful franchises in sports. With a win against the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday, they could pass a significant milestone.

Broncos, Eagles, Patriots, Ravens or Vikings: Who will miss playoffs? - Stats & Info- ESPN
Five teams are 3-0, but recent history suggests at least one of the teams will miss the playoffs. Which one is most likely to miss the postseason?

Bucs' Mike Evans eager for Broncos' physical corners | Tampa Bay Times
Bucs WR Mike Evans is off to a strong start, ranking among the NFL's top five in yards (301), receptions (21) and touchdown catches (3), but he'll have a real challenge this week as Denver comes to Tampa with two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.

Bucs' Mike Evans eager for Broncos' physical corners | Tampa Bay Times
Bucs WR Mike Evans is off to a strong start, ranking among the NFL's top five in yards (301), receptions (21) and touchdown catches (3), but he'll have a real challenge this week as Denver comes to Tampa with two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.

Horse Tracks - some other teams

The Redemption of Josh McDaniels: Failure Taught Pats OC How to Pick His Spots | Bleacher Report
I know you don't like him, but this is a good read.

Browns wideout Josh Gordon entering rehab facility -
The return of Josh Gordon has hit another snag. The Cleveland Browns have announced that the wideout is stepping away from the team -- and his comeback -- to enter rehab.

Randy Gregory suspended additional 10 games by NFL -
Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended an additional 10 games without pay for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Can Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins escape their 'dark spot'? -
Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins had another abysmal game offensively, losing to the Bengals in a game they had trouble moving the ball. Can the Dolphins find their way with Tannehill under center?

What we learned: A.J. Green dominates in Bengals' win -
A.J. Green was uncoverable against the Dolphins on Thursday night, hauling in 10 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals cruised to a 22-7 victory.