Good morning, Broncos Country!
Broncos versus Chargers on Monday Night Football is somehow still four days away, and I’m not the only one chomping at the bit to see this team play for real.
Derek Wolfe sees this as I do - we’re ready.
“It’s great having a prime time spot, but this is our third ‘Wednesday’ practice this week,” Wolfe said. “It’s like, we’re ready to go. It’s ‘come on, let’s get to the game!’”
That’s especially good to hear from Wolfe, who had been sidelined the last few weeks of preseason with a sprained ankle. The defensive end will be back in action Monday night along with fellow line-mate Jared Crick - and the two are likely to be called to duty regularly as they are tasked with stopping Pro-Bowler Melvin Gordon.
But Wolfe believes this year’s defensive line is much better equipped to handle the run. Heck, even the backups were stopping the run this preseason, Wolfe said, pointing out that he, Von Miller and Crick didn’t even play much.
“[The backups] shut the run down,” Wolfe said. “Imagine when we get in there, and we do what we can do. It’s going to be even better.”
But this game will be no gimme for the Broncos defense as it takes on a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback - and known drama queen - in Week 1.
“They’ve always been a pretty good team. They’re healthy now and they’ve got all of their guys and all of their guns are on deck,” said Aqib Talib, a first-time captain for the defense this season. “They have Philip Rivers as their quarterback, so if you have a future Hall- of-Fame quarterback, you’re probably going to be pretty good on offense.”
Talib and the rest of the No Fly Zone will be keeping their eyes on wide receiver Keenan Allen as well as tight end Hunter Henry.
Allen is a “big body and a big target” for Rivers while Henry is a versatile tight end and a favorite target.
“You don’t know if they’re going to run it or if they’re going to pass it,” Talib said. “They can run a ball real good out of 12 and they can split those two guys out. You can do a lot of things with those two guys.”
While the Broncos defense prepares to shut down Rivers and his offense on Monday, it’s the Broncos’ offense for once that is touting its chances to make the exciting plays.
And that begins with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who may just have a little extra motivation - he’d really like to beat the team that fired him.
“If you were the head coach for the Chargers, and you got fired, and you play them on Monday Night, what would you want to do?” said wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, laughing. “I’d try to put up 100 if I could. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’d try.”
Not possible, but that doesn’t mean Thomas won’t try.
“He’s the same Mike McCoy... He wants to go out and put as many points as he can on any team. Just go out and blow everybody out,” Thomas added. “He wants to give his playmakers the ball.”
And the returning offensive coordinator will get no complaints on that.
“He’s smart. He’s super, duper smart. Definitely put us in the right position to be successful and to make plays. That’s something that we haven’t had over here in a while,” said C.J. Anderson in a subtle but strong indictment of the previous regime. “We’re definitely excited about that. If I had to pick one thing from him, it would definitely be being smart and having that swag and sass about it.”
Swag and sass in the Broncos’ offense would be a welcomed resurgence as Anderson and fellow running backs Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker are looking forward to a bigger contribution this season.
“The sky is the limit. We want to be explosive. Whether it’s with running or passing, we want to be really explosive,” Anderson said. “Monday night, we have the opportunity to go out there and be explosive and put our mark on Week 1.”
But that mark will be dependent upon how well the offensive line can stop some big-time DEs like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
Anderson says that part is coming along just fine.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in there. Everybody is gelling and on the same page,” he said, noting that bringing in veteran guard Ron Leary has been great leadership for the group. “It’s definitely exciting to be running with those boys.”
And if the running back duo of Anderson and Jamaal Charles - plus Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, even Andy Janovich for good measure - do their jobs, the offense won’t need Trevor Siemian to work magic.
They’ll just need him to bring McCoy’s bag of tricks.
“We’re excited that the QB battle is over, and we’re rocking with our guy No. 13,” Anderson said. “It takes all of us to make No. 13 look amazing. There are 10 other guys on the field that have to do their job exceptionally well so we can be the offense we want.”
Horse Tracks - Hurricane Irma
‘This storm has the potential to catastrophically devastate our state’ - The Washington Post
While Florida is bracing for Irma’s attack, I’ll be heading out of harm’s way - but unfortunately out of Cable TV range as well. That means I probably won’t get to watch the Broncos-Chargers game, so I’m expecting extra loud cheers coming from Mile High so I’ll know when we scored!
Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day
Colin Kaepernick has done more than make a statement, he has shown NFL players their power - The Washington Post
From Michael Bennett to Aaron Rodgers to Chris Long, players are learning how to flex their muscles to influence the national conversation.
Colin Kaepernick: The story behind his national anthem protest - The Washington Post How a quarterback without a team became the most talked-about man in the NFL.
Shaquil Barrett expects bigger, better things of himself
As he prepares for extensive work with Shane Ray sidelined, Barrett can lean on his success in 2015 when he filled in for DeMarcus Ware.
Broncos Injury Report: Derek Wolfe isn't easing back into work
Wolfe saw limited repetitions Thursday, but expects to be at full speed Monday night.
Christian McCaffrey's special talent will be on full display in Panthers' opener - Carolina Panthers Blog- ESPN
The Panthers are eager to showcase first-round pick Christian McCaffrey's versatility along with the speed and skills that make him unique.
Denver Broncos' edge rushers must keep opponents' focus off Von Miller - NFL Nation- ESPN
Von Miller is one of the NFL's top pass-rushers, but he can't do it alone. Others must do their part to keep opponents from selling out to stop Miller.
Five teams that could dethrone the five-time champion Patriots
The Patriots are favored to win every game this season, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. But they will have their work cut out for themselves.
NFL - Ranking all 32 teams by hardest schedule by opponent DVOA
In a league where teams don't play every other club each season, the schedule can determine who makes the playoffs. Here are the hardest (Eagles) and easiest (Patriots) slates, along with the 30 in between.
The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl contenders - The Washington Post
You aren't going to like this, but you need to believe it.
Chiefs' Eric Berry ruled out with Achilles injury - NFL.com
The Kansas City Chiefs lost their most valuable defender late on Thursday night. All-Pro safety Eric Berry was carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter with an Achilles injury.
Danny Amendola ruled out after suffering head injury - NFL.com
Danny Amendola's promising opening night has been cut short. The Patriots wide receiver will not return to New England's opener against the Chiefs after suffering a head injury.
All things are possible for the Chiefs after victory over Patriots
Alex Smith and the Chiefs dismantled the defending champs on their home field Thursday, opening the season with a resounding 42-27 win.
Support the Bowlen family & the Broncos' fight against Alzheimer's
The Denver Broncos and the Bowlen family are again supporting the Alzheimer's Association to help raise money to fight the disease.
How convinced are you that Broncos offense will be electrifying?
This poll is closed
I am "charged up!"
I’ll believe it when I see it.
No. I am a Chargers fan.