Good morning, Broncos Country!
The Broncos hosted a panel of USGA golfers and tournament organizers this week to preview the upcoming 39th annual U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor, giving the football players a chance to swing their clubs with some of the best.
So it wasn’t unusual for tight end Jeff Heuerman to have a golf analogy when euphemistically describing the quarterback situation the past two years as “challenging.”
“I guess it would be kind of like playing golf and not knowing any of your yardages and kind of guessing,” Heuerman said, noting it was always a “week-to-week thing” knowing which QB might play. “It was definitely challenging.”
So add Heuerman to the list of players acknowledging now that the post-Peyton Manning era kind of sucked (my words, not theirs) if you were expected to be a receiving threat in Denver’s offense.
“I think the bigger thing is just the veteran quarterback presence,” the fourth-year tight end added. “We haven’t really had a whole lot of that the past couple of years. Just having the veteran quarterback presence and how he leads and how he manages things is huge.”
That’s pretty important for Heuerman, the former third-round pick who has yet to really live up to his hype and is looking at a critical season in terms of his future in Denver as well as the NFL.
As the default veteran in the tight end room, Heuerman knows he needs to have a big year without injury hassles to get the starting job. He believes having Case Keenum leading the offense will be a big step toward getting in the playing rhythm he needs.
“I think just getting into a rhythm and getting into a groove,” he said, emphasizing that playing with three different quarterbacks made it “kind of tough sometimes” to find that groove. “Hopefully with Case we can get into a good rhythm and build on that week to week. Hopefully it will take us deep.”
Speaking on NFL Total Access, Keenum also noted his excitement in coming to Denver.
“I’m just really excited because the GM and head coach really, really, really wanted me,” he said. “They really, really wanted me to be their guy and that feels good.”
“I’m excited that I had a team that really, really wanted me. I had a GM, a head coach, an organization that reached out and wanted me to be their guy. That feels good … I couldn’t be happier.” - @casekeenum7— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 9, 2018
: @NFLTotalAccess pic.twitter.com/usu6BiyXob
It feels good to players not just on the Broncos offense but defense too.
Darian Stewart, who’s impacted more indirectly by the quarterback play, also weighed in on his views of last season.Darian Stewart, who’s impacted more indirectly by the quarterback play, also weighed in on his views of last season.
“I think we’re 100 percent over it,” he said.
He may not be talking specifically about the quarterback, but I doubt there’s a member of the Broncos defense who isn’t also thrilled to have a better chance at playing aggressive and fast on defense because they won’t have to navigate back-to-back-to-back three-and-outs all game.
Noting that John Elway added some necessary pieces to “compete and win the AFC West,” Stewart is perhaps most excited about the direct impact the addition of former Redskins safety Su’a Cravens will have next season.
“[Cravens] has great energy and he seems like a smart football player,” Stewart said, adding that he was “a good addition” to the secondary. “He’s putting in the work every day with us. For me, as a leader, it’s important for me to help bring him along. I’m willing to do that and he’s willing to learn.”
Finding that extra gear.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 9, 2018
Hill Sprint 's » https://t.co/gZfzpfbY52 pic.twitter.com/EhrGdwl41p
Stewart added that he has no qualms about helping the young guys - even though they’ll eventually take over some or all of his playing role.
“If you want to win, you’re going to help your young guys. That’s how I look at it, and I’m always willing to help anyway I can with those guys and give them any information I can,” he said. “It doesn’t do me any good just holding things back. We don’t get better as a team. Me helping them as best as I can, along with the coaches, is going to make us that much better.”
Word on the Broncos street (via Shasta77 who moves around in some “in-the-know” circles) is that Joe Woods is excited about what his secondary can do with Cravens in the mix. Stewart corroborated that notion as well.
“There’s going to be multiple safeties on the field,” Stewart said. “It’s good for us as a group. It helps us learn every position and it’s challenging us. I think it’s going to be a big help for us.”
But Stewart was also really happy about the Broncos’ first-round draft pick, pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
“Great pick. I think he’s going to boost this defense,” Stewart said. “I look forward to being in the top five again in all categories. He was a great pick, and he’s going to help us out a lot.”
Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day
Peyton's Wild & Wacky 50K pays homage to incredible superhero son
This story has almost nothing to do with Peyton Manning - except that the star of the story is named after No. 18, and I feel sure Manning would be proud of how Peyton Moore lived his 9 3/4 years on earth.
Ichiro's response to Tom Brady texting him is a classic
Tom Brady wanted to get together with Ichiro Suzuki to study his stretching technique. There was a problem.
Does Denver Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph deserve the benefit of the doubt?
There is a lot of hate from fans towards Denver's head coach, but it's time to ease up on Vance Joseph.
Denver Broncos: Don't forget about Carlos Henderson
Don't forget about second-year wide receiver Carlos Henderson, whose explosiveness and ability to create after the catch could be a huge factor in 2018...
Three reasons why Denver Broncos will be better this season
An upgrade in coaching, quarterback and pass rush should help the Broncos improve to at least 8-8.
Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman faces make-or-break fourth season in Denver
Jeff Heuerman, by default, is the Broncos’ most proven tight end this offseason -- despite having everything to prove.
Woody Paige: Vance Joseph needs to coach better if he wants to stay | Colorado Springs Gazette
Vance Joseph is not the worst NFL head coach. However, he's next to last...
Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman makes candid admission about offense - Denver7 TheDenverChannel.com
The Broncos believe they will improve because of stability at the quarterback position.
Broncos' 4 biggest questions marks for 2018 season | 9news.com
The 2018 Broncos still have plenty of question marks and concerns.
Justin Simmons has long set standard for CB Isaac Yiadom
The two Boston College alums face an even higher bar in Denver.
Uphill battle: Broncos sprint into conditioning program
The Broncos are getting conditioned for the season with some help from the hill at UCHealth Training Center.
Report: Peyton Manning considering joining group trying to buy Panthers | Broncos Wire
Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is considering joining an ownership group that is attempting to buy the Carolina Panthers.
Insider look at how Miami Dolphins' draft class was made
Welcome to the life of an NFL scout, an existence that’s as anonymous as it is misunderstood. Meet the foot soldiers in the annual personnel chess game – the NFL draft – that’s become one of the biggest spectacles in sports.
Brandon Marshall meeting with Seahawks today - NFL.com
The OTHER Brandon Marshall (the one who is a free-agent wide receiver).
Free agency roundup: Colts sign OL Austin Howard - NFL.com
The Colts attacked the OL positions heavily in the draft, but they're clearly not done tinkering with the group yet. The Colts signed offensive tackle Austin Howard.
One player on every NFL team to really root for - NFL.com
Adam Rank's pick for Denver is...and "all-around good dude" - so take your guesses before clicking on the story.
C.J. Anderson: Panthers' scheme 'fits my game well' - NFL.com
New Carolina Panthers running back C.J. Anderson said Wednesday on NFL Network's "Up To The Minute" that he believes he fits the team's offensive scheme well.
Washington Post Tracks ;)
Jerry Jones says Dez Bryant, still a free agent, can make ‘significant contribution’ - The Washington Post
Almost a month after his release by Jones's Cowboys, Bryant appears to be drawing little interest in free agency.
A closer look at how first-round pick Da’Ron Payne fits in the Redskins’ defense - The Washington Post
Payne should step in right away as Washington's starting nose tackle, but how he develops as a pass rusher will determine his impact.
Shaq crushes Charles Barkley: 'Google me, Chuck!' - The Washington Post