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Stampede News: Draft Wrap Up

Draft Wrap Up

After the Denver Broncos made a number of moves, including the trading of two prominent starters to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the #2 overall draft pick, it was expected things would return to their usual low-key self in the tradition of a GM Wade Pearce draft. Seasons of trading out the first had not prepared the Broncos' faithful for what happened on draft day.

1.2 WR Ferdinand Buford - Auburn

With CB Kyle Fuller now wearing a Steelers jersey, the expectations were high that the Broncos would be drafting a corner to replace him. But with the New Orleans Saints drafting highly-desired corner Tre Deveroux, the Broncos instead went for what many saw as the next-best player in the draft.

While the Broncos had been actively shopping Mark Perez around the league all off-season, the inability to move him (despite a good offer from the Minnesota Vikins) combined with the resigning of veteran Marvin Young had some thinking the chances of a new receiver would be low.

But Buford is a superstar in the making, with many comparing him to previous Broncos superstart Demaryius Thomas. With QB Ryan Tannehill throwing the ball and Marvin Young mentoring, Buford could be in for one hell of a season.

Trade - Indianpolis Colts

After missing out on Deveroux with the 1.2 pick, the Broncos entered trade negotiations with the Indianpolis Colts for the service of physically gifted corner Trae Waynes. The departure of Fuller to the Steelers had left a need at that position and the Broncos had previously tried to secure Waynes prior to the draft.

Waynes still needs a season to help his AWR boost and to get his morale back on track, but he is a physically gifted corner who has a number of seasons still left in the tank. Some will say the Broncos overpaid for his services, but as the corner stocks in the draft dwindled, it was a seller's market to secure a player like Waynes.

Broncos Send
2.4 Pick
2.23 Pick
Future Broncos 1st

Colts Send
CB Trae Waynes
7.6 Pick
Future Colts 7th

Trade - Green Bay Packers

In a reversal of market trends, where superstar wide receivers just couldn't compete with the draft's availability of receivers this season, the Broncos farewelled WR Mark Perez to the Packers for a price that was lower than a rumoured offer from the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the season.

When questioned on the trade, GM Wade Pearce commented "We had a number of contract issues to address. Mark [Perez] would be competing with Trae Waynes for our priority signing next season and with a number of other last-year contracts to contend with, the Broncos had to make a hard roster decision. In hindsight, our market evaluation of Perez didn't pan out so we took what we could on the day."

Broncos Send
WR Mark Perez

Packers Send
1.32 Pick

1.32 WR JuJu Smith-Schuste - USC

With Perez departed, the Broncos had a number of options to look at when their pick came around. Ultimately, they completed the reboot of their receiving corps, likely condeming Marvin Young to a slot-receiver and mentoring role for the 2023 season.

JuJu gives the Broncos a second tall target and while not as physically gifted as Buford, he is a perfect fit for the routes a #2 receiver will run. Oustanding agility, excellent hands and good acceleration combine with a decent speed that will only improve over the coming seasons to gift the Broncos a hopefully long-term, twin-tower receiving combo that can terrorise the AFC West for seasons to come.

Trade - Miami Dolphins

A simple future pick trade for the Broncos for the purpose of filling roster needs with viable starters now.

Broncos Send
3.12 Pick
Future Broncos 2nd

Packers Send
2.12 Pick
Future Dolphins 4th

2.12 OT Iosefa Loto - LSU

The earlier off-season trade of OG Khalid Croons to the Steelers left the Broncos with a need on the offensive line. It wasn't sure if the Broncos would recruit from the draft or reach for a cheap trade or the UFA for a replacement. Loto provides the Broncos with a talented player on the line. Speculation is that current starting LT for the Broncos Oliver Zebedee may be moved into the current-vacant right guard position instead of forcing the new rookie to make the move.

4.12 SS Keith Scott - LSU

Iosefa Loto's fellow LSU graduate was picked up by the Broncos in the 4th round. While veteran Phillip Thomas was retained for one more season, it is obvious Scott is the next hopeful starter for the strong safety position. Some details over his abilities will be fleshed out during the post-draft training camp as some questions remain around his apparent foot speed.

5.12 DE Andres Coffin - Colorado

The drafting of Coffin raised some eyebrows from draft reporters, as the Broncos neither need a DE at this point in time or need one of his play style. However, a brief post-pick interview with GM Wade Pearce noted that he hopes Coffin will show potential to make the move into the defensive tackle position, providing a viable long-term mobile partner for last season's 2nd round pick, Caleb Brantley.

Some questions remain around his ability to hold the line and further training camp will determine if he's a boom or bust pick.

6.3 WR Eric Almquist - Louisville

Almquist became the third receiver to be drafted by the Broncos and is the third speculative pick by the team. Almquist appears to be on the precipice of great talent and with some extra training, his football smarts may be converted into a solid option at the receiver position, making him a sleeper-pick of the 2023 draft.

7.6 OLB Sabe Melong - Oklahoma St.

Melong fills the current vacant depth position for the Broncos. If his post-draft training camp reveals better capabilities than scouted, he'll be a steal this late in the draft. If they skew the wrong way, he'll be a worthwhile long-term depth player on the Broncos roster.

7.13 WR Ethan Beavo - Nebraska

Beavo, it appears, will not be signed by the Broncos.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 10/01/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 31
Stampede News: Alex Carter Signs On Dotted Line

Alex Carter Signs On Dotted Line

The Denver Broncos have reached an agreement with corner Alex Carter to remain a Bronco for the next 5 seasons.

Carter was drafted with the 51st overall pick in the 2019 draft by Denver and he has progressed through the secondary ranks of the team, playing behind both Janoris Jenkins and Kyle Fuller learning his trade.

In the 2020 season, he expanded his experience by becoming the team's primary kick returner, amassing 1,333 yards on 56 returns across the season. In the Broncos championship season, Carter won the starting position over Harry Diaz after Jenkins was traded to the Atlanta Falcon. His season was interrupted, though, when he was injured in week 1 of the season and did not return until week 12. He then returned as a starter and was a solid contributor to the team's Super Bowl run.

In 2021, with Kyle Fuller suffering a season-ending injury in the pre-season, Carter became the team's #1 corner. A role that same him grow in the position. However, by his own admission, his deflection-to-catches allowed ratio was too high for a true #1 corner position.

But the Broncos' front office obviously like what they see in Carter, as they have just inked in a 5-year deal reportedly worth over $40 million, a sign that the talented 26-year old has the faith of management. Combined with Fuller's trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers this off-season, it looks like Carter has the starting position locked in.

After the successful rookie season of Fernando Carrusco and the fact the Broncos hold the 2nd overall pick of the 2023 draft, many are wondering if Carter's partner-in-crime for next season will be Carrusco or a new draftee?
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 09/14/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Stampede News: Broncos Trade Big

Broncos Trade Big

GM Wade Pearce of the Denver Broncos is not known for an aggressive trading personality when it comes to draft picks. In fact, the general manager is more known to trade out of the first round, flexing other team's desires for draft picks to secure talent where needed.

But this latest trade bucks this trend as the Broncos have reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers that will see the team holding the 2nd overall pick. If Wade Pearce manages to deny his normal trading tendencies, it will be, by far, the Broncos' highest draft pick in GZL since he took the reins of the franchise all the way back half-way through the 2013 season.

As part of the deal, the Broncos are also trading CB Kyle Fuller, OG Khalid Croons and their own 2nd round draft pick in exchange for the lucrative first round pick.

"We had the players the Steelers wanted," GM Wade Pearce stated, "and it was time to shake some things up. We have relied heavily in the past on our draft capabilities to bring success to Denver but we also realise that our current breed of drafted superstars delivered our Super Bowl win in 2021 but the next generation is needed. What better way to bring in that next generation than through a top 3 draft pick."

Kyle Fuller: Signed But Not Seen

For corner Kyle Fuller, the sudden departure from Denver would come as a shock. Fuller's last meaningful snap for the Broncos occurred in the 2021 Super Bowl, before a season-ending injury in the 2022 pre-season saw him placed on injury reserve just weeks after inking a new 7-year deal.

Some would expect such a deal to secure a player's rights, but instead Fuller will be moving to Pittsburgh with 6 years still remaining on that deal and no meaningful playtime on the books in Denver.

Fuller leaves the Broncos after 5 seasons, having been drafted 15th overall in the 2018 draft. While Fuller has been a highly capable starter for the team across his time there, his move could indicate that the Broncos are looking for a true gamebreaker at the corner position to pair with new #1 man in Denver, CB Alex Carter.

Croons Moving On

While Fuller was a Broncos' draftee, Khalid Croons was traded from the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 offseason and after some early struggles has turned into a solid and impressive offensive guard for the Broncos. While his sacks allowed stat has remaining fairly consistent, since 2017, his blocks have risen to now average between 70-80 each season. With the Steelers needing fresh blood on the line, Croons should slot into a starting position from day 1.

Draft Speculation

Prior to this trade, the Broncos had met their requirement for a starting MLBer in the form of MLB Benardrick McKinney from the Atlanta Falcons. Their other wants of a wide receiver can, theoretically, be met with the the re-signing or tagging of WR Marvin Young. The departure of Fuller puts the team's needs squarely in the court of a corner. Sitting at the 2nd overall pick means the Broncos are well placed to draft a potential game breaker, with a couple of highly desireable candidates filling the position.

Trade Details

Denver Broncos send:
CB Kyle Fuller
OG Khalid Croons
2.12 Pick

Pittsburgh Steelers send:
1.2 Pick
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 08/27/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Stampede News: Broncos Secure New MLB

Broncos Secure New MLB

The Denver Broncos have agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Falcons to secure the services of MLB Bernadrick McKinney as their new starting MLBer for the 2023 season.

The move signals the end of MLB Kevin Minter's nine year career in Denver. Minter's contract is up for renewal this season, and despite Minter breaking the 100 tackle mark for the 5th time in his career even while missing four games injured, the team had not committed to any future renewal this off-season.

For McKinney, it brings a new chance in his career after losing his starting position to rookie MLB Raekwon McMillan in the 2022 season. Before losing the starting role, McKinney made 138 tackles, 18 for a loss in the 2021 season, showing he has the credentials the Broncos want.

Farewell to a Stalwart

Kevin Minter was GM Wade Pearce's first draft pick for the Denver Broncos when he was selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He started that season in a 3-4 lineup and lead the league's rookie class with 80 tackles. The following season, Minter would crack the 100 tackle mark for the first time in his career, a feat he would repeat 4 more times over the coming seasons.

After cracking the Top 10 tackler leaderboard for the first time in 2018, Minter's 2019 campaign was cut short with a season-ending injury in Week 4, where he was placed on injury reserve.

He returned in 2020 to once again cross the 100 tackle mark before being a key component in the 2021 Super Bowl winning team.

Knowing his immediate future was on the line, Minter pulled out all the stops in the 2022 season, recording another 100+ tackles and 4 interceptions, but the acquisition of McKinney has thwarted his attempts to renew a contract in Denver.

He may find a new home over the offseason, but his salary demands are likely not going to gel with the cap needs of the team.

The Broncos thank Kevin Minter for his efforts in Denver and the role he played in their 2021 Super Bowl victory and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Trade Details

Denver Broncos send:
1.12 Pick

Atlanta Falcons send:
MLB Bernadrick McKinney
2.4 Pick
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 08/27/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 29
Stampede News: Shooting Gallery

Shooting Gallery

If the defending Champion Denver Broncos ever come knocking at your door, inviting you to sign a contract with them this season, our advice is to run for the hills. The team has been ravaged through injuries this season, with starters either being knocked out for the season or needing to spend multiple weeks sidelined. It is only through dumb luck that they remain atop the AFC West, thanks mainly to the Oakland Raiders in a renewal season.

Last week, we announced that WR Chip Hankerson had been signed by the Broncos to replace WR Marvin Young, who had been placed on injury reserve after being ruled out for at least 8 weeks in the game against the Tennessee Titans, effectively ending his season. Well, after signing a $4.29M single year contract for the remainder of the season, Hankerson didn't even get to complete a single game and is also headed for the injury reserve, having also been sidelined for 8 weeks in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It's a tough time to be a Broncos starter and this reporter feels, tongue firmly "in-cheek", that the team is running some sort of Hunger Games-like trial of players. Who will be fit enough to stand at the end? Will the team actually win the division? Can they break the overwhelming trend of past winners missing the playoffs the next season? It's getting harder to see the team do it.

As a result, the Broncos will likely be returning to the UFA pool to see which unlucky player gets the next nod. They should look on the bright side...there's a multi-million dollar contract on offer to play a few game...if they can make it that far.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/07/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 12
Stampede News: Broncos Riding Rough

Broncos Riding Rough

The Denver Broncos currently lead the AFC West by one game over perennial rivals the Oakland Raiders by a single game but their injury-plagued title defense took another turn for the worst when starting wide receiver Marvin Young was injured during the Broncos' overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans, placing him on the sideline for eight weeks. With that timeline meaning the only game Young was likely to return for would be the Super Bowl, the Broncos' front office made the tough decision to place Young on the injury reserve and free up some crucial cap space.

The 2022 title defense for the reigning champs has been one plagued with injuries. Young joins fellow starter CB Kyle Fuller on the injury reserve, who has missed the entire 2022 season since being injured in the pre-season. During the first twelve weeks, the Broncos were without the services of starters MLB Kevin Minter and WR Mark Perez and fill-in nickel corner Paul Warner for two weeks each at different stages. Overall, the front office and coaching staff are happy with the fact the team is keeping a nose above the .500 win mark and leading the AFC West at present despite these changes.

As a result of the latest injury, the Broncos have used the extra cap space provided by Young's IR status to secure the services of two veterans to fill in roster requirements and provide some talent to hopefully account for the two permamently injured starters.

CB Patrick Peterson was signed to a single-year contract and while the veteran corner is a bit slower than his 2021 form with the New Orleans Saints, where he pulled in 8 receptions, it is hoped that his ability to read plays will offset this shortfall, allowing him to take the pressure off of rookie CB Fernand Carrusco, who was pushed into the starting role with the injury to Fuller.

Along with Peterson, WR Chip Hankerson was also signed to a single-year contract, providing a big body receiver to start alongside Mark Perez at the #2 position. At 6'1" with a 91 CTH rating, Hankerson will provide an ideal target for QB Ryan Tannenhill to throw at, hopefully providing a suitable replacement for Young in the starting lineup.

Roster Movement Analysis

While rumours have arisen that the Broncos approached the Indianpolis Colts with a 1st to try and acquire CB Trae Waynes, nothing eventuated of note. The Broncos could have continued to use their first round pick to acquire a replacement at either the CB or WR position but have instead opted for short term veteran talent in a bid to not trade away their longer term future. While acquiring a first round quality receiver or corner would see the Broncos managing three starters for two starting positions are either position, there is nothing to say the Broncos could not flex their overstock of talent in the off-season and regain some of their draft power.

But the Broncos are banking more on long term rather than short term certainty. Trading out a first round pick for a player that will definitely leave a position overstocked in the offseason means the Broncos would be left at the whim of the open market in the 2023 offseason, where the net results of trades could leave them with less value than if they just kept their first round pick. The Broncos are gambling that the veterans game awareness will offset a slide in athletic ability.

Young's Final Snap?

During the 2022 offseason, the Broncos openly shopped WR Marvin Young on the trade market, at the time hoping his remaiming potential offset the cost of his final year contract to other teams. While there was some mild interest, there wasn't enough to entice a trade. With his season now over and his contract expiring at season's end, what will the Broncos do?

Young is currently the second most expensive 2022 contract but is in the final year of the current contract. At 31 years of age, Young will enter his final years of peak athletic fitness (having been drafted at the age of 23 in 2015), meaning the team will have to weigh up the value of his skillset against a shorter-term contract. It will also need to be weighed up against the likely freeing of cap space. With C Maurkice Pouncey a certainty to be left off the resign plans of the team and MLB Kevin Minter being reviewed, as he turns 32 and begin to lose some peak athletic ability, the team may decide that they can absorb a higher contract demand from Young.

But with long-term partner-in-crime WR Mark Perez only one year behind Young on the regression timeline, the Broncos may see fit to rotate Young with a future starting receiver next season, something that Young may not be happy to acommodate.

Only time will tell.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/01/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 39
Stampede News - Pre-Season Injury Disaster

Pre-Season Injury Disaster

In a major blow of the Denver Broncos 2022 championship defense, starting corner Kyle Fuller went down with an injury in week 2 of the pre-season against the Buffalo Bills. While it was initially thought that the elbow injury would see him sidelined for a few weeks, later analysis has delivered the crushing news that Fuller has broken his elbow and will be sidelined for the entire season.

Fuller played a significant contribution in the Broncos 2021 Super Bowl win, pulling in a crucial interception while the Buccaneers were in the redzone. During the off-season, he penned a new 7-year deal with the Broncos and his side-lining is a blow to both the player and the franchise.

Roster Moves

It is expected that rookie corner Fernando Carrusco will get the nod to move up into the starting role, teaming up with Alex Carter to be the Broncos' new starting tandem in the backfield. Paul Warner, who has spent his two seasons playing behind the likes of Fuller, Carter and the recently-departed Harry Diaz, will be competing with any new signings the Broncos acquire for the nickel corner position.

Information from head office is that DE John Simons was cut to make cap space for the team, while UFA CB Jamie Montague was signed to a multi-year deal to help fill out the depth chart.

While Warner and Montague are perfectly serviceable players for the Broncos, the team may still look to trade later picks in exchange for a veteran to help ease the pressure on the rookie Carrusco.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 02/26/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 39
Stampede News - The 11th Hour Draft Recap

The 11th Hour Draft Recap

The 2022 draft for the Denver Broncos was meant to be a quiet affair after a number of efforts to move key players during the off-season resulted in little to show for it. Apart from moving Super Bowl starter OT Nathan Kuzentsov to the Tennessee Titans for the 30th overall pick and trading a combination of lower round picks for singular higher picks, there hadn't been much change.

But the first pick by the Super Bowl champions would change that as it threw the franchise's roster management into a bit of disarray and by the end of day 1, the Broncos would have recruited six new players.

The Draft Summary

1.30 - HB Christian Mcaffrey (Stanford)

When the GM Wade Pearce announced the drafting of Mcaffrey, the Super Bowl Champions' roster management went into disarray. During the offseason, the Broncos had just agreed to a new 2-year contract with HB Gerard Campbell and drafting a running back was the least expected move from the team.

Looking at the pick objectively, while the Broncos have consistently posted high rushing yardage to the point where they have relied on it to advance up the field, it hasn't been a provider of offensive points for them. The Broncos were obviously looking to the fact that Mcaffrey (after some off-season bulking up) will provide that explosive rushing solution that both Campbell and Keith Payne before him did not bring to the table.

Before the first round had finished, Campbell unexpectedly found himself on the trading block. The New England Patriots offered the 2.17 pick in exchange for Campbell, as they had been targetting Mcaffrey with their 31st overall pick.

2.7 - DT Caleb Brantley (Florida)

The San Francisco 49ers offered up a last-minute deal involving CB Harry Diaz and the Broncos accepted the deal. The resultant draft pick they received landed them the player they hope will be their new defensive front man. Brantley is big, has excellent strength and football smarts while also being agile and quick for his size. He is an ideal fit for the Broncos defensive line, where he will work with veteran and mentor Marvin Austin to become the teams new staring DT.

2.19 - CB Fernand Carrusco (Nebraska)

The departure of Diaz for the 2.7 pick saw the Broncos recruit Carrusco from Nebraska to fill the nickel corner position. After watching slot receivers burn the secondary repeatedly in the AFC Conference Championship and the Super Bowl, the Broncos head office decided they needed a most explosive corner for that position. With Kyle Fuller and Alex Carter in front of him on the roster, Carrusco will have to push hard to get a start in Denver, but will still get plenty of game time starting from the nickel.

2.32 - WR Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington)

The Broncos recognise that there is a limited lifetime for the superstar combo of Mark Perez and Marvin Young in Denver, which was no more obvious than the fact the Broncos reportedly tried hard to move Young during the offseason. But while Kupp does not reach the prototypically sought-after 6'3" receiver mark, Young's own 2022 season should be enough to indicate that a 6'0" receiver with an exceptional jump and excellent hustle can put up good numbers for a team.

3.3 - C Cameron Tom (Southern Mississippi)

While Tom will require a bit more scrutiny post-draft, he has shown solid capabilities that will likely see him take the starting position from Maurkice Pouncey when the GZL icon steps down from the game. Center is one of the hardest positions to draft for and Tom's inclusion to the team sets the progression system up in place for the next starter for the team to step up (most likely in the 2023 season).

3.31 - DE Garland Lee (Georgia)

While there had been interested in Marc Thomas during the off-season, nothing came forward that enticed the Broncos to move him. But with Thomas entering his 7th season and Tank Carradine entering his 8th, the Broncos were willing to see what Lee could provide the team over the next couple of seasons before the need to have a new starter became compulsory.

Lee's major drawback might be his weight, even with a pre-season's worth of bulking up. That, combined with some fitness concerns around his endurance would be why he was available for the Broncos late in the 3rd, but as stated, the team is willing to give him a go.

The Round Up

The Broncos swung trades late in the process and along the way Super Bowl players HB Gerard Campbell, OT Nathan Kuzentsov, CB Harry Diaz and DT Nick Fairley all left the team for greener pastures. But even Super Bowl champions cannot just rely on the same roster without planning for the future and planning for the future will mean some of the past must be let go.

Overall, the Broncos appear to be preparing a succession plan for a number of positions while also allowing a new running back to establish himself alongside a veteran passing game. But for the first time in a long time, the Broncos will be going into a season with a number of starting rookies.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 02/05/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Stampede News - Denver Are 2021 Champions!

Denver Are 2021 Champions!

The fans of the Denver Broncos are in rapture today as they come to terms with the fact their beloved franchise has won Super Bowl XII, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit, upsetting their opposition 27-15 and being crowned the 2021 Champions.

It brings to a close a rollercoaster season for the fans, who watched their team fall short of winning the AFC West division by losing to their bogey team, the Oakland Raiders, in Week 14 only for the team to string together 4th quarter comebacks in the Wildcard, Division and Conference Championship playoff games, culminating in a game for the ages against the Raiders in the AFC Conference Championship game. It was in the double-overtime classic that the Broncos finally overcame the Raiders, ending the Oakland team's attempt to defend their Super Bowl victory from the previous season.

The team they faced, the NFC Champions Buccaneers, were also looking for their first GZL Championship and many believed this season would be the one that finally got the team their deserved ring. But the football gods are merciless and cruel and a number of small, but crucial errors during the game cost them the Super Bowl, allowing the Broncos to win. The two big ones that stand out in this reporter's mind are the interception to CB Kyle Fuller as the Buccs were within the Broncos' redzone and QB March Sanchez was picking apart the Broncos' secondary like a maestro; and the fumbled punt return that the Broncos swooped on and returned for a touchdown shortly after the second half had started. These moves halted Buccs momentum, forcing them to reset or back onto their heel.

The win for the Broncos is the culmination of a patient recruitment program by GM Wade Pearce, with 15 of the team's Super Bowl starters being drafted by the Broncos and a number of other starters spending the bulk of their career in Denver. While the team hasn't been setting the league alight across the seasons, they haven't had a losing season since 2015 and have recorded four winning seasons across that time.

So, after reaching the 2018 AFC Conference Championship game, the Denver Broncos went two steps further in 2021, becoming both the AFC Conference Champion and the GZL Champion.

As a few side statistics:

  • The Broncos win means the Pearce brothers have won back-to-back Super Bowls
  • The AFC West has now won one-third (4 of 12) of the Super Bowls (but to be fair, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won a quarter (3 of 12) of the Super Bowls on their own)
  • GM Wade Pearce is 3-0 lifetime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • This is Wade Pearce's first Super Bowl appearance and victory in any Madden GM league since he began his career in the early days of TWR.

And our apologies to the Buffalo Bills...our first round pick is now the least-valuable!
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/28/2016) Replies - 2 :: Views - 25
Stampede News - Unfortunate Departure For Bennett

Unfortunate Departure For Player

In the lead up to Super Bowl XII, the Denver Broncos announced that they have restructured superstar OT Oliver Zebedee to a new seven season deal. This move has come at the unfortunate cost of WR Andy Bennett whose was released just days before his team was scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be crowned 2021 GZL Champions.

With the Broncos facing a number of starters becoming uncontracted at the end of next season, they have moved to secure the services of Zebedee into his 30's, absorbing some of his remaining rookie contract in the process. But the financial situation of the Broncos meant they were unable to accommodate the extra contract cost on their cap space without freeing up a small enough and as such, Bennett became the sacrificial pawn in this move.

Bennett was recruited with the 4th-last pick of the 2019 draft and has had minimal game time in his three seasons, amassing a total of 109 yards across three seasons and scoring his first touchdown this season. He has yet to play a down in any of the four playoff games the Broncos have played in since his drafting (the Wildcard loss to the Dolphins in 2020 and the three games so far in 2021).

With six receivers on the roster at present, it was the likely position for the Broncos to sacrifice to fit the restructure.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/22/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 11
Stampede News - Broncos Reach First Super Bowl

Broncos Reach First Super Bowl

In what has been a spectacularly roller-coaster season, the Denver Broncos have beaten the Oakland Raiders when it mattered most and have stunned the AFC, mastering their third rally in as many weeks to win the AFC Conference Championship and advanced to the 2021 GZL Super Bowl after an epic double-overtime game.

The Broncos fell short of winning the AFC West division when they lost their only divisional game of the season to the Raiders in week 14 of the season and after winning back-to-back away matches to advance to the AFC Conference Championship game, many felt the Broncos were facing an uphill challenge against a team they have a rather dismal W/L ratio against.

And after a solid opening drive for the Broncos netted them a field goal, the pundits appeared to be right as the Raiders piled on 24 unanswered points, picking up from where they left off in their 37-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round. A lonely field goal towards the end of the second quarter brought the Broncos score to 6 but they were still down by 18 points at the half.

But after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter and putting the Raiders up 31-6, QB Colt McCoy, who had been torching the Broncos secondary, had to be escorted from the field with a game-ending injury, leaving the lead protection in the hands of Landry Jones.

Jones, who had won Super Bowls with both the Seattle Seahawks (Super Bowl VII) and the Raiders last season, would seem to be a solid replacement, but the Broncos defense stepped it up a notch, shutting the Raiders offense down enough to deny them crucial first downs.

And that's when QB Ryan Tannenhill and WR Mark Perez exploded, and the Broncos piled on 28 points to 3 to see the game finish regulation with the scored tied. Perez broke for 289 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the second half, with HB Eugene Nalen scoring the other touchdown.

The game then went into overtime, where neither team could make progress in the first overtime period and as a result, the game went to an unexpected double overtime, where K Shaun Willis pegged the winning field goal, sending the Broncos' faithful into disbelieving ecstasy.

This will be GM Wade Pearce's first ever trip to a Super Bowl in his management career.

Following the drama and second-half comebacks that the Broncos have mustered in the playoffs so far, who will they face in the Super Bowl and can they achieve the previously unthinkable?
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/20/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Stampede News - Broncos Training Camp 2021

2020 - The Season Of Injuries

The 2020 season saw a number of substantial changes in the Broncos outfit, with a number of long-term players for the Broncos leaving for greener pastures or the golf course. After spending the 2019 season on the sidelines with injuries, the Broncos said farewell to nine season veteran FS Thomas Jackson who was let go. But Jackson wasn't the only player let go, with HB Keith Payne released, where he was picked up by the Seahawks during the 2020 regular season and had minimal game time. Joining Payne in the market was corner CB Janoris Jenkins who was traded to the Falcons.

The final big move for the Broncos was when they traded in QB Ryan Tannenhill, effectively giving notice to QB Howard Christensen with the Broncos not even attempting to offer him a position. As a result, Christensen was acquired by the Cleveland Browns where he subsequently had his highest yardage season with 3,578 yards. At this point, Christensen is still in the in the free-agency pool.

With these changes, there was going to be disruption to the team's cohesion during the season and this showed at points, with a rough start seeing the team reach the half-way point with a 3-6 record and no discernable chance of reaching the playoffs. This record was further compounded by the season-ending injuries to starters WR Marvin Young and SS Phillip Thomas along with backup running back HB Eugene Nalen.

But despite this setback in injuries, the team pulled together to go on a 6-game winning streak and secure a winning season. During this run, the team defeated the #2 ranked Baltimore Ravens and #6 ranked New York Giants as well as securing a much needed divisional win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite losing the final two games of the season, the Broncos secured a wildcard position in the playoffs with a 9-7 regular season record.

The final game of the season against the Dolphins saw the Broncos suffer their third season-ending injury to a starter, with DE Marc Thomas going down with a four week injury and as a result, DE Cliff Matthews was signed from free agency for the team's playoff tilt. It was with this signing that Matthews secured an statistically interesting place in GZL history. Matthews last game in the GZL prior to the 2020 playoffs was with the Broncos in the 2018 playoffs where Denver travelled to Miami in the AFC Conference Championship game. During the 2019 off-season, Matthews was let go. In between that time, no team was interested in Matthews and he spent his time in the free-agency pool. The Broncos then signed him back onto the roster with a short-term deal, where he subsequently played his next game...against the Miami Dolphins in Miami in the AFC playoffs.

The Broncos were outclassed by the Dolphins in the wildcard round, being soundly beaten in time of possession as well as failing to shut down either avenue of offense and the team exited the playoffs.

There were some solid statistical performances on the roster. New running back Gerard Campbell ran for a solid 1,614 yards at 4.72 ypc and seven touchdowns while Ryan Tannenhill passed for 3,653 yards with a 82.7 QB rating. WR Mark Perez completed his fifth straight 1,000+ yard season with 1,225 yards receiving, but his touchdown production suffered without his cohort Marvin Young providing another thread for the passing game. OT Oliver Zebedee sprung to life on the O-line, becoming the true heir apparent of Ryan Clady, completing a 92:1 pancake:sack ratio for the season. And on defense, MLB Kevin Minter had his best season, combining his 118 tackles with a career-best 20 TFLs and 15 deflections.

2021 Offseason - End Of An Era

OT Ryan Clady Amnestied

The Clady era has ended in Denver. After 13 seasons in Denver (2 pre-GZL days), Ryan Clady was amnestied by the Denver Broncos so as to free up cap space for the team. GM Wade Pearce had always stated that it was his desire to see Clady finish his career in Denver, but the 2019 holdout demands of the GZL icon pushed his contract into territory the franchise could not continue to maintain for the 2021 season. Clady is the legend of the O-line in the GZL, with his career tally of pancakes nearly 200 in front of the next-active blocker. The Broncos wish Ryan Clady well in his endeavours in New Orleans, who secured his services with their 2020 5th Round Pick.

DT Marvin Austin Departs Denver...Then returns

After 10 seasons of service to Denver, Marvin Austin was not offered a new contract by the Broncos for the upcoming 2021 season. When asked why, GM Wade Pearce commented that ongoing salary cap restrictions and the desire for more financial freedom in the upcoming off-season combined with the salary demands of the player forced the franchise's hand and they went looking for alternatives. Austin spent the entire offseason in the free agency pool with no team interested in his services, so with the regular season approaching, the Broncos approached him with a much lower offer of $22.20M across three seasons and he agreed bringing him back onto the team to pair with a recent aquisition.

OLB Keenan Clayton Released

Recruited by the Broncos during the farsical 2018 offseason (where the team failed to secure a number of RFA and ended up in numerous bidding wars), Clayton was recruited to replace the Detroit-bound OLB Khaseem Greene. During his time in Denver, Clayton has helped the team to the 2018 AFC Conference Championship and the 2020 AFC Wildcard round. A combination of an aging body along with his worst defensive performance of his career in the 2020 season were enough for the Broncos to let Clayton go while absorbing his signing bonus for the final year.

MLB Mike Mohammed Let Go

As the offseason progressed and trade talks were underway, the Broncos were unsure of Mike Mohammeds future. Originally signed from UFA during the 2019 season to start in place of the injured Kevin Minter, Mohammed provided a solid depth player for the squad. Eventually though, the front office decided that his price wasn't worth the role he was playing in the roster, so he was released to free up more cap space for the pre-Draft free agency period.

WR Mark Perez Signs New 3-Year Deal

The Denver Broncos have used their exclusive resign on securing the services of superstar WR Mark Perez for another three seasons. Along with Marvin Young, Perez is an integral part of the Broncos offense and the team did not wish to risk him going to a bidding war in free agency.

CB Harry Diaz Secured For 5 Seasons

With Diaz being optioned under RFA rules, the Broncos immediately moved on the young corner, reaching a restructuring agreement with him for another 5 years. Diaz had a breakout season in 2020, becoming the #2 starter at corner with the departure of Janoris Jenkins. In this role, he managed to pull in 4 interceptions while making 33 deflections.

OG Shannon Crockett Signs Massive Deal For Detroit

In one of the biggest talking points of the pre-Draft free agency period, OG Shannon Crockett was offered a massive deal by the Detroit Lions to make the same move previous Broncos alumni Khaseem Greene had made in 2018. Many in the league questioned the move by Detroit, but the Broncos refused to match the offer, especially given the circumstances where the team had already released Ryan Clady due to contractual constraints. While the team was disappointed to see Crockett leave for another team, the franchise realises it is the risk of an open market that such events do happen. This move substantially shifted the off-season recruiting plans for the Broncos.

Broncos Sign ROLB Wesley Washington

During the pre-Draft bidding period, the Broncos had shown signs of interest in Washington, who had played the first four seasons of his career in Philadelphia. But instead, the team had placed a tightly fought bid on OLB D'quarius Kemp in Chicago. Eventually though, the Bears decided to match the Broncos offer, still leaving the team without a viable starting option at LOLB and a draft pool not 100% to GM Wade Pearce's liking. However, despite the offer from Philadelphia, Washington chose not to resign with his old team and instead was released into the open UFA pool. From here, the Broncos placed a 5-year, $30M offer for the player, beating out other offers to secure their new starting option to replace Keenan Clayton. It is hoped Washington can build on his stats so far and make that next step to being a champion linebacker for the Broncos.

Broncos Sign Long Term Depth

While the off-season's highlights are around the superstars and starters of a team, the aquisition of players to help provide depth for your team is just as fundamentally important during this period. Without good depth, a team can find themselves unexpectedly struggling when starters lose field time during a game due to minor injuries.

As such, the Broncos have successfully signed or re-signed the following players:

  • FB Manny Rice (Resign) - 5 years
  • P Britton Colquitt (Resign) - 3 years
  • FS Keyan Berrios - 5 years
  • MLB Galen Farris - 5 years

Broncos Acquire New Starting DT From Buffalo

The Broncos completed a trade that sent a bevy of mid-to-late draft picks to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the services of DT Nick Fairley. Fairley brings a solid resume to the Broncos and also fills the type of agile players that GM Wade Pearce likes to recruit. His 99 AWR and 99 TKL are expected to provide an excellent skill set to the team .

Broncos Send

  • 2020 4.21 Pick (became CB Galen Johnson, drafted and signed by the San Diego Chargers)
  • 2020 5.21 Pick (became QB Brandon Allen, drafted and signed by the Kansas City Chiefs)
  • 2020 6.21 Pick (became K Jon Bozic, drafted and signed by the Chicago Bears)

Bills Send

  • DT Nick Fairley
  • 2020 6.24 Pick (became OLB Zach Becker, drafted but not signed by the Denver Broncos)

Broncos Trade Into Present From Future

With the loss of Shannon Crockett to the Lions and a growing possibility of not having a starting OLB by draft day, the Broncos decided to pull the string on trading their future first and third round draft picks to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for an extra pick in the first round. While the end result may not have been what the team wanted, it is what it it is.

Broncos Send

  • 2021 Broncos 1st Round Pick
  • 2021 Broncos 3rd Round Pick
  • 2020 7.29 Pick (became FB Jesse Black, drafted and signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars)

Bills Send

  • 2020 1.31 Pick (became OT John McGregor, drafted and signed by the Denver Broncos)
  • 2021 Bills 4th Round Pick

Broncos 2021 Draft Review

The Broncos 2021 draft is behind us and while the front office is overall happy with the early picks, they believe more could have been leveraged from their picks if they hadn't left it fully in the hands of the robot minions (dame timezone differences!).

  • 1.21 OG Rich Jaques - With the departure of Shannon Crockett, the Broncos had a goal in the draft and Jaques achieved that goal. With agility and acceleration that the Broncos have always desired at that position, some appropriate boosts in categories will make him a valuable cog in the offensive line.
  • 1.31 OT John McGregor - An unexpected run on offensive linemen and a hedging of bets for the 1.21 pick left the minions a bit confused and they drafted McGregor at this position. While he is comparable to 2020 draftee Nathan Kuznetsov, his athleticism means that there could be some future O-linemen trading in the future.
  • 5.15 DT Lucious Jackson - A solid recruit to fill the depth at the defensive tackl position.
  • 6.24 OLB Zach Becker - After drafting Becker, the Broncos elected to not sign him.
  • 7.21 WR Louis Cobb - A potential diamond in the rough, Cobb is a 6'1" receiver who with some judicial attribute boosts could cross the 90 mark in SPD, AGI and ACC within 3 seasons. The Broncos will be keeping a close eye on this late draft recruit.

2021 Training Camp

This reporter managed to get their hands on some training camp notes for the Broncos and we can provide some lowdown on players and areas the training staff will be focusing on.

  • OG Rich Jaques, OT John McGregor (weight) - The two first round rookies will get a weight boost with the effort on bulking them up expected to tip Jaques over the magic 300lbs mark.
  • OG Rich Jaques, OT Nathan Kuznetsov (strength) - As well as being unmoveable, a lineman also needs the capability to move others. As such, these two linemen are slated to have significant weights work at camp.
  • WR Louis Cobb (speed, agility & acceleration) - With the Broncos hoping to shape Cobb into a viable late-round pick, it is expected the rookie will be hammered with sprints, cones and starter gun drills.
  • CB Alex Carter (speed, acceleration) - Cobb won't be alone as 2019 draftee Alex Carter will continue his pre-season drills of sprints. This off-season will see carter vying for a starter position.
  • OG Khalid Croons (stamina & injury) - With Crockett now departed, Croons will be looked to to provide long-term leadership and stability on the inside line, but his current stamina and injury levels are worrying to the coaching staff.

Position Battles

CB Harry Diaz vs CB Alex Carter

Harry Diaz came into his own in the 2020 season, moving up into the #2 starting position behind CB Kyle Fuller and had a solid year. However, Alex Carter has spent the last two seasons as the nickelback for the team since his drafting in 2019 and with an extra bump to his stats may be displacing Harry Diaz as the other starter.

OT Nathan Kuznetsov vs OT John McGregor

The 38th overall pick of the 2020 draft versus the 31st overall pick of the 2021 draft. Kuznetsov was waiting in the wings for Clady to retire or depart and has shown the blocking skills to take the starting position but the drafting of McGregor this off-season has thrown a cat amongst the pigeons. While Kuznetsov has better blocking abilities at present and a slightly better game awareness, McGregor has the better athleticism. Without a mentor at the position, gametime and normal progression will be the deciding factor.

2021 Season Prediction

With the list of injuries the Broncos sustained in the 2020 season, a playoff visit wasn't expected with a 3-5 start so the Denver faithful were ecstatic with the way the team played. Given last seasons results against the odds with missing starters, the Broncos will be looking to revisit the playoffs and hopefully secure an extra win to record a 10-6 season. The truely faithful will be hoping that the Broncos can actually win a game against the Raiders or even pursue a divisional title!

Expected Starting Lineup

QB Ryan Tannenhill
HB Gerard Campbell
FB Manny Rice
WR Mark Perez
WR Marvin Young
TE Jordan Reed
OT Oliver Zebedee
OG Rich Jacques
C Maurkice Pouncey
OG Khalid Croons
OT Nahtan Kuznetsov

DT Marvin Austin
DT Nick Fairley
DE Marc Thomas
DE Tank Carradine
MLB Kevin Minter
OLB Reggie Easley
OLB Wesley Washington
CB Kyle Fuller
CB Alex Carter
FS Sully Santos
SS Phillip Thomas

Special Teams
K Shaun Willis
P Britton Colquitt
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/19/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Stampede News: Broncos Fill Needs

Broncos Fill Needs

Denver, CO - After a contract period that saw the Broncos not only lose their start guard, the team was not able to acquire the services of a sought after linebacker.

This led the Broncos to trade out their future 1st and 3rd round picks to Buffalo so the team would have multiple first round picks, a move that was seen as shoring up the team's access to talent when the draft arrived.

But with the pre-draft UFA period, the Broncos were able to secure an important cog in the system, with former Eagle OLB Wesley Washington signing a five year deal with Denver.

"We are happy to have Washington join our roster for the upcoming 2021 season and beyond." GM Wade Pearce commented. "We set out this offseason with a distinct goal of filling that position of need and Wesley continues the tradition of strong linebackers here in Denver."

This successful acquisition leaves the Broncos with a more open first round in the draft, where the team is expected to chase offensive linemen to fill their stocks.

This may be primarily the guard position, with the team looking to give 2020 2nd round draft pick OT Nathan Kuznetsov the starting tackle position after the departure of Ryan Clady.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/04/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Stampede News: Playoff Bound

Playoff Bound

Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos are returning to the GZL Playoffs for only the third time in GM Wade Pearce's reign and the team will be looking to turn around an 0-2 playoff record against the Miami Dolphins.

Since taking over the reigns in 2013, the Broncos have been to the playoffs twice and on both occassions, they have been defeated by the Dolphins. In 2016 it was during the wildcard round and in 2018 it was in the AFC Conference Championship game.

While the Broncos closed out the season with two losses, including a loss to the Dolphins, their six-game winning streak that secured them their third winning season since 2012 included victories over the Ravens, the Chiefs and the Giants: all teams that have made the playoffs this season.

Unfortunately, the final game of the season saw starter DE Marc Thomas go down for two weeks with an injury, bringing the Broncos injury tally to 4. While he can theoretically play again this season if the Broncos win through to the AFC Conference game again, his unavailability for the preceding weeks saw the team pick up an emergency player in free-agency.

Returning to Denver after nearly two seasons in free agency is DE Cliff Matthews. Since Thomas replaced Matthews after the 2018 season, Cliff was not picked up by any other teams and the down he played was against the Miami Dolphins in the 2018 playoffs. This puts Matthews in the unique position of his last two games being against the same team but two years apart.

Matthews could be defined as a fortunate find on the free agent market for this playoff game, as he spent 4 seasons in the Broncos system and has had playoff experience against the Dolphins.

Only time to see if the Broncos can win a game in Miami...

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 05/18/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
Stampede News: Two More Leadership Role Changes
Two More Leadership Role Changes
The Denver Broncos have swung two changes to their starting roster ahead of the GZL 2020 Draft. One move frees up cap space and completes a position renewal while the other got the team a superstar veteran starter at a position they felt would only help them going forward.

Janoris Jenkins Departs For Atlanta

Drafted in 2013, Janoris Jenkins has played all of his seven seasons in Denver, posting up respectable numbers during that time. But recent acquisitions of Kyle Fuller, Alex Carter and Harry Diaz at that position saw the Broncos ready to swing a change and complete the refresh of the position that has seen the latter three replace the likes of Bernard Stevens, Devin McCourty and now Jenkins as the franchise brings in the next generation of secondary defenders. Along with last season's acquisition of FS Sully Santos from the Cleveland Browns and veteran FS Thomas Jackson not being resigned, the move leaves 27-year SS Phillip Thomas as the most experienced starter in the Broncos secondary. Time will tell if the refresh will pay dividends for the Broncos, a team that despite finishing #10 in pass defense last season and #2 in rush defense, has spent a number of seasons being quite inconsistent on their defense.

Maurkice Pouncey Joins Broncos Roster

After ten seasons playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Denver Broncos have secured the services of superstar center Maurkice Pouncey when the Steelers declined to match the offer the Broncos had made for his services. While Ulysses Wasson has provided admirable service at the center position since being traded from the Bears in the 2015 season, the franchise believes that Pouncey brings that extra element of skill to the position. Even at 31-years of age, Pouncey still has the athleticsm that made him a long-term favourite in Pittsburgh. His presence is expected to help bolster both the pass and run defense for a team who only recently rebooted their quarterback and running back positions.

Pouncey's recruitment now means that the Broncos offensive lines consists of four 1st round draft picks and one 2nd round draft pick. The franchise has high hopes for what this unit can produce this season.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/29/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 30
Stampede News: Broncos Reboot Offensive Leadership
Broncos Reboot Offensive Leadership
Those paying attention may have seen that the Denver Broncos have been undertaking some roster movement early in the off-season. With the end of the 2019 season, the franchise has had to take a long, measured look at the next five seasons and the long-term impact of players and their contracts on the roster. As such, the Broncos have recently announced two significant trades that have occurred whose end results will see the departures of two of the team's major components.

Keith Payne Era Ends

He would be one of the first to admit it, but after five seasons, 7,964 yards, 37 touchdowns, an average of 4.75 yards-per-carry and reaching 4th alltime in career yardage, HB Keith Payne has sadly been released from the Denver Broncos roster with one year remaining on his contract. It was obviously not an easy choice for the Broncos' management staff, but his large $10 million salary and a body that would only be suitable for short-yardage situations, the Broncos needed to find the next long term starter and the cap space to use it.

In his place comes 27-year old HB Gerard Campbell from the Carolina Panthers. Campbell embodies the proto-typical running back the Denver Broncos have valued since the acquisition of Payne in the past. The deal saw the Broncos send the Panthers their 16th overall pick, but they get a player the franchise believes will be able to undertake the same workload that Payne has done so successfully for the last 5 seasons. After four seasons in Carolina, Campbell will be the starting rusher for the Broncos in 2020.

Howard Christensen Contract Not Renewed

Eagle-eyed observers will have noted that QB Howard Christensen is still without a contract and his agents report that no formal offer has been extended to him. While not official announcement has been made, other moves make it obvious that the 30-year old quarterback has thrown his last pass for the Denver Broncos after six seasons as their playcaller.

The biggest indicator that Christensen was being let go was a recent deal that saw the Broncos land Tampa Bay Buccaneers playcaller QB Ryan Tannenhill The 29-year old has had an eerily similar career to date that Christensen had before joining the Broncos. Originally drafted by the Cincinatti Bengals, Tannenhill spent three seasons there before one in Indianapolis and now one in Tampa. Christensen had been to three previous teams before joining the Broncos for six seasons. Tannenhill will be hoping for the same consistency from a franchise that does not rotate players at a very high rate.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/19/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 14
Stampede News: Banner! Banner! Banner!
Banner! Banner! Banner!

2018 Season In Review

The Denver Broncos have a banner. The fans are joyous. In 2016, the Broncos were challenging for the division before critical losses to divisional rivals saw them surrender the division to the Raiders. This was followed by the Broncos' first trip to the playoffs since GM Wade Pearce took over but it was a short visit leaving the franchise's career playoff record at 0-2. In 2017, the Broncos were once again challenging for the division and once again suffered critical losses to divisional rivals that not only cost them the division, but a return to the playoffs

The track record of late-season fadeouts ended this year, with the team winning must-have victories against the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers in the final 3 weeks for the Broncos to capture only their second AFC West title in GZL history and their first under Pearce. But unlike previous visits to the playoffs the Broncos were going to be a contender in 2018.

The Broncos won both the wildcard game at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the divisional game away against the Baltimore Ravens to make it to the AFC Conference Championships, where the team fell 6 points short of their first Super Bowl visit.

There were some outstanding performances on the Broncos roster for the season that helped the team achieve the feats that it did.

  • HB Keith Payne - Had his best yard-per-carry season in his career at 5.15 ypc, just surpassing last season's mark of 5.10. The effort also saw Payne post his 3rd consecutive 1600+ yard season, surpass the 10,000 yard career mark and become the 7th leading all-time rusher. With at least 2 more seasons in his contract with the Broncos, expectations are that he could finish his career in the top 5.
  • QB Howard Christensen - Recorded his most successful season with regards completed yards and touchdowns. His 86.0 QB rating meant he finished in the Top 10 of passers in yardage, touchdowns and rating.
  • WR Mark Perez - Posted his 3rd consecutive 1000+ yard season, with his 1384 yards and 18.96 yard-per-catch average, Perez made the top 10 in both categories for the league.
  • WR Marvin Young - Post his first 1000+ yard season, a feat that only helps the team's passing game.
  • OT Ryan Clady - Once again was the benchmark in the league for pancakes. The veteran shows no sign of slowing down and his 116 pancakes were 11 better than the next-best blocker in the league
  • MLB Kevin Minter - Made another 100+ tackles this season. Also pulled in four interceptions, making him one of the league's premiere presences in the middle of a defense.
  • DE Tank Carradine - His 13 sacks for the season saw him make a spectacular return to form that he displayed in his rookie season.
  • K Matt Prater - Made 29-of-30 field goal attempts and never missed an extra point. Prater has been a long standing staple in the Broncos uniform with a reliable foot that can score points.
The following players were recognised with Pro Bowl honours for the 2018 season:
  • QB Howard Christensen
  • WR Mark Perez
  • WR Marvin Young
  • OT Ryan Clady
  • DE Tank Carradine
  • CB Janoris Jenkins
  • SS Phillip Thomas

2019 Offseason

It has been a relatively quiet off-season for the Broncos for 2019, though the team has picked up what they believe are some valuable players for the 2019 season.


2.16 CB Alex Carter


With Kyle Fuller drafted last season in the first round, it was a slight surprise for the Broncos to draft Carter. But as GM Wade Pearce was quoted as saying, "when a 6'0" athletic corner is available on the block that can tackle, never pass up the oppurtunity". And with those words, Carter was drafted to fill the spot becoming available by the imminently departure of Devin McCourty.

7.13 TE Hank Pineda

Mississippi State

Needing a new potential starter at the TE position, Pineda scouted reasonably well for a 7th round pick but basically failed at first try outs. His chances at game time disappeared quickly.

7.16 S Michael Seager


Seager was drafted to fill the vacant SS depth the team was facing. With the acquisition of Sully Santos to succeed Thomas Jackson, Seager will be moved into the strong safety position to backup Phillip Thomas. Despite his late pick in the draft, Seager displayed more promise than scouting

7.28 OG Al Walton

Morgan State

Walton fills the vacant depth position at guard. While his physical skills may not meet the usual prototypical Denver O-line template, Walton at least brings some football smarts for a rookie and should be serviceable as an emergency replacement. If a starter goes does for a signficant period of time, expect the Broncos to go trawling the trade blocks and free-agency though.

7.29 WR Andy Bennett


With the outgoing trade of Rashard Clarke, there was a need to recruit a fourth receiver. The Broncos liked Bennett's speed and after drafting him, his demonstrated capabilities exceeded scouting and he will be a permament fixture at #4 on the wide receiver depth chart.


Clady Heir Apparent Moves To Denver

Broncos: 1.29 Pick
49ers: OG/OT Oliver Zebedee

With an open spot in O-line and a holdout Ryan Clady, the Broncos were looking for an OT to learn from the veteran superstar and usher in the new era of the outside line. After an initial discussion with the 49ers around acquiring Zebedee fell through, he was acquired after subsequent 49er trades made him a trade candidate. The expectation is that Zebedee will make the move to the LT position with Ryan Clady moving across to the RT position. This will give the Broncos' O-line three first rounders and two second rounders as starters.

Emergency Starter Traded For Future Corner

Broncos: WR Rashard Clarke
Panthers: 2.16 Pick

Clarke was acquired in the 2017 pre-season as an emergency trade when the Broncos let their wide receivers escape to free-agency. When the team successfully recovered both Mark Perez and Marvin Young from the clutches of teams, Clarke found himself relegated to slot receiver position. The Broncos had a big frame in rookie Matt Johnson to fill that position long term, so the Broncos traded Clarke in exchange for a pick that would eventually lead to Alex Carter.

Broncos Get New Pass Rusher

Broncos: 2.29 Pick
Bears: DE Marc Thomas

Thomas brings a big body and fast legs to the Broncos roster and the franchise felt the 2nd round pick was a worthwhile trade for his services. Undoubtedly, his acquisition will have an impact on the future of DE Cliff Matthews

Santos Ushers In Succession Plan

Broncos: MLB Shea McClellin
Browns: FS Sully Santos

With stalwart Thomas Jackson turning 33 at the end of the 2019 season and his contract up for renewal, the Broncos were searching for his potential heir apparent. The 23yo Santos, at 6'2" and good speed appears to be an ideal candidate.

Rudolph Leaves For Greener Pastures

Broncos: TE Kyle Rudolph, Future Broncos 7th
Titans: 7.28 Pick, Future Titans 3rd

The TE situation in Denver has been...chaotic...to say the least over the last couple of seasons. After spending a first on a Rudolph replacement, that player was lost to the free agency pool last season after the front office got stuck in a time vortex and missed the entire RFA period. While Rudolph posted his biggest numbers this season, the Broncos wanted to start looking at the next phase at the position.

Player Cuts

Over the course of the off-season, the following players were released by the Broncos due to a variety of reasons.
  • CB Devin McCourty - With Kyle Fuller and Harry Diaz waiting to take up the reigns with gametime, McCourty's contract combined with his slowing and aging body meant the Broncos pulled the trigger on his contract a season early and he was sent to the free agency pool. To this date, the veteran superstar of both the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos has not been picked up by another team.
  • K Matt Prater - The Broncos were always going to be facing some cap struggles this off-season as a consequence of last season's FUBAR RFA period. As a consequence, with Shaun Willis capable of taking up kicking duties, Prater's time at Denver was over after seven years with the franchise. He has since been signed by the Chicago Bears during free agency.
  • DE Cliff Matthews - Matthews was the victim of his own contract. While the Broncos tried hard to move the talented defensive end, his nearly $10M final-year contract kept many suiters at bay. The acquisition of Marc Thomas from Chicago eventually sealed his fate late in the off-season, though the Broncos worked hard to keep him on the roster.
  • SS Brandon Taylor - Taylor was acquired during the 2017 season when starter Phillip Thomas was injured for a 9-week stint. A talented player, he was released due to his budgetary requirements in his final season. To this date, he has not been acquired by any team.
  • OG Branden Hansen - Another cut for budgetary requirements, Hansen was a depth player with the Broncos after being dropped by the Indianapolis Colts where he started. Another player who hasn't been picked up.

Free Agents

Along with the cutting players and the draft, the Broncos still needed to flesh out their roster with depth and a starter.
  • TE Jordan Reed - 5 years - Reed was acquired to replace the departed Kyle Rudolph and underwhelming Hank Pineda. Inked to a 5 year, $20million deal, the Broncos are expecting him to be a long term starter for the team.
  • HB Eugene Nalen - 5 years - Nalen joins superstar Keith Payne and talented backup Chris Polk to provide more firepower for the strong Broncos' running game.
  • OG Brad Jones - 5 years - Jones brings an excellent depth talent to the Broncos' O-line and it is expected that he will be tapped on the shoulder to play backup on both starting guards.
  • MLB Casey Matthews - 3 years - Signed prior to the draft, Matthews will backup Kevin Minter with the departure of Shea McClellan to Cleveland. A skilled veteran of six seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Matthews will be valuable player for the Broncos.
  • DE John Simon - 4 years - With the late release of Cliff Matthews, the Broncos needed to fill their depth. Simon is a physically gifted player who has gained experience as a depth player after three seasons in New England.

Preparing For The Next Generation

Training Focus

  • OLB Reggie Easley - Having played three seasons now, Easley will be spending time on the track, improving his agility with the cones.
  • OT Oliver Zebedee - The newest O-line acquisition will be spending time in the weight room, stuffing protein powder and lifting many, many weights. His move to the outside will be closely watched this season.
  • CB Kyle Fuller - After a season learning under McCourty and Janoris Jenkins, Fuller will get some special focus on his athletism this off-season in preparation for his proposed starting position.
  • CB Alex Carter - The newest corner for the Broncos will definitely be having his speed and agility in focus this off-season.
  • OG Shannon Crockett - The star lineman is expected to spend the off-season hitting the weights to get that last bit of strength he can develop.
  • DE Marc Thomas - The newest addition to the team's defensive line is expected to spend a lot of time acquainting himself with witches hats to develop his foot speed
  • FS Sully Santos - Another new addition was seen doing starter gun training, with the prediction he is looking to improve his acceleration; an important role for any secondary defender

Position Battles

The Broncos are facing a number of potential position battles on their roster. Many are for the depth position, but some are definitely for the starters role.
  • CB Kyle Fuller vs CB Alex Carter - With the departure of Devin McCourty, Fuller would have fully expected himself to be the go-to man to lineup with Janoris Jenkins in the starter corner position. But the arrival of Carter has thrown a minor spanner in the works. Will the extra inch and higher tackle trump Fuller's faster feet and improved game knowledge?
  • WR Marvin Young vs WR Mark Perez - Who will be the #1 and #2 wideout? To date, Young has held the position down but Perez's outstanding 2018 season, greater footspeed and bigger height may see him surplant Young at the streaks position. But with Howard Christensen throwing, the #2 position ain't all that bad.
  • HB Eugene Nalen vs HB Chris Polk - Polk had a productive season last year, supporting Keith Payne as the second back, recording 4.43 yards-per-carry, 563 yards and 4 touchdowns coming off the bench. But Nalen's skillset might challenge his role at that position. Offseason training will see if it is the case.

Season Predictions

Keith Payne To Break Into Top 5 Career Runners

Since joining the Broncos from the New York Jets, Payne hasn't lost a beat. In his four seasons, he has run for 1401, 1688, 1656 and 1679 yards respectively. Already sitting 7th in the all time rusher rankings and with only one likely starter for the 2019 season in front of him, Payne only needs 345 yards to take 5th spot on the rankings. While he has started losing his step, the monster truck back will still use defenses as ramps for cool tricks and likely finish his career as a starter in the top 5 all time of the league.

Broncos To Reach Playoffs Again

The Broncos have tasted playoff victory. The team is hungry and with the roster of talent they have, the fans have every right to expect a return to the post season.

Cap To Be Challenged

The Broncos have a number of players reaching the end of their contracts. QB Howard Christensen will undoubtedly be the team's exclusive resign in the 2020 offseason, but the question will remain on who the team will restructure during this season.

Defense To Improve

The Broncos weren't particularly brilliant in defense last season, despite their skills. They ranked 17th in run defense and an abysmal 25th in pass. The team will need to improve on that if they want to make that next step into the Super Bowl.

AFC West To Ignite

The AFC West is always a tight division, but next season will see some disruptions of the 2018 season settle down. Given the Kansas City Chiefs put 5 seasons between losing seasons would suggest last year is not expected to be repeated. The San Diego Chargers went through a GM transition that imparted a learning curve in both the front office and the locker room. And the Oakland Raiders nearly snuck away with the division again when the Broncos briefly stumbled. Things will only be tougher for us in this season.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/08/2015) Replies - 2 :: Views - 37
Stampede News: Broncos' Historic Week
Broncos' Historic Week
The Denver Broncos are in unfamiliar territory, finally succeeding where the previous seasons they had not and securing the AFC West divisional title for the first time since 2012 with an emphatic 45-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Even better for the Broncos' faithful was the fact that this feat was achieved in front of their home fans in the final week of the season.

Many would have been nervous entering the stadium on the day, with the Broncos fans having developed a cynical streak around their team's divisional aspirations after the failure to capitalize on division-leading positions in both the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, eventually losing vital divisional matches in the last third of the regular season to either fall to a wildcard position (2016) or miss the playoffs entirely (2017) with their fadeout.

But the team held steady, swallowed the San Diego offense and let Keith Payne run over the top of their defense, leading to a highscoring victory and their first AFC West title in 6 seasons.

Keith Payne Enters History

The game saw HB Keith Payne pour on 210 yards at 9.55 yards-per-carry along with two touchdowns to take make it his fourth consecutive 100+ yard running game, the seventh of the season and his second over 200 yards. The final result gave Payne his best yard-per-carry season in his career at 5.15 ypc, just surpassing last season's mark of 5.10. The effort also saw Payne post his 3rd consecutive 1600+ yard season, surpass the 10,000 yard career mark and become the 7th leading all-time rusher. With at least 2 more seasons in his contract with the Broncos, expectations are that he could finish his career in the top 5.

Broncos Win First Ever Playoff Game

While winning the division again and returning to the playoffs was an admirable goal for the Broncos to achieve, a milestone had eluded them: winning a playoff game. Appearances in the 2012 and 2016 seasons resulted in a one-and-done conclusion to the respective seasons. Even though the team was confident after their week 17 victory, they were hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers a team that had thumped them 37-10 in Pittsburgh in week 9.

Thankfully for the Mile High faithful, a different gameplan and an opposing quarterback the team knew quite well, resulted in a victory, with the defense making turnovers count (one defensive touchdown) and the offense controlling the clock enough to keep the Steelers at bay and walk away with 3 point victory.

The Broncos now travel to face the Baltimore Ravens in a bid to win through to the AFC Conference Championship. While the Broncos effected a shutout victory against the Ravens early in the season, the Ravens recovered from a 1-4 start to win their final 11 games straight to get homefield advantage, so Denver will be expecting a much different Ravens team to take their field.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 05/19/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
Stampede News: Broncos Fans Celebrate Season 2016...Um, 2017
Broncos Fans Celebrate Season 2016...We Mean 2017
It's a picture that shows the frustrations of many Broncos fans, captured in one perfect moment. That of the away fans sitting in the visitor section of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with their heads in their hands, barely looking through white-knuckled fingers, as if they knew the golden oppurtunity to take only their second GZL AFC West title slipped away. Like a sick encore of their 2016 season, the 2017 season had stumbled at the same crucial point of the season. With both the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs nipping on their heals, the team needed to defeat at least one, if not both, of them to help secure the season. But instead, two weeks after that loss in Kansas City, the team once again fell to the Raiders and sealed their season outside of the playoffs once again.

Since taking the helm in Denver, the Broncos have struggled mightily against both the Raiders and the Chiefs, with a 3-5 record against the Raiders and much more disturbing 2-7 record against the Chiefs. The team needs to beat divisional rivals if they intend to record another AFC West title.

"It's a big focus this offseason." GM Wade Pearce said, while announcing head coach Herman Edwards would be continuing on in the role for the 2018 season. "We have the pieces, we can play football and our fans have the belief. We just need to ensure we have that belief ourselves and we will succeed."

But the news wasn't all bad for the Broncos. Howard Christensen had his best season in terms of yardage and touchdowns and Keith Payne rushed for over 1600 yards with his first 5-plus yards per carry season. Since joining the Broncos 3 seasons ago, Payne has rushed for 4745 yards at an average of 4.71 yards per carry, making him one of the best pickups the Broncos have made. Also on the offensive side of the ball, Mark Perez recorded his second 1000-yard receiving season, in the process improving his average yardage by over 4 yards per catch, reducing his dropped catches by almost half and adding an extra yard average to his yards-after catch stat.

On the defensive side of the ball, Kevin Minter returned to the 100-tackle club for the second time while Janoris Jenkins stepped in as the #1 corner for his best season since Antonio Cromartie's injury back in the 2014 season. Sophmore Reggie Easley made the next step from his rookie season, making more tackles behind the line.

Overall the 2017 season promised a lot and fell very short of expectations. But with the team only making the Top 10 in team stats for the league on the rushing yards per game and allowed points, the team has some tactical thinking to do for the 2018 season, particularly if they even want to take on the ever-powerful Raiders, a resurgent Chiefs and a Chargers team that is finding it's feet under new leadership.

2018 Starts With A Bang, A Pop and An "Oh...My...God"

To say the 2018 offseason for the Denver Broncos was "intriguing" is like describing the Aurora Australis with a meteor shower as "kinda neat". It was hectic and not since the infamous season 2014 opening game that saw the Broncos start punter Britton Colquitt has the franchise seen such turmoil in the head office, with the local media abuzz that GM Wade Pearce could be given the sack.

Setting the scene, the Broncos successfully signed on Santana Moss as their new offensive co-ordinator then a miscommunication with head office which hasn't been fully explained yet saw the Broncos fail to close out or register their restricted free agent contracts. This small oversight saw the sacking of no less than 309 monkeys from the head office typing pool as the team watched their starting wide receiver, right tackle, full back and tight end all go onto the free market. The team was in a shambles. All the well laid plans of the franchise were in a shambles as the team began furiously recalculating contract costs, budgets and trying desperately to fill the spaces in their roster.

And then the contract bidding started rolling in. In anticipation of someone going all out on the leagues best left tackle in Ryan Clady, the franchise used their exclusive resign on him which left the team's starting MLB Keving Minter and OLB Khaseem Greene on the bidding market. To say the head office was just a little surprised at the offers that rolled in for these two players was an understatement. So much so, the sound of a monocle popping from a eye socket could be heard in Georgia!

Quickly re-evaluating the whole situation, the Broncos placed their own offer for OLB Keenan Clayton from the Chargers and when the doors closed, reluctantly chose to allow Greene to go to the Detroit Lions for a 5-year, $50 million deal. The team also chose to match the offer on the table for Minter and keep their player.

After keeping some players under their pay scale, the focus became on trying to re-acquire some of the players lost to free agency due to the RFA mistake and after putting in solid offers for RT David Bakhtiari and FB Travis Kelce, the team focused their biggest offer for WR Marvin Young. Unofruntately, the Carolina Panthers scalped both Bakhtiari and Kelce but the Broncos got their primary goal back on the roster, though at a significantly higher 5-year, $40 million deal than they would have had to worry about on a RFA contract or restructured contract.

Just prior to the 2018 draft kicked off, the Broncos announced a trade that send CB Bernard Stevens and their 6th round pick to the Giants in exchange for WR Rashard Clarke, a trade that ensured the Broncos bolstered their receiver stocks. Clarke's speed will work with the general Broncos' offensive passing strategy and it will be interesting to see what he brings from the slot position for the team.

Inside the 2018 Rookie Draft, the Broncos had some primary targets to chase, but due to free agency, their budget was a bit more limited. Despite that, the hope is that the 2018 crop pay out:

1.15 - CB Kyle Fuller - - While some are down on his tackle, toughness and sub-6'0" height, his blistering speed and agility mean he can do what a number of 6'0"+ corners can't: keep up with speedster receivers and be in their face when the ball gets near. His excellent jump make up for the slightly smaller size and Fuller will ensure the Broncos continue to have a corner succession plan in place.

2.15 - OT Deon Moser - - Another player that many reviewers lament, Moser does come with some attributes that will make him a solid performer and quite possibly a starter at tackle from what was a relatively low-stocked tackle draft class. He has good feet and excellent blocking abilities for a rookie. A season or two learning from the veterans in front of him with a potential move into the guard position in later seasons could see him be a worthwhile addition.

3.10 - CB Harry Diaz - - With a jump any basketballer would like, the 6'0" Diaz was a player the Broncos were willing to take a punt on in the 3rd round and traded up to the pick with the Seahawks to acquire him. While some initial workouts would suggest a slightly over-inflated scouting of his athletic abilities, a solid season or two in training camp should see him work very well as a potential future #2 corner.

3.15 - WR Matt Johnson - - A projected big body with good hands, Johnson is another player that will be looking to get advancement through the training camps while receiving some limited time initially as a depth player. Johnson did not quite scout as well as the Broncos had hoped the local boy would.

4.15 - TE Eugene Ellsworth - - A team mate of Kyle Fuller, Ellsworth was drafted primarily to move into the fullback position for the team but a post-draft trade may have nixed that idea and the rookie may simply be a depth position player and with the tight cap position, is a prime candidate to free up some of that space if required.

In the post-draft washup, the Broncos were still in need of some positions of need and as a result a career Broncos' veteran returned to the team to take on the starting right tackle role after the loss of the player that ousted him the first place. 33-year old Ryan Harris returns to the Broncos' lineup for the 2018 season as their starting right tackle on a single year contract, giving the team the time they need to reboot the position in the 2019 draft.

Along with Harris, the Broncos also signed 2014 draftee DT Hansen Wood to fill the third depth position at DT. Having never recorded a stat in the 3 seasons in the league, the athletic Wood may not get much of a chance behind Marvin Austin and Dean Figueroa but with Figueroa on the trade market, the coaching staff may willing to try out his athleticsm at the #2 DT position.

The final move for the Broncos in the off-season player movement scheme was to acquire FB Manny Rice from the Seahawks for their 4th round pick. With a solid 2017 season with the Seahawks, Rice gets the starting position as the better blocking choice over Ellsworth and the capabilities the coaching staff like.

Training Camp 2018 - Run, Sprint and...Eat?

While access to the training camp has been limited, it has been reported that the training staff have been paying extra attention to receivers Marvin Young, Mark Perez and Rashard Clarke on the agility course, with an obvious focus on creating one of the fastest and dangerous youth-orientated receiving corps in the league. The receivers have also been joined by big linebacker Reggie Easley on the track, suggesting that he is also working on making his cuts and dukes better for side-slipping the line to get into the face of the quarterback and half backs.

And while the agility track has been busy, rookies corner Harry Diaz and receiver Matt Johnson hav been seen working on the spring track, practicing their launches. While both players do not suggest any career speedster status, their bigger bodies seem to almost be ideal counters to the speedster natures of their peers, with Diaz definitely lining up as a valid future #2 corner, facing off against the bigger but slower receivers in the opposition, while Johnson could make a valid and long-term #2 receiver either with the Broncos or another team in the future.

We also managed to have a chat to the coaching staff, who mentioned that future superstar guard Shannon Crockett is doing a lot of weights to help improve his line strength while Fuller has been spending a lot of time with the medicine balls focusing on his core toughness in what is an obvious focus of his future starting role.

And while the afore mentioned are working hard, an overheard comment would indicate that OT Deon Moser is on a strictly controlled diet with the goal of increasing his bulk at the line while Kevin Minter is expected to try and get bigger for his middle linebacker role, crashing the line and adding to the pass rush the team will want to improve upon next season.

The good position for the Broncos at the moment is that there is only some minor position battles to be expected. Matt Johnson can expect to spend the 2018 season as the #4 receiver unless injury occurs while Deon Moser will not be pushing for starting selection this season. In the defensive backfield, things get a little more interesting, with Brandon Taylor pushed into the depth role after being recruited from UFA last season to replace the injured Phillip Thomas, he will be trying to create pressure on the starting position. In the corner roles, Fuller has the physical abilities but Janoris Jenkins and Devin McCourty are both established at that position, a scenario that saw even Bernard Stevens unable to crack and eventually leave for New York.

Overall, it's a nice, balanced position for the Broncos to be in despite the mayhem that was post-RFA.

Season 2018 - Can We Do It?

The question remains whether the Broncos have done enough in the off-season to not only counter the loss of a number of talented starters due to the RFA blunder but also to compete once again for one of the most tightly contested divisions in the league, because despite being ranked 4th in the AFC West, their 8-8 record stumbled from a 7-4 position when they at one point had the chance to take the AFC West. The belief is that the team has recovered from the lost players by keeping the players most important to the roster, recruiting long-term succession players and finding capable replacements where needed. So, what does it hold for us?

QB Howard Christensen (c)
HB Keith Payne
FB Manny Rice
WR Mark Perez
WR Marvin Young
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Ryan Clady (c)
LG Shannon Crockett
C Ulysses Wasson
RG Khalid Croons
RT Ryan Harris

DT Marvin Austin
DT Dean Figueroa
RE Cliff Matthews
LE Tank Carradine
MLB Kevin Minter (c)
ROLB Reggie Easley
LOLB Keenan Clayton
CB Janoris Jenkins
CB Devin McCourty
FS Thomas Jackson
SS Phillip Thomas

Special Teams
K Mark Prater
P Britton Colquitt

Interestingly enough looking at the starting lineup, we see that with both Ryan Harris and Kyle Rudolph, it is a definite case of in the the old, out with the new, with both players returning to their previously held starting positions with the departure of the players that replaced them when they were lost to the whims of the market.

The continued improvement of young players like Perez, Young, Minter and Easley combined with the stable presence of veterans like Christensen, Clady, Austin and Jenkins mean the roster is finding a more stable balance between raw potential and established power. With the team definitely containing the feel of the Wade Pearce-era head office, there is always hope the team will finally break not only it's AFC West drought, but notch a win in the post season record (current sitting at the 0-2 mark).

The team has a long term plan in place, with obvious recruitment choices thinking beyond just this season or even this collection of starters. The next generation of potential starters have begun arriving onto the roster and they may just provide the depth this season that the team needs to make that next step towards the AFC West title and a winning playoff season.

There is a definite feel that despite the chaos of the 2018 Off Season, the Denver Broncos are still the dangerous outfit they have been the last two seasons. With some focus from the training staff and coaching staff, it is expected the team will once again be fighting for the AFC West title and the question will remain: can we do it in 2018?
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/09/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Stampede News: Broncos Control Destiny
Broncos Control Destiny
The Denver Broncos find themselves in a very familiar position in the 2017 seasons with the team holding a very small lead in the race for the AFC West division title with only a handful of games left. This time last season, the Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders to take the division before dropping consecutive divisional games against the Kansas City Chiefs and the return leg against the Raiders to lose the division race by a game and end up in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.

The fans will definitely be hoping that the largely similar team from last season has learnt their lesson and will concentrate in the home stretch, given as they once again face the Raiders and Chiefs in the final weeks. With only a single game seperating the Broncos from every other team in the division, one slip could see the Broncos stumble to last place in the division in the blink of an eye.

Looking to stop a repeat of last season's stumble are a number of players with a lot to prove. After a rather lopsided 64.3 QB rating last season, Howard Christensen has returned with a much more respectable 84.0 so far this season, which would be helped significantly by the improvement of WR Mark Perez and off-season acquisition TE Zach Ertz with the latter on track for his most productive receiving season so far. Combined with GZL superstar OT Ryan Clady doing his usual stellar job at tackle and young guns OT David Bakhtiari and OG Shannon Crockett providing excellent protection for Christiansen, the passing game is a much more resilient force this season.

Running the ball, HB Keith Payne is in a 3-way tussle with perennial rushing star Mark Ingram and the ever leading Trent Richardson for the leading rusher of the season. His rushing abilities mean the Broncos are currently ranked 4th in rushing and if the passing game, which makes the team's 30th ranking for passing all the more impressive for their winning record.

On defense, MLB Kevin Minter is looking on track to surpass 100 tackles for the second time in his career and combined with DE Tank Carradine's imposing presence at the line and OLB Khaseem Greene's career-best season in sacks, opposition offenses are left struggling with the Broncos ranked 4th in points allowed and 5th in rush defense.

So with 5 games left to play and single game lead in the AFC West...can the Broncos hold on and win their first divisional title since 2012?
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 10/14/2014) Replies - 5 :: Views - 69
Mile High News: Bye Weeks, Free Agents & Contracts

Mile High News

Bye Weeks, Free Agents And Contracts

Broncos Reach Bye Week Ahead On Ledger

The Denver Broncos have reached their Week 9 bye week with a 5-3 record, despite two starters in their secondary suffering long-term (season ending in the case of SS Phillip Thomas) and them requiring to run just 3 actual corners at cornerback. As has been rightly predicted, the Broncos face a tough road in the second half, needing to face the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs as well as their usual nemisis, the Oakland Raiders, a team that the Broncos struggle to regularly contain and generally need to rely on some hefty offense or Raider mistakes to overcome.

The upside for the Broncos though is that they have beaten a number of teams with winning records already, namely the Arizona Cardinals, the San Diego Chargers, the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams. If they can match the Chiefs, the team still has a chance to win their first AFC West title since the 2012 season. They will need some help in the secondary to do that.

Free Agents Join Secondary

While SS Duke Williams has done a good job covering Thomas at the safety position, the Broncos have realised they need a more experienced presence at the position and better corner depth if the team is going to try and push for consecutive playoff berths or even the AFC West title. To achieve that, the Broncos have done something rare for the franchise since GM Wade Pearce stepped in: gone to free agency for starters instead of relying on their depth.

Joining the team are SS Brandon Taylor on a 3 year contract and CB Tracy Porter on a single-season deal.

Taylor spent 3 seasons at Washington as their starter before one season at Baltimore before being passed over during this offseason. With the season-ending injury of Thomas, it means a lifeline has been thrown to Taylor whose 3 year deal would suggest a long-term tenure in Denver, even if just as a backup. It could also indicate the Duke Williams may not be offered a contract extension at season's end.

While the corner plight is less of a long-term issue, the continued convalescense of CB Devin McCourty and CB Ran Parker have left the Broncos short of actual qualified corners. To that end, Porter helps fill the role in both a depth and an experience role. Porter still has the skills needed to play corner and even when McCourty returns towards the end of the regular season, Porter will have a role to play heading into any potential post season. The Broncos have obviously recruited him as a one-season impact player and with McCourty, Jenkins and CB Bernard Stevens all on long-term contracts, it will be unlikely for the Broncos to resign him after the season.

Janoris Jenkins Inks Long-Term Deal

Answering a long-standing question on who would be used as part of the Broncos' 2017 exclusive restructure, it was announced by CB Janoris Jenkins' agent overnight that he had happily accepted a 7-year restructured contract for his services. The 2013 first round draft pick is just hitting his prime as a corner and as GM Wade Pearce's first draft pick for Denver, is always seen as a bit of a management favourite.

The restructuring of Jenkins overnight has many believing the Broncos will use their exclusive resign in the offseason to keep GZL superstar OT Ryan Clady on the roster and dominating outside rushers for a number of seasons to come.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 09/14/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Mile High News: Old Head For New Shoulders At Receiver

Mile High News

Old Head For New Shoulders At Receiver

Broncos Acquire WR Dwayne Brown Through Amnesty

During the off-season, the Buffalo Bills amnestied veteran wide receiver Dwayne Brown and the Broncos came to the party at the 11th hour, offering their 3.24 pick for the veteran and secured his services. Despite starting to slow at 32 years of age, Brown brings some important skills to the Broncos' receiving stocks after the departure of Edmond Gates to Green Bay.

Brown gives the Broncos a very strong and experienced receiver to play at the slot position, something Howard Christensen lacked last season, plus he will play the role of mentor for young receivers Mark Perez and Marvin Young.

"Our young guys are coming along nicely." GM Wade Pearce stated. "But as part of having young receivers in the lineup, we need to give our primary playcaller other, more experienced options underneath. Brown, in conjunction with (ed: recent tradee) Zach Ertz give us those established receiving options. Howard (Christensen) now has a much broader set of options to pass to. Combined with our O-line acquisitions, our offense is in a more dangerous position than it was last season."

Marcus Gilchrist Provides DB Depth For Late Picks

While Brown was acquired through amnesty, the Broncos also effected a trade with the Detroit Lions that got them the services of corner Marcus Gilchrist in exchange for the 6.27 and 7.24 picks. Gilchrist will provide good depth for the dime defense while also giving the team a dedicated special teams returner, something they have been lacking the last couple of seasons.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/22/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 31
Mile High News: Walking the Line

Mile High News

Walking the Line

Broncos Fill Need At Right Guard

The Denver Broncos have completed a trade with the Green Bay Packers that see WR Edmond Gates make the move to the NFC North while the Broncos have acquired RG Khalid Croons, filling a much needed requirement at the OG position that the team has filled with journeymen until now.

Croons brings with him an impressive toolset for a 24-year old, with a powerful mobile frame, attributes that GM Wade Pearce has always valued in his lineman. The move has completed Pearce's offensive line refresh, giving him excellent talent to go alongside 2016 GZL Ironman winner, Ryan Clady.

2017 Denver Broncos Offensive Line
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/18/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 25
Mile High News: Pearce's Army

Mile High News

Pearce's Army

First Of Wade Pearce's Recruit Hit ICBT

In the middle of the 2013 season, the Denver Broncos installed Wade Pearce as the new GM of the franchise. It has been a rough road for the Broncos, not returning to the playoffs until the last post-season. Since the NFL-GZL merger, the Broncos have only been to the playoffs twice and lost their first game both times.

One thing our analysts noted though is that of the 5 rookies recruited in Pearce's first off-season, all 5 are still on the Broncos' roster to this day. So we decided to look through the three drafts and see what to make of the Broncos' recruiting strategy and whether last season was merely the first glimpse into a growing force of draft classes for the Mile High faithful.

2014 Draft Class
  • 2.3 MLB Kevin Minter - Pearce's first ever draftee, Minter has started from Day 1 and kept his spot. In his 2nd season, he cracked the 100-tackle mark for the season and while he fell short at 95 this season, he effected 3 more TFL's as well as contributing 3 interceptions. With the 2016 season under his belt, Minter is about to move into superstar range in his 4th season.
  • 2.22 OLB Khaseem Greene - Greene has been a quite achiever attacking the strong side of the opposition. While he has remained in the top 15 of LOLBers in the league in the last two seasons, the Broncos will want to see much more out of the 24yo in his 4th season
  • 3.19 SS Phillip Thomas - As a young 21yo, Thomas was thrown into the deep end when he was required to start in one of the toughest spots to play at a position that the Broncos had been notoriously weak at ever since the NFL-GZL merger prior to the 2010 season. It would be fair to say that Thomas has met expectations to date but more will be expected of him after restructuring to a 7-year deal last season.
  • 5.11 WR Roy Roundtree - Drafted in the 5th round and has worked as a #4 and #5 receiver in the depth. It is expected the Broncos will place a RFA tender on him this offseason.
  • 6.3 CB Ran Parker - At one point, when the skew was kind to Parker, GM Wade Pearce potentially considered moulding him into a starting corner. But with players like Cromartie and McCourty joining the corner ranks, this plan has been abandoned. Parker will spend his life providing admirable physical skills at the #5 corner depth.

2015 Draft Class
  • 1.26 DE Tank Carradine - Wade Pearce's first ever first-rounder did not disappoint. With an awesome name like "Tank", it was a good start as this big, fast defensive end was voted the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and while his production fell a bit this season, some of that could be due to the Broncos actually spending more time on the field offensively. Either way, it's going to be exciting watching this kid grow some more.
  • 3.20 WR Marvin Young - To say the Broncos lucked out with the skew on Young is an understatement and after being given a starting role in week 5 of the 2016 season, Young has begun to show what he might truely be worth. With the rumoured departure of Edmond Gates, he may get a bigger chance to prove that.
  • 4.12 OT David Bakhtiari - Bakhtiari has had the unfortunate situation of being drafted into a team that contained "The Ryans". That being said, Bakhtiari has the physical skills to do a lot more than his 1 pancake-per-season stats would indicate. The Broncos have a dark horse for the starter position.
  • 5.20 DT Jordan Hill - With Marvin Austin and Dean Figueroa on the field, Hill has not recorded a viable statistic since being drafted. A lifetime depth player.
  • 6.20 SS Duke Williams - Drafted to fill depth, Williams is a depth player at strong safety, with the team focused squarely on the continued development of Phillip Thomas as the starter.
  • 7.20 QB Deunta Bailey - The ONLY drafted player Pearce has not signed!

2016 Draft Class
  • 1.15 WR Mark Perez - Cracked the 1000-yard mark in his first GZL season. Will only get better with time and Howard Christensen passing to him. Blistering speed and growing confidence will mean trouble for other teams.
  • 1.31 OG Shannon Crockett - Finally answered the "journeyman" question plaguing the Broncos' offensive guard position with Wade Pearce finally bringing in a long term solution for a lacking position. Crockett will only get better at the position.
  • 2.28 OLB Reggie Easley - Expected to originally play the season out behind Elvis Dumervil, Easley was thrust into the starting position when Dumervil went down for the season. Due to his efforts there in his rookie season, it is expected the Broncos will not resign Dumervil.
  • 6.15 OT Mike Hackett - When you're recruited to play behind Ryan Clady, you know you're simply being paid to pick your nose, scratch your arse and get drunk on Mondays.
  • 7.28 K Shaun Willis - Kicker Matt Prater is out of contract and may go to a bidding war and he's now 33. Willis is the obvious secession plan at the kicker position.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/11/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 28
Broncos Acquire Zach Ertz

Mile High News

Broncos Acquire Zach Ertz

New Target For Christensen

The Denver Broncos have reached an agreement with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks to acquire the services of young tight end Zach Ertz in exchange for the Broncos' first round pick (24th overall) and the Bills' fifth rounder (135th overall). Along with Ertz, the Broncos will be acquiring the Seahawks' third round pick (96th overall).

The Broncos' front office know they are taking a risk on Ertz as a viable receiving option for Howard Christensen, particularly given the cost, but believe his receiver pedigree in combination with encumbent Kyle Rudolph's more traditional tight end capabilities will give the Broncos' a potent 1-2 punch at the inside receiving positions.

"Zach is an interesting specimen in the GZL." GM Wade Pearce said, fresh from the Broncos' first playoff appearance since he took the reins. "He played as a receiver at Stanford before the Seahawks made him a tight end where he has done a good job for them. We believe with a passer like Christensen and combined with Rudolph we extend our playbook to include more two tight end sets as well as being able to run him as a very capable under-zone receiver in the 4 and 5 receiver sets."

With this move, the Broncos have opened their 2017 offseason trading and we wait to see what other moves the team will make as the off season progresses.

Trade Details

Broncos Trade

- Pick 1.24
- Pick 5.7

Seahawks Trade

- TE Zach Ertz
- Pick 3.32
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/09/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 42
Mile High News: The Winning Way

Mile High News

The Winning Way

Broncos Strike Winning Record

The Denver Broncos have crossed the .500 win mark for a season for the first time since Wade Pearce took the realm, doing it in OT against his brother's team, the Oakland Raiders. The win not only gives the Broncos a winning season record for the first time since the 2012 season but also the top spot in the AFC West and the current #1 position in the conference thanks mainly to the victory over the similarly positioned 9-3 Raiders.

"I'm really proud of the guys." GM Wade Pearce commented. "Our recruiting strategy over the last number of seasons is starting to take shape. Last off-season we were already in a good position and didn't need much in the way of movement beyond the draft and that decision seems to be working well".

He followed that up with a comment about last season. "The team went 7-9 last season without a key player or two. That was an exceptional effort then but that experience of working under pressure is obviously helping them this season."

The Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs next week with the hope of securing their position in the division and avenge the loss they inflicted on the team earlier in the season.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 04/10/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 25
Mile High News: Road Warrior Broncos

Mile High News

Road Warrior Broncos

Broncos Start Season 2016 3-1

The Denver Broncos had a rough (though not the roughest) opening to the 2016 season when they went on the road for 4 consecutive games. It was a tough ask for the team, who had already lost superstar veterans Elvis Dumervil from defense for the season before the opening kickoff, but would need to come out of the first quarter of the season in front if they expected to challenge the Raiders and Chargers for the AFC West.

The end result is a pleasing 3-1 start to the season, including a very valuable away win against a division rival, a situation the Mile High supporters would be have gladly taken when they calculated the best ways to accumulate their frequent flyer miles early in the season. And the best thing for the team and supporters is that they have yet to find their true stride. Antonio Cromartie, who was injured after week 1's OT victory in Philadelphia, is expected back in the lineup soon. Howard Christensen, re-establishing himself after missing most of last season, is still adjusting to his new receiver corps. And the team is continually improving.

The biggest highlight for the Broncos over the first four weeks has been powerhouse running back Keith Payne who has surpassed 500 yards after just 4 games, repaying the faith the organisation put in him when they matched his free agency offer during the off-season. At 5.58 yards per carry, it puts in 3 yards ahead of the Texans Trent Richardson. The Broncos however don't want the entire winning experience resting on the shoulders of Payne. Instead, they will be looking for players like DE Tank Carradine and CB Janoris Jenkins to continue their growth and step up to help the team's defensive efforts and take the pressure of the offense. Of course, superstar Ryan Clady continues his awesome work on weak side, having made 38 pancakes and not letting a sack through.

The Broncos will face a tough opponent in the 2-1 Colts this week, who showed some defensive prowess in their win against the Bengals, forcing a 20-0 shut out. The Broncos will need to be on their game offensively in all facets to ensure they can put more pressure on the Colts' defense.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 02/06/2014) Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
Mile High News: The Not A TC 2015 Recap

Mile High News

The Not A TC 2015 Recap

Season 2015 - Oh No, Not Again

For the second time in three seasons, the Denver Broncos suffered the loss of their starting quarterback. After starting the season with consecutive victories, Howard Christensen went down with a season-ending injury in the return game against the San Diego Chargers and Broncos, who had traded away talented backup Ryan Mallett in the off-season, were now facing the same problem from two seasons before: no starting quarterback; no valid trade options; and a reliance on a certified reserve player for the rest of the season in the shape of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick tried his best and the rest of the team rallied to give the Broncos a chance at the playoffs, but consecutive losses to the Raiders and Chiefs in the final two weeks of the season saw the team fall to 7-9.

Keith Payne proved his worth, amassing a career-high 337 carries for 1401 yards at 4.16ypc, a number that would have been higher if the team hadn't been relying heavily on him to provide the offensive push. The defense provided the real drive for the team. Kevin Minter cracked the 100-tackle mark for the first time in his career and included two touchdowns in the effort; rookie DE Tank Carradine was nominated for the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year award; and Antonio Cromartie pulled in a career-high 9 interceptions to be nominated for the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award.

Bringing Back What Works

The Broncos were happy with the overall effort of the team during the 2015 season and as such, moved to secure as much talent as they could.

CB Antonio Cromartie - It was originally thought that Cromartie would be let go when his contract expired, but the Broncos were so impressed with his 2015 season, they signed him back with a 1-year contract, confident he still has what it takes despite losing a step.

HB Keith Payne - Despite interest from the Washington Redskins, the Broncos were determined to keep Payne on the roster and they signed him to a 5-year deal worth $40 million. GM Wade Pearce got his bruising back last season and he was determined to keep him.

DT Marvin Austin - The superstar DT was pursued by other teams, but the Broncos were even less interested in letting him slip away and he was signed to a 5-year deal worth $39.22 million.

CB Bernard Stevens - Despite trying to use Stevens as trade fodder, the Broncos weren't just willing to let him slide away into the free market and signed the talented corner to a 4-year deal.

SS Phillip Thomas - The talented strong safety is just beginning to grow into his role and the team has faith in him, restructuring him to a 7-year deal.

2016 Draft Review

1.15 WR Mark Perez - Tall, fast and having a good set of hands for a rookie immediately made Perez a favourite on the Broncos board to come into the team. Playing alongside Edmond Gates and Marvin Young, the Broncos have successfully rebooted their receiver corps and given themselves a long-term structure for Howard Christensen to throw to.

1.31 OG Shannon Crockett - Another immediate starter, Crockett fills GM Wade Pearce's love of agile lineman and will start in the opening game. Quite possibly, Crockett could make the move to OT in the future as superstart Ryan Clady's replacement.

2.28 OLB Reggie Easley - Big, strong and with good feet, Easley fills all the requirements that the Broncos look for in their linebackers and the team is happy to have traded up for him. He may get some starts during the season while learning from Elvis Dumervil.

6.15 OT Mike Hackett - A worthwhile depth player from out of Notre Dame.

7.15 DE Tony Calderon - Calderon is a light DE with nimble feet. May get some focus from the team in training to see what can be made of him, but can expect to spend most of his rookie season on the bench or in special teams.

7.28 K Shaun Willis - With veteran Matt Prater's contract expiring at the season and the possibility of regression, the Broncos uses one of the last picks of the draft to recruit Willis. With good power and a season of progression, Willis could be the go-forward option for the Broncos next season.

2016 Season Preview

Putting the 2015 season behind them, the Broncos have only gotten stronger with more mature key-position players and a blistering receiving corps. The team was relatively quiet during the off-season, but sometimes the best course of action is to keep what you have and keep player movements to a minimum. With young players filling the majority of positions on the team, management was willing to keep persisting with the players that are growing into their positions.

The team is confident that this season they should be able to break into a winning record and challenge the division leaders again, something the Broncos haven't done since they won the division in 2012.

2016 Starting Lineup


QB Howard Christensen (C)
HB Keith Payne
FB Travis Kelce
WR Edmond Gates
WR Marvin Young
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Ryan Clady
LG Shannon Crockett
C Ulysses Wasson
RG Walter Edwards
RT Ryan Harris


DT Marvin Austin
DT Dean Figueroa
RE Cliff Matthews
LE Tank Carradine
MLB Kevin Minter
ROLB Reggie Easley
LOLB Khaseem Greene
CB Antonio Cromartie
CB Devin McCourty
SS Phillip Thomas
FS Thomas Jackson

Special Teams

K Matt Prater
P Britton Colquitt

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/07/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 41
Mile High News: Defense Says "Hello"

Mile High News

Defence Says "Hello"

For the first time in GZL history, the Denver Broncos have won the first two games into a season. This might be a minor achievement, but it is an important one for a team who wants to be taken seriously in this season and the ones to come. And while Howard Christensen continues to struggle to adapt to the departure of Demaryius Thomas, the defense has held the line to literally impose themselves on the opposition in the opening weeks.

While the defense spent a happy opening week picking Blaine Gabbert's passes off, they returned in week 2 against the Falcons to make 6 sacks, 2 interceptions, a forced fumble and for the second consecutive season end a starting quarterback's season when Matt Ryan unfortunately suffered a broken arm. Antonio Cromartie has pulled down a pair of interceptions across the two weeks despite laughably being rated as "Probable" on the injury meter while sophmore linebacker Kevin Minter is impressing analysts in his second year, having put together 15 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Compared to last season's 80 tackles and single sack, he's already on his way.

Of concern for the Broncos is their passing game with neither game producing a standout receiver. In the opening week, the half back was the team's leading receiver and against the Falcons Christensen could only cover 91 yards from 23 attempts, despite only being sacked twice. Thankfully, while the passing game is still trying to adjust to life after Demaryius Thomas, the running game was everything GM Wade Pearce hoped for when he paid big to get Kevin Payne. The big back has put together consecutive 100+ yard rushing games, while last season's starter Kevin Smith backed him up this week with 102 yards of his own.

Going into next week's return leg against the Chargers, the Broncos will be trying to bounce their divisional record to 2-0 and begin the season with three straight victories. But to do that, they will need to look into their passing game if they want to go to the next level. Christensen has only thrown a pick and been sacked 3 times in 2 weeks, but he has also only thrown for 273 total across those games at 6.07 ypa, a rate which does not bode well for the season. If fact, the HB and both TE's make up three of team's top 5 receivers at the moment. They will either need to find a new gameplan or potentially shuffle the receiving lineup. Either way, the team can't rely on Keith Payne to pound out 100+ yards every game and the defense to swarm the QB every game to get the win. They need the passing game to do it's job.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/30/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 31
Mile High News: Final Pieces and The Puzzle Is Finished

Mile High News

Final Pieces and The Puzzle Is Finished

Broncos Fill Final Positions

The Denver Broncos have rounded out their off-season with the signing of free agents and a trade to fill their roster requirements and the money hasn't gone to waste on space filler.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick is a game manager and despite his waining arm, his accuracy and experience are ideal for backing up the starting position. It means the team aren't suddenly faced with a deep ditch if the worst happens.

OLB Stanley Arnoux - Solid depth for the linebacker position. Good speed and strength mean he will be valued on special teams.

C Chris Spencer - Veteran center, Spencer was picked up when the Broncos chose not to recruit a center in the draft.

C Ulysses Wasson - Traded from the Bears for the Broncos' 3rd round pick. He's no Will Figgins...in fact, he's the reason why the Bears let him go, but he's worth the Broncos spending time with him. It unfortunately meant Spencer was a starter for 2 days.

Starting Lineup Announced

After training camp, the Broncos announced the starting lineup at a jersey presentation earlier today, with some notable surprised.


QB Howard Christensen (c)
HB Keith Payne
FB Travis Kelce
WR Edmond Gates
WR Marvin Young
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Ryan Clady
LG Selvish Capers
C Ulysses Wasson
RG Clinton Newton
RT Ryan Harris


DT Marvin Austin
DT Dean Figueroa
LE Tank Carradine
RE Cliff Matthews
ROLB Elvis Dumervil (c)
MLB Kevin Minter
LOLB Khaseem Green
CB Antonio Cromartie (c)
CB Devin McCourty
SS Phillip Thomas
FS Thomas Jackson

Special Teams

K Matt Prater
P Britton Colquitt (standby QB)
KR Edmond Gates
LS Chris Spencer

The Broncos will face off against the Oakland Raiders in the first week of the pre-season.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/11/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 26
2015 Broncos TC

Mile High News

2015 Denver Broncos - Building The New Generation

Season 2014 - The Season That Nearly Was

The Denver Broncos came into the 2014 season with very few pundits, even the more strident ones in Denver, actually expecting anything from the franchise after a dismal 4-12 campaign in 2013. Even less would have picked the team to come within an overtime of making the playoffs, but that is exactly what the team did. But it was a season of big change for the Broncos, who got to experience their first full off-season with new general manager Wade Pearce. The team aggressively pursued a quarterback reboot and burnt two first round draft picks to first acquire Ryan Mallett from the Patriots then to acquire Howard Christensen from the Panthers. For a player of Christensen's talents, it is amazing to think that the Denver Broncos are his fourth different team in the league, but he was evidently the Broncos primary target during the off-season.

The 2014 season wasn't meant to be anything but a growth year. The team had too many young faces on defense; a running game that far from suited the gameplanning of the team's coaching staff; and a new quarterback. Enough changes had occurred and enough experience lost that many would ask how could the team actually climb higher than their 4-12 record from the previous season. But despite some short-term key injuries, the team did exactly that and were surprisingly the only team in the AFC West to actually improve their record.

After a slow start which saw the team start 1-3 (see the next section for one of the most bizarre things to happen in the GZL), the Broncos make some critical decisions. HB Kevin Smith was given the starting job over Knowshon Moreno, condeming the erratic running back's future in Denver to the pine and future UFA-dom. The move brought forward results, with Kevin Smith breaking 1000-yards rushing for the first time in his GZL career at over 4.67ypc and 8 touchdowns. Combined with the acquisition of superstar corner Antonio Cromartie during the season, the Broncos racked up a 7-1 record through the middle of the season.

But despite sitting on an 8-4 record, the wheels fell off for the Broncos, with young bodies and inexperience taking hold and the team dropped their last 4 games. But despite this, the final game in San Diego came down to overtime, where a victory to the Broncos would have seen the team unexpectedly make the playoffs! But the Chargers got their revenge from earlier in the season and blocked the Broncos path with an OT field goal. So close, but so far.

Britton Colquitt - The Quarterback That Makes A Great Punter

Week one of the 2014 GZL season will go down in infamy for one of the most unlikely, unexpected and most bizarre moments in league history when the Broncos took to the field with none other than punter Britton Colquitt under center! This from the team that had just spent two first rounders acquiring starting quarterbacks. The switchboard was jammed before even the first snap was taken and while the Broncos have tried to pass the incident off as flu-induced insanity for GM Wade Pearce while submitting the lineups, much mystery still surrounds the inexplicable game Britton Colquitt started and played for it's entirety. He will quite possibly hold the record as the only player in the history of GZL who took all snaps in a game.

For the record, Britton didn't quite cover himself in glory, going 7-for-25 and an interception with the Broncos failing to get close enough to score once on the day. His days as a quarterback appear to be numbered.

Lots Of New Faces Around The Locker Room

A number of player changes have occurred during the off-season this year; one that has seen a lot more movement from the Broncos that will see the team in a much more overall talented position to attack the 2015 season.

Future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher Retires - The Broncos acquired Urlacher during the 2014 off-season with the express goal of providing mentoring duties to rookie Kevin Minter and sophmore Shea McClellin. Urlacher's career speaks for itself and his 15 seasons will be long remembered. There are few who doubt the veteran will eventually be in the Hall of Fame and the Denver Broncos were glad that he could provide their young MLBs with some experience before hanging up his boots.

Pro Bowl DE Robert Ayers Goes To Big Apple - During the Pre-Draft UFA period, Robert Ayers received a very lucrative offer from the New York Jets said to be worth about $10 million per year. Even though the Broncos had placed a match tag on Ayers, they regretfully waived the right to match, instead believing their salary cap was needed elsewhere. The Broncos wish Robert the best of luck in New York

Young Gun Cliff Matthews Replaces Robert Ayers - Any self-pity felt over the departure of Robert Ayers was quickly put to rest when the Denver Broncos aggresively moved on 25-year old Cliff Matthews. Their offer at $7 million per year was accepted and the young player was signed to a 5-year deal. Many feel that Matthews is a like-for-like replacement of Ayers, but gives the team a promising starter for the next 5 seasons at a lower per-season price. The Broncos are excited to see what Matthews can bring in the upcoming season.

Thomas Goes To Seattle In Blockbuster, McCourty Joins Ranks - In possibly the biggest trade in recent Bronco's history, Denver placed superstar wideout Demaryius Thomas on the open market after he had garnered some interest. The Seattle Seahawks came knocking with a trade offer that quickly gained momentum. The final deal saw the Broncos send Thomas, the 2015 Buccaneers 3rd round pick and their own 2016 2nd round pick in exchange for star corner Devin McCourty, tall-timber Chris Matthews and the Seahawks 2016 1st round pick. The Broncos wasted little time moving Matthews on for bigger gains, but McCourty helps provide the Broncos with a progression plan as Cromartie begins to wain at corner.

Matthews Is A Bronco For 3 Days - Chris Matthews barely had enough time to sample the gift store at the Denver airport before he was being moved onto the Green Bay Packers along with the Broncos' 2015 4th round draft pick. In exchange, the Broncos received the 2015 Titans 1st round pick and the 2015 Dolphins 2nd round pick.

Brothers Do A Deal, Clinton Newton Joins The O-Line - In 2014, the Denver Broncos relied on discarded veterans to bolster their O-line. It worked well enough, but the team wanted to find a longer-term solution and the Raiders provided it when a deal was struck to acquire right guard Clinton Newman for the Broncos 2nd rounder. A talented lineman that the Broncos can start from the day one and develop into a star.

Finally! A Monster Back! Keith Payne Joins From New York - GM Wade Pearce has made no secret of the fact that he has wanted a power-back on the roster and Keith Payne gives him that tool. The Big Back from Virginia was acquired from the New York Jets for the two picks received in the Packers-Matthews trade, with ironically the 4th rounder the Broncos sent their returning to them along with the Cardinals 4th round pick. GM Pearce was reportedly seen dancing a jig in his office having gotten something he has coveted since falling out with the unlucky Kwoshon Moreno

QB Ryan Mallet Returns Home On Draft Day - After being pipped to the Broncos' starting QB position by the acquisition of Howard Christensen in the 2014 off-season, the Broncos had been shopping Mallett on the market but not getting sniffs that were enough to convince them to move him from their roster. But on draft day, the New England Patriots came calling, having publically lamented the fact they let Mallett go the season prior and an agreement was reached that saw the Broncos receive the 26th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

2015 Draft - Broncos Acquire Vital Cogs

26th Overall - DE Tank Carradine - Tank is an imposing force and was ranked equal 2nd on the Broncos draft board at DE, fighting an on-paper battle with Alex Okafor at the time he was picked. It all came down to Tank's larger frame an better acceleration. While the Broncos recognise that many teams may have looked over him due to his stamina and injury concerns, the first thing the Broncos will be doing with the kid and putting him into conditioning to grow those stats. Overall, he fits the Broncos' GM Pearce's proto-typical 4-3 DE: fast, big and capable. The fans are excited to see what he can do in his rookie season.

84th Overall - WR Marvin Young - The Broncos were happy with the fact that Marvin Young was available in the 3rd round. Mind-blowing stamina combined with good hands and football mind will work well with the fact that he will actually be going into the season with higher speed than first scouted. An ideal long-term succession player for the Broncos' receiving corps, Young will receive a large amount of focus in the off-season training regimes and could very well push for the #2 receiver position on the depth, ousting Pierre Garcon.

108th Overall - OT David Bakhtiari - An unexpected windfall for the Broncos, Bakhtiari will get the nod on the other end of the line from superstar Ryan Clady where he will fight it out with veteran Ryan Harris for the starting position. The Colorado tackle has actually proved stronger than originally scouted and with a pre-season stuffing his gob with pasta will take to the field 10lbs heavier, tipping him over the 300lbs mark.

116th Overall - TE/FB Travis Kelce - Kelce was drafted to fill the empty fullback spot for the team. His big frame and good run blocking will work nicely in tandem with the newly acquired Keith Payne. He will require some time getting his knowledge up, but he's a tough son-bitch and will be a long term fixture on the Broncos roster.

148th Overall - DT Jordan Hill - A mobile, big DT who could play nose tackle if required, Hill was an unexpected presence in the 5th round with Broncos recruitment staff expecting him to have been recruited earlier in the draft. It will be interesting to see how the Broncos treat him during the season with regards to his training because situated behind the tandem of Marvin Austin and Dean Figueroa his chances of gametime will be limited to special teams and the pre-season. But if they train him right, they may have a bargaining chip next season.

180th Overall - SS Duke Williams - Duke Williams was recruited for two reasons: firstly, "Duke" is just too a cool name to pass up; and secondly, the Broncos needed depth at strong safety. But the reality is that Williams may very well be challenging sophmore Phillip Thomas' role as starter during the season, particularly as another crazy 99 stamina player who will keep running down the opposition all day!

What's Left To Do?

The Broncos still have a couple of positions to fill to meet roster requirements, including a valid backup for Howard Christensen, along with a 3rd string running back and a backup outside linebacker for Dumervil. Otherwise the team is in a good position heading into the final UFA period of the off-season.

To The Winchester! But Only If You're A Lineman Who Needs The Carbs...

There is a definitive theme to the offseason training for the Broncos, with Tank Carradine fully booked. The first rounder will get to eat a stupid amount of pasta and potato, run a lot of laps of the training track, sit in oxygen tanks and boy is he gonna hate witches hats. The new recruit will be getting a boost to agility, improve his stamina and injury and put on 10lbs. Some would think the Broncos actually have plans for the kid!

And while Tank zig-zags his way through witches hats, fellow rookie Marvin Young will be doing 3 months of wind-sprints. Few will envy his training schedule, but that extra speed combined with the fact he was under-scouted in that stat will be essential for the Broncos who will be looking to max out his top end capabilities. And once he's finished with his one-on-one offseason training, he gets to repeat the process all over again at training camp. The kid is gonna be a rocket.

With the Howard Christensen being a lynch-pin for the team, the training staff are looking at having him spend another training camp in the film room to get another notch of game knowledge in his belt. WR Edmond Gates will be spending training camp right alongside Christensen as he learns to be the QB's new streaks player, while a newly acquired Keith Payne will be running at bags to get just a little more break-tackle ability. Another player getting aquainted with witches hats in a bid to improve his agility will be Cliff Matthews.

Ding ding! Position Battles Round 1! Go!

WR Marvin Young vs WR Pierre Garcon - An unexpected battle but Garcon will be fighting for the #2 position on depth with rookie Marvin Young. After a top pre-season, the 6'0" wideout will be pushing for a higher starting position. There is every chance Young may get it! Young brings a good top speed and a good set of hands for a young guy. With Edmond Gates locking in the #1 streaks position, it comes down to the experienced Garcon trying to stave off the new upstart.

SS Phillip Thomas vs SS Duke Williams - Not expected when the draft completed, but closer inspection shows Williams has a chance to fight for the starting SS position. His massive stamina and higher top speed might make him a more lucrative starter over the second year player. That being said, the battle may be for naught, with the Broncos recognising that neither safety is a superstar and as the team refreshes their other areas, the team could very well move on from both next season. But the name "Duke" is just so cool!

OT Ryan Harris vs OT David Bakhtiari - The veteran vs the rookie. As old as time itself. On paper, Harris still outplays Bakhtiari, but the Broncos have to be aware of the need to have a succession plan in place for the veteran. Whether or not that proves to be Bakhtiari remains to be seen this season. The benefit Bakhtiari gives the Broncos is he can start, which will allow the team to focus on other areas if needed next off-season.

CB Bernard Stevens vs CB Janoris Jenkins - With every indication that the Broncos will not resign Cromartie for 2016, Stevens and Jenkins will be fighting it out to see who gets the #2 CB position behind McCourty next season. The Broncos shopped Stevens around during the off-season with little luck indicating they are leaning towards Jenkins. This season will prove one way or another. Either way, the Broncos will have an excellent set of corners for a number of seasons.

Ding ding! Pearce Bowl V & VI

Something about taking on on the Raiders seems to bring out the best in the Broncos over the last two seasons. One reason is most definitely just because they're the goddamn Raiders and few teams need little more than that as a reason to pull themselves off the mat, no matter how bad the season is going. The other factor appears to be the fact that the Pearce brothers co-habitate the AFC West and since taking over the Broncos the two teams have split the honours in both seasons leaving the record at 2-2. Let's face it...we want to beat the Raiders because they are the Raiders...but as the older brother, Wade needs to show he can still stay ahead of his younger sibling in something. Can the Broncos take on the Raiders this season? We say yes, but we do so with shifty eyes.

What Does It All Hold In The End?

Overall, the Broncos are happy with their off-season. They wrung everything they could out of the Demaryius Thomas trade and got some important pieces in play. A long term setup has been achieved for the secondary, the D-line and the receiving corps. They have their power back. The O-line is slowly improving but is still very reliant on Clady holding the weak side together. With their rookies from 2014 having a season under their belt, the team is expecting another positive season as Season 2 of the Broncos Reboot program begins.

Final Word At The Water Cooler

When Broncos' fans gather around the water cooler to discuss what made or broke the 2015 season the biggest discussion point that will come to everyone's mind is the trade of Demaryius Thomas. There are few that would argue that the Broncos didn't flex his market value to upmost (considering they are still to receive the Seahawks' 2016 first rounder), but was it worth it? Did the team get what they needed out of it? And can the receivers they have now account for the departure of one of the league's most talented receivers? The Broncos are confident that the acquisition of McCourty and Payne does offset this as Payne gives the Broncos a monster truck running presence which will lift the pressure on the passing game, meaning Thomas doesn't need to make the impossible with Christensen to keep the games alive.

But the Broncos aren't the high profile team in the AFC West. The Raiders are always dangerous, the Chiefs are coming into a playoff window and the Chargers weren't exactly bereft of talent. All this means the Broncos will have a hard fight inside the division and winning division games could very well be the decider. One thing they can be confident of is that they did beat each of the three teams last season, so they know they can do it. So they have proven they can do it...it's a case of will they?

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 07/04/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 52
Mile High News: Invesco It Ain't No More

Mile High News

Invesco It Ain't No More

New Naming Rights Sponsor

After many years in partnership with Invesco, the Denver Broncos announced a new 3-year naming rights sponsor for Mile High Stadium. For the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons, Mile High will be known as Golden Sun Alliance Field. The new deal will see the Broncos receive a bonus for each year they make the playoffs, something the franchise is confident they will be able to achieve over the next few seasons as the team continues to develope it's burgeoning talent. Invesco could not contacted for comment, but Golden Sun Alliance said they were happy to be able to support the Broncos and enter a partnership that would give their brand a bigger national recognition. We will bring you further news when we figure out exactly what they do.

Broncos Announce Operating Loss

The Denver Broncos have announced that the 2014 season saw the team return an operating loss of $4.65 million. This return was attributed to lower than average crowds caused by a poor 2013 season in combination with raised stadium prices. To address this situation and to encourage the crowds seen at the tail end of the season, stadium management have reduced costs back to 2013 prices in a bid to bring back the home field advantage and once more make Mile High a bastion for the Broncos.

This loss however is a much lower operating loss than the $22.13 million operating loss from the 2013 season.

Larry Coyer Signs On As Defensive Coordinator

With Mike Nolan departing the Broncos to take up the head coaching position at division rivals San Diego, the Denver Broncos have signed experienced coach Larry Coyer to the defensive coordinator position. It is expected that Larry will have a positive impact on what is a young defence and it is hoped he will impart his good defensive knowledge onto the young players in Denver.

Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/30/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 40
Mile High News: Thomas Leaves Denver
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/14/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 32
Mile High News: Denver New Boys Get Graded
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 06/12/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
Mile High News: Denver Does It Dirty
Indianapolis, IN - It was a dirty day for the run defenses; the quarterbacks mistook which blue they were throwing at; and the running backs were wondering who put the man-sized witches hats out on the field.

In the end, it was 15 unanswered points in the final quarter that saw the Denver Broncos overcome the Indianapolis colts by four points to move the team to a 7-4 record and a season-defining game against the Oakland Raiders next week.

QB Howard Christensen recorded his worst QB ratings of his career with just 36.6 against one of his old teams, but thankfully for the coaching staff and the franchise, the defense returned the favour to the Colts quarterback with newest acquisition CB Antonio Cromartie leading the way with 3 deflections a pick and a resulting touchdown.

However, both teams were were far from respectable trying to stop the run. The two carriers for the Colts managed 170 yards between them at 6.07ypc while HB Kwoshon Moreno and HB Kevin Smith split the honoursfor a combined 137 yards at 5.07ypc.

It wasn't pretty and some players had a dog of a day, but the Broncos got it done.

Next week the Broncos will take on the Oakland Raiders who are also 7-4. The Raiders won their last encounter quite comfortably despite the scoreline and there is a good chance the winner of this game will become the AFC West champion for the season. With a log-jam around the AFC wildcard spots, it will also put the loser on the brink of missing out.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 04/20/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 54
Mile High News: Smith Grabs Oppurtunity With Both Hands
Boston, MA - Until last week, the most yardage HB Kevin Smith had achieved in a game for his entire GZL career was 70, something he managed twice. The most yardage he had in a season was 542 from 116 attempts and three touchdowns in 2010 with the Lions.

For the second successive week, Smith has passed the 100-yard mark in the game on his way to 148 yards from 23 attempts collecting two touchdowns along the way. Ever since the Broncos handed the starting position to Smith from Moreno, the 27 year old has put his heart into carrying the rock for the Broncos.

His first game starting was a dour affair, struggling to 50 yards from 20 carries against the Raiders but against the Bears and Patriots, Smith has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and looks ready to carry the position for the rest of the season. In 3 starts he has already caught up to previous starter HB Knowshon Moreno who started the other 7 games played so far.

The Broncos are openly shopping Moreno who haven't been able to find a gameplan to suit the back and his relegation to the bench does not bode well for off-season contract negotiations when Moreno will be out of contract.

The Broncos travel to Indianapolis next week to take on the Colts.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 04/08/2013) Replies - 3 :: Views - 48
Mile High News: Consecutive Top 5 Games Records Set
Broncos, CO - The Denver Broncos' 31-15 victory over the Bears sees the team surpass last season's dismal 4-win mark, but it also sees superstar WR Demaryius Thomas match WR Pierre Garcon's mark from Week 9 with his own 280-yard effort. The consecutive 280-yard games by the Broncos receivers have put both into the all-time game record top 5 rankings for yardage.

Thomas capped off his 280 yards with 3 touchdowns, helping QB Howard Christensen amass an impressive 153.3 passer rating.

HB Kevin Smith found his feet since taking over the starting running back position, posting 129 yards and TD at 4.7ypc.

The impressive thing for the Broncos is how the veterans and young players are starting to gel in the lineup and with young-gun Kevin Minter expected to return at MLB next week, the roster will be back to full strength.

This might not be the season for the Broncos, but they can definitely cause some chaos heading through the second half of the season.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 04/02/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 27
Mile High News: Cromartie Arrives In Denver
Denver, CO - At a news conference this afternoon, the Denver Broncos introduced their mid-season acquisition: CB Antonio Cromartie, who was picked up from the Miami Dolphins when the team amnestied him earlier this week.

"Cromartie is a superstar." GM Wade Pearce commented. "He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and a number of valuable seasons available to him. His presence in the roster will allow us the oppurtunity to properly plan the development of our current group of young corners and adds an important cog to the system."

The arrival of Cromartie wasn't bloodless though, with off-season amnesty addition OLB Michael Boley cut to make way.

"We are excited to see what Antonio can bring to our defense." Pearce concluded. "And we look forward to seeing him take the field this week."
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 03/30/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 45
Mile High News: Controversy Follows Broncos Home
DENVER - After the opening week's bizarre series of events leading to punter Britton Colquitt starting at quarterback for the entire game it appears Lemony Snicket has written week two's plot when the power went out during the game between the Broncos and the Chargers. At the time, the Chargers were dominating the Broncos 21-6 at half time.

The outage was significant enough that the officials deemed the game needed to be replayed from the beginning where the Broncos this time scored the victory 27-19.

"It's unfortunate for John Stanley and the Chargers." Bronco's GM Wade Pearce said. "I fully recognise that they had our measure in the first game. It would have been a tough, if not impossible, task for our guys to come back. I have confidence they could do it, but being down by 15 at half time is a tough spot to be in and the Chargers were in the ideal situation. But at the end of the day, anyone with a shred of sanity will take a win."

This reporter would like to note that the last statement generated some nervous chuckles after last week's events.

The Bronco's GM is also hoping that the team can experience an incident-free week 3.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 02/05/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 28
Mile High News: A Day To Forget For GM Pearce
GREEN BAY - It sounds like the start of a joke. "A punter walked out as a quarterback..." but no Broncos fans were laughing on Sunday when their #1 offseason recruit emerged from the tunnel in his tracksuit and punter Britton Colquitt ran onto the field as the starting QB.

Reports are that GM Wade Pearce is resting comfortably at hospital as the most bizarre of coaching hijacks occurred today. After apparently calling Colquitt "Howard" multiple times during a rambling, 30-minute pre-game speech about the benefits of time-share property he threatened to unleash his penguin armies upon the coaching staff if they didn't follow his "plan". When asked what the "plan" was, he apparently replied with a manic look in his eye that it was a "secret that the potato men wanted to steal" before running out of the changerooms, official lineup sheet flapping in his hands towards the league office.

Coaching staff were just too scared of the consequences if they didn't follow the "plan" and remove Colquitt early. Doctors eventually found the general manager running around the concourse behind the row of seats, tapping everyone on the head shouting "duck, duck, duck, duck, et al". It took three tanquilizers to finally bring him down upon which his final word was "goose".
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/29/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 50
Mile High News: Introducing The 11th Hour Squad
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos have pulled some substantial roster changes leading into the season opener against the Green Bay Packers, with management recruiting the services of 3 veteran blockers for the roster.

In the first sign that the Broncos recognise that their inexperienced offensive line needs more development time, the franchise has signed a new fullback, a veteran center and a veteran guard.

Five players were put to the sword to clear the necessary roster space for these new 1-year contracts, only adding $900,000 to next year's cap penalty.

The players to go were:

FB Carey Davis
WR Aldrick Robinson
C William Lee
OG Clay Parker
MLB Josh Bynes

In their steed comes the following veterans:

FB Lousaka Polite - Lousaka might lose a footspeed race with Davis, but his higher AWR and higher PBK and RBK is more valuable to the Broncos at this point in time.

C Eric Heitmann - Heitmann's 86 AWR and 90+ RBK and PBK will provide excellent protection for Howard Christensen and Moreno and give Dalton Freeman a year to develop.

OG Harvey Dahl - Harvey Dahl is the same deal as Heitmann. 90+ on both RBK and PBK and respectable awareness. He will give Walter Edwards a season to develop.

The aquisition of these three veterans has seriously changed the blocking abilities of the Denver Broncos. Combined with Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris on the outside and offseason acquisition Selvish Capers at left guard, the blocking abilities of the Broncos O-line is a lot more potent.

Time will tell if these veterans can learn new tricks with the team and if they have the desired affect that the Broncos management is obviously seeking from them.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/21/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 33
Mile High News: Pundits Worry About Run Defense
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos wrapped up the pre-season with a 17-26 loss against the division rival Raiders, leaving them with a 2-2 record.

One major problem has already shown itself and it has the pundits, analysts and fans a little worried: the apparent inability for the defense to stop the run when it really counts and in a division like the AFC West where you have the record-breaking Mark Ingram, the brutal Jamaal Charles and the blistering Ryan Mathews, the Broncos are potentially looking at another #32 ranked season on run defense.

And the apparent inability wasn't even shown up by the marquee rusher in the west. No, this time veteran Ryan Grant decided to practice his audition for Dancing with the Stars, romping in 2 touchdowns in a 141-yard, 10.8-ypc game.

Now, there are some major contributing factors to this performance such as the Broncos reversing the defensive depth chart for the game, but even then, it wasn't exactly Mark Ingram playing Tecmo Bowl with the backups.

The Broncos coaching staff will be behind closed doors preparing for the first game of the regular season and who knows if they'll come out with a 4-3, 3-4 or cheerleader defense. Given the youth that will be starting, it's an even bet on any of those options.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/19/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Mile High News: Christensen and Moreno Stake Strong Claims
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos put on 17 points in the last quarter against the Seattle Seahawks in the second pre-season game to take away the victory 24-17.

The win was promising, particularly the defensive effort by the starters in the first half and overall kept the Seahawks to only one third down conversion until late in the game.

Along with the victory, hopeful starters QB Ryan Mallett and HB Kevin Smith did little to impress while the players they are attempting to topple came out in the second half and staked their starting claims.

QB Howard Christensen completed 50% of his passes for 130 yards, 2 touchdowns and a 122 QB rating, easily surpassing Mallett's effort which saw him throw a pick, only get 53 yards passing and finish with an embarrassing 16.1 QB rating.

Lined up behind Mallett in the first half was HB Kevin Smith who GM Wade Pearce recruited as an alternative back last season. Smith's 35 yards at 2.1 yards-per-carry was easily surpassed by HB Kwoshon Moreno's 136 yards at 8.0 yards-per-carry and touchdown.

When asked for comment on this situation, Head Coach Edwards was frank and too the point.

"Ryan (Mallett) and Kevin (Smith) will get the start for our remaining two pre-season games. It's up to them to show us they have what it takes to start and compete for their positions." He commented. "They know the state of play, they know they can do it. It's up to them to show it on the field."

When asked to also comment on the middle linebacker battle and the 3-4 vs 4-3 decision, Edwards was less decisive.

"Kevin (Minter) and Shea (McClellin) racked up 10 tackles between the two of them on the night. Both players are showing they have what it takes to work together. That being said, Dean (Figueroa) had a sack in the second half and leaves us in the difficult position of choosing. That choice will be deferred to at least the end of the pre-season."

Even if the Broncos don't decide, the available players means they can viably switch base formations as the season progresses.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/17/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Mile High News: Broncos Announce Starters For 2014
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos, after a number of days locked behind closed doors planning for the upcoming season, have released their tentative starting lineup for opening kickoff.

The announcement indicates that the Broncos will be switching to a 3-4 defense under GM Wade Pearce.

QB Howard Christensen
HB Kwoshon Moreno
FB Carey Davis
WR Demaryius Thomas
WR Pierre Garcon
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Ryan Clady
LG Josh Jenkins
C Dalton Freeman
RG Walter Edwards
RT Ryan Harris

DT Marvin Austin
LE Robert Ayers
RE Ray Edwards
MLB Kevin Minter
MLB Shea McClellin
ROLB Elvis Dumervil
LOLB Khaseem Greene
CB Bernard Stevens
CB Janoris Jenkins
FS Thomas Jackson
SS Phillip Thomas

Special Teams
K Matt Prater
P Britton Colquitt
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/10/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 36
Mile High News: Broncos Sign 2 Free Agents
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos have signed two free agents to their roster: one to fill a roster requirement, the other to mentor the young players.

LG Selvish Capers was signed to a 3-year, $9 million dollar contract and provides a viable blocking alternative on the offensive line. Despite his low AWR, Capers 90+ PBK and RBK might see him get starting time on the field during the season.

MLB Brian Urlacher was signed for one thing and one thing only: to be a position coach. The veteran recognises he doesn't have the physical skills at the moment, but with young guns Kevin Minter and Shea McClellin filling the starting position in a revamped 3-4 defense, Uralacher has a lot to teach these young guys. The Broncos are paying him $12 million over 2 seasons to help educate these guys.

Overall, the Broncos are happy with these guys. While the two players bit into the available cap space, the Broncos have stated "why have it if you're not going to use it".
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/10/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 35
Mile High News: The Offseason In Review
Mile High News: The Offseason In Review

Denver, CO - It's been a big offseason for the Denver Broncos, their first under GM Wade Pearce, with a major reboot at the QB position; a draft that indicates a defensive scheme change; and a young roster ready to take the next step. The Broncos are looking to move up from where they were last season and once again compete for the AFC West and a playoff berth.

2013 Season Synopsis

One key word can be used to summarize the 2013 season for the Broncos: injury. When the Broncos lost Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradowski to season-ending injuries, the team found themselves using fourth-string QB Josh Johnson as their playcaller. Frankly, Johnson wasn't up to the task and the Broncos managed just one win in their final nine games of the season after starting 3-4. The defense also wasn't helped by the long-term injury to veteran superstar linebacker D.J. Williams.

The other change to occur at the Broncos was the hiring of GM Wade Pearce midway through. There was bound to be teething problems for the team bringing in a new GM with the season underway and combined with the offensive woes of no quarterback and it showed. The upside though was the re-organisation of the defense into a 4-3 setup and the team established itself as the #2 pass defense in the league.

2014 Offseason Acquisitions

The Broncos had a simple goal for the off-season: trade down the draft. The team was already carrying a number of young players and the roster's age distribution saw either young players or players closing in on retirement with very few on the roster sitting in the essential 27-30 year old age bracket. The Broncos were also intent on rebooting the quarterback position.

QB Ryan Mallett - Mallett was the first player acquisition for the Broncos. A young gunslinger recruited by New England, the Broncos were banking more on his unrealised potential than proven performances. While getting respectable playing time last season, Mallett's QB rating stayed anchored around the 70.0 mark. With a massive arm and height to see over the line, Mallett has the potential to advance. He just needs time with the playbook and he'll be a future star of the league.

QB Howard Christensen - It has since been revealed that Christensen was the QB target for the Broncos all off-season and the young playcaller has shown the performances he needs to be big in the GZL. This will be Christensen's fourth team in as many seasons but Broncos management are confident it will be his only team for many seasons to come.

WR Pierre Garcon - With two young playcallers on the roster, Broncos management wanted solid and dependable wide receivers on the roster, giving young gun Edmond Gates one more season to grow. Garcon was acquired from the Colts and despite being a slot receiver the last two seasons is looking to lineup alongside superstar Demaryius Thomas and give Christensen and Mallett the experienced wide receivers they will need.

DT Dean Figueroa - Figueroa is a big body that started for the Raiders last season and with Marvin Austin's partners all quickly headed for zimmer frames, the Broncos saw a chance to bring in Figueroa and make one of the best DT tandems in the league. The draft may have changed Figueroa's role slightly.

OLB Michael Boley - Boley was amnesty waived by the Raiders and the Broncos picked up the veteran linebacker for a 5th round draft pick. Boley was a safety net player, recruited for the purpose of ensuring the Broncos had talented linebacker staff regardless of the draft. Given the outcomes of the draft, Boley may be released.

CB/SS Corey Webster - Webster was a surprise UFA pickup for the Broncos until it was explained that the veteran would be making the transition to SS, either to start in that position or simply mentor any new recruit coming in. The 32 year old has one more year left in the tank.

2014 Draft

2.3 MLB Kevin Minter (LSU) - When Kevin Minter was still on the board at 2.3 and their #1 safety pick already gone, the Broncos wasted little time in picking the LSU player. A strong, hard tackler with good footspeed and agility, Minter is the type of body that the Broncos GM wants at middle linebacker. There were not too many middle linebackers in the draft who were 80+ across the SPD/AGI/ACC combo and combined with his 82 TKL and 60 AWR, the Broncos were surprised he fell into the second round, despite the perceived lack of "A" grade talent at the position.

2.22 OLB Khaseem Greene (Rutgers) - Greene is a blatant indication that the Broncos are looking to address their #32 run defense from last season. Greene is everything Minter is, just younger and 15lbs lighter. With excellent stamina and strength and good footspeed, Greene will help bolster a defense that gave up over 160 yards per game on the ground last season.

3.19 SS Phillip Thomas (Fresno State) - Thomas was the Broncos #2 SS choice but were willing to forego picking a SS this draft in favour of more preferred players. Instead, when Thomas was available in the third round, they took him. Thomas shows good promise and at just 21, his big frame could be a permament fixture on the roster and with Corey Webster moving over to the SS position, he'll have a mentor on deck to help him out.

5.11 WR Roy Roundtree (Michigan) - Roundtree is a prospect for the Broncos. With good catch and the promise of potential, the Broncos pulled the trigger and have elected to sign him. Time will tell if it was a gamble worth having.

6.3 CB Ran Parker (Washington) - Parker's biggest drawback is an ongoing issue coming to grips with gameplans and football logic. Even so, the Broncos felt that he was worth a 6th round pick to see if anything pans out with the young player. If anything, he will provide the Broncos with a long-term nickel and dime back.

2014 Position Battles

There are a number of position battles in Denver this offseason and it will be interesting to see what eventuates.

QB Howard Christensen vs QB Ryan Mallett - At this point in time, Christensen holds advantage in this position battle with his on field statistics putting him ahead of Mallett. That being said, Mallett is a different player, working from the pocket with a monster arm that even the Broncos wideouts couldn't out run.

MLB Kevin Minter vs OLB Shea McClellin (3-4 vs 4-3) - The Broncos have announced that Shea McClellin will be moving to middle linebacker this season as his big, physical presence is better suited, but if the Broncos elect to stay with a 4-3 defense, then either Minter or McClellin will either be playing from the bench or going onto the market.

WR Pierre Garcon vs WR Edmond Gates - While Garcon was recruited for the purpose of providing more experienced receivers for Christensen and Mallett, Edmond Gates is the player the Broncos want to bring up alongside Thomas. This position battle may very well fall in favour of Garcon at the start of the season then see Gates take over towards the end of the season.

2014 Training Focus

  • QB Howard Christensen - Coaches will be working with Christensen to bring up his AWR and overall game knowledge. This is a primary training focus.
  • QB Ryan Mallett - Mallett has been directed to focus on his pass accuracy.
  • OLB Shea McClellin - Shea will be working closely with the performance coaches to improve his reaction time and agility.
  • Rookies & Other Players - Other players on the team's roster will be spending considerable time in the class room improving their overall game knowledge.

2014 Outlook

The Broncos are hoping to not fall into the injury trap of 2013, but they also need to realise that the roster that one the AFC West division in 2012 has aged and their stars moved on. The goal this seaosn is to improve on 2013's 4-12 record and start bringing up the young players to the point of being a team ready to take on the GZL's best again.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 01/07/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 33
Stampede Roundup: Christmas Time in Denver
Stampede Roundup - What Santa Traded For

Denver, CO - It has been a busy offseason for the Denver Broncos, who have effectively rebooted their quarterback division this off-season with two quarterbacks, reshuffled their linebackers and added extra talent to the receiver corps. Let's recap what has happened this off-season so far.

Trade 1

- 1.3
- 1.15, 1.16, 3.26

The Broncos had already stated that their depth chart had a decent coverage of youth, so it was no surprise to see them depart the top 5 for multiple picks to undertake more trading.

Trade 2

- 1.16
- QB Ryan Mallett, 2.13

In the first sign that the Broncos were looking to replace Kyle Orton, they acquired the services of giant gunslinger Ryan Mallett. With 98THP, even the Bronco's speedsters couldn't outrun his passes.

Trade 3

- 3.3
- DT Dean Figueroa

With superstar Marvin Austin in the lineup, GM Wade Pearce switching the team to 4-3 and the other DTs being fossils, Figueroa is an ideal partner to make one of the best young DT tandems in the league.

Trade 4

- 2.13, 4.3
- WR Pierre Garcon

Broncos management felt themselves fortunate to bring Garcon to the team. His physical presence and overall game knowledge will mean that youngster Edmond Gates could get another season of development before shouldering the major responsibility alongside Thomas.

Trade 5

- 5.3
- OLB Michael Boley

Picked up with an open bid on the amnesty waiver, Boley will bring a temporary starter to the outside linebacker position for the team.

It was announced at the acquisition of Boley that young linebacker Shea McClellin will make the transition to middle linebacker for the 2014 season.

Trade 6

- OG Chris Kuper, 7.3
- 5.11

No longer wanted on the roster, Kuper was simply traded for the best offer provided.

Trade 7

- 1.15, 3.26
- QB Howard Christensen

Many see Christensen as one of the league's most promising quarterbacks and after the Broncos botched their RFA bid, some thought they wouldn't land him. It's since been established that Mallett's primary purpose of recruitment was to have a fallback plan if getting Christensen couldn't be acquired. But with no other bids made on the franchise QB, the Broncos were able to strike a post-RFA period trade offer with the Panthers and land their new starting QB for season 2014.

It does establish an interesting fight for the starting QB position in the team, but there would be a lot of teams who would want this problem and it means last season's problem of an injured starter is addressed.

Trade 8

- WR Steve Smith
- 3.19

With the arrival of Garcon in Denver, Steve Smith found himself on the outer and relegated to 4th on the depth chart. Not an ideal position for a veteran with a season still to give. The Broncos wish Steve Smith all the best with the Jets.

Trade 9

- QB Kyle Orton
- 2.22

The Broncos now have Christensen and Mallett at the QB position, really leaving no room for Orton to move, so the Broncos made the decision to amnesty waiver the veteran while he still had some perceivable value to another team. The end result was the 2.22 pick.

The Broncos thank Kyle for his efforts in Denver and wish him well in Houston (except if we play him of course).
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/26/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Broncos Lock In WR Demaryius Thomas
Denver, CO - Before this season finishes, the Denver Broncos have used their exclusive restructure to lock-in WR Demaryius Thomas.

Despite a significant drop in production this season, GM Wade Pearce was confident his superstar wideout would rebound next season and become a primary target in his offensive schemes.

"You want to keep a player like Thomas on your roster." Pearce was quoted. "We want him to retire and have 'Broncos' next to his name from start to finish."

The restructuring of Thomas now frees up the Broncos to use their resign next off-season on OLB Elvis Dumervil.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 12/05/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 27
Broncos Sign HB Kevin Smith
Denver, CO - In the first indication that one unsigned player will not be asked to return, the Denver Broncos have signed UFA half back Kevin Smith to the team's roster.

In a press release, the Broncos stated that Smith brought to the team a stronger body for the run with a bit more game knowledge.

"We have other priorities to focus on in the upcoming offseason." GM Wade Pearce stated. "And after discussions with Knowshon Moreno, his role and what we want to do, we believe our efforts are better suited to giving Knowshon a reliable relief runner and sharing the running duties as situations and opposition dictate. As such, Knowshon is happy that we will be removing him from the active trade market. This also allows us to focus more on other key positions we would like to fill over the off-season."

After 3-and-a-half years at Detroit, Smith was cut in week 13 by new GM Tom Riddle. He didn't have to spend long uncontracted before finding a new home.

"The Broncos put forth their case." Smith commented. "They explained how I would be a situational runner, but would have the oppurtunity to start. Either way, it is good to be employed again!"

Kevin Smith has a lot in common with Moreno, but some factors in his favour include more body strength, a surer pair of hands with a bit more playtime experience.

The signing does mean that Darren Sproles will not be getting resigned in the offseason.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 11/24/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Broncos Finish With Strong Defensive Performance
Kansas City, MO - The Denver Broncos finished the regular season with 10-6 loss against division rivals the Chiefs where the major thing that GM Wade Pearce can take from the team heading into the offseason is that the switch to a 4-3 defense for the team has had positive results.

Unfortunately, a littany of injuries to star players, particularly Kyle Orton and DJ Williams, put a serious crimp on a team that on paper at least should have performed better than their 4-12 record suggests.

Orton pretty much missed the entirety of the second half of the season, leaving the playcalling in the hands of inexperienced QB Josh Johnson which could work fine except that Pearce was determined to blood the young receivers in the team. Young quarterback plus young receivers rarely equals success.

Orton's days in Denver may be numbered though as Pearce is apparently actively putting feelers out into the market to see if he can trade the veteran passer.

Other players with some doubt hanging around their heads include the highly paid Steve Smith who was unhappy with his role as slot receiver under Pearce, along with out-of-contract DJ Williams.

"We have a strong draft position." GM Pearce said. "Which in my mind, equals a strong trading position. We have the youth on the team and I am willing to trade out of our position to get the players I want to help our young players."

It's a nice position to be in really. The Broncos have a strong roster, could choose not to trade Orton, resign Williams and then focus on a known favourite position of Pearce's, the running back. Moreno and Sproles both have to know that neither fits the mould of what Pearce wants in a running back and one way or the other, they won't be vying for the starting position come next season.

Stay tuned as we bring you the offseason highlights from the Broncos organisation...because let's face it, who wants to pay attention to a playoff series that has the Raiders in it!!!
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 11/21/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 10
Tough Start For New GM
Denver, CO - Never one to do things by half, GM Wade Pearce has stepped into the breach at Denver on possibly the toughest section of their schedule which sees the Broncos face the #2 Steelers, #4 Texans and this week the #1 Titans.

The team has done pretty well despite the odds of having their #1 players on both offense and defense sidelined with injury but close enough isn't quite good enough.

Pearce has implemented a few subtle changes with the team's gameday strategy. The most obvious move was to switch the team to a 4-3 defense which this analyst believes was long overdue. The team just didn't have the defensive ends to hold up a 3-4 line properly. It may be tough for the team to switch mid-season, but the Broncos might as well begin treating the end of this season as simply a very early beginning to training camp.

The other more subtle move is to give the young players more time on the field. This is a strategy Pearce has used in the past. With the season already packed it's bags and impatiently waiting on the bus, the youth of the team will get the chance to show what they can do.

Pearce has admitted that deciding how much involvement the Broncos will have in the off-season is difficult. With some key players coming out of contract at the end of the season, there will be serious focus on what the team will want to do moving forward.

Unless they win a few more games, and surely they can win at least one, the Broncos might have some added currency with their draft position come the off-season. Only time, and the rest of the season, will tell.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 10/26/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
From Retirement to Sibling Rivalry
Denver, CO - The Denver Broncos today announced that they had enticed Madden League-retired General Manager Wade Pearce back to the turf with the goal of taking over the day-to-day operations of the Broncos.

Many believe the Broncos are playing far below their roster's potential and the fans are hoping that new leadership will bring the team into the playoffs in the not-to-distant future.

"I had a chat with the owners," Pearce said at the press conference, "and they put forward a really good presentation of their designs and plans for the future. After talking to some of the player's leadership group, I decided that coming back into the game was a positive move for myself."

When asked about the current season, Pearce was realistic.

"At 3-7, the playoffs are pretty much an impossibility for the team this season. I want to spend the rest of this season getting the team into winning form and gaining confidence. There may be personnel movements, there may not. Right now it is too early to comment until I've talked with the coaches and we've run some practices and games."

The appointment as the Broncos GM has placed Pearce firmly in rivalry mode against his brother Garth, currently running the Oakland Raiders. Pearce joked that the two would try not to let slip team strategies at any family reunions.
Forum Discussion (by W_Pearce on 10/14/2012) Replies - 6 :: Views - 69
Mid-Season Slump Leads Denver To Familiar Standing

Mid-Season Slump Leads Denver To Familiar Standing

DENVER - After opening the season with a loss to Buffalo, the Denver Broncos responded with a four game winning streak, including a sweep of the Kansas City Chiefs and the first GZL victory over the Oakland Raiders. Since then, however, the Broncos have dropped three straight games. The loss of SS Gerald Alexander for what will likely be the rest of the season is also a big loss to an already struggling Denver defense, which has given up less than 27 points only twice this year. The bye week comes at a great time for Denver, who now has two weeks to find the answers they need to right the ship.

Major problems along the offensive line have contributed greatly to the skid. Center J.D. Walton and right tackle Ryan Harris have allowed a combined 10 sacks in the last four games alone. For Walton, the six sacks he have allowed are more than what he had allowed in the two seasons of his career before this. QB Kyle Orton has definitely suffered as a result, missing time against the Colts in what proved to be the difference in a narrow loss. WR Edmond Gates' torrid pace has cooled off, although WR Demaryius Thomas is rebounding excellently from his sophomore slump.

On defense, CB Bernard Stevens has emerged into one of the team's best defensive backs. OLB Elvis Dumervil has seemingly rediscovered his capabilities as a pass rusher along with DE Robert Ayers. MLB Josh Bynes, who was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2011 GZL Draft, has gotten some extensive playing time this year and has played tremendously well. With D.J. Williams aging, Bynes is sending a clear message that he could be the one to take his place.

The schedule won't get any easier either. Denver will host a dangerous Bengals team along with the AFC West leading San Diego Chargers before a two game road trip against the Raiders and Chargers that will likely determine the fate of the Broncos this season. Denver will need to find their top form and quickly if they hope to salvage the season and finally return to the playoffs.

Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 02/29/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Is Denver's Fast Start For Real?

Is Denver's Fast Start For Real?

DENVER - After dropping the season opener in Buffalo, the Broncos have reeled off three straight wins, two of them coming against the divisional rival Chiefs. With a quarter of the season finished, the Broncos are in sole possession of first place in the AFC West. But, the question is, will it last? The three teams Denver has played have a combined total of two wins, which the Oakland Raiders, Denver's next opponent, have on the season. Will the Broncos be able to stand tall against a team they have never beaten?

The inconsistent play of Kyle Orton has to be a cause for concern. While he played very well his first two games, he has been mediocre at best the last two, failing to consistently deliver. Surprisingly enough, HB Knowshon Moreno has picked up the slack for Orton with some clutch runs the last two weeks, including a big run against the Giants on the final drive that gave HC Josh McDaniels the change of heart to go for the win. The big story, however, is that of the Denver defense, who so far has shown signs of a big improvement. Rookie CB Bernard Stevens has looked fantastic thus far, DJ Williams remains a force in the middle and FS Thomas Jackson has shown signs of improvement in his first full season as a starter. Elvis Dumervil has also continued his strong play.

However, unlike the Broncos' perfect mark against the Chiefs in three seasons, the Raiders have enjoyed similar success against Denver. If the Broncos want to overcome their rivals, they will have to be able to defeat them. Excluding the Chiefs, Denver has been 1-7 against the AFC West, an unacceptable record. For two seasons, the Broncos have been on the doorstep to contention and the key to their downfall has been their divisional failures. This week, it must end if the Broncos are to prove that they are for real.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 01/31/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Road To Training Camp: Denver Broncos

Road To Training Camp: Denver Broncos

DENVER - 2011 was a season that began with high hopes and while the Broncos' quest to return to glory did not go fulfilled, the season ended on a positive note. While Denver showed clear steps in the wrong direction in every aspect of their play from last season, they still managed to win games, finishing 7-9. However, it was clear that change would be needed for there to be success for the Broncos in 2011.

The Broncos will have two new coaches in 2012 in Offensive Coordinator Tom Rathman and Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan. This will be Rathman's first major coaching job after spending much of his career after his days in the NFL as a running back coach, while Nolan has had head coaching experience and has spent the last two seasons in the GZL with the Miami Dolphins as a Defensive Coordinator. Additionally, Denver hired a new training staff, High Band Health to a three year contract.

The Broncos were very quiet for the rest of the off-season, however. They did not make any trades or attempt to sign any free agents as of the current time due to tight salary cap limitations. Despite being linked to divisional rival San Diego in trade rumors involving QB Kyle Orton and the second overall pick (in separate rumors), GM Dave Bauer ultimately decided against it, deciding to not supply the Chargers with a mentor for Blaine Gabbert and not to trade any of their elite talent to a divisional rival, especially with 1.2 being too high for areas of need.

The 2012 GZL Draft

With Denver holding their original picks along with an additional 4th round pick (Jacksonville) acquired in a draft day trade last season, there was not a higher priority placed on obtaining more draft selections. GM Dave Bauer was content to go into the draft with these picks to address the spaces in the team.

1.14: LG Walter Edwards
2.14: CB Bernard Stevens
3.14: TE Kyle Rudolph
4.14: LT Michael Person
4.25: LE Russell Rodriguez
5.14: LOLB Rolando Hanson
6.14: LG Clay Parker

Success begins in the trenches and with Denver well established at skill positions, GM Dave Bauer looked for a boost on the offensive line and selected OG Walter Edwards out of UAB with the 14th overall pick. Edwards will immediately take over for Mike Williams at RG after two underwhelming seasons there. Just as strong as Williams was and far better suited for pulling schemes and athletic defenders than Williams. The Broncos are also hoping that this will lead to bigger running lanes for Knowshon Moreno and more time in the pocket for Kyle Orton.

The secondary was without a doubt the weak link in Denver's defense, particularly when FS Charles Woodson was lost to injury. More talent was needed at CB and Bauer decided that Bernard Stevens out of Southern Illinois was the best CB available. He is not the tallest or most athletically gifted CB around, but he is an exceptionally GZL-ready player. He is a press corner that will take some work to reach his best potential, but will be a reliable player as a rookie. Between Stevens, Pat Lee, Lawrence Harris and Chris Carr, the Broncos have four reliable CBs on the roster, but none are truly a #1, shutdown type yet. Stevens certainly has that potential, however.

The third round saw Denver taking a player they were very much considering taking one round earlier: TE Kyle Rudolph from Notre Dame. He is very similar to incumbent starter Martellus Bennett, the reason he was not taken earlier. Rudolph is slightly faster, stronger and is a better blocker than Bennett, but does not have the quickness, weight and jumping skills that Bennett does. Expect both to see plenty of time with the first team in practice, as they may very well be going neck and neck to start the season atop the depth chart.

Also joining the Broncos through the draft are OT Michael Person, DE Russell Rodriguez, OLB Rolando Hanson and OG Clay Parker. None are expected to see any playing time this season, but will still be getting good looks in the preseason to see if they are viable options as backups going into the 2012 season.

Busting Ours To Kick Yours

Knowshon Moreno is coming off of another disappointing season and Kyle Orton didn't fare much better either. However, both have been seen showing up early to improve their conditioning to keep themselves in much better shape going into the season. Orton missed a stretch of games in 2011, leading to some downright dreadful games led by Bruce Gradkowski and Head Coach Josh McDaniels has made it clear that Kyle needs to stay on his feet to keep Denver's offense clicking. Part of McDaniels' commitment was to improve the offensive line and with Walter Edwards, an offensive guard being the team's first round pick, both Moreno and Orton have been seen holding up their end of the deal.

While Edmond Gates took the GZL by storm as a rookie, much like Demaryius Thomas did in his first season, he did not have a repeat performance in 2011. Both receivers, however, form a nightmarish duo for opposing DBs, especially with how hard they have worked to increase their maximum speeds. Rod Smith, a former Pro Bowl receiver with the Broncos has returned to help them get even faster, instructing them on the proper motions and times to make their cuts. Both Thomas and Gates have looked even faster on the practice field and have been getting open faster and faster against the first team defense in drills. Smith was even overheard remarking that, "[Gates] may be the fastest man I've ever seen."

2011 first round pick Marvin Austin made an immediate impact, recording 40 tackles, 6 for a loss and 5 sacks in his first year. Paired with Brian Price, they formed an effective tandem in the middle of the line for the Broncos, but Austin doesn't believe that was the best he is capable of. He has been spotted putting tons of extra reps into workouts, doing his absolute best to report to camp even stronger than he was last season. If he is successful with his efforts, Austin could become a rare combination of brute strength and athleticism that would prove to be a nightmare for any offensive lineman.

OLB Adam Hayward joined the Broncos back in 2010, coming from Seattle as a part of the Tim Tebow trade and has been a starter since. His remarkable athleticism has led to him recording 31 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons, but he seemed to be a bit undersized. Much to new Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan's surprise, Hayward showed up to camp having filled out his frame, looking far more like a guy ready to crush opposing ball carriers. Now rounding out at 6'0 and 245 lbs, Hayward will remain a key contributor for the Broncos.

The second round pick, Bernard Stevens comes into camp projected to be starting on opening day alongside of Pat Lee. While Stevens has excellent awareness for a rookie, he is undersized at 5'10 and 160 lbs. Immediate results were seen with him when he reported to camp at 170 lbs, filling in his frame to better deal with the much bigger GZL receivers. He has also been running faster than the 40 time he posted at the GZL Combine in Indianapolis. Clearly Stevens has been working hard over the off-season before even reporting to training camp, speaking volumes to Head Coach Josh McDaniels that he is ready to play now.

A second round pick, Lawrence Harris had a quietly productive season in 2011, recording an interception and recovering two fumbles, scoring two defensive touchdowns. Definitely performing above what was expected of him, he enters 2012 with a real possibility of pushing for a starting spot. Charles Woodson, now a FS and likely backup to fellow second round pick Thomas Jackson, has been seen working with both Harris and Jackson, working on improving their speed and quickness on the field. Jackson was thrust into the fire last season when Woodson went down with an injury and clearly was not ready, but made the most of it and comes into 2012 much more seasoned and prepared. His on-field awareness is considerably improved and he is also much quicker to respond to the ball. Harris has made major strides in camp, appearing both faster and quicker in and out of his cuts. The Broncos' secondary is still not ideal, it's future appears to be far brighter than it has been.

Hell On Mile High: Position Battles

TE: Martellus Bennett vs. Kyle Rudolph

Third round pick Kyle Rudolph appears to have the early edge over Bennett, being faster, stronger, a better blocker and having better hands. However, he is raw, while Bennett has two years of starting experience in this offense. He also possesses an elite vertical leap and quickness that Rudolph does not have, however. Despite this, Rudolph has to be considered the clear favorite with all the advantages he has over Bennett.

WR: Brandon Lloyd vs. Roscoe Parrish

Lloyd won out over Gates to begin the season as the starter and played very well to start. But Denver's offense struggled, with Gates seeing more and more time due to his big play ability. He eventually took over the starting role and Lloyd's fate was sealed with a nagging injury. This year, he fights to keep his slot receiver position from Roscoe Parrish, who also emerged as a big play threat last season. He caught 11 passes in limited time last year and 5 went for touchdowns. Lloyd is a reliable, consistent target who had a very successful season in the slot in 2010, but can Parrish's big play ability cause even more nightmares for opposing defenses?

CB: Chris Carr vs. Lawrence Harris

While Chris Carr was unspectacular last season, he remains the most experienced corner on the roster. But with Lawrence Harris beginning to make noise and showing he may be the future at the position, Denver may be best suited to allow him to get more playing time and make his case to be an eventual starter. Even if Harris plays at an unspectacular level, the playing time will go a long way towards making him be a better long-term option.

Projected Starting Line-Up

Kyle Orton
HB: Knowshon Moreno
FB: Carey Davis
WR: Demaryius Thomas | Edmond Gates
TE: Kyle Rudolph
LT: Ryan Clady
LG: Chris Kuper
C: J.D. Walton
RG: Walter Edwards
RT: Ryan Harris

LE: Robert Ayers
NT: Marvin Austin
UT: Brian Price
RE: Ray Edwards
LOLB: Adam Hayward
MLB: D.J. Williams
ROLB: Elvis Dumervil
CB: Bernard Stevens | Pat Lee
SS: Gerald Alexander
FS: Thomas Jackson

K: Matt Prater
P: Britton Colquitt
KR/PR: Darren Sproles

See you on the field in 2012!
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 12/20/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 34
Denver Overhauls Coaching Staff

Denver Overhauls Coaching Staff

DENVER - After a 7-9 season in 2011, a step back from their 8-8 record in 2010, it was evident some change was necessary. The contracts of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and defensive coordinator Don Martindale expired, with neither being offered a chance to return. Instead, GM Dave Bauer opted to bring in new coordinators, hiring Tom Rathman to guide the offense and Mike Nolan to mastermind the defense.

Rathman, who was once a bruising fullback for the San Francisco 49ers (where former OC Mike McCoy was hired to be the offensive coordinator), finds himself in his first big coaching gig after serving as a running back coach for the Oakland Raiders. Nolan, once a head coach for the Atlanta Falcons, spent the first two years of the GZL as the defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. He finds himself leading a defense with a secondary lacking a true impact player, but a fearsome front seven. Additionally, the Broncos signed a new training staff, High Band Health to a three year contract.

The Broncos also recently announced that QB Kyle Orton was re-signed to a five year deal worth $28.66 million with $6.9 million guaranteed. Although his production decreased in 2011, Orton remains by far the best option at quarterback for Denver, particularly with the woeful Bruce Gradkowski and Brady Quinn behind him on the depth chart. There are also unconfirmed rumors that the San Diego Chargers are interested in trading for Orton, but the likelihood of that happening is about as likely as Anthony Fernandez and Jeff Downey sitting down and watching My Little Pony together.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 12/07/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 47
Positive Notes To End Season

Positive Notes To End Season

DENVER - After two consecutive victories to end the 2011 season, the Denver Broncos finished at 7-9. Perhaps weakening their draft stock, although it definitely does give confidence for the team heading into 2012. The Broncos are a work in progress and it showed big time in 2011. There were massive regressions in play at some positions and the team simply seemed to lack the ability to beat better opponents. Another big off-season will be needed if the Broncos hope to improve for next season.


- Edmond Gates, after starting the season in the slot, eventually won a starting position from Brandon Lloyd and immediately became a playmaker and deep threat.

- Rookie DT Marvin Austin and off-season acquisition Brian Price made an excellent tandem, combining for 80 tackles and 10 sacks.

- MLB D.J. Williams had an impressive season, racking up over 100 tackles and 6 INTs while only playing in 12 games.

- Denver retains their draft picks and will be able to pick in every round other than the 7th regardless of any success they have in trading this off-season.


- After scoring 3 TDs to begin the season against SD, HB Knowshon Moreno would only score 2 more the rest of the season. Combined with a 3.8 YPC, Moreno has been a massive disappointment this year.

- After recording 15 sacks last season, Robert Ayers only recorded 5 this season. Ray Edwards recorded 6, after recording 4 in the limited time he played in Denver last season.

- WR Demaryius Thomas did not look like the dominating force he was as a rookie, finishing with relatively pedestrian numbers.

- Kyle Orton did not look like the answer at quarterback at times and finishing with a sub-80 QB rating has many wondering if room should be made for a developmental QB.


Most Valuable Player:
MLB D.J. Williams
107 TAK, 20 TFL, SACK, 6 INTs, 17 DFL, TD

The heart and soul of Denver's defense had another dominant season and again will likely see no recognition outside of his own team. Was easily the most dominant player for the Broncos and the team went 1-3 in games he was missing in.

Offensive Player of the Year:
WR Edmond Gates
78 REC, 1,298 YDS, 16.6 YPC, 9 TDs

Drafted early in the second round, Gates was expected to eventually fill in for the departed Eddie Royal and he did so immediately. Gates' speed and ability to create the big play were a rare bright spot on offense for the Broncos and he will only continue to get better from here.

Defensive Player of the Year:
MLB D.J. Williams
107 TAK, 20 TFL, SACK, 6 INTs, 17 DFL, TD

Again, it is unquestionably Williams. Others may have had good seasons, but none had the impact that D.J. Williams did on both the running and passing game.

Special Teams Player of the Year:

Denver's special teams were a massive disappointment. Kicker Matt Prater had a huge drop-off after being nearly automatic last season, punter Britton Colquitt was among the worst punters in the league after being a Pro Bowler last year and outside of one game, KR/PR Darren Sproles failed to show the explosiveness that was needed from him in the return game.

Offensive Rookie of the Year:
WR Edmond Gates
78 REC, 1,298 YDS, 16.6 YPC, 9 TDs

At 2.2, the Broncos got a raw, but dynamic wide receiver in Edmond Gates. With top-end speed and athletic ability, Gates quickly stepped in and asserted himself as a top wide receiver as a rookie. If Demaryius Thomas can return to his dominant form, they will be a difficult combo to stop.

Defensive Rookie of the Year:
DT Marvin Austin
40 TAK, 6 TFL, 5 SACKS

The Broncos' first round selection stepped in for Jamal Williams and was impressive in his rookie campaign. He formed a nice tandem with Brian Price, and were formidable against the run. He will only be getting stronger as the years go by and will be a solid centerpiece on the line. CB Lawrence Harris had an impressive debut for the limited playing time he received and he should be more prominent next season as well.

Looking Ahead:

Denver enters the off-season looking to trim the fat and bolster up at several positions. Cornerback will remain a key area of need, but do not expect many rookies to start in 2012. Charles Woodson's injury has likely entrenched 2nd Round pick Thomas Jackson at FS. Denver is beginning to age dramatically in several key positions, so look for the Broncos to start bringing in the eventual replacements this off-season. Most of all, Denver will need consistency out of the pieces already in place, something that has been sorely lacking. There are rumblings that a coaching overhaul could be in the works, but nothing has been confirmed as of the current time.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 11/03/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 28
Too Late To "Suck For Luck"

Too Late To "Suck For Luck"

DENVER - With the season still barely alive with the Broncos holding on to a 5-7 record with four games to play, many fans have begun to chant that perhaps it is time to "get lucky." However, those fans fail to realize that in this universe, Andrew Luck has already been drafted, by the divisional rival Chiefs at that.

"I don't understand all this noise about Andrew Luck," exclaimed Denver GM David Bauer at a press conference. "He's supposed to be all this and all that, yet our program has managed to beat him twice. I mean, we're not a super team by any means, being as a team led by Matt *bleep* Cassell is better than ours. Although, counting on Matt Cassell to *bleep* things up in order for you to make the playoffs are great odds if you're a betting man."

The Raiders remain the biggest opponent left for the Broncos, with the Falcons, Colts and Jets left on the roster. It is not inconceivable for Denver to beat any of those squads, but beating them all in a row will be the true test. One loss, especially to Oakland, will end the Broncos' season.

"There have been times where, you know, these guys have been pretty fantastic," stated Head Coach Josh McDaniels. "Yet, at the same time, there's games against teams where they can't seem to fight their way out of a paper bag. The inconsistency isn't going to get this team anywhere in any sort of a hurry."

The Broncos' final chance begins at Atlanta this week.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 10/01/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Denver's 4 - 4 Record Good For First Place

Denver's 4 - 4 Record Good For First Place

DENVER - Halfway through the season, the Denver Broncos sit at .500 with a 4 - 4 record. With plenty of disappointment, notably two narrow losses to the Ravens and rival Oakland Raiders, there is still plenty of reason for optimism, including a 3-1 division record and sole possession of first place in the AFC West with just eight more games to play.

Defense has been a problem again for the Broncos this season, surrendering an average of 378 yards of offense per game along with allowing an average of 28 points scored. Denver's pass rush has been virtually non-existent and their stoutness against the run appears to be gone. While the secondary has certainly allowed their fair share of yards and touchdowns, they have played well for a young group. MLB DJ Williams remains the centerpiece of the defense, leading the team in tackles, tackles for a loss and interceptions.

The Broncos' offense has been solid, but inconsistent. Kyle Orton has been spreading the ball around and has only thrown five interceptions, but is completing less than half of his passes. Receiver Demaryius Thomas has been having a disappointing sophomore season, rarely showing the dominance he displayed last season. Second round pick Edmond Gates has been the most dynamic receiver thus far, making his way into the starting lineup much quicker than anticipated. Knowshon Moreno has been solid, but other than a three touchdown performance on opening day against San Diego has not been much of a factor in the red zone.

The biggest wild card for the Broncos has definitely been Darren Sproles, acquired with DE Ray Edwards from Tampa Bay last season. While Sproles has struggled running the ball, he has excelled as a return man, single-handedly stealing a victory from the rival Chiefs in a critical game with two return touchdowns. K Matt Prater has also been oddly inconsistent after a season of near-perfection.

Denver may be lucky to be in such good position with their less than stellar play, but with improved play down the stretch, GM Dave Bauer could potentially have his first banners. It will not be an easy road, but it is an achievable goal.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 08/30/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 8
Road To Training Camp: Denver Broncos

Road To Training Camp: Denver Broncos

DENVER - After a season in which the Denver Broncos exceeded the expectations of most people with an 8-8 record, it was evident that the Broncos were a team that were capable of contending, but still lacked several pieces. This was most evident in the secondary, which struggled despite having former All-Pros Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins. Instead, the bright spots on defense were in the front seven in DE Robert Ayers and MLB D.J. Williams, who signed a four year contract extension during the season. On offense, QB Kyle Orton earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after a season in which he threw for over 4,000 yards and both of his starting WRs, Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal also joined him in Hawaii. The makings of a contender were in place, but several holes needed to be filled.

But despite this, the off-season began rather quietly for the Denver Broncos. They did not engage in trade talks, instead choosing to focus on their internal operations. The moves began with the releases of veterans Jabar Gaffney, Renaldo Hill and Correll Buckhalter. Gaffney and Hill were simply being paid too much for the limited roles they played on the team. Although GM Dave Bauer loved the contributions of Buckhalter, he was not the same player he had been and the arrival of Darren Sproles all but sealed his fate. Restricted free agents Martellus Bennett, Wesley Woodyard and Richard Quinn were all retained. Additionally, the Broncos also locked up Bennett with a 5 year contract extension. Denver chose not to pursue any other RFAs, lacking the necessary picks to sign the few they were interested in.

Denver then made sure to protect their own, re-signing HB Darren Sproles, DE Ray Edwards and OLB Jason Hunter. Edwards, who excelled after joining Denver at the trade deadline with Sproles from Tampa Bay, was given the team's guaranteed re-sign and will retain his position at RE, forming a deadly duo with Pro Bowler Robert Ayers. Darren Sproles did not make much of an impact on offense, but did generate sparks on special teams as the KR, a role that Laurence Maroney had failed to excel at. Expect him to find a bigger role in the offense this year, especially with Knowshon Moreno's disappointing stretch to end the season. Hunter was a reserve linebacker and special teamer who will likely be doing more of the same for the Broncos this season.

Then, on June 7th, GM Dave Bauer made a string of trades that completely revitalized the Broncos' arsenal of draft picks. Through trades with the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver was able to trade:

CB Champ Bailey (to GB)
WR Eddie Royal (to TB)
1.14 (to IND)

Denver would receive a combined haul of:

CB Charles Woodson (from GB)
CB Pat Lee (from GB)
DT Brian Price (from TB)
1.18 (from IND)
2.24 (from TB)
2.30 (from GB)
3.11 (from IND)
3.14 (from TB)

Charles Woodson will be moving over to FS, where he will fill the gaping void left by the retired Brian Dawkins. Also coming from Green Bay is Pat Lee, who is expected to be a starter for the Broncos in 2011 after a productive year for the Packers. Brian Price saw little time at Tampa Bay, but is expected to compete for a starting job at defensive tackle. Considering the movement to add more athleticism inside at DT, Price could very well be another new starter in 2011. However, the biggest addition to the team was the slew of draft picks Denver acquired. Instead of only possessing their 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th round picks, Denver was now going into the draft with a 1st, 3 2nds, 2 3rds, a 6th and 7th round picks. This would give GM Dave Bauer plenty of flexibility when it came to the draft, which he would take full advantage of.

The Broncos then aggressively hit free agency, however they only managed to bring in one additional signing, WR Roscoe Parrish from Buffalo. The burner had not been utilized by the Bills, but with WR Eddie Royal's departure through a trade he will certainly have an opportunity to take the field and cause some damage at Mile High. Disappointed in their failed efforts to sign several CBs, Denver headed off to the 2010 GZL Draft hoping to find the answers in the newest talent the league had to offer.

On the Clock: the 2010 GZL Draft

1.18 DT Marvin Austin

TRADE: Denver sends 2.14, 3.14; Green Bay sends 2.2

2.2 WR Edmond Gates

TRADE: Denver sends 2.24, 3.11; St. Louis sends 2.13, 6.30

2.13 FS Thomas Jackson
2.30 CB Lawrence Harris
6.14 C William Lee
6.30 WR Aldrick Robinson

TRADE: Denver sends 7.14, DT Marcus Thomas, 2011 7th (DEN); Green Bay sends 7.32, 2011 4th (JAX)

7.32 MLB Josh Bynes

After Buffalo recovered from their late pick just in time to snag DT Marcell Dareus, Bauer was forced to "settle" for DT Marvin Austin out of North Carolina. The big, strong and surprisingly athletic DT will be a great fit on a defensive line that boasts two superior edge-rushers at DE. Austin will be able to both act as a nose tackle and deliver pass-rushing ability from the inside, something Denver lacked in 2010. He will start from Day One and will provide an immediate impact.

After taking advantage of Green Bay shopping the second pick of the second round, Denver got their replacement for Eddie Royal in the blazingly-fast Edmond Gates. Although raw and needing improvement with his hands, Gates provides first-round athletic ability and potential. But he will come equipped with elite speed, acceleration and a fantastic vertical leap that will separate him from defenders. The more polished Brandon Lloyd may start in front of him this season, but look for Gates to keep finding reasons to keep him on the field full-time.

For the second time in the second round, Denver once again traded up, this time to 2.13, where they snagged who they hope will prove to be their FS of the future in Thomas Jackson of Tuskegee. Standing at 6'2 and weighing 206 lbs, Jackson is definitely an imposing figure in the secondary. He will be getting all the help he can in order to reach his full athletic potential, which would give him elite ability for his size. Additionally, Charles Woodson is expected to play FS this season, allowing Jackson to learn from one of the all-time greats at DB as he matures into the starter.

Sitting pat at 2.30, the Broncos addressed perhaps their biggest need with CB Lawrence Harris out of Houston. Although not exceptionally talented athletically, he makes a solid addition to the position that the Broncos sorely needed. He is relatively intelligent for a rookie CB, and possesses decent enough athleticism to cover a good range of receivers. However, standing at 5'10 and without a quality vertical leap, he could struggle against taller receivers. He will find himself in the running to play in the nickel position this season, and with his combination of smarts and talent likely is the front-runner for the spot.

Proceeding to take a break until the end of the 6th round, Denver then added depth at C and WR with William Lee and Aldrick Robinson, neither of whom are expected to make a huge impact, at least not now. However, picking with the last pick of the draft, the Broncos selected a very intriguing Mr. Irrelevant in Josh Bynes. The MLB out of Auburn possessed a very strong skill set for this late in the draft, although it seems that scouts were perhaps too kind in their judgements. He has not shown the speed or strength that he did at the combine in camp, but he still remains a rather solid addition to the team for where he was taken.

Improvement: A Year-Round Process

After being so close to breaking the wall to the playoffs in the first year of the NFL-GZL merger, the Denver Broncos have been keeping up with their younger players to insure their development is continuing year-round. Head Coach Josh McDaniels has had a very positive rapport with the youth on the team and has been extremely pleased with their progress.

One such player is the starting HB, Knowshon Moreno. After a disappointing slump to end the season, Moreno has been working extremely hard to improve his physical capabilities and techniques to prevent nagging injuries. Knowshon has reported to team workouts weighing in at 227 lbs, yet shows absolutely no dropoff in terms of his athletic abilities. Coaches are hoping the added weight can add to his ability to break tackles, becoming more of a power back. Knowshon's durability is also notably improved and he has been spending less and less time on the bench, absorbing more punishment than he was thought able to.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas lost the other half of the Pro Bowl tandem Denver boasted at the position when Eddie Royal was traded to Tampa Bay. However, with the addition of Edmond Gates, the Broncos still have a dangerous duo of receivers. On an even more worrisome note for defensive backs, both Thomas and Gates have been spotted training together with former Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith, who owns many of the team's receiving records. Both receivers were trained to improve their top-line speeds with sprint drills, with the wiley veteran Smith instructing them on improving their strides to gain that extra bit of speed.

Broncos fans were also extremely happy to see the team's first round pick, DT Marvin Austin logging in lots of extra hours in the team's practice facilities along with newcomer Brian Price. Coach McDaniels noted that he has seen a dramatic increase of upper-body strength from both Austin and Price, noting that the added strength of Austin has led to a bigger frame. Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale has been on record as saying that the added weight has not slowed down or impacted his athletic prowess at all, although any further weight would likely do so. Regardless, Austin's selection at 1.18 is already paying dividends for the Broncos despite not even taking the field yet. Price's progress in bulking up should also considerably help his chances in securing a starting job at defensive tackle.

One of 2010's rookie class has been putting in some work in order to stake his claim to a starting position. After spending the year as the nickel corner, Perrish Cox enters 2011 as a favorite to start. He showed considerable improvement over the course of the year, and has shown up to camp a bit faster as well. Although Champ Bailey is now with the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin was kind enough to send their own sage defensive back in Charles Woodson. Unquestionably a future coach, Woodson was eager to show Perrish the techniques he used to increase his speed, particularly the closing speed needed to make the big plays. Expect the hard work put in by Cox (bwahahaha) to make a big difference in the coaching staff's decision to have him starting with Woodson in the secondary.

Speaking of the secondary, rookie FS Thomas Jackson has been putting in extra time with the grizzled old veteran Woodson as well. Expected to be the heir apparent to the FS position after being selected with the 13th pick in the 2nd round, Jackson is doing everything he can to be as prepared as possible when that time comes. He was seen working with both Woodson and Perrish Cox spending extra time on the practice field. Coaches and players alike have noted that Jackson seems much faster than the label of "slow" bestowed upon him by Keith Van Wagner. With the work Jackson is putting in, he certainly could, dare we say, prove to be better than both Gerald Powell and Patrick Murphy, two safeties drafted ahead of him.

Hell On Mile High: Position Battles

HB: Knowshon Moreno vs. Darren Sproles

Moreno enters as the incumbent, having held down the starting role both before and after the arrival of Sproles from Tampa Bay. However, his poor finish to the season has opened the door to a competition for the job of starting HB. Some believe Sproles' speed and agility could prove to be just the spark Denver needs in the running game, but Moreno's work in the off-season could give him the edge in this match-up. Ultimately, this one will come down to whoever proves to be the best fit with the Broncos' offense.

WR: Brandon Lloyd vs. Edmond Gates

The departure of Eddie Royal created a hole at a position nobody thought would be a hole for the Broncos in a decade. However, upon second look, wide receiver still is not quite the hole it seemed to be without Royal. Brandon Lloyd played in the slot for much of 2011, filling in for Royal on occasion and even making a spot start. Although not the tallest or fastest receiver around, Lloyd's craftiness is what got him 888 yards on 50 receptions and it will be the key in him holding down a starting position. Edmond Gates is unquestionably the future at the position along with Demaryius Thomas, but 2011 may still be too soon for him to be a starter. His athletic abilities make him dangerous regardless of where he plays, but his low on-field awareness and work-in-progress hands may hold him back this season.

DT: Jamal Williams vs. Brian Price

1st Round Pick Marvin Austin is unquestionably a Day 1 starter at DT, with only an act of Madden standing in his way. However, expect a heated contest to brew at for the second starting position. Jamal Williams proved that he still had plenty in the tank last season, having an excellent campaign against the run and being a critical component of the front seven's success. Brian Price, on the other hand, could prove to bring some pass-rushing prowess to the team. Justin Bannan remains on the roster and is also a dark horse to retain his spot after his play dramatically improved with the addition of Ray Edwards at defensive end.

CB: Perrish Cox vs. Pat Lee vs. Lawrence Harris

Not quite as solved as GM Dave Bauer would have liked, cornerback remains a logjam of talent without an exceptional star. Charles Woodson will be moved to free safety, where his declining athleticism will still allow him to make plays with his outstanding football knowledge. However, his fellow Packer cohort stands to be a starter, as he possesses the best mix of athleticism and knowledge of the three. Perrish Cox boasts an outstanding amount of talent, but is lacking at speed and awareness. Lawrence Harris could prove to be a suitable player, but still needs some more seasoning in order to make an impact. With Lee the only true standout of the three, look for Cox and Harris to alternate depending on the match-up.

FS: Gerald Alexander vs. Andre Goodman

Gerald Alexander, a free agency pick-up last off-season, played solid, but not great either. His football knowledge is improved and combined with his height should allow him to conveniently disrupt the opposing passing games. However, with Andre Goodman slowing down, he is perhaps a prime candidate to give Alexander a run for his money. Although he is smaller, Goodman is faster and the more intelligent player and could prove to be an improvement for a year, especially if the Broncos are able to break out to a good start. Alexander, however remains the longer-term solution, which may prove to be enough to leave the position as it is.

Projected Starting Line-Up

Kyle Orton
HB: Knowshon Moreno
FB: Carey Davis
WR: Brandon Lloyd | Demaryius Thomas
TE: Martellus Bennett
LT: Ryan Clady
LG: Chris Kuper
C: J.D. Walton
RG: Mike Williams
RT: Ryan Harris

LE: Robert Ayers
NT: Marvin Austin
UT: Brian Price
RE: Ray Edwards
LOLB: Adam Hayward
MLB: D.J. Williams
ROLB: Elvis Dumervil
CB: Perrish Cox | Pat Lee
SS: Gerald Alexander
FS: Charles Woodson

K: Matt Prater
P: Britton Colquitt
KR/PR: Darren Sproles

See you on the field in 2011!
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 06/18/2011) Replies - 5 :: Views - 88
Broncos Stock Up For Draft

Broncos Stock Up For Draft

DENVER - Entering draft season with a very limited amount of draft picks, the Denver Broncos front office suddenly sprung to life with a flurry of moves that resulted in the creation of a multitude of draft picks and the chance to arm the team with the talent it needs to move forward in 2011.

The moves began with the releases of veterans Jabar Gaffney, Renaldo Hill and Correll Buckhalter. Gaffney and Hill were simply being paid too much for the limited roles they played on the team. Although GM Dave Bauer loved the contributions of Buckhalter, he was not the same player he had been and the arrival of Darren Sproles all but sealed his fate.

Denver then made sure to protect their own, re-signing HB Darren Sproles, DE Ray Edwards and OLB Jason Hunter. RFAs Martellus Bennett, Wesley Woodyard and Richard Quinn were all also retained without a struggle. TE Bennett also signed a 5 year contract extension worth almost $12 million. The Broncos then aggressively hit free agency, however they only managed to bring in one additional signing, WR Roscoe Parrish from Buffalo. The burner had not been utilized by the Bills, but with WR Eddie Royal's departure through a trade he will certainly have an opportunity to take the field and cause some damage at Mile High.

Denver then proceeded to make three trades in the span of one day, an event practically unheard of in the career of GM Dave Bauer. Starting with a 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th round draft picks, the Broncos were ultimately able to end up with a stable of early round picks. To recap:

Denver Sends:

CB Champ Bailey
WR Eddie Royal

Denver Receives:

CB Charles Woodson
CB Pat Lee
DT Brian Price
1.18 (DT Marvin Austin)
3.14 (Traded with 2.14 for 2.2/WR Edmond Gates)

The biggest loss felt will be that of Pro Bowl WR Eddie Royal, who formed a dynamic duo at WR with Demaryius Thomas. However, his loss was softened with the drafting of WR Edmond Gates, who possesses very similar athletic ability to Royal. The departure of Royal will also allow Denver to use one of their guaranteed re-signings elsewhere, which will likely now be used to retain Pro Bowl QB Kyle Orton and K Matt Prater. CB Charles Woodson is fully expected to be moved to FS and fill in for the retired Brian Dawkins. CB Pat Lee should instantly find himself in the mix at CB after a productive year in Green Bay and with Champ Bailey now gone and Andre Goodman declining. DT Brian Price will find himself in the mix at DT after seeing limited action in Tampa Bay. However, Denver now has 5 DTs on the roster, so it will take a strong camp for him to break into the role.

Stay tuned for coverage of the 2011 Green Zone League Draft for your Denver Broncos.

Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 06/13/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 24
Broncos Quiet Heading Into Off-Season

Broncos Quiet Heading Into Off-Season

DENVER - After a strong second half to the 2010 season in which the Broncos rallied to an 8-8 record, the Denver organization suddenly became overly quiet. Whether it was to mull their missed opportunities in what could have been a wildly improbably playoff run or plotting their moves to improve in 2011, the Broncos have plenty of areas in which they must improve to seize the AFC West, the low-profile has been somewhat unusual for the team. Which leads us to the following ponderings on what exactly Denver might be up to:

Denver Is Planning On Moving Up?

Although unconfirmed, it is not exactly a secret that GM Dave Bauer isn't thrilled with the lack of draft picks he has. Although moving them did bring in key contributors such as DE Ray Edwards, OLB Adam Hayward and TE Martellus Bennett, it has sapped Denver's ability to add young talent at positions the team desperately lacks. The Broncos have plenty of players that could fetch massive returns, but will Bauer be willing to part with them in order to build up a pool of draft picks?

Is Kyle Orton Being Traded?

Despite a Pro Bowl trip for QB Kyle Orton, rumors circulated that he was on his way out of town. While Orton would likely fetch a good sum in return, it would leave league laughingstock Brady Quinn as the only QB on the roster and a hole too big to be ignored. It is less likely for the sun to not rise tomorrow than it would be for Kyle Orton to be quarterbacking anywhere other than Mile High.

Is GM Dave Bauer Insane?

There is little debate on this issue. Yes.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 05/30/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 22
Report: Broncos, D.J. Williams Reach Deal

Report: Broncos, D.J. Williams Reach Deal

DENVER - Rumors that the Denver Broncos and star middle linebacker D.J. Williams have been in negotiations to restructure his contract have finally come to fruition, as an inside source from the Broncos organization has reported that both sides have reached terms to keep Williams with the Broncos through the 2014 season.

Williams, who has racked up 92 tackles over 12 games, has gained league-wide attention for his intense and often dominant performances. The Broncos have yielded only 103.3 rushing yards a game, good for 5th in the GZL. Williams was also named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 8, when he racked up 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in a big win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Denver general manager Dave Bauer refused to release exact details of the deal, citing that the move is still pending league approval. The team would only confirm that the move would keep Williams out of free agency and with the Broncos through the 2014 season, possibly allowing him to retire with the team he has spent his entire career with.

"With all the big names set to hit free agency, we wanted to make sure one of our biggest names was not one of them," said Bauer. "We were lucky to not have many big name players going to free agency this season and it played a big part in using our restructure to keep D.J. with us."

In other news, wide receiver Eddie Royal, who suffered a torn pectoral in last week's victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, has shown tremendous progress in his recovery over the last few days. Team doctors have refused to state that he will be cleared to play in a crucial game against the Cardinals, but they have stated that his chances of being cleared are much greater than they initially were when he suffered the injury. At 6-6, the Broncos remain down, but not out of the playoff picture and every one of their final four games remains extremely important to their playoff hopes.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 04/07/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 27
Buzzer Beater Deal Brings Two to Denver

Buzzer Beater Deal Brings Two to Denver

DENVER - With the trade deadline fast approaching, it seemed like the guaranteed money in Champ Bailey's contract would prevent any trades from occurring for the Broncos. While the star cornerback remains in Denver, a trade seemingly from out of left field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has brought in defensive end Ray Edwards and running back Darren Sproles. In exchange, the Broncos dealt the JAX 2nd round pick they received for trading quarterback Tim Tebow to Seattle and their 4th round pick.

"We're extremely happy with how this trade shaped up," said Denver general manager Dave Bauer in a press conference held Friday night. "Anthony Fernandez had been asking us about our interest about Darren Sproles seemingly all week, but we did not want to trade one of our seconds for him. But when Ray Edwards was added into it with just a 4th tacked onto it, that was value we could not pass up."

Edwards will immediately take over for Ryan McBean at right defensive end, giving the Broncos an excellent bookend of athletic ability opposite of Robert Ayers, who is having a breakout season after switching to defensive end for his second season in the league. Bauer has mentioned the possibility of moving McBean inside to defensive tackle, but he remains listed at right end on the depth chart.

With Knowshon Moreno playing extremely well, Darren Sproles' role will likely remain as that of a backup with his main contributions coming on special teams. Sproles has already returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averages over 26 yards per return, giving Denver a weapon on special teams they have not had with Laurence Maroney.

The two players will combine to count only $840,000 against the salary cap this year. With middle linebacker D.J. Williams in negotiations with the Denver front office to restructure his deal beyond 2010, re-signing Edwards would likely be the team's top priority going into the off-season. Additionally, both players are fully expected to be suited up and ready to play against the St. Louis Rams this upcoming week.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 03/26/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
Tough Play Fails To Produce Wins

Tough Play Fails To Produce Wins

DENVER - After losing their first two games in embarrassing fashion, the Broncos were able to whip up their production and win their next two games to get back into contention with a 2-2 record. Despite the improved play, however, Denver has now dropped their third straight loss to put them in a 2-5 hole as they enter the halfway mark of the season dangerously close to being out of contention.

"We're always right in the thick of it," stated Denver general manager Dave Bauer. "But there's always one thing that does us in. We outplay a team both offensively and defensively, but a special teams return does us in. Stuff like that. Something is missing out there and we've got to find that problem and fix it if we're going to be a good team anytime soon."

With the latest loss coming against Oakland putting a massive dent in their hopes to make the playoffs, it has been speculated that there may be some roster movements made in the upcoming weeks. With some teams sure to be making a push for the playoffs, the Broncos have veteran talents that could be unloaded to bring in younger players or draft picks to better shape the team for the future. Bauer refused to comment further on the rumors, however. Denver has also not been linked to any trade talks as of the current time.

The Broncos will travel to San Francisco for their Week 8 game, after which they will finally have their bye week. With no current injuries, look for the bye week to be better employed to prepare for upcoming games against the Chiefs and Chargers, games the Broncos cannot afford to lose if they wish to fulfill their slim hopes of making the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 02/28/2011) Replies - 3 :: Views - 46
Righting the Ship: Broncos Win 2nd Straight to Reach 2-2

Righting the Ship: Broncos Win 2nd Straight to Reach 2-2

DENVER - After two embarrassing losses to start the 2010 season, fans in Denver couldn't help but wonder if they were already going to be looking forward to the off-season after only two games. Denver's defense seemed to be extremely vulnerable to both the run and the pass, with the offense unable to match what was being given up. With the 2-0 Indianapolis Colts coming to Mile High in Week 3, most felt the game would be a blowout in favor of the Colts. But instead, the Broncos suddenly came to life.

Indianapolis instead met a tough and resilient defense, and was held to their lowest point total of the season (matched by the Jaguars the next week), falling behind 16-0 before halftime. Although the Colts would score two fourth quarter touchdowns, it did not erase the domination they had experienced that afternoon. Peyton Manning was made out to be a pedestrian quarterback, being harassed by the likes of DE Robert Ayers, who had two sacks and CB Champ Bailey, who deflected four passes and intercepted another. DE Ryan McBean also recovered a fumble forced by OLB Adam Heyward and took it 41 yards for a touchdown.

While the defense allowed nearly double the total output the next week, it was not entirely on them. Kyle Orton threw two costly interceptions inside their own territory, giving the Titans easy pickings on two short touchdowns. Falling behind 17-7 by the end of the first quarter, the Broncos stormed back, continuing to shut down Chris Johnson and the Titans' offense, with the offense putting up two touchdowns to take a 21-20 lead at the half. The Titans, however, took a six point lead into the 4th quarter.

After another Tennessee touchdown, Kyle Orton continued to follow up after his poor start, throwing a touchdown to rookie WR Demaryius Thomas, Orton's 4th of the game, to pull Denver to within one score of the lead. After shutting down the Titans on their next possession, Denver took the field needing a touchdown to take the lead. Orton heaved a bomb down the field, connecting with Eddie Royal for the go-ahead touchdown on a miraculous pass. After throwing two INTs to open the game, Orton had completed his fifth touchdown pass of the day. After a Matt Prater field goal, the Broncos defense forced a turnover on downs on what turned out to be Tennessee's final possession near the Denver 30 yard line to put the game into the hands of the offense, with a Knowshon Moreno run for a first down all but ending the game.

The Broncos will travel to Baltimore to take on Jeff Downey and the Baltimore Ravens for Week 5.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 02/02/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Denver Broncos Hire GM Dave Bauer.

Broncos' Choice: Bauer Is In

DENVER - After spending a week or two to evaluate his roster, recently hired Denver Broncos general manager David Michael Maximilian Bauer held a press conference, marking the first occasion he has made himself available to the media since joining the Green Zone League.

"I'm very happy to be here," remarked Bauer. "My time in the Red Zone League allowed me to learn a lot about the rivalries and traditions of the AFC West style of football and I must say I've really come to love it. When I knew I wasn't going to be able to go to Dallas, Kansas City was my next choice, but I wasn't going to deny Olivier the opportunity to have his Chiefs. Either way, I'm happy to remain in the AFC West by taking the job in Denver and I'm going to do my best to return them to the Super Bowl."

Bauer also took the time to answer questions about how head coach Josh McDaniels' role would be affected by his hiring.

"I will be handling all team management decisions and he will stick to his duties as the head coach," answered Bauer. "Josh is a smart football guy and I know I can trust him to come up with the best possible game plan to win every week. But I will handle the roster-building and player movement on my own, taking his input as needed."

Bauer also quickly ended any possibility of a quarterback controversy.

"Kyle Orton is our guy at this moment," said Bauer. "Tebow is a very intriguing prospect and we really want to find ways to get him involved. He will be getting a lot of time and opportunity to show us what he's got in the preseason, but barring any unforeseen incidents, Orton will be our starting quarterback."

Denver has reportedly not been involved in serious trade talks, preferring to properly evaluate their current talent before deciding to make any moves.
Forum Discussion (by D_Bauer on 12/21/2010) Replies - 1 :: Views - 39

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

GM W_Pearce
Head Coach H.Edwards
Offensive Coordinator S.Moss
Defensive Coordinator K.Dansby
Special Teams T.Daisher
Salary $157.58M
Cap Penalty $10.37M
Cap Room $6.05M

Broncos Ryan Tannenhill QB 99 Out for season
Broncos Blake Boone QB 75 Out for season
Broncos Louis Cobb WR 75 Out for season
Broncos Ferdinand Buford WR 86 Out for season

AFC West
#4 Chargers z-Chargers 11-5-0 0.69 5-1
#21 Chiefs Chiefs 8-8-0 0.50 4-2
#23 Raiders Raiders 6-10-0 0.38 3-3
#30 Broncos Broncos 4-12-0 0.25 0-6

1 Sep 10 at Panthers Panthers #24
Lost 10-24
2 Sep 17 at Dolphins Dolphins #29
Won 48-45
3 Sep 24 vs Texans Texans #13
Lost 19-24
4 Oct 1 vs Chargers Chargers #4
Lost 20-26
5 Oct 8 vs Falcons Falcons #12
Won 24-17
7 Oct 22 at Raiders Raiders #23
Lost 0-27
8 Oct 29 vs Chiefs Chiefs #21
Lost 20-23
9 Nov 5 at Browns Browns #14
Lost 6-22
10 Nov 12 vs Jets Jets #16
Won 31-17
11 Nov 19 vs Buccaneers Buccaneers #6
Lost 27-41
12 Nov 26 at Saints Saints #18
Lost 13-19
13 Dec 3 vs Raiders Raiders #23
Lost 30-33
14 Dec 10 at Bills Bills #15
Won 41-34
15 Dec 17 vs Patriots Patriots #17
Lost 6-13
16 Dec 23 at Chiefs Chiefs #21
Lost 10-58
17 Dec 31 at Chargers Chargers #4
Lost 13-26

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