Storylines to watch heading into the 2021 Broncos training camp

Jul 27, 2021, 6:22 AM | Updated: 3:38 pm
Drop the Mike...

This will be my 24th Broncos training camp and I can’t think of one that carries less enthusiasm when it comes to the starting quarterback. I’ll admit Aaron Rodgers crawling back to the Packers with his “man of conviction, my a**” tail between his legs was a downer for me.

Sooooooo, lets get excited for Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock!!!! Yayyyyy!!!!

Actually, this is the scenario I predicted back in October, so I shouldn’t be too upset. I do hope Lock wins the job because after comparing the two QBs during our “Fan Film Room” breakdowns, it’s apparent to me that Lock does carry more upside than Bridgewater. But, Bridgewater carries with him the reputation of being “safe.” That does surprise me considering his TD/INT ratio isn’t that impressive.

If Bridgewater wins the job, it means the Broncos will be competitive, but not a real playoff contender. That can only happen if Lock is ready to make a significant jump in year three. We shall see.

There’s more to see than just the quarterbacks, however. Here are the other training camp storylines to watch:

• The wide receivers and tight ends. There is a lot of potential here. There’s also a lot of hungry mouths to feed. You have a lot of guys who want targets. These guys want to put up numbers; they want to get paid. So are there enough balls to go around for Sutton, Jeudy, Hamler, Patrick, Fant and Albert O?

• Melvin Gordon better understand he’s battling for a job. The veteran running back acted like an entitled vet during the offseason. That’s okay; that’s his right. However, the drafting of Javonte Williams is clearly George Paton believing he has found his Broncos version of Delvin Cook. Beware Melvin!

• The Broncos o-line, anchored by Garett Bolles? (Wow, I never thought I’d type those words). Last year, Bolles entered “The GB Zone” in a year when the NFL drastically cut back on holding calls. Coincidence? I think not. The good news for Bolles, and all o-linemen around the NFL, is that scoring and offensive numbers went through the roof around the league, so I don’t see the powers that be going back to a tighter whistle. All in all, this Broncos o-line seems to be the best unit since the Super Bowl days.

• What’s not to like about the defense? Okay, I still pine for more impact play from the middle linebackers. I have been beating the drum for a stud LB for like the last four years. Instead, we get more of Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell. Perhaps Baron Browning turns out to be a third-round gem.

• It’s put up or shut up time for Vic Fangio. All the pieces seem to be in place. It’s time for Fangio to deliver on the promise of being a defensive genius. His last year in Chicago, the Bears were a turnover forcing/sacking menace. Yet in his two years in Denver, Fangio’s D has been pussycat soft. His defenses have ranked 27th and 29th in forced turnovers and 18th and ninth in sacks. Let’s be clear: If the Broncos have any chance of making the playoffs, this defense needs to be a top-five defense. They’ve spent the money on that side of the ball. Time for Vic to weave his magic.

• Speaking of Fangio, let’s not kid ourselves. The guy begins the season on the hot seat. Mr. “O-for-September” better get off to a quick start or the vultures will be circling Dove Valley soon.

Football is back baby! Let’s go!

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Storylines to watch heading into the 2021 Broncos training camp