When training camp rolls around each season, the optimism from each team is predictably high.
But for the Denver Broncos, it almost as if it’s been mandated that the team shed it recent losing ways.
Earlier this week, it was president and CEO Joe Ellis who said after four straight losing seasons he just wants to stand up in front of the media at the end of the year and “talk about a good season.”
“We’ve got to win. We just have to win,” Ellis said Tuesday. “It’s kind of enough already for me personally, just watching it.
“I’ve been here for a lot of years when we had some success, and to have it carry on in the other direction for as long as it has, it’s tough for everybody. I just want to see us turn the corner and be successful. We’ve got to really do that now.”
After practice Thursday, defensive end Shelby Harris echoed Ellis’ sentiment, saying that this Broncos team has “too much skill to go out there and keep putting what we put on the field.”
“This is the year. It’s either put up or shut up,” Harris said. “… A lot of players have a lot riding on this. So, we want to go out there and dominate and play the way we know we can play.”
Harris pointed to the team’s depth as the reason for his optimism, saying, “Injuries happen, but we have all the guys that can fill in. I feel like the way this team is constructed we’re meant for good things.”
On the opposite side of the ball, Melvin Gordon III pointed to the team’s health as why he believes the Broncos can win consistently in 2021.
“If we can stay healthy, I feel like they sky is the limit,” Gordon said after practice Thursday.
The veteran running back said he understands that every NFL team feels confident in their squad at this point in the season, but it comes down to “who comes to play and who shows up.”
“It’s about being effective. We have to go out there and we have to put on. It’s about making plays,” Gordon said. “We can’t come up short like we did last year.
“Last year wasn’t good enough — not for us, not for me and not for anybody in this organization. We have to step it up a notch, and we will. We’re going to get it done.”
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