MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: Denver could be hosting two victory parades soon

Jun 6, 2022, 6:49 AM
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos are working their way towards mandatory minicamp in about a week. OTAs continue out at UC Health Training Center and I’m getting back into the routine of being out there multiple times per week.

I like this time of year because some of the best tidbits we get during the offseason happen during OTAs and minicamp. Even though practice access is limited to one day (during OTAs) there is a lot of things that can be gathered from watching closely.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

***

Fast Forward

As much as I enjoy this time of year, there is a part of me that wishes we could just fast forward to the regular season. I am looking forward to mandatory minicamp – when all practices are open to the media – but I’ve watched this team in every open practice session for the media this offseason so far and I can tell something special is brewing this year for the Broncos.

The Colorado Avalanche are making their way to the Stanley Cup Final, and they’ve been arguably the best team in hockey all season long. Perhaps I’m jealous or envious of seeing the fun and energy that Avs fans are getting to experience during the playoffs. Perhaps I know that as crazy as this city is for the Avalance – the Broncos are just in a different stratosphere.

Nothing against hockey, or anyone who loves hockey, but the NFL is the king of all sports while hockey is seen as the No. 3 or No. 4 sport out of the four major sports in the United States. If the Avs win it all, the city of Denver will celebrate – and it will be glorious. I’ll be right there with Avs fans during the parade. However, if the Broncos win the Super Bowl after the 2022 season, the entirety of Broncos Country will celebrate – and that’s going to be more of an all-encompassing experience. I’ll be right there for that parade, as well.

The Avs are leading the way, and their championship ways are going to rub off on the Broncos. The standard of winning has returned to the Broncos, and if they can excite this city the way the Avs are right now it will be bigger and better than ever. Here’s hoping that we’re all attending two parades in the next year (because the Nuggets are certainly never going to win anything).

Looking over the schedule for the 2022 season, I feel the Broncos could get off to one of the hottest starts in the NFL. It’s that hot start, and a run at the Super Bowl that has me most excited for Broncos football. It feels like things are back to normal, and the standard of excellence this team has mostly had during my 40-plus years on this Earth has returned.

***

More Than Love of the Game

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is a special type of player. Everyone knows he’s a superstar, and Wilson is certainly bound for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his playing days are done. Wilson is an outstanding human being, known as a good Christian and a good father, but there’s one part of him that many miss when going over the list of reasons why he’s special.

Wilson loves to work. I wrote last week that he loved the game, and last week Wilson tweeted about his love of the game. That is cool to be sure, but when I watch him on the practice field, I see a player who loves to practice. I see a player who is driven for greatness, and he knows that begins in preparation.

I can’t wait for Broncos fans to see Wilson on the practice field at training camp. When I watch him during OTAs I can tell that every rep is precious with him. He’s not wasting any time, and there is no drill that is beneath him – and he’s certainly taking everything seriously. Wilson is serious about competing, but he also knows how to have fun and how to lead. It’s great to see a Broncos quarterback know that it’s more than just game day that defines a player.

Having covered this game as long as I have, not every player loves what it takes to play this game. Especially when players get older, you hear about how they wish they could just skip practice and play the game on Sunday. That’s not Wilson. He’s driven to be remembered as one of the best to ever play this game at the quarterback position – that sort of intent doesn’t come by cutting corners or taking time off.

***

Faster than Fast?

There is no doubt that Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler is fast. Watching him on the practice field last week, I think Hamler might be faster than ever. He’s got blazing speed and is basically a blur on the field when he’s in his top gear.

Hamler is back at practice – as a limited participant – while he continues to recover from the knee and hip injuries that cost him most all the entire 2021 season. He appeared in three games last year for the Broncos, was targeted 10 times, catching five passes for 74 yards. It was a blow to the offense to lose a playmaker like Hamler, and he had to work back from more than just a knee injury. As it was revealed throughout his recovery, Hamler had a hip problem that needed to be corrected as well.

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Hamler has 35 catches over the last two seasons. Tabbed as the Broncos version of Tyreek Hill, Hamler has not been able to play up to his potential due to various injuries. Now healthy, Hamler is aching to showcase his skill set for the league. Not only for the Broncos, but also for himself as wide receivers are making top money in today’s NFL. If Hamler stays healthy and starts to produce at a high level over the next two seasons, the Broncos may not be able to afford him. It’s all about him staying healthy, because there is no doubt he can play in this league.

Getting Hamler on the field is going to boost the Broncos offense. He may not have that large of a role given the fact he’s no.4 on the depth chart at wide receiver. However, his speed is different – and what Hamler can do on the field others on the roster cannot. That means a Hamler package of plays would be wise, using his speed to stretch the field – either for deep shots to him or to open things up underneath for other receivers.

***

Absolutely Chilling

I was anticipating the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and it keeps delivering with the third episode released last week. As I’ve written before here in “Mile High Monday” I know how the series ends, and it’s not great. However, leading up to that point – if the rumors are true – has been a fun ride.

I’m not going to spoil the third episode, but before this show was released, we all knew that it would be full of conflict for Kenobi. Let’s just say the third episode is getting hotly debated on social networking. I love what we saw on the screen and learning more about Kenobi’s time before “A New Hope” has been fascinating.

It’s difficult to write about this episode without spoiling anything, but I want to tell you how chilling and frightening this third show was. Very rarely has Star Wars made me feel the way I did watching this episode – especially because we all know where most of these characters end up in the Star Wars universe. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to take time out of your day because I’m sure you’ll experience some of the same feelings.

What did you think of the third episode of ‘Obi-Wan’ on Disney+? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

***

Mile High Monday

DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 28: Javonte Williams #33 of the Denver Broncos celebrates scoring a tou...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Javonte Williams can make the second-year leap

The Broncos running back should have a big season in year No. 2, Arch Manning makes his decision and the Avalanche finish off Mission 16W
4 days ago
Jerry Jeudy...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The myths about Jerry Jeudy simply aren’t true

Debunking the thoughts about Jerry Jeudy, getting ready for training camp, Denver is still a Broncos town and "Top Gun: Maverick" delivers
10 days ago
Broncos helmet...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The Broncos need new logo, uniforms and stadium

The Walton-Penner ownership group needs to put its mark on the franchise, bringing a new look and venue to Denver would do just that
17 days ago
Russell Wilson...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: The better energy around the Broncos is real

Russell Wilson’s energy is something players gravitate towards because he knows what he’s doing, knows how to prepare and has won a Super Bowl before
1 month ago
Greg Dulcich...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Broncos rookies were slighted by the NFL

Not a single Broncos draft pick was invited to the league's Rookie Premiere, a sign of disrespect to Nik Bonitto, Greg Dulcich and others
1 month ago
Russell Wilson...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Wilson-Manning film work is a thing of beauty

A video of Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson watching film with Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning should warm the heart of every fan
2 months ago
Mile High Monday: Denver could be hosting two victory parades soon