MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: The Broncos offense is finally start to click in camp

Aug 8, 2022, 6:31 AM
Jerry Jeudy...
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)
(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverFan.com)

The Denver Broncos have been in training camp for two weeks. There have been ups and downs throughout practice, and this week the Dallas Cowboys are coming into town for joint practices and a preseason game.

I like the joint practices. As someone who has every NFL preseason game on tape, DVD, or digital hard drive from the year 2000 to now, I can learn a lot during this time of year. I could make the argument that I can learn more from the joint practice than I can the first preseason game.

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.

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You Can Tell

This week, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said the offensive install was done. Even if he hadn’t said that, you can tell the offense is clicking better than they were earlier in camp. Every year, regardless of the coaching staff or system, the defense seems to be ahead of the offense early in camp. As training camp continues, you want to see that gap closed.

The Hackett system is of the West Coast variety with plenty of shades from the Mike Shanahan offense that Broncos fans know and love. This offense, with wide zone concepts, is one of the most complex in the league. When the offense is executed as designed, it’s almost flawless and nigh unstoppable. The Broncos offense looked rough to begin training camp, but they have been playing better of late. This is from the offense finally being fully installed and the players getting used to the system.

They’re right on time as the Dallas Cowboys come to town this week for joint practices. You’re not going to show the Cowboys much in practice – or the first preseason game – but it’s good the Broncos have all their concepts installed so they can give it their best. Having a different opponent at UC Health Training Center will really test what the Broncos can be early on in the season.

The Cowboys have a defense with playmakers at every level. It’s going to be a good test for the Broncos offense – both the rushing attack and the passing game. As the regular season goes on, the concepts will be honed even sharper. Right now, things are looking up for the Broncos offense and going against Dallas will be a measuring stick for the coaching staff to examine as they further prepare for the regular season.

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Game Recognizes Game

The Broncos had a couple of visitors this weekend. A couple of former Broncos stopped by on Saturday to watch practice. Former cornerback “Pacman” Jones and wide receiver Brandon Marshall were in attendance to watch an action-packed day.

Marshall still looks like he can play, and it was cool to see him back at the facility. I’ve covered the Broncos as a member of the media since 2004, so I was there for every moment Marshall had with this team – both good and bad.

I have always appreciated Marshall for his game on the field, and I certainly respect his opinion. That’s why it was especially interesting when Marshall talked glowingly about Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. There is no doubt that Jeudy has physical talent, and Marshall – a physically gifted player himself – recognizes that ability.

The old saying is “game recognizes game” and with Marshall being as outspoken as he is, I’m sure his praise of Jeudy is not just lip service. Some former players don’t want to say anything negative about current players. I’m positive Marshall is not one of these players. Instead, he’s paid for his opinions on TV, radio, and podcasting. Marshall wouldn’t beat around the bush if he had something negative to say about Jeudy’s game. Instead, Marshall backed up what I thought about Jeudy when he came out of the University of Alabama a few years ago.

I’m watching Jeudy closer than any other player at practice. The player with the largest range of outcomes this year must be Jeudy. If he plays up to his potential, then Jeudy could be a Pro Bowl caliber receiver. If not, Jeudy will remain an enigma who has not played up to the potential he showed coming out of college. He was widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the best wide receiver class in NFL history. If Jeudy plays like Marshall thinks he can, we’ll finally see him become the superstar he’s always had the potential to be.

***

A Good Number

I’m pretty bullish on the Broncos chances this year. Unlike others on The Fan, I think the Broncos can win a Super Bowl this year. I don’t think that’s an outlandish statement to say or believe, and the standard we used to hold the Broncos up to with Peyton Manning is back with Russell Wilson.

Almost everyone, except bitter Seahawks fans, can admit the Broncos are likely to be a playoff team in 2022. If you make the dance, then there’s a chance you can make it all the way. After watching the Colorado Avalanche win it all this year, I ask, “Why not the Broncos too?”

If you’re looking at a projected win total for the Broncos, I like giving them around 12 wins on the season. First, the beginning of their schedule features either easy teams or good teams figuring stuff out but getting them at the right time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Broncos begin the season undefeated until about the midway point of the year. They have a bye in Week 9, so there is a chance they are 8-0 before the second leg of the season.

After the bye, things get tough for the Broncos. Not only do they face much better teams, but the Broncos also face the best team in the AFC West – the Kansas City Chiefs – twice over the course of a month. The Broncos can start hot, and I hope that momentum carries over to the second half of the season. That’s why I think 12 wins is a good number to predict for them this season.

I want to see what the Broncos look like this season. They often talk about playing “December football” and their schedule sets up so that the games played in that month will be the most important. Playing in the toughest division in football also means they will be playoff tested in the regular season. If the Broncos can get 10, 11, 12 wins (or more) then making a Super Bowl run will be well within their reach.

***

The Wait is Over

I have been a fan of “The Sandman” comic book since the early ’90s. I’m a superhero fan, and I love all things Batman or Spider-man – and The Sandman is not anything close to that. He’s not a superhero, but instead he’s the ruler of The Dreaming and one of The Endless. The Sandman, known as Morpheus, watches over all of us as we dream. His story is an eclectic mix of fantasy and wonder, something I’ve enjoyed for decades.

For years, rumors about a Sandman movie have proliferated over the internet. Nothing ever happened for various reasons as the project was stuck in developmental hell for at least a decade. Finally, Netflix filmed their most expensive show of all time – around $15 million spent per episode – to bring The Sandman to their streaming service.

The story is a complex one, but within the intricacies is an incredible tale. I feel that Sandman creator Neil Gaiman did a fantastic job of bringing his story to Netflix, and you can tell he worked closely with the production as an executive producer. Watching “The Sandman” on Netflix was so incredibly comic book accurate. Most shows or superhero movies take stories from the comic books, but few of them follow the stories from the comics as closely as “The Sandman” did. It was like watching a comic book come to life, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Did you watch “The Sandman” on Netflix, and if so, what did you think? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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