Hey, Bronco fans. Training camp is just around the corner and I’m sure everyone is excited. I’ll keep my thoughts brief this week because most of the items that everyone is talking about are subjects we’ve gone over several times.
1. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t hurt to bring in Jake Long to see if he’s healthy and can contribute, but I would be careful not to get my hopes up. I can’t see the Broncos offering anything more than a $2M deal loaded with incentives, likely based on how many games he starts, and who knows what another team might offer if they think he can help. Ideally, he’d be healthy, willing to sign and can fill in at left tackle for a year while Ty Sambrailo develops. But I’m not counting heavily on that.
2. The more I look at our roster, the more I see a big opportunity for Kenny Anunike at defensive end. Between Derek Wolfe’s suspension and the uncertainity about Antonio Smith, even as Gary Kubiak has announced Smith will participate in training camp. Anunike missed last season because of injuries and he could be another of those hidden gems. The Broncos seem to find an unknown young player who rises up through the ranks and makes an impact. I will be interested to see if Anunike continues that trend.
3. If you’re looking for a general manager and coaching staff that will likely have their jobs on the line this season, look no further than the New Orleans Saints. Their salary cap situation is a mess, they have a lot of players who are aging or in decline, yet they continue to approach things as if they are a playoff contender. Sure, the NFC South was a weak division last season, but Atlanta’s issues seemed to have a lot to do with coaching last season, while Carolina isn’t just going to go away quietly. I doubt you’ll see most pundits suggest Sean Payton is on the coaching hot seat, but I see a situation very similar to Mike Shanahan in his final year with the Broncos.
4. I don’t have much else to say about the whole Tom Brady situation, except that the issue with Roger Goodell disciplining players simply based on “protecting the shield” has less to do with the NFLPA and more to do with public perception. No, the NFL is not in danger of going out of business, but the more Goodell disciplines based on factors ranging from how much people are talking to how cooperative players are, the more he’s going to see fans leave the NFL in disgust. Goodell isn’t obligated to renegotiate disciplinary procedures with the union, but fans are another matter. The more fans who start leaving because they are tired of Goodell’s act, the greater the chances revenues will be impacted. It may not be noticeable now, but the more his shenanigans continue, the more likely it will be noticeable.
That’s all I have for now. I’m sure I’ll have more for you after the first few days of camp.