David Bruton Out 1-2 Weeks; Safety Depth To Be Tested

It remains to be seen if T.J. Ward will play this week, but all things considered, it was a smart decision for Gary Kubiak to rest DeMarcus Ware. Getting him to full strength will improve the pass rush and take pressure off the defensive backs.

If Ward can’t play against Oakland, it’s likely you’ll see plenty of Josh Bush and Omar Bolden. Bradley Roby could play safety on a couple of downs, too. And it might mean Lorenzo Doss sees a couple of snaps on defense.

The important thing at this point is to get everyone healthy, as after Oakland, two key games against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati await.

(EDIT 1:25 P.M. MST: I meant to say Lorenzo Doss, not Taurean Nixon, although it’s possible the Broncos could move Nixon up from the practice squad.)

Broncos Playoff Standings: 2015 Week 14

I spent a lot of words talking about this last week, when more scenarios were open. But I made sure to bold the simplest and best path for the Broncos: “win out and one Patriots loss”.  Well, thanks to the Eagles, that one Patriots loss came earlier than we thought.  Coupled with the Broncos’ win at San Diego, Denver now controls their own destiny to the #1 seed.  Win out, including defeating the Bengals, and the path in the AFC goes through Denver.

The Broncos are going to be nowhere close to clinching that for a while, but they will have two paths available to get into the playoffs come Week 14:

Continue reading Broncos Playoff Standings: 2015 Week 14

Here’s Brock Osweiler at Jon Gruden’s QB Camp

I don’t know if you know, but in 2012, before the draft, Jon Gruden had a film session review with ten QBs that were going to that draft.

Here’s Brock’s one, and I found it amazing. He was already intelligent, good at recognizing his mistakes, easy to put the blame on his shoulders and also the way he takes notes and pay attention to what Gruden says is incredible.

Continue reading Here’s Brock Osweiler at Jon Gruden’s QB Camp

How Can NFL Officiating Be Improved?

It seems we can’t have a single high-profile or prime-time game go by this year without having a questionable call by the officials that gets scrutinized to death and debated as to whether or not that call should have been made and, if not, that it decided the game.

The latest one was in last night’s game between the Packers and the Lions, in which the Packers attempted an endless lateral that led to the Lions’ Devin Taylor tackling Aaron Rodgers, but Taylor getting flagged for grabbing the face mask. On the next play, Rodgers completed a Hail Mary pass for the winning touchdown.

It’s not the only high-profile game to have a debated call, but it’s only compounding the narrative that officiating has gotten worse. There have been multiple suggestions about how to solve issues with officiating, but most of them tend to be reactionary or not understanding all the facts. Let’s go over a few things:
Continue reading How Can NFL Officiating Be Improved?

Midweek Musings: Chargers’ Real Issues Aren’t On Offense

Hello, Bronco fans! It feels good to know your Broncos are 9-2 and have beaten a bonafide playoff contender, doesn’t it? But as we all know, the work isn’t done yet and the Broncos face an opponent that has struggled this season but it isn’t going to go away quietly.

The San Diego Chargers are 3-8 but not for the reasons you may think. It has nothing to do with the offense, even though the offensive line has been hit hard by injuries and most of the linemen have struggled. The only offensive lineman to have started all 11 games this season is Joe Barksdale, while all other linemen have missed multiple games with injuries. As things currently stand, D.J. Fluker did not practice Wednesday as he recovers from a concussion and King Dunlap was limited, after missing several games with an ankle injury.
Continue reading Midweek Musings: Chargers’ Real Issues Aren’t On Offense

Reviewing Brock Osweiler’s Draft Report

We get to witness Brock Osweiler starting more games while Peyton Manning is recovering his injuries. Scotty Payne from Mile High Report gathered various draft reports back in 2012, which you can read here. I want to go over some of the analysis and compare to the reports against what we’ve seen so far.

Continue reading Reviewing Brock Osweiler’s Draft Report

Jason Fitzgerald On Brock Osweiler’s Contractual Future

This will certainly look familiar to those of you aware of the Broncos’ upcoming offseason obstacles:

Many outside of Denver did not know who Osweiler was going into the season. The fourth-year pro had thrown a total of 30 passes as Manning’s backup. Osweiler, Denver’s second-round pick in 2012, seemed destined to follow the path of many backups — a short-term deal for around $3.5 million a season with hopes to score a starting job in the future.

But two games into his starting career, visions of that type of contract are gone. […] Now, [the Broncos] probably see Osweiler as deserving of a contract similar to Nick Foles’ $12.2 million per year extension with the Rams.

Osweiler turns 26 in 2016, and if he finishes the year with a 6-1 or 5-2 record as a starter, he will have no reason to take that type of offer from Denver.

I’ll save my own detailed take for the end of the Broncos’ season.  That is because, as much as this has drastically changed in just three weeks, it could drastically change once again depending on future games.  As much as we don’t want it in the short term, if Osweiler throws up a couple of dud games and/or the Broncos go one and done in the playoffs, his value could easily cool back down to the Nick Foles range.

I do want to make a comment about Von Miller, however.  It’s clear that the Broncos would be best served to hammer out an extension with him sooner rather than later if they can model it close to the value of Justin Houston’s extension.  But if Jason is correct in that Miller can leverage his way into Ndamukong Suh money on the open market, the Broncos will have to take a long, hard look into how much is simply too much to retain Miller.

Mathis, Ware Practicing; Several Others Not

Some good news for the Broncos on the injury front: DeMarcus Ware practiced Wednesday after missing three straight games with a back injury, and Evan Mathis practiced, despite playing through an ankle injury in the New England game.

Louis Vasquez, T.J. Ward and Sylvester Williams did not practice. Neither did Peyton Manning, who is still wearing his walking boot. It’s been a week since Peyton started wearing the boot, and if he continues to wear it through the next week, that’s a sign he’ll be inactive for that much longer.

ETA: Some clarification regarding Peyton Manning: