The NFL news keeps chugging along. The teams have opened their facilities – not completely – but staff is back in place to do work in the building. The Broncos have resumed work at UC Health Training Center, but with new rules in place.
I like seeing the NFL get things on track. While there are going to be no in-person minicamp or OTAs this year, it does look like the league will be able to start training camps on time in late July. I expect that fans will not be able to attend, but nothing has yet been confirmed. I look forward to attending training camp in person, so long as the media is allowed access, as things get to a new normal across the country.
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.
Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay will still be involved in the team’s passing game despite the offseason signing of veteran running back Melvin Gordon, according to new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
“Listen, I’m all for adding good players at every position,” Shurmur said last Thursday in a Zoom media conference call. “I feel like Phillip Lindsay’s an outstanding player (who) we can hand the ball to or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now (who) can be very explosive with the ball in their hands, whether you throw it or run it, I think is a good thing.”
Shurmur is correct, but the main thing he said in his press conference has to do with placing both backs in the backfield at the same time. Doing this with two No. 1 running backs is quite rare in the NFL. Yes, there are plenty of teams who utilize running-back-by-committees, but those regularly feature “specialists” at the position who can do one thing well.
The Broncos join only the Cleveland Browns (Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt) by my count as the only teams who could have two No. 1 running backs on the field at the same time. They would do this to make opposing defenses declare in heavy or base formations. Once that occurs, the Broncos could have one of those backs move out to line up in the slot and run routes. It’s good to hear that Shurmur is looking at many ways to utilize this unique backfield.
The fate of the Broncos is in the hands of second-year quarterback Drew Lock. Everyone around the country, and certainly in Broncos Country, wants to know how Lock is picking up the new offense during this virtual offseason.
That was the main question around the young quarterback as we entered the offseason at the beginning of the calendar year. Now, halfway through the year things sound pretty good in that department.
Earlier this week, Shurmur gave us a clue as to how Lock’s doing. Lock has left the veteran offensive coordinator “very impressed” this offseason with his ability to “keep up with the (offensive) installations.”
“I think he’s got a really good feel for the game. He’s developing a good feel for what we want to do. If the rumor is true that he’s throwing to our players, I think he’s learning something there. We’ll just try to put it all together here come July,” Shurmur said.
Lock has a tremendous work ethic and we’re seeing that this offseason. Sure, teams are not having OTAs or minicamp, but Lock has taken it upon himself to get teammates together and run the full offense in workouts.
The schedule for the Broncos is rough, so this team needs to get off to a hot start. After the momentum built at the end of last year with Lock going 4-1 as a starter, that’s a good possibility for the team this year – especially with Lock organizing workouts and progressing well in his knowledge of the Shurmur system.
Don’t Forget the Defense
Everyone is always talking about the Broncos offense and the multitude of weapons added this offseason. While doing that, the defense has been somewhat overlooked in conversations – especially players who were already here but coming back from injury in 2020. Earlier this week, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell gave us updates on a couple of those key defenders.
Bradley Chubb (knee) should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to Donatell. The team should use Chubb as the primary pass-rusher this year. Some have concerns about Chubb only getting 1.0 sack last year in four games before he got hurt. However, in 2018 as a rookie Chubb had only 1.5 sacks after four games yet ended that season with 12.0 sacks. That’s the number I feel is fair to project him for (12-15 sacks) in 2020.
Veteran cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) is running at full speed and should be ready for the start of training camp, also according to Donatell. Nobody knows what to truly expect from Callahan as we’ve barely seen him suit up for the Broncos – never in a game and barely in practice/minicamp/training camp in 2019. Callahan has performed well as a slot corner during his pro career but has never played a full 16-game season. Let’s see if he can make that happen this year with the Broncos.
Miles Morales Live-Action Movie Coming?
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love comic books. Along with my lifelong love of comic books, I also love video games. While our recent “Madden” tournament has caused me to retire from that game, there are plenty of other video games I will be playing from time to time.
My worlds collided earlier this week when the Playstation 5 was showcased in a video preview from Sony. In addition to a new video game featuring Morales, there is now speculation that live-action movie is going to be in the near future. As a comic book collector, and fan or the Morales character, I’m incredibly intrigued by this possibility.
Reaction & Breakdown!
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) June 11, 2020
How excited would you be about a new Spiderman live-action movie featuring Miles Morales? Hit me up on social media and let me know!
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