If the Denver Broncos are to become one, the weaker half must get stronger.
As was evident both in their Super Bowl 50 run two years ago and slump to playoff-missing, 9-7 record last year, the Broncos’ stronger half is their bully-filled defense.
For the offense to fight back, it needed not only better talent and execution, but added muscle and a renewed attitude.
“We go out there and our main objective is to agitate the defense,’’ veteran tight end Virgil Green said of the daily offense vs. defense work during the Broncos’ organized team activities (OTAs). “We want to go out there and get them all hot and bothered and get our confidence rolling. I believe that is our objective and try to agitate those guys.”
What say you, Aqib Talib? It reached a point last year where the Denver D got so tired of carrying the offense, it didn’t want to hear it.
When Russell Okung, the Speech Maker, stood up in front of the room following the Broncos’ 16-3 loss to the New England that essentially doomed Denver’s season, Talib shouted him down. Okung’s sin was he was played the pivotal left tackle position for the side that managed just 3 points to bring the entire team down to defeat.
And as a well-spoken, intelligent, team union rep, Okung was not about to make his first speech of the season. Enough.
Not surprisingly, Okung moved on to play for the rival Chargers as they move to Los Angeles. The Broncos, meanwhile, are revamping their offense in the preferred style of former Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy.
There is more offensive attitude in Denver this year thanks to the upfront additions of left tackle Garett Bolles, left guard Ron Leary and right tackle Menelik Watson, and there are more passes slinging from shotgun-positioned quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
“This offense is a lot of fun to play in,’’ said tight end Jeff Heuerman. “There are motions all over the place … We’ve been throwing a lot since we got here in April.’’
The Broncos’ offense ranked 16th in 2015, 27th last year, while the defense was No. 1 and No. 4. It’s a long way to even. But as Green puts it, at least the offense has started to agitate the bullies now and then.
“The defense knows there’s a lot of different formations they have to see, a lot of different pass routes that we’re running,’’ Green said. “The play-action looks just like the run, so the defense can’t just sit there and tee off on us. There are a lot of things they have to think about before and after we snap the ball.”