ENGLEWOOD—No one is sure if the Broncos are going to be any good this year.
But it’s quite certain they have the most unique set of captains in the National Football League.
On the defensive side, there is Aqib Talib and Von Miller.
Everybody loves Aqib. Everybody loves Von. They are wonderfully, one-of-a-kind guys. But neither exactly has the prototype captain personalities.
“I didn’t even vote for myself,’’ Miller said Wednesday after getting the nod in a vote by his teammates. “Just came in and tried to be the same Von that I’ve always been and it opened up for me.’’
Miller’s captainship, by the way, is an enormous marker for how far he’s come since 2013. Besides a six-game suspension to start that season, Miller discovered the hard way speeding tickets are to be taken seriously.
“After my first year and second year I think I know everything,’’ Miller said in an interview for the book, “The 50 Greatest Players in Denver Broncos History,’’ which will be available in November. “And then 2013 happened and I go from being the next Golden Boy to a totally different position.
“When I got suspended, where I was at in my career, nobody could help me right there. It was dependent on me. I had been on teams and I had been in situations that had stuff happen, but I had never been in a situation where it was totally dependent on me.
“It’s different in college but in the National Football League and you’re suspended, it’s like a death sentence. It was like, ‘He’s done.’
“You look at the history and to be injured (torn ACL) and suspended in the same year, it doesn’t really pick back up like it should. I wasn’t going to let that to happen to me.’’
The Broncos’ 2017 captains are far reserved on the offensive side. Demaryius Thomas is as quite as they come. Trevor Siemian is the quarterback so of course he’s the leader.
But he’s a calm, collected sort whose idea of a rah-rah speech would be, “What daya say guys.”
“Unreal honor,’’ Siemian said. “It’s really cool. With the respect that I have for the locker room, it’s cool to see they have some respect for me. We’re just a couple of guys that got named but we have so many leaders in the locker room it’s really cool to be a part of.’’
And finally, the captain of the special teams is a kicker, Brandon McManus. All the football players in the room and a kicker is voted captain. That doesn’t happen too often.
McManus is really good, though, and that’s what these captains have in common: They’re the best at what they do. Therefore, the others will follow.