Each week during Broncos season, 9NEWS Denver Broncos Insider Mike Klis will answer your questions.
Do you have a question for Mike? Email Mike.Klis@9NEWS.com!
Do you see the Broncos making any moves at the Nov. 1st trade deadline? Have there been any trade rumblings to date?
Ben Morgan, Colorado Springs
Ben—Midseason trades don’t work in the NFL. Still, when John Elway is the general manager, there is always a chance the Broncos will try to swing a deal, anyway. There were several name players on the trading block last season, but only one trade was executed with Elway acquiring tight end Vernon Davis and a seventh-round draft pick from San Francisco in exchange for two, sixth-round selections.
Davis didn’t work out – he had just 20 catches for 201 yards with no touchdowns in 9 regular-season games and zero catches in three posteason games – in large part because he struggled to pick up the Broncos’ offense. Learning a new system is why midseason trades don’t happen, much less work.
The Broncos were also close to acquiring left tackle Joe Thomas in Cleveland last year but the deal fell through. It’s assumed the Browns’ new Moneyball executives would love to trade Thomas by 2 p.m. Nov. 1, but barring injury, the Broncos would not be in the market for him after they spent $11 million in combined 2016 money for Stephenson ($6 million) and Okung ($5 million).
Instead of Thomas, I can see the Broncos expressing interest in Browns’ tight end Gary Barnidge. To me, the Broncos’ greatest offensive need is a legitimate tight end receiving threat. But after the Davis’ deal didn’t work out last year – other than Elway sending a message to the locker room that the Broncos were all in their quest to win the Super Bowl – will they go there again?
Quick fixes are possible but more often, the best way for a team to get better is if its own players improve as the season goes along.
Ultimately who do you think will be the QB to take us to the playoffs if we can get back in track?
Bob Mares, Eagle, Idaho
Bob—Trevor Siemian. If he stays healthy, Siemian will be the Broncos’ quarterback through season’s end. The redshirt goes back over Paxton Lynch’s shoulder pads. But you’re not alone with your doubts, Bob. A quarterback in Siemian’s position will have to prove himself week after week until he gets a substantial body of work behind him.
I want to compliment you as one of the best NFL Reporters, and it seems like the O-line is the weakest team on the Broncos. Is there a fix with the current players?
Juan Carlos Vásquez, Honduran lifetime Broncos' fan from Texas.
Juan Carlos—Appreciate the kind words. The offensive line has received the most criticism among the Broncos’ position groups, but I have two explanations for them. The first is a combination of injuries to right tackle Donald Stephenson and tight end Virgil Green.
After missing three weeks with calf injuries, Stephenson and Green returned to play Thursday against San Diego, and the rust for both players was evident, especially Stephenson. They will both be better this week against Houston.
Two, no offensive line is going to look as solid playing in front of two young quarterbacks than it would with Peyton Manning making quick reads and throws. Siemian has played well for a first-year starter, but there are times when the ball comes out a split-second slower than it should. It comes out two split-seconds slow with Paxton Lynch at quarterback.
That’s how it is with all young quarterbacks.
Providing Okung (concussion) and center Matt Paradis (undisclosed) are able to recover from their injuries and play Monday night, I predict the Broncos will have their first 100-yard rushing performance from a single running back.
New England’s LaGarrette Blount had 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns against Houston and he’s rushed for 54, 37 and 50 yards since. Tennessee’s Demarco Murray had 95 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. Indianapolis went four seasons without a 100-yard rusher until Frank Gore went for 106 on Sunday night.
Either C.J. Anderson or Devontae Booker should go for 100 against the Texans.
Having been discussed in the football gathering on Thursday night and watching the debacle known as Broncos football, I have to ask: Is Peyton Manning masquerading as Trevor Siemian? Throws that can't go more than 3-4 yards? Check-down routes that go nowhere?
Super Bowl hangover? More like overinflated ego syndrome.
Chris—I assume you refer to the Peyton Manning of 2015, not 2013. Last year, Manning ranked 21st among NFL passers by averaging 11.4 yards per completion. Brock Osweiler was 16th at 11.6 yards per.
Siemian this year had ranked ninth in the league with 12.1 yards per completion through his 4-0 start. He dropped to 7.7 yards per completion last Thursday when he played with an injured left shoulder against San Diego. A quarterback with an injured left shoulder would figure to throw shorter. We all saw how his bum off shoulder negatively affected him on his roll left pass attempt and the game-ending Hail Mary.
As for your second point, overinflated ego is a symptom of a Super Bowl hangover. It’s a natural human conditions. It’s why there’s only been eight repeat champions in the Super Bowl’s 50-year history: 1966-67 Packers; 1972-73 Dolphins; 1974-75 Steelers; 1978-79 Steelers; 1988-89 49ers; 1992-93 Cowboys; 1997-98 Broncos and 2003-04 Patriots.
But the hangover is worse for Super Bowl losers. Check out Carolina and its 1-5 record after going 17-1 through the NFC playoffs last season.
We have been avid Bronco's fans since 1977 (that magical “Orange Crush” season) and have followed John & Gary's careers since they came into the league in 1983 as quarterbacks. As a matter of fact, we lived in Littleton for 27 years and when I retired in 1991 one of my retirement gifts was an old Bronco's style jacket signed on the right arm by John Elway & inside which says, "To Howard - My # 1 fan" ....
So as you can see we bleed Orange & Blue every Sunday (or whenever they are playing) and unfortunately we left the Denver area in 1996 but have continued to follow the team every time they play. One of Pat's best moves was to get John back with the Broncos. John seems to have a knack in picking good players (and no doubt has good scouts) and something he learned from his dear father Jack.
We look forward to "Klis' Notebook."
Howard & Carol Stephenson, Alliance, Nebraska
Howard & Carol—All those fans of Elway over the years and he ranks you as No. 1. Your letter initially pointed out Kyle Peko’s omission from the practice-squad roster and spurred the correction. Anyone who notices one of the last players on Elway’s roster has to be Elway’s No. 1 fan.
I noticed that Bennie Fowler was an honorary captain for Michigan State when they hosted Trevor Siemian's Northwestern Wildcats last Saturday during the Broncos' "mini-bye-week." Did Trevor attend, what does Bennie owe him and what are the implications of players flying the coop rather than staying in Denver to rehab, study film or otherwise prepare for the Texans?
Clark McCain in Chicago
Clark—Did you know my uncle, Bob Plaskas, was a Big Ten wrestling champ at Northwestern? You can look it up. Siemian did not attend the Northwestern-Michigan State last weekend because the game wasn’t in Evanston, Ill. No sense going on the road where you don’t catch up with all friends. NFL players always go back for a home game of their alma mater. There was no bet between Siemian and Fowler, luckily for Fowler.
And Bronco players exited town en masse last Friday for a couple of days of R & R. Coaches orders. These guys have been hanging out in a locker room together six or seven days a week for 12 consecutive weeks since late-July. Even on the best teams, guys get sick of each other. It’s healthy to get away.