FROM ENEMY TERRITORY….
The most encouraging thing I saw from last week’s preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks was the Broncos overall team attitude. They were the aggressors. They refused to be bullied.
In the Super Bowl, as much as I hate to admit it, it almost appeared that the Broncos were intimidated. At the very least, they lacked intensity.
Players like Terrance Knighton and Kevin Vickerson have made it clear throughout the offseason, that this team wasn’t going to suffer any tomfoolery.
With the additions of DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward, the team culture has changed. The mindset has changed. And so far, it has translated to the grass.
Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward (43) grabs the face mask of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Last Thursday, the Broncos won the battle in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. And we can only hope that they will maintain that edge. With “Boss” Ward in the defensive backfield, the Broncos will play smash-mouth.
The most concerning thing I saw was the terrible play of 2nd year pro, Vinston Painter. Coming out of Virginia Tech, Painter was a raw, athletic freak who oozed NFL potential.
He didn’t make the cut in 2013, but when he received outside interest from another team, the Broncos promoted him to the active roster.
I was hoping we’d see a marked improvement from him this year. He was flat out terrible last week, however.
Nov 17, 2012; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies tackle Vinston Painter (71) sits on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Virginia Tech Hokies won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Drafted to play tackle for the Broncos, Painter has been playing right guard throughout most of training camp and into preseason action. If last week was any indication, he’s not long for the NFL world.
I was hoping to avoid a Phillip Blake-caliber miss with Vinston Painter, but it’s not looking good.