Broncos Fanzone: Interview with Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fans cheer on their team from the stands during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Alright Broncos Country, we are 5-0. Nice place to be at, am I right? However, there are quite a few fans who are not thrilled. It is crazy that there are some that are not happy with the 5-0 start.

Instead of me taking a brief moment to discuss it, we are going to get right into this week’s edition of Broncos Fanzone. This week, I got to sit down with the awesome Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann. For those who do not know, she is an editor and featured writer over at Mile High Report.

So, as we sat down, the first thing we talked about is the questions surrounding Peyton Manning. He has been on full blast this week, with some even calling for him to be benched. I will put my two cents and say that is ridiculous. When I asked Laurie that question, she had even more to say.

“That’s the million-dollar question isn’t it? Actually, perhaps the $15 million one. I will give you a short and long answer to this. In short, Manning should not be benched and some people need to be silent when it comes to complaining about this team’s wins so far. Jake Plummer says it perfectly:”

“Now, for the long explanation. Since there are so many things to discuss in regards to Manning, I will break it down.”

Oct 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) gestures against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“Is he as good a quarterback as he used to be? No. But the great thing about that seems to be getting lost is that he does not have to be. With the defense taking the starting role, Manning and the offensive line have some time to get on the same page. His [Manning] struggles start with the offensive line, though he does need to do better with some of his reads.”

“Is Manning good enough to help his team win, especially in big games? Yes. In spite of many challenges, he is still able to engineer game winning drives and key third-down conversions to help the offense.”

“Manning is not putting up Star Wars numbers like in 2013, and in all seriousness, he won’t do it again. But by adding the defense we have this year is making a huge difference and allows us to celebrate the resurgence of the Orange Crush defense.”

“Manning should not be benched because he is leading the team to wins, no matter how ugly the wins are. Plus, throwing Brock Osweiler in when the team is 5-0 and there are other issues than the quarterback position is a bad call.”

All of the responses that Laurie have given me in regards to Manning have been on point. While he may not have the same stuff he did back in 2013, he is still getting the job done and that is leading the team to wins.

I believe this could be another edition of 2012 Manning, where he struggled and then excelled during the second half of the Monday night game against the Chargers.

When talking to Laurie about if Manning will adjust to the offense, she provides an interesting insight on the situation at hand.

Oct 4, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) looks to pass the ball during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

“I am sure Manning will improve. But adjusting to the offense is not a question for us to answer or speculate on, in my opinion. This one falls on Gary Kubiak to provide an offense that works on his team. And a major part of that is the quarterback. Kubiak and Manning need to adjust the offense period to fit what they can do as a team.”

“And for the love of Broncos football, get rid of the wide receiver screens, they are terrible.”

When talking about the offensive line, I asked Laurie what improvements you would like to see from them. Again, she provides us with some great insight that even myself as a writer would not have thought about.

“What I did not expect was the moving around at this point in the season. The Patriots may be able to rotate frequently, but it seems like something you do with a veteran group. That is not us – at least not right now.”

“I am in favor of Evan Mathis on board and I think Ty Sambrailo has showed some incredible poise as a rookie, Michael Schofield is doing really well in the starting lineup. However, there is no more time for these guys to get a feel for the scheme. Communication must get down and the lineup needs to stay healthy.”

Sep 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Evan Mathis (69) and Denver Broncos tackle Louis Vasquez (65) watch from the sidelines during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Cardinals won 20-22. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

“For the record again, we DO NOT NEED 55 touchdowns and should not act like we do. Given our blood thirsty defense as straight-through-the-uprights field goals from Brandon “McMoney”, we just need to produced sustained drives that constantly end in scores.”

Great points Laurie. I do also believe that the offensive line needs to be up to speed at this point of the season. Hopefully that will start when the Broncos take on the Cleveland Browns this weekend.

Speaking of the Browns, I asked Laurie what her favorite moment between those two teams are. She answers the question with a simple “hands down.”

“The Drive. I will never forget that AFC Championship Game. I was watching the game with a group of high school friends and that 98-yard drive over five minutes was perhaps the longest Broncos drive of my life, and second most rewarding.”

Laurie reveals to me that her most rewarding Broncos moment was when John Mobley’s stop to seal the Broncos first Super Bowl win. But The Drive was definitely something else.

When it comes to this weekend’s game, I asked Laurie what she believes will be the biggest difference in the game.

“It needs to be the run game. If that still isn’t clicking (which really has to soon), then its Peyton Manning hitting his targets so the Browns can’t stay in the game. If the offense can consistently score, there is no way the Browns will be able to keep up, even if the Broncos score more field goals than touchdowns.”

Very true Laurie. That Broncos running game needs to get going and this would be a great game to do so. The Browns rushing defense is next to last in the league. So, we are looking at you C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. Make it count.

Oct 4, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

So Laurie, what is your prediction for the game on Sunday? What does she believe will be the final score of the game?

“As much as I would love to see it, I never predict blowouts. I’ve been a fan too long to know that we just love close games. I also never predict losses even if it seems likely. Just seems wrong to go with reality over fandom.”

“Luckily, I do not see a Browns upset here. Although I do anticipate a close game with a lot of growing pains showing their ugly heads. But I will say Broncos 24 Browns 13.”

Love it Laurie. And thank you for taking the time out to sit down for the interview. If you want to see what Laurie has been working on, follow her on Twitter and read up on some of her articles on Mile High Report! Go Broncos!