Broncos Fanzone: Interview with Leora Ruzin


Nov 1, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fans arrive before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in another installment of this long-standing rivalry on Sunday afternoon at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. They will be looking to complete the season sweep of the Chiefs and continue this long streak of wins against their rivals.

The Broncos have not lost to the Chiefs since Peyton Manning has joined the team in 2012. The Broncos will also be looking to even the series all time between these two teams with a win. Not to mention the Broncos will look to rebound after a tough loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

For this edition of the Broncos Fanzone, I interviewed Leora Ruzin. She is currently a reporter for the website NFL Female. She was also a former colleague of mine here at Predominantly Orange. She is quite the Broncos fan as well.

I start off by asking Leora what played an impact in the Broncos loss to the Colts. I am sure we can all agree to what she has to say.

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) scores a touchdown against Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart (26) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Denver 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

“Everyone is blaming Aqib Talib for going full-on Three Stooges on Dwayne Allen or blaming Manning for throwing the two interceptions. Granted, they altered the outcome, but not the sole reason. For the first time this season, it was the defense that played the biggest role in the Broncos losing.”

“The defense committed numerous penalties and played without any semblance of discipline. They were weak in converting the pass, didn’t cause any turnovers, and did not get to Andrew Luck. They were not the saviors they have been on countless times this season.”

Agreed Leora. For a unit that is number one in a lot of major categories, they sure did not look like it. And it seemed like it was getting to them mentally and it caused them to make some silly mistakes. Hopefully they learned some discipline this week in practice.

For the second time this season, Demarcus Ware will miss time due to a back injury. I asked Leora who she believes could step up in his absence. There is only one name that comes to mind, which everyone is starting to see what he can do.

“Shaquil Barrett has proven to be a quality backup in Ware’s absence. He is hungry and eager to secure his place on the team and has the stamina to stay in the game for a good chunk of time. I expect to see great production out of him over the next few weeks while we patiently wait for Ware’s return.”

Great answer Leora. I interviewed Barrett before the season began and I could tell he was ready to take that next step towards making a big impact on the Broncos, and he has certainly done that.

Omar Bolden provided a spark during the Colts game, returning a punt 83 yards for the touchdown. With his return, I asked Leora if the return game found their answer with Bolden.

Aug 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety Omar Bolden (31) poses for a selfie with a fan before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

“Bolden has been making quite a name for himself and it finally showed on Sunday. I was never keen on Emmanuel Sanders returning punts. While Sanders is fast, Bolden has that stout and is capable of shaking off defenders with his brute strength. With Sanders having a target on his back, I think Bolden works in the long term.”

Could not agree more Leora. I was not a huge fan of Sanders back there once the injuries started popping up. The shoulder and ankle injuries that he sustained in the past couple weeks had me concerned about him returning full time. So, the fact that Bolden showed us what he could do on Sunday makes me really optimistic.

Looking ahead to the Chiefs, the Broncos have had such a long standing rivalry with each other. I asked Leora what her favorite moment between the two teams was. She has quite the story for us.

“I have been to more Chiefs games than I can count. Now that I am no longer in Denver, I make it a point to fly every year to see the Broncos and Chiefs game with my friend Madison. It has been tradition we started while living in Denver, and has continued even though I no longer live there.”

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Owens (20) and strong safety Eric Berry (29) stop Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) near the goal line in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

“Perhaps my favorite moment was when the Broncos beat the Chiefs in the divisional round in 1997. I was living in Kansas City at the time, but visiting family in Denver. The game was playing while I was traveling home, but lost reception halfway through the flight, so I was uncertain who had won.”

“I was decked out in my Broncos gear and got off the flight and was getting the dirtiest looks. At that moment, I knew the Broncos had won. On my way to my car, my Broncos decorated vehicle was keyed up on the sides and the windows were busted. My insurance covered it and I was happy. The Broncos ended up winning their first Super Bowl.”

Tragic on what happened to your car, but very interesting way to find out about a victory. That was the biggest win against the Chiefs. The win led them to a Super Bowl victory a few weeks later.

Speaking of the Chiefs, I asked Leora how she thinks the game will go and if she has any bold predictions.

“Had the Broncos beaten the Colts, I would be more confident in my response. However, I do have some trepidations. Our defense is suffering from injuries and a broken spirit. The offense is struggling with consistency in the run game and now the Broncos have acquired the “thug stigma.”

“Of course I want the Broncos to win (especially since I am going to be at the game) and I am confident we will will get the victory. But I do not think it will be easy.”

Next: Taurean Nixon makes effective use of down time

Final Score: Broncos 24 Chiefs 21 (F/OT)

“My bold prediction is that Vernon Davis will score not one, but two touchdowns. I know it is crazy, but that is what makes bold predictions super fun. Go Broncos!”

Great prediction Leora. If you want to read any of her pieces, follow the link here. And be sure to take a look at NFL Female. Thank you for the time Leora.

Join us next week in the next installment of Broncos Fanzone interviews. Go Broncos!