Denver Broncos Preseason No. 1: The First Impression

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a play in the fourth quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a play in the fourth quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos coaches and players must impress the fans in their first look to viewing public as they look to tame the Chicago Bears tomorrow.

The Denver Broncos face the Chicago Bears in the first preseason game in hopes of putting together everything they learned in Training Camp. A lot has changed in the last 8 to 10 months. The Broncos find themselves with a new head coach and staff to run the team. Vance Joseph is now the man to lead these men back to the Super Bowl. It all begins tomorrow.

Furthermore, the Broncos begin this season heading back to its “roots” on offense. Joseph impressed John Elway and company with the staff in mind. One such coach is familiar to Broncos fans: Mike McCoy. McCoy orchestrated an offense led by Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton and Peyton Manning. In each of these McCoy schemes, he utilized the talent of every player on the roster.

Another offense coach is tasked with making the offensive line turn back the clock to the mid 90s for stellar play. Jeff Davidson is regarded as one of the best to teach the position. His illustrious career is versatile coaching a different group of players. Most notably, Davidson coached with the Minnesota Vikings for five seasons from 2011-2015.

In that span, the Vikings led the NFL in average per carry with 4.92. It is this type of success that could see vast improvement in 2017. A good first impression from the offense, which struggled a year ago, is always a solid foot forward to better success this year.

Lastly, the defense encountered some shakeup at defensive coordinator. While the impressions are good in Training Camp so far, new coach Joe Woods is tasked for making great first statement Thursday. All the Broncos defensive players love playing with Woods. In fact, the team gave Woods a ringing endorsement to replace Wade Phillips. There appears to be no slowing down the “No Fly Zone” and “Orange Rush” anytime soon.

It is the players’ turn.

Coaches want to make a good impression, but so do the players. Offensively, the Broncos enter camp with the same quarterbacks from a year ago. Problem is Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch do not appear to be separating themselves from the pack. Plus, depending on who to ask, there seems to be a bias as to who should start. Stupid, right?

However, this makes the first preseason game against the Bears very critical to see where each quarterback lies in game action. Siemian needs to take chances down the field and use his feet, while Lynch must prove he is gamer as he has done throughout his collegiate career.

There needs to be separation from Bennie Fowler, Jordan Taylor and Cody Latimer. Despite the struggles in camp, Carlos Henderson is an interesting player to watch for versus the Bears. This might be the game where Henderson breaks out of his slumber.

Latimer is an incredible gunner and special teamer. Listed as starter on kickoffs, Latimer needs to show improvement there heading into tomorrow. The wild card  for the number three wide receiver spot is a player who is already making an impression a punt returner. Isaiah McKenzie’s speed and shiftiness makes him a nightmare to defend.

Once the route running is there, McKenzie will be a problem for any corner.  Latimer, Taylor and Fowler will vie for that number three wide receiver, but do not be shocked if the Broncos sprinkle in McKenzie in the Bears game early.

Now comes the running backs. CJ Anderson, once out of shape, is performing in camp and looking sharp. New signee Jamaal Charles is being groomed to resume play and will make an impact sooner rather than later. There is another Henderson making the rounds of impressions in camp. DeAngelo Henderson is listed at 5’7 200+ pounds and can withstand punisnment. DeAngelo Henderson might be a player to keep an eye out for tomorrow night. The running back position is shaping up to be one of the more intriguing positional battles in camp now with emergence of Stevan Ridley.

Both the offensive line and tight ends are dying to make an impact in the preseason. This is a huge time for the offensive line to prove the signing of Ronald Leary and Menelik Watson were worth the money.

Meanwhile, Virgil Green is on the last leg of his deal. We know what players do in a contract year. They play exceptionally well to earn the big money. For Green, Jeff Heuerman and AJ Derby they each need to separate themselves to show the coaches who is the true focal point tight end. If not, Gary Barnidge come on down.

As stated earlier, the defense is in a change at defensive coordinator. Still, the defense is in tact for at least five more years and is in the best shape since 2015. The first impression of the defense comes from upfront. All signs are pointing to an upgraded defensive line this year that bodes well for a more cohesive and scary team on that side of the ball.

Next: Connor McGovern Could Be Biggest Offseason Surprise

Zach Kerr, Domata Peko are the new free agents, but Tyrique Jarrett and Kyle Peko look to put their stamp as the future. Jarrett is garnering rave reviews about his size and immobility in a pile. This is a great step before preseason. Tomorrow is key to show this talent against the Bears.

Tomorrow officially kicks off Broncos football and all of us are ready to see what first impressions are in store for preseason number one.