Denver Broncos: Fanzone interview with Graham Tiedtke

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the fans after a 23-0 victory against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the fans after a 23-0 victory against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos Fanzone interviews are back for another season. This week, I sit down with Predominantly Orange writer Graham Tiedtke.

We are finally back Broncos Country. Your Denver Broncos are ready to kick off the 2018 season. The season opener is against the Seattle Seahawks. They are a familiar opponent as the two teams faced off in the old AFC West.

Of course, they are also the team responsible for the 2013 season ending in a nightmare. After an amazing season that saw many offensive records broken, it was a defensive team that denied Denver their third Lombardi for two more years.

Both teams struggled last season. Now Denver and Seattle want to get back to the playoffs. But first, they will need to get past each other. Denver goes into this game with the bigger questions. How will the team do with Case Keenum? Will the defense become a solid threat again? How does the running game look?

All very important questions that can at least shine some light with this game. We are less than 48 hours away from kickoff and we could not be any more excited.

Since 2015, I have ran the Denver Broncos Fanzone interviews. Plenty of fans, writers, and radio/podcast hosts have been on this platform. I am proud to announce that it is back for another season.

For the first game of the 2018 season, I sat down with Graham Tiedtke. You know him as one of our writers here at Predominantly Orange. A pretty solid first guest for the new season. Let’s talk Broncos!

The Denver Broncos are kicking off another season. How would you believe the offseason fared for them? Anything good? Any bad? What was your highlight to the offseason?

Let’s start off by talking about the decision of bringing back head coach Vance Joseph. The Broncos lost eight games in a row in 2017. By the sixth loss in a row, I thought the hiring of Joseph was a bad one. But bringing him back or another year, therefore giving him a chance to choose his own players is key.

I could not be happier with the additions on offense. The Broncos get the quarterback they need to succeed. He’s shown that he is a true leader. Despite his struggles in the early part of limited preseason action, he sure made wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders excited and relieved for the upcoming season.

The departure of cornerback Aqib Talib hurts. It hurts bad. He and Chris Harris Jr. were dominant. However, getting former first round pick Bradley Roby out there on the field and experienced is key. Yes, it’s going to take some time but he will improve and I’m excited to see his growth.

Definitely the addition of Keenum at quarterback was my highlight of the offseason. This allowed the Broncos to focus on other parts of the team and not have a quarterback competition hang over their heads like we saw last season.

This will be the first season in which there was no quarterback competition in a long time. What do you think Case Keenum brings to the table for the Broncos?

Passion. To be completely honest, that has been lacking at the quarterback position for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired.

I think that the experiences Keenum had last season in Minnesota will help him in Denver. I believe that he has better wide receivers to throw to now than he did with the Vikings.

Having a really good running back, in rookie Royce Freeman, is going to be an extremely important part of Keenum’s success. The better Freeman runs the football, the better Keenum should be because you have that balance and threat of “are they going to throw or are they going to run the football?”

As with everyone I have interviewed, I must ask this important question. What made you a Denver Broncos fan?

I attended the Denver Broncos training camp for the very first time back in 2003. Mike Shanahan was the head coach. My family drove over 1,000 miles to Denver from Winnipeg, Manitoba to go to training camp.

Back then, the handicapped fans were placed by the entrance of the facility. We got to see players, coaches, and other employees of the Broncos walking around and stopping to talk to us, take pictures and sign autographs.

As a ten-year old, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I got to meet a lot of players, including quarterback Jake Plummer, running back Mike Anderson, wide receiver Ashley Lelie, and my all-time favourite: cornerback Champ Bailey (in 2004, his first year with the team).

Tying in with that question, what would you say is your favorite Denver Broncos memory of all time?

It was either 2003 or 2004. We were at training camp and were informed that it was going to rain. We had met head coach Mike Shanahan earlier in the day, so he was aware that we were there. He came over to us and explained that they had to move practice indoors to their practice bubble.

When coach Shanahan approached my family and I, he told us to follow behind his vehicle.

He took us to the practice bubble. We were the only fans he let come. When we arrived, somebody who works there was very shocked that we were there and we had the pleasure of explaining how kind coach Shanahan was to invite my family and I. It’s certainly the most amazing Denver Broncos experience I’ve ever had; and I’ve had a lot!

Next. Bold Predictions for the 2018 Denver Broncos. dark

The Broncos get a tough first test against the Seattle Seahawks. What do you believe the team needs to do to get a win against a strong opponent?

The key to winning any matchup starts with containing the opposing team’s quarterback and running back(s).

With Russell Wilson at quarterback for the Seahawks, you worry about him not only passing the football, but also running with it.

On the offensive side of the ball, the key is to keep it in your possession. Seattle’s offense is bound to make a couple of plays against the Broncos’ defense, but if Case Keenum can throw some touchdowns and running back Royce Freeman has a strong day of running the football, that’s how I see the Broncos winning this game.

Go Broncos!!

Thank you Graham for taking part of this interview. Keep an eye out on some of Graham Tiedtke’s articles right here on Predominantly Orange.