Refreshing energy and optimism emerges in Broncos Country
Denver Broncos and fans find rejuvenated energy and optimism under the new coaching staff and led by their new franchise-caliber quarterback.
The general consensus regarding the Denver Broncos post-Peyton Manning and the winning of Super Bowl 50 in the NFL, and unfortunately an opinion shared by most of Broncos Country has been a hard one to swallow. Descriptions like boring, irrelevant, below average, and subpar have been used frequently.
The optimism at the onset of each season has been high, and why wouldn’t it be? Denver has enjoyed a storied tradition of excellence, winning legacy, and standing among the top in the NFL for decades.
However, the corpses of losing season after losing season stacked atop one another have begun to spread rot and disease in the form of doubt and departure within Broncos Country.
As much as fans hate to lose, the players hate it just as much if not more. Men who have dedicated their lives to winning do not know how to want anything else. It is a sentiment shared by the entirety of Broncos Country as a whole.
As the Broncos album has spun on the turntable for the last six seasons, the needle has repeatedly skipped back to the same song over and over. It’s a terrible song, the kind you hate but just can’t get out of your head.
The lyrics carry on and on about bad coaching, poor game planning, and execution, below-average QBs and QB play, and an environment somewhat joyless and difficult to win in.
But now, it appears there is hope.
As the 2021 season drew to a close, second-year GM George Paton had enough of that terrible song on repeat and threw the album right out of the window. He put a new record on the turntable and lo and behold a new, pleasant song began to grace the ears of Broncos Country. The Hackett era in Denver has officially begun.
Nathaniel Hackett brings with him to Denver something that has been sorely lacking of late to the Broncos organization. On top of a brilliant football mind and a plethora of coaching experiences, Hackett brings a second to none energy and charisma to the program.
Seven-year veteran safety Justin Simmons who is now under his fourth HC since he was drafted in 2016 said of his new Head Coach:
"I am excited for training camp for the fans to see how much energy he has, it’s non-stop. I don’t know if he’s pounding Celsius drinks behind the scenes or what. It definitely bleeds over into the other rooms and it makes you happy to be here.Justin Simmons (quotes via Broncos PR)"
After bringing in a new Head man in Hackett, Paton made a lot of noise in the offseason. He signed multiple players in free agency and made some trades, all of which made the organization better and allowed him to enter the 2022 NFL Draft with very little positional needs to fill.
The blockbuster trade with Seattle for future Hall of Fame QB Russell Wilson however stands upon the mountaintop high above the rest.
Russell Wilson also brings an energy and charisma to Denver the likes of which have not been seen since Peyton Manning hung up his cleats in 2015. He is obsessed with football and has such an amazing mind for it that veteran linebacker Josey Jewell stated:
"He’s pretty much like a coach in the way he talks and the level of football knowledge and I.Q. that he has.Broncos LB Josey Jewell"
There is so much new optimism and energy in regards to the team, it is hard to relate all that there is to be excited about. At the forefront, though, it all begins and ends with the undisputed leaders of the team. The head coach and the quarterback.
With the energy and juice that Hackett and Wilson bring to the forefront of the organization, the culture has seen an apparent shift, and fans have a lot to be excited about.
Star WR Courtland Sutton spoke on the new energy in the building in a press conference in mid-April where he was quoted saying:
"It’s Russ plus Coach Hackett, the new coaching staff, everyone is bringing that new juice and that new energy into the building. I think everyone is buying into it and understanding what the standard is.Broncos WR Courtland Sutton"
Sutton went on to say:
"The juice is just different. I wasn’t around when Peyton was here but from what I’m hearing, everyone that was here when Peyton was here, the juice and the energy is pretty similar. Knowing that we have a guy that has been at the top of that mountain before, has won a Super Bowl before, does know what it’s like to be at the highest level for his position, and to lead a team to a Super Bowl. I think everyone in the building understands the expectation, the standards are being raised to everyone’s best.Courtland Sutton"
In an interview with Broncos Country Connected’s Alexis Perry, newly drafted Rookie Edge Nik Bonitto shed some light on why he was so excited to be joining the Broncos.
"Just the energy and excitement they had. It was unmatched wherever else I’ve been, and you know just the family atmosphere in the building. It was just much different and just you can just tell just walking around the building that it was a very different place than a lot of the places I have been.Broncos rookie Nik Bonitto (via Broncos YouTube)"
It is blatantly obvious that the players have truly bought into the new culture of the Denver Broncos, and the fans in Broncos Country seem to be sipping the exact same Kool-Aid.
It just feels like things have finally turned a corner with the way that the organization is run, the energy in the organization is at a precipice, and the optimism that all those in Broncos Country feel is palpable.
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While much remains to be seen until the team actually takes to the field, there is one thing that Broncos Country can agree upon; We have not been this ready or this excited for a new season in a very long time. and that is refreshing, to say the least.