The Denver Broncos, for the first time in franchise history, have unveiled an alternate white helmet that will be worn twice in the 2023 season. The helmet itself is unquestionably one of the coolest uniform modifications any NFL team made over the course of the 2023 offseason, which has included teams like the Seahawks, Vikings, Buccaneers, and Titans rolling out throwback uniforms.
Let's first discuss the helmet here. The helmet is outstanding. It's exactly as the Broncos described it: "Old school with a modern twist." I can't help but wonder if that's some foreshadowing about what's to come with the Denver Broncos uniforms, which could be getting an overhaul as soon as 2024...
Until that time, all we have to look at right now is this new alternate look, which will be the team's all-orange "Color Rush" uniforms and this white helmet.
If the Denver Broncos play well in these uniforms, that's all anyone really will care about. But in terms of the overall aesthetic and longevity of this look, it's simply not there. You can see in one of the photos the amount of white Pat Surtain II is trying to incorporate into the overall uniform with white long sleeves and long white socks as well as white shoes and gloves, but the orange is simply too loud. If the Broncos had done white pants with this, it would have at least been tolerable.
Unfortunately, this all seems to be an issue of timing. The Broncos' press release regarding this helmet seems to blame the NFL for the team only being able to wear these white helmets with the all-orange alternates:
"Featuring an all-white shell—a first in Broncos history—‘Snowcapped’ helmets will be worn only with the team’s all-orange alternate uniforms, per league requirements. The white shell and facemask pay homage to Colorado’s towering snowcapped mountain ranges."- Broncos PR
"...per league requirements."
The NFL requires that teams clear alternate uniform changes a year in advance, and the Broncos just hired new Team President Damani Leech (who would be in charge of such things) last August. Even if Leech had submitted a proposal to the NFL to do an alternate white version of this "Color Rush" uniform immediately upon being hired, he hasn't even been on the job for a calendar year yet.
So, timing may be the only reason why the Broncos are stuck with a helmet change (which apparently doesn't abide by the same rules as a full uniform) and not a full-on alternate uniform option, which would have been preferable. For the time being, Broncos fans who don't like this combination will have to settle for the team at least making headway in terms of this groundbreaking helmet, the first white helmet in the history of the team.
Would it have been worth waiting a year to unveil this helmet with white uniforms? I don't know if that's the case. Overall, this is just not a good uniform look for the team. The white lid on top of the all orange uniforms is barely better than the atrocious blue pants with the white top the team wore in 2023.
At the end of the day, this is exciting for the Denver Broncos. The team should be proud of the new helmet but the unfortunate rules from the NFL prevented this from being arguably the best alternate uniform design of the entire offseason. An all-white "color rush" style uniform with these helmets would have competed with the likes of the Titans' "Oilers" throwbacks and the Seahawks' 90s throwbacks.
Instead, we're left wanting more and waiting another year.