Seven days ago, the Broncos concluded a full game week of preparation that mimicked the regular season. Tonight, the Broncos head into the preseason finale against Arizona with starters on the bench, only two days of practice instead of the normal three and the emphasis back on evaluation rather than a regular-season-like schedule.
To that end, assistant head coach/defense Jim Bates said that he’ll take things back to the basics. He said earlier in the preseason that base schemes allow him and his defensive coaches to better gauge the players on the field. With the starters on the sideline and some roster positions still for the taking, evaluation has again become the priority.
“What we want to see is progress,” Bates said. “We still have some roster spots available. Defense and special teams — it’s going to come down to this game for a lot of guys, because they’re still close.”
This is a curious week at Dove Valley, as two separate but vital tasks overlap. For the reserves and those on the roster bubble, Thursday night’s game could represent one of the most crucial evenings of their professional lives. For the starters and those whose place on the team is assured, their minds are on the Buffalo Bills.
“We aren’t at full-game week planning,” Bates said, “but as far as getting a feel for Buffalo does, we’re well into that.”
Which led me to ask Bates one final question — which team had he studied more on tape, the Bills or the Cardinals?
“Buffalo,” he said with a grin.
RANDOM NOTE …
Like many in this state, I’m from somewhere else. I’ve become quite fond of Colorado, but I certainly hope that banning tag at a school in the Springs isn’t reflective of the values of this state. I played tag, dodge ball and its more unruly cousin “battleball” and I turned out perfectly fine after only three and a half years of therapy.
JUST ONE MORE THING …
In a blog entry earlier this week, BuckinBroncoFan wanted to know who would comprise my 53-man roster. I replied with some blather about how, as a team employee, I ought not offer an opinion on the matter.
Lame, I know.
But who do you think will be the top 53? Feel free to share your predictions on the roster in the comment section below.
Time to pack the laptop, the recorder, the binoculars and headphones and go to the stadium … I’ll talk to you again from there. Until then, vaya con Dios.