THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Even though the Broncos fell just short of the postseason, it’s still playoff time in the NFL, and that means that players, coaches and fans are excited.
The Broncos’ excitement is certainly tempered, by Brandon Stokley said he can’t help but to watch some of this weekend’s matchups.
“I am a football fan,” he said. “I love football. I love watching the playoffs. I will be cheering for Indy.”
Stokley used to play for the Indianapolis Colts, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re going up against the San Diego Chargers.
Jay Cutler, on the other hand, said his TV won’t be tuned in to any playoff football.
“I won’t watch them,” he said. “No interest in it.”
RUNNING BACK BY COMMITTEE
This season, the Broncos saw as many as seven different running backs start a game. That’s an absurd amount for any team, but the Broncos continued to find ways to get some production on the ground week-in and week-out.
“I think it’s hard for backs to get a rhythm if they’re not in there every week and taking all the reps every week,” Chris Kuper said. “I think those guys did a great job, though, coming in.”
The team ranked No. 12 in the league in rushing offense with just over 116 yards per contest.
With so many talented backs emerging and then getting injured for Denver this season, the Broncos will have some tough decisions to make come the start of the 2009 campaign.
Ryan Harris for one didn’t know which way the coaches would go, and joked about his odds of picking the right answer when asked to choose who would be next year’s starter.
“I don’t know, you’ve got a one-in-12 chance, right?” he said with a laugh. “Take those odds if you want, but I’m not picking anything.”
It looks like Denver’s draft position is all set — No. 12.
The Broncos were one of five teams to end the regular season at 8-8. One of the five — San Diego — is eliminated from the conversation because the Chargers are in the playoffs. That leaves the Broncos, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins all tied for the same draft spot.
The tiebreaker formula is all about strength of schedule — the team with the easiest strength of schedule in terms of opponent records gets the earlier draft pick. Out of the four, the Broncos (117-139) played the easiest schedule, and therefore will draft in the No. 12 position. The Redskins will draft 13th, the Saints 14th and the Texans 15th. The Chargers’ draft position will be determined by their results in the post season.
Denver has had some recent success with the No. 12 pick — Ryan Clady was picked in that spot in the 2008 NFL Draft, and he went on to start all 16 games at left tackle, only allowing a half a sack all season.
SIX FUTURE CONTRACTS
The Broncos on Monday signed six players to future contracts.
Defensive tackle Matthias Askew, guard Mitch Erickson, wide receiver Jayson Foster, defensive tackle Ryan McBean, cornerback Rashod Moulton and wide receiver Matt Willis officially will be added to Denver’s roster at the conclusion of the 2008 NFL season in February. All six players finished the year on the Broncos’ practice squad.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com