They had seen pictures. They had heard a variety of different reviews.
On Friday, the Broncos got a first look at themselves in their 1960 retro uniforms.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels had the players practice in the new colors, getting them accustomed to the threads before Sunday’s Legacy Game against the Patriots. The full ensemble included the yellow jerseys, vertically striped yellow and brown socks, brown pants a brown helmet with numbers instead of a logo.
Ronald Fields was one of the first Broncos to try on the new look and his reactions were mixed.
“I don’t even know what to think anymore,” Fields laughed. “I thought our colors were blue, man. What’s up with this brown?”
Looking at the vertically striped socks, Matt Prater said the uniforms would add something fun to Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
“They’re pretty flashy,” Prater said of the socks. “I feel like a bumble bee in them but it’s different and it shouldn’t affect the game too much. You just play the game the same way and look a little different this time.”
SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE
Head Coach Josh McDaniels is six months shy of his 34th birthday.
As the second youngest head coach in the NFL, his age has at times sparked awe amongst some. For McDaniels, there is less value attached to his age and more value attached to the message he is delivering to his players.
“I learned a long time ago in this league that if you are telling them something that is going to help them win, help the team win, help them play better than what they have played before — that everyone of them in that room will listen to you,” he said.
Winning only helps establish that principle. Through four games, McDaniels has placed himself in a pair of exclusive classes. He and Red Miller are the only two coaches in Broncos history to start their career with a 4-0 record. Miller went 6-0 in 1977, leading Denver to a 12-2 record and an AFC Championship.
McDaniels is also only one of six rookie head coaches in the NFL to go 4-0 since the 2000 season. That group includes current Colts coach Jim Caldwell, who has Indianapolis standing as the only other AFC team besides Denver with a 4-0 start.
Caldwell turned 54 in January, demonstrating that two decades of separation in the age column does not equal separation on the football field.
“If you can lead and you can communicate and you understand the game and how the National Football League works and you can prepare your team and get them ready to play good football and win, who is to say what that age is?” McDaniels said. “I certainly am not going to put an age restriction on that. Somebody certainly could be much younger than I and be as ready as I am to go as I am or somebody else, for that matter.”
After setting Broncos rookie records with 91 catches and 980 yards a year ago, Eddie Royal has drawn one thing from opposing defenses — attention.
That attention has not stopped Royal and Kyle Orton from forming a great relationship in a complicated offense.
“We have worked extremely hard, and Eddie is one of those guys that stays after practice every day to run routes and make sure he is doing everything that I want him to do,” Orton said. “He has worked hard. We would love to get him the ball more. Maybe this will be the week.”
Four games into the 2009 season, Royal has eight catches for 58 yards. He’s added 84 yards on punt returns and 64 yards on kickoff returns, hurdling him over the 200 all-purpose yards mark.
While Orton said that defenses have had their eye on the speedster, he does not see that eye winning out in the long run.
“They have done a great job of making sure they know where he is at and relating to him and trying to take him away,” Orton said. “But Eddie is the type of guy that can beat double-coverage. He can beat single-coverage. Whatever they do, he should have an answer for him.”
There was one change to the Broncos’ Week 5 Injury Report on Friday. After not participating in Wednesday or Thursday’s practice, Brian Dawkins was a limited participant on Friday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. There were no changes on the Patriots side, but running back Fred Taylor is listed as out for Sunday’s game.
– Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com