Editor’s note: Denver’s preseason games at Chicago (8/9), vs. Seattle (8/18) and at Arizona (8/30) will be simulcast with Dave Logan (play-by-play) and Ed McCaffrey (color analyst) providing coverage for both television and radio broadcasts.
This season, Broncos’ fans will be able to tune in to one of their favorites. Former Broncos’ wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (EM) will be in the booth as the new color analyst with Dave Logan on all Broncos broadcasts on 850 KOA.
McCaffrey spent nine seasons with the Broncos (1995-2003) and now steps into a new role, replacing Brian Griese, who will have an increased workload at ESPN this football season.
850 KOA’s Dave Logan (DL), the Voice of the Broncos, and Dave Krieger (DK) spoke with Ed about his new position.
DL: Ed, welcome aboard.
EM: Thanks, guys. Dave, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to join you in the broadcast booth. I know you don’t need to hear it from me but you’re a true professional and hands down the best in the business. It is truly both an honor and a privilege to work alongside a guy of your caliber and I promise to do my best to keep up.
DL: Thanks, Ed.
DK: As an outsider, here’s the question I have. You were a wide receiver. Dave Logan was a wide receiver. Are we going to get wide receiver-centric coverage?
EM: Dave, I pity the wide receivers on the Denver Broncos because they’re going to get critiqued to no end. (Eric) Decker may never talk to me again at the end of the season.
DL: All I know is our mantra in the booth is going to be: Keep the ball off the ground. Let’s get your initial thoughts. Training camp has just started but as you begin to dig in and do some of your work, what are some of your early thoughts on the Broncos?
EM: It’s exciting once again. Who would have thought that after the crazy season with Tim Tebow last year? John Elway may be the only guy who could have lured Peyton Manning to play for the Denver Broncos.
Manning has missed a year. Obviously his health is a big concern. (Some analysts) say he doesn’t quite rip it the way he used to. There’s a hybrid offense. I know it’s huge that they’re allowing him to bring in his snap count. That’s a big deal for Peyton. He anticipates the throws and relies on intelligence to work the defense. It takes team chemistry between those receivers and tight ends and running backs. It takes time to develop.
Where will they be week one? Who knows? I’m excited to find out.
DK: How do you evaluate the Broncos receiving targets right now?
EM: Peyton developed players. He’s a master at doing it. You hear about his preparation. He leaves no stone unturned. He’ll go over rep after rep after rep with every single receiver on that team. He needs to have confidence in those receivers and they need to keep up, especially if he’s bringing a lot of his offense to the Denver Broncos.
It’s a lot of chemistry and timing that goes into this. He develops those guys over the years and developed the chemistry and rapport with them.
Who’s going to be the next Marvin Harrison? Who’s going to be the Reggie Wayne? Who’s going to be the Dallas Clark of the Broncos? You have Demaryius and you have Decker. You’ve got a slew of tight ends. Who is going to step up? Maybe it’s Jacob (Tamme). Maybe Julius Thomas. Somebody is going to have to step up in each one of those positions to become the type of weapon he had in Indianapolis.
DL: The Broncos made some changes on the defensive side of the ball, too, and none more important in my book than defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Again, it’s early in camp but when you look at the Broncos’ defense, what do you see? Realistically, what kind of expectation should Broncos fans have for that defense?
EM: I think they were 20th in the league last year, maybe 12th in the AFC. I’ve always had a ton of respect for Jack Del Rio and the type of defense that he runs. He coaches a hard-nosed, attacking defense. He’s been doing it for a long, long time. He’s talking about the terminology on defense as well and to me, that’s the key. He’s coming in with a little bit of (new) terminology. Champ Bailey discussed it a couple of days ago. All the defensive concepts pretty much stay the same but the communication on defense has to happen. How he can relay that to the team is a big question.
One thing that will help the Broncos’ defense, similar to the way that Peyton Manning helped the Indianapolis Colts’ defense, is usually when Peyton is the quarterback, you’re team is putting up 24 to 30 points per game. I think that means they’re probably going to be ahead in more games than what they’re used to. That’s going to allow guys like Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil to pin their ears back and put pressure on the quarterback.
(The Broncos have) a new secondary. They have some new guys back there, couple of young guys that might have to step in and play early. Those are all questions marks. But I think Jack Del Rio will do an excellent job with the defense.
DK: I think most Broncos fans remember the night before 9/11 at the stadium when you suffered a compound fracture of your leg against the Giants. Would you reflect back on that injury and how you’re doing physically, how that leg is doing as a result?
EM: 9/11 was obviously one of the biggest tragedies our country has ever experienced and one of the biggest tragedies I’d ever personally experienced. I was never the same player after that. I played for another two years, played through pain and rehab and took painkillers and tried to hopefully play long enough for that injury to go away but it just never happened.
The next day in the hospital bed, I was watching television. Bryant Gumbel was on the air. I thought I was watching a movie with the towers smoking right before my eyes. I, along with millions of Americans, saw the second plane hit the second tower and realized this is really happening. It reminded me quickly that there is a lot more to life than football. My thoughts and prayers went immediately to the families and people that were suffering during that horrible time in our nation’s history.
Obviously, it was a time that I’ll never forget. I’m not kidding, about twice a day I just happen to look at the clock when it says 9:11 and it reminds me of that horrible event that will be with us forever.
DL: Eddie, I’m looking forward to working with you. See you soon.
EM: Thanks, guys.
Yes, I’m biased because I work at KOA. But I think it will be a great season having Dave and Ed in the booth.
Thanks for reading.