For three consecutive years, the Denver Broncos have produced at less-than-stellar levels on offense.
2016 was an atrocity, a year in which the team ranked 27th in total offense. While the unit rebounded slightly last season to return to the middle of the pack, the years of a top-tier offense in Denver seem nonexistent. To remedy the struggles, John Elway and company focused on bringing in playmakers at every offensive skill position this offseason.
The team already has its starting quarterback in Case Keenum – something that could not be said this early in the last two years – and surrounded him with weapons acquired in the draft. Wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton and running back Royce Freeman all figure to make an impact in 2018.
But the true testament to an offense’s growth could come from the other side of the ball entirely. Cornerback Chris Harris spoke with Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman of Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 about his early impressions of the revamped offense.
“Seeing Sutton go up there and catch those 50-50 balls, I feel like he can go up and catch the ball over anybody, except me,” Harris joked. “But he’s going up there and snagging on people. (Hamilton) runs great routes, he’s getting better. I think they’re definitely gonna play key roles in the rotation and have the chance to make a lot of catches.”
Perhaps the most important addition of the offseason, Case Keenum used OTAs to settle into his new role as the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Identifying the starter prior to the beginning of the season can do wonders for a football team, especially given the rocky road this offense has travelled since the departure of Peyton Manning.
For the first time since Manning, Keenum and the pass catchers will work together on their own time in the offseason to continue developing a rapport. His work thus far has impressed Harris on the other side of the field.
“He just has command over the offense, he wants it,” Harris said. “He wants to be the best out there and you can tell that he’s putting in that extra work. Once we’re off work, he’s still working, he’s still studying…He’s bringing that same work ethic that Peyton did.”
To listen to the full interview with Harris, including the impact that DeMarcus Ware has as a coach for the Broncos, click here or play the podcast below.
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app forApple or Android.