Positive Developments of the Denver Broncos' Offseason
There have been many positive developments for the Bronco during the offseason—both big and small. Obviously, the biggest was the addition of Hall of Fame QB, Peyton Manning; but smaller developments have also played out this summer.
In the following slides, we'll take a look at the most positive offseason developments for the Denver Broncos.
QB Peyton Manning
The Denver Broncos put in the winning bid for Peyton Manning and he is slated to be the starting quarterback for 2012. After missing all of 2011 because of neck injuries, Manning was released from the Colts and is looking to make a comeback in orange and blue.
Throughout minicamp, reporters and Broncos players such as Eric Decker were quoted as saying Manning's arm strength was improving and Manning is "still throwing the ball a long time, throwing it great, hitting you in the right spot."
Over the course of the offseason, Manning has steadily improved and is ready for the season opener against the Steelers.
DC Jack Del Rio
Bringing Jack Del Rio to the Broncos staff will make the defense better. Period.
After finishing 2011 with a defense ranked 20th overall in the NFL and giving up 24.4 points per game, Del Rio is looking to push players in order to make Denver a top 10 defense. A good place to start would be a healthy Von Miller, who is improving after undergoing surgery on a broken right thumb. Champ Bailey and new Bronco, Tracy Porter, will also benefit from Del Rio's defense.
Many Broncos fans, me especially, would love to see Del Rio bring back the Orange Crush defense. It would be a great combination with Peyton Manning countering on offense.
K Matt Prater
After signing a four-year, $13 million contract, Matt Prater is going to be kicking a lot of field goals through the Mile High air. Not too many teams would place their franchise tag on a kicker or make a big offseason deal like this, but Matt Prater is no ordinary kicker.
Prater was an integral part of the 2011 season, kicking four game-winning field goals—three of them coming in consecutive weeks.
Prater is also the best kicker from 50 yards out or more, sporting a 75 percent success rate.
In other words, Prater is worth the money and is a great offseason signing for the Denver Broncos. Any predictions on how many game-winning field goals Prater will kick in 2012?
WR Brandon Stokley
Brandon Stokley played with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and was an integral part of recruiting the veteran quarterback to Denver. He worked out with Manning while he was in town meeting with John Elway and even threw the ball around with him just like old times.
Stokley, a former Denver Bronco from 2007-2009, signed a one-year deal with the Broncos and is excited to be playing with Manning again. During minicamp, Stokley served as a mentor for the young receivers still learning Manning's moves.
Although Stokley is 36, he's still healthy and ready to play in his 14th NFL season. It will be interesting to see how he and Manning's past chemistry plays out at Mile High.
TE Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen
The Denver Broncos are hoping to solve their tight end problems with the offseason additions of Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen.
Jacob Tamme, a former Colt, will be reunited with Peyton Manning after signing a three-year, $9 million deal. Tamme has 92 receptions and five touchdowns in his four-year career.
Joel Dreessen signed a three-year, $8.5 million deal after playing his last five seasons with the Houston Texans. Dreessen had a career-high 518 receiving yards in 2010, and he followed that up last season with six touchdown receptions.
Both men are major upgrades from Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario. Tamme has already played with Manning, but his numbers should see a major increase in Denver. Signing these two tight ends was a great offseason move for the Broncos as they could each put up great numbers under Peyton Manning.