The Denver Broncos are the defending Super Bowl champions, which means that every team they play this season will bring their best in hopes of defeating the champions. However, the team is still looking for a new identity after Peyton Manning decided to retire after winning the Super Bowl. Even without Manning on the team, the Broncos are still one of the top teams in the league and many NFL expert picks believe they’ll win the Super Bowl again this season.
After a recent practice, head coach Gary Kubiak wasn’t too pleased with what he saw from his team and made sure he let his players know exactly how he felt. The fiery coach let his players have it right before he reset the practice.
The players responded to their coach and finished the practice with the type of energy Kubiak was looking for, however, the coach can’t be correcting players on the field during games, and some players have to step up to fill the leadership void left by Manning.
Kubiak told reporters that after the team had Tuesday off, he expected them to come to the next practice energized, but the players were lethargic on the field. Kubiak said that after a break, good teams usually respond by practicing well, which his team did not do.
Kubiak also mentioned that he was not impressed with the quarterback play he saw at practice, which can become a problem once the season starts. Cornerback Bradley Roby agreed with his coach, saying the team came out flat after their day off.
Super Bowl MVP Vonn Miller echoed the same sentiment and told reporters at the start of training camp that there was no way the team could replicate Peyton Manning, who had an Alpha mentality and held players accountable for their actions.
On the defensive side, the team also misses the presence of DeMarcus Ware, who hasn’t been able to practice as he is recovering from injuries. The offensive leader on most teams is the quarterback, but the Broncos don’t yet know who their starting quarterback will be, which means they don’t have a leader to turn to when things aren’t going well.
Mark Sanchez is the quarterback with the most experience on the Broncos roster, but he hasn’t done anything to make the other players look at him as the leader of the offense.
If players had practiced the way they did on Wednesday, and Manning and Ware were on the field, they would have chewed out the players they felt weren’t giving their all instead of Kubiak having to take on the responsibility. Sanchez told reporters that it is the responsibility of the team to come out better than they did on Wednesday after getting the previous day off, but since they didn’t, Kubiak had to set the players straight.
Sanchez said that the players now understand that if they practice the way they did on Wednesday after getting the previous day off, they will be in trouble again, and nobody wants to get chewed out by the coach. While Sanchez promised that the players took Kubiak’s words seriously, there is no way of telling if they really did until we see how they perform at practice after another day off.
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