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Broncos, Briefly: Friday, Jan. 4, 2018

Champ Bailey, cornerback: Not sure if Bailey will make it this year -- my final Class of 2019 prediction will come in a few weeks -- but outside of Gonzalez and Reed, his chances are as strong (or stronger) than anyone. Tell you what: There aren't many players, much less corners, coming down the pike with 12 Pro Bowls and 52 interceptions on the resume. In the 2005 and '06 seasons alone, the guy snagged 18 picks, with a bunch of them coming when opponents were in the red zone.

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There is no way that Pat Bowlen or Gil Brandt get voted down in the Contributor category. Bowlen's name has come up for years, and given his deteriorating health, it will be shocking if the voters don't lend their support to his Hall candidacy. Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984, and since that time, the organization has competed in seven Super Bowls, winning three. His work on the television committee -- and overall contributions to the league -- won't be ignored.

As the Broncos have missed the playoffs for the third straight season, and fired coach Vance Joseph on Monday, Elway has taken plenty of blame for the team’s on-field performance. But he's moving forward.

"I feel like if we can get some key players in certain situations, get the right staff and get in a better place, and get the energy going again, I think that we can get that done,” Elway said. “... The older I get, the more I dislike losing. I’ve dealt with that and where that comes from. But it just adds more fuel to that fire. That’s why it’s a great challenge for me and the rest of our staff to get this thing straightened away."

13. Phillip Lindsay

Lindsay was a breath of fresh air for the Broncos' offense, giving it a consistent player in the backfield. The undrafted rookie finished ninth in the league in rushing yards, even after coming out of Week 16's contest with a wrist injury and missing the season finale. 

Zac Taylor is the outlier on the Broncos’ head coach candidates list.

He is the youngest candidate at age 35, and the least experienced as he’s never been a full-time coordinator, much less a head coach. He’s also the only candidate whose background is not steeped in the game’s down-and-dirty elements of defense or the offensive line.

All of this may also make Taylor the most exciting of the Broncos’ candidates, a group that also includes former Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano, Pittsburgh offensive line coach Mike Munchak, Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and New England defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

The online betting site Bookermaker.eu released odds for 11 potential candidates. The early favorite: Fangio at +700. However, before betting the house, consider Fangio’s recent comments to Chicago media as the Bears prepare to host the Eagles in the NFC wild card playoff round.

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