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Broncos, Briefly: Friday, Nov. 2, 2018

The old No. 30 is impressed with the new No. 30.

"He's playing well," Davis said Thursday after giving the keynote speech at the Broncos Business Huddle. "(What) I saw in training camp, he's as advertised. He's explosive, he's strong for a guy his size (5-foot-8, 190 pounds) and he brings excitement to the game.

"He's a valuable weapon out of the backfield and has a lot of tools he can work with. I like where he's going. I wish (the Broncos) would be playing a little better now, but they have a back they can count on for a very long time."

Now as a coach, Mathis is tasked with teaching others what he did best. There is one guy he watches regularly. One guy Mathis believes is the best among active players to do what he so often did to quarterbacks.

"Von Miller. It goes without saying," Mathis said. "He's honestly my favorite pass rusher now. Just the way he approaches it and the passion he has for it. You can't just wake up and be a good pass rusher. You have to work at it. You almost have to brainwash yourself into becoming the pass rusher that you want to be because it's so hard to get a quarterback sack in general, let alone having a lot of them and the strip-fumble. There's a lot that goes into it."

Just in time for J.J. Watt, it's Jared Veldheer.

"I know,'' Veldheer said smiling. "What a better (opponent) to get back out there. You can't miss those ones. The greatest challenges are the greatest games. That's when you can prove what you've got as a player.''

The Broncos' starting right tackle, Veldheer missed the past four games with a deep knee bruise. Billy Turner played well until he had pass protection issues last week against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Will the Broncos miss Thomas? Absolutely.

Must they move on quickly to try and save their season Sunday against Thomas' Texans? Yes.

"I was definitely sad to see him go but we all have a job to do and if we don't do it, people (will) lose their jobs," said rookie Courtland Sutton, the biggest beneficiary of Thomas' departure.

Said receiver Tim Patrick: "Super excited to get a chance to get some more playing time and get a chance to make more plays. I'm happy, but I'm definitely not happy D.T. is gone."

His first test is daunting. Second-year Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson has led Houston to five straight victories with six touchdowns and zero interceptions over his past two starts. The Texans' rushing attack is no joke, either, producing 123 yards per game (No. 11 in the NFL). Cravens' ability to play multiple positions with physicality sets up as a key commodity in limiting Houston's high-powered offense.

"(Cravens) is a great blitzer and he can play the run," cornerback Chris Harris said. "He's a big body size that can guard the tight ends, too. Just another big body. He's going to be huge. A lot of times he's going to play right next to me. So I'll try to slow the game down for him, communicate with him a lot and make it easier for him."

Added coach Vance Joseph: "I think Su'a is a natural in-the-box dime linebacker. With all the passing game you're seeing on first and second down out of three-wides, he's a perfect fit for what we're seeing now from offenses."