Top 10 linebacker units: Broncos, Bears lead rankings(Chris Wesseling, NFL.com)
1) Denver Broncos
Notables: Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis, Shaquil Barrett, Shane Ray, Josey Jewell.
Analysis: The Broncos have it all. With the addition of Chubb, the No. 5 overall draft pick, it is one of the few defenses that can boast a pair of bookend pass rushers with game-wrecking potential. In Barrett and Ray, there's quality depth. To the underrated inside duo of Marshall and Davis, Denver added a promising rookie in Jewell. This defense might not be quite as dominant as the one that delivered the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 50, but it could be one of the most improved units in the league.
The 7 Best Players in the AFC West. Period. (Melvin Gordon, The Players' Tribune)
(4) Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
Overall, he's just a really balanced player. Some guys are strong, some guys are elusive. Von is both. He can bull rush you, throw a spin move at you or just speed rush and blow right by you.
That's what separates him from everybody else. Some guys have mastered one move. Von has mastered all of them.
And you never know which one he's gonna throw at you.
"Bring the Mile High Thunder": Denver Mayor Michael Hancock declares "Orange Friday" in honor of Broncos(Jeff Bailey, Denver Post)
Alright Broncos Country, are you ready for Denver's home opener against Seattle?
Michael Hancock, Mayor of the City and County of Denver, is ready and has proclaimed Sept. 7, 2018 to be known as "Orange Friday."
Mayor Hancock sent a tweet out Thursday afternoon on his "Orange Friday" proclamation and is encouraging everyone in Denver, as well as Broncos fans worldwide to wear orange throughout the weekend.
Broncos preview 2018: New additions should improve Denver's woeful red zone offense(Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
Red-zone periods were a constant during the open training camp practices in August. The Broncos needed to get all of their young players (Sutton, Freeman, Butt and receiver DaeSean Hamilton) up to speed with that part of the playbook.
Sutton knows how to use his 6-foot-4 frame to win in the air, making him a perfect option for red-zone fade routes, which should open up quick slants for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
"(Sutton's) a big body with great ball skills," coach Vance Joseph said. "He has strong hands so even when the ball is contested, he can win. Hopefully he's over 50 percent (on the 50-50 passes). That would be huge for us, especially in the red zone."
'Nobody likes playing Russell Wilson': How the Broncos are preparing for challenge of Seattle's QB(Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
"You get those little guys, those fast guys, like Russell," Ray began. "You're already converting so much energy rushing the quarterback, trying to beat your guy. Then you might beat your guy and he'll slip this way to run back this way, and you're still chasing him. It just adds a different dynamic to his game and it adds more to what we have to do as a defense."
Ray has no love for mobile quarterbacks — "I hate them," he said — especially the smaller and quick ones like Wilson. And Von Miller believes if a poll were taken of the league's pass rushers, not one would raise their hand in favor of playing against Wilson.
"As a pass rusher, you want a guy that when you get to him and you touch him, he'll lay down for you," Miller said. "Russell is the complete opposite. Nobody likes playing Russell Wilson."
Joseph Jones has a chance to become the Broncos' next Keith Burns(Mike Klis, 9News)
"That's my life right now,'' he said in the Broncos' locker room this week. "There are guys who have embraced their role and that's what I've done. I love [special] teams. I would play teams for 20 years.
Obviously, I want to make my way up and play linebacker, but I would be more than happy to go out there and ball out on teams for 20 years.''
How Phillip Lindsay became the Broncos' starting kick returner. "It's really a courage play — and he has courage."(Ryan O'Halloran and Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)
The transition might surprise on paper, Denver handing its kick return duties to an undrafted rookie, but much like the rest of Lindsay's story, he's quickly erased any doubt. Lindsay's 34-yard return against Minnesota marked the longest of any Bronco through exhibition play. That's just one example of what gave Broncos' coach Vance Joseph confidence in putting Lindsay on the return team.
"He's been a solid performer since he's gotten here four or five months ago," Joseph said Thursday. "He has confidence in himself so it's easy to have confidence in him. I've been pleased with where he is as a total football player — covering kicks, returning, catching the ball and protection. He's what we want in our backs."