**How Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, on cusp of Hall of Fame, changed Denver 34 years ago** (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
Bowlen's bona fides certainly merit consideration: Three Super Bowl titles in seven appearances, 348 overall wins (tied for fifth all-time), a league-leading 28 winning seasons since 1984 and service on 15 league committees. Only 14 owners or team founders are in the Hall of Fame.
"When you talk about the contributor category, I don't think anybody is more deserving than Pat," said [John] Elway, who entered the Hall in 2004.
**To get the ball, Royce Freeman has to show he knows what to do without it** (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
He has shown vision, power and speed, but on two separate occasions in recent days, Broncos coach Vance Joseph finished a sentence about Freeman with "but we'll see how he does in protections."
"I know that, too," Freeman said. "... It's all technique, and I feel like it's just repetitions, repetitions. You can always polish things up. You can always be a little bit better at something. I feel like maybe you don't get it right on the first time, but you keep doing it and doing it. It's a big thing."
**Five observations: Rookies, ‘Swag’ and starters shine … but Broncos fall to Bears in second preseason game** (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
Broncos' D impresses. Linebacker Brandon Marshall warned that sometimes it takes a little bit to get back in rhythm after a lengthy offseason.
Despite early scares of miscommunication issues and a porous run defense last weekend against Minnesota, the Broncos returned to Mile High for a showing more in line with expectations. It, too, wasn't perfect, but the depleted unit picked up big plays and key stops; in the first half alone, the starters, with a mix of second-team players, recorded a safety, an interception and a sack.
**AFC: Sizing up the East, North and West** (Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle)
Outlook: Since the Broncos won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning, they've slumped to 9-7 and 5-11 seasons. They're counting on Keenum to lead them back to prominence.
**Predicting breakout candidates for all 32 NFL teams** (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
WR Courtland Sutton. The caveat, and it's a rather large one, is that since 1990 the Broncos have had one rookie wide receiver catch more than 35 passes -- Eddie Royal with 93 receptions in 2008. So expect some bumps from time to time in the coming season for Sutton, but his size and athleticism give him the potential to make impact plays in the red zone right from the start. Coach Vance Joseph has called him a "60-40 guy," in that most receivers are 50-50 in jump-ball situations, but Sutton's ability improves his odds. He has made a highlight-worthy catch almost every day in training camp, and quarterback Case Keenum already trusts Sutton enough to throw him the ball in a crowd.