Focusing on present, not free agency has made difference for Broncos LB Shaq Barrett (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
"After the Rams game, I just talked to myself about the way I was playing," Barrett said. "I didn't like it. I felt I was pressing too much, trying to force plays. I just had to relax and play the game."
Barrett responded to his self-analysis. He had a sack in the win at Arizona and two pressures in the loss at Kansas City, which he hopes is a catalyst for the final seven games.
"I had to make plays without trying to make plays," he said. "For some reason, I lost my drive of being an undrafted free agent and now I'm back to playing with that same drive and that same mindset again."
Broncos Journal: 17 thoughts as the bye week ends, including why re-signing Paradis should be a priority (Ryan O'Halloran, Denver Post)
1. Broncos center Matt Paradis had not missed a regular season snap in his 56-game career until suffering a broken fibula and ligament damage last week against Houston. He underwent surgery Wednesday. Paradis is scheduled to be a free agent in March, but there are plenty of reasons to believe the injury won't impact his value.
2. The 2019 free-agent center class is thin. Paradis, Carolina's Ryan Kalil and Kansas City's Mitch Morse lead the group. That will push contract values north, because the demand will exceed the supply. Plus, Paradis' injury happened at a point when teams (including the Broncos) should not be concerned about his availability for the start of training camp.
3. Signing rehabilitating players isn't the norm, but it isn't completely uncommon. Last March, Chicago signed receiver Allen Robinson to a three-year, $42 million contract ($26 million guaranteed) even though he had played only three snaps for Jacksonville in 2017 because of a torn ACL. The Bears managed Robinson through the offseason program/preseason. Robinson has missed time this year with a groin injury.
4. Helping Paradis' value, should he decide he wants to stay with the Broncos, is their desperate offensive line situation. The Broncos have questions at all five positions. Left guard Ron Leary (Achilles) is out, right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) has missed four games, left tackle Garett Bolles has been inconsistent and right guard Connor McGovern was nearly replaced because of uneven play but got his spot back after Leary's injury. The goal of free agency is to fill roster holes, not create them by letting guys leave.
The Broncos' excellent rookie class provides hope for a franchise where optimism has lately been scant (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
Nine games in, Lindsay has already notched the 10th-most rushing yards by a rookie in Broncos history. At this rate, he'll eclipse Knowshon Moreno (947 yards in 2009) and sit at No. 6 — behind of his most ardent fans, Terrell Davis (1,117 yards in 1995).
"He's already showing you that he's not afraid of the spotlight, he's not afraid of being in that position and that's half the battle. You have to believe that you belong," Davis told The Athletic earlier in the season. "He's certainly believes that he can make plays, he has very nice hands, he can catch the ball, he can line up as a wide receiver, he can play on special teams, he's an offensive weapon, and I'm excited about the growth. I'm excited about watching his journey and seeing how this thing all plays out. I already envision in my mind there will be a day where it's probably six, seven, eight years from now that I'm meeting him on the field because the torch is being passed because he's breaking my rushing yards record."