The countdown to kickoff for the 2016 Broncos and NFL season is nearing zero. The Broncos continued to prepare on the practice field. (photos by Eric Bakke)
Stéphane Cadorette, an NFL reporter for the Journal de Québec, stopped by Broncos practice this week in anticipation of the NFL season kicking off Thursday.
Caroline Deisley: With Pat Bowlen being from Canada, how have you seen his impact help grow the NFL fan base there?
Stéphane Cadorette: I think he's had a huge impact. It helped the media in Canada to cover this franchise. This has certainly been a point of interest. I spoke with Joe Ellis earlier this morning and he reminded me that Pat Bowlen still has the Canadian ties. He always kept relations in Canada either being business or family.
CD: Do you think Pat Bowlen should have been elected in the Hall of Fame?
SC: I think so, but who am I to decide? I'm not a voter, of course. I do think he's had a tremendous impact not only on the winning culture of the Broncos, but I think he's had a huge impact league-wise with the television deals, the Sunday Night Football on NBC. He was an advocate for that and I think he helped the league grow in so many ways. I think it's sad that he hasn't gotten in this year but I'm pretty sure he's going to get in rather sooner than later.
CD: What have you seen from the growth of the NFL in Canada?
SC: It's tremendous growth. There's a lot of interest in Canada for the CFL but the interest in the NFL is getting bigger and bigger and bigger each year. I don't have any numbers or specifics about that but we can just feel it. I've been doing this gig for the last four to five years and I keep getting more and more emails, Twitter reactions and stuff like that. We can just feel the interest.
CD: A lot of Broncos fans?
SC: Yes, a lot of Broncos fans. I would say there are more Patriots fans because it's close to the border in Quebec. There's a great rivalry here about the Patriots and Broncos especially with all the duels between Manning and Brady when he was here — that kept the rivalry really interesting for folks in Quebec.
CD: What are you expecting to see from the Broncos Thursday night?
SC: It's a great mystery because we all know they have this great defense — the number one defense last year — but what can we expect from the offense? That's the great question right now. I think they could fare well, but there might be some growing pains at the start of the season. I think this team is going to roll as the season keeps going. Things are going to be good.
CD: What did you think of the decision to name Trevor Siemian the starting quarterback? Were you shocked? SC: I wasn't shocked because we saw it coming during training camp even from far away in Canada. At first, I was shocked that he got better than Mark Sanchez because I thought they were going with the veteran with the experience and two AFC championships. So, that was my first point of view when they signed him, but as you saw in training camp, we had a pretty good idea that Trevor was the man.