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Denver Broncos News: Broncos' Mailbag


Mason's Mailbag: Moving past the frustration

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

I assume you are getting more hate mail than actual mail so I thank you for enduring and being objective during this horrible stretch. It is the longest season since 2010 ... but to the question: What is the plan for DeMarcus Walker?

-- Jose Borrero

I wouldn't call it "hate mail." People are unhappy, yes, but very little of it has gotten personal to the point where I would call it "hate mail," at least in my inbox. I suppose I've been fortunate.

As for Walker, it really depends where the team sees him long-term. Is he a 3-4 defensive end or will he settle at outside linebacker? At this point, he is a hybrid, and as Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods said, "to be able to evaluate him playing inside these last couple of games is big for us to see where he's at right now."

Walker was able to capitalize on his size to win repeated one-on-one matchups at Florida State; he was quicker and lighter than the offensive linemen he faced in college, leading to his prodigious tallies in sacks and tackles for loss. Perhaps the biggest thing the Broncos must learn is whether his array of pass-rush moves translate more to being an edge rusher or an inside player, at which point he can attack the weight room with a plan to be at the right size for his position.

"You want to be lighter playing the outside linebacker position because of the things we ask you to do from a coverage standpoint," Woods said. "Inside, you have to be big enough to hold up. He's more of a situational pass rusher right now and we'll just have to see how we can play him -- get some turns playing outside linebacker or [see whether] he is just an interior lineman."


Hey Andrew, it's been a rough few weeks for us Broncos fans. Do you see us cleaning house player-wise and rebuilding or do you see us try to get a few pieces to be contenders again?**

-- Jordan Brantley

I see them getting through the rest of the season first before making any decisions, and then picking up the pieces and retooling for the 2018 season in a surgical manner. Clear-cutting and cleaning house might sound good on the surface, and suggesting these ideas allows fans to vent their frustrations on social media, but that can lead to a pattern of changes that get you nowhere. The prudent way to go about recovering from a season like this is to identify which players and contracts can help you going forward, because then you have less to address from elsewhere.

You can look back to what the Broncos did coming out of their 4-12 season in 2010 for guidance -- when John Elway first took over the team's football operations. He didn't take a burn-it-all-down approach; instead, he opted for a more measured strategy. When the Broncos returned to the playoffs the following January, sixteen of their 22 starters were members of that 2010 team. A year later, when they went back to the playoffs as the AFC's top seed, half of their starters had played for the team in 2010.

There is a reason why the Broncos have not had consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72. In my lifetime, no franchise has consistently done a better job at containing the damage from a sub-.500 season and quickly recovering. It won't be easy, and, yes, everything seems grim now in the moment. But rebounds have happened before, and one can happen again.

Do you think Minnesota or Philadelphia are capable of winning the Super Bowl?

-- Zerin Sultana

Philadelphia, yes. Minnesota ... I don't think the Vikings have quite enough offensive firepower on a consistent basis, and that will show up in the postseason.


How do all players know who should be attending in the podium for their press conference and who should remain in the locker room for their press conference?**

-- Mahrup Ahmed

The Broncos' media-relations staff works with the players to coordinate the process and places the players that typically have the greatest media demand on the podium. During the week, that typically means that week's starting quarterback, outside linebacker Von Miller and running back C.J. Anderson. After each game, usually the quarterback, Miller and perhaps another player or two who had a particularly big game that day would answer questions at the podium.

Which player in your opinion should be picked No. 1 in the NFL Draft?

-- Dani Thomas

Let's see who has the No. 1 pick and which players declare for the draft before making any guesses.

Submit a question for the next mailbag!

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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