Denver Broncos News: Broncos' Mailbag


Mason's Mailbag: Ring of Fame, international possibilities, and uniforms, because why not?

As always, 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.

Last year, I posed a question about the Broncos wearing the same uniform kit from their Super Bowl XXXII victory over Green Bay for their 2015 home game against the Packers. As we all know, the Broncos ended up wearing that uniform kit in another victory over Green Bay.


In the same vein, is there any chance that the Broncos will elect to wear white jerseys at home against Carolina in Week 1, as they did for Super Bowl 50? I recognize that Carolina could elect to wear their alternate blue jerseys or black jerseys with black pants to eliminate a Super Bowl 50 uniform reenactment. I also additionally recognize that the Broncos have not voluntarily worn white jerseys at home since 1983. (I omitted the Broncos' 2003 home game against San Diego when the NFL allowed the Chargers to wear blue jerseys.)

-- Ryan Hansen

There is a chance, but there is no indication that will actually happen. Furthermore, I don't think there is any reason for it to happen.

The whites were worn for the Super Bowl in part because of the Broncos' lack of success in orange jerseys in the biggest game. The Panthers' lack of postseason success in black jerseys provided an ancillary reason for the unusual choice. In the regular season, there is no such stigma to the orange jerseys for the Broncos -- as well as the black jerseys for the Panthers.

It's also way too soon to commemorate a Super Bowl in the manner in which the Broncos did against the packers last year. By the time the Broncos and Panthers kick off in Week 1, just seven months will have passed. Let it breathe a bit.

But what would be cool next season would be to wear the whites against Atlanta, since the Broncos wore them in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Obviously, you could not get a precise uniform rematch as the Broncos had last year with the Green Bay Packers, since the Falcons have changed their uniforms and do not currently use the 1990s look as an alternate.


*(By the one-helmet rule, the Falcons could do a 1990s throwback if they so desired, because they would need to change only the logo stickers on their black helmets. But at this point, there seems to be little fondness or nostalgia for the black-helmets-on-black-jerseys look of the 1990s and early 2000s. *

The last throwback the Falcons wore was to their 1966 uniforms of red helmets and black jerseys, but when the NFL instituted the one-helmet rule in 2013, that went by the wayside. It's a shame, because the Falcons' original look is top-class, right down to the gold stripe on the helmet as a nod to Georgia Tech.)

I had thought that this season would have represented an ideal chance to return to the United Kingdom, since there was a game at Jacksonville that could have been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Jaguars' ongoing arrangement to move one home game a year to London.

Including this year's four games, 22 different teams have played regular-season games in the United Kingdom or, this year, Mexico City, since the Broncos' 2010 loss to the 49ers at Wembley Stadium. It's time -- and it's something for which the Broncos are pushing in league circles.

President/CEO Joe Ellis declared this to be a priority in March, with the NFL International Series re-opening up to Mexico City this year and eyes poised for games in China, Germany and Brazil, among other spots, in the years to come.

So I would expect the Broncos to play a game outside of the United States in the near future. But I do not expect it to necessarily be in London, and I know that the organization would love the chance to be part of a game in Beijing, if that comes to pass.

Who do we have in mind to replace Danny Trevathan. He was so effective at covering impossible players like Gronk?

-- Matt Kunze

A similar question was asked and answered two Mailbags ago.

Recently the Broncos were awarded Toben Opurum from the New Orleans Saints, but I understand he failed his physical. First, why were the Broncos awarded him and how did that work? Did they get to pick from anyone on the Saints' practice team, and why the Saints? Second, since Opurum was released, do the Broncos get another pick, or did they simply lose that opportunity?

-- Becky Miller

First, the waiver-claim process works like this: After a player is waived, every team has a one-day window in which to make a claim on that player. If there are multiple claims, the player is awarded to the team with the highest priority.

At this time of year, the priority is established by the previous year's finish, and mirrors the draft order. So the Broncos, as Super Bowl winners, are dead last. Three weeks into the regular season, the priority order will reflect the current standings, revised each week through the rest of the regular season.

As for the roster spot, it simply remained vacant, Opurum was not with a team, and the Broncos received no compensation. If it were a trade, the player would return to his previous roster, but by placing him on waivers, the Saints had rescinded his rights.


Where does Michael Schofield fit in the Broncos offensive line plans for 2016? Will he possibly compete for a starting guard spot? He had some tough times at tackle, but he hung in there and improved last year.**

-- Tim D'Avis

At this point, Schofield likely in the mix to be the swing backup at tackle behind Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung. He can also provide depth at guard, but with Max Garcia and Ty Sambrailo set to get the first long looks, the return of Robert "Quadzilla" Myers and the selection of Connor McGovern, there isn't as much of a window to make an impact on the inside.

McGovern also has the flexibility to work at tackle after playing left tackle at Missouri last season. His progress could also affect Schofield's status in that regard, as well.

His midseason retirement in 2014 will set him up for a planned 2019 induction.

Paxton Lynch (offense) and Phil Taylor (defense), whose beard offsets his bald head well. In both cases, you're talking about unique looks that each man owns, which is what you want in facial hair.

There was a lawsuit, but eventually it was ruled in favor of the doctor that evaluated him while he was with the Broncos. Obviously, legal entanglements will never help smooth things over, but it has been nearly five years since the case went to a jury.

Time heals wounds, as the cliche' goes. There is little question that Wilson's career -- which included five Pro Bowl selections and one first-team All-Pro nod in just eight seasons -- makes him a clear fit in the Ring of Fame. But there are others with worthy resumes who will undoubtedly receive consideration, going all the way back to the 1970s with players like tight end Riley Odoms (four Pro Bowl nods and two first-team All-Pro selections).

In two of the last three years, we have seen Ring of Fame selections who became eligible long before: Gene Mingo, Dan Reeves and Rick Upchurch in 2014, and Simon Fletcher this year. Earnest and thorough discussions and re-evaluations through the 20/20 lens of hindsight helped their causes, and could aid the causes of others like Wilson in the future. As Ellis said Tuesday:

"You have to make sure you have everybody that deserves to be honored in the Ring of Fame. Maybe there are some players that have been overlooked. We would always consider those people, debate, talk and converse about those players in every meeting.

"I feel like we're doing that more so now because I think everybody recognizes that it's important to honor the history of the team in total -- not just recent history, but the entire history. If you have to look back any maybe there is someone that we missed or overlooked or dismissed too easily or just didn't consider, put them back in the conversation. Let's hash it out. I think that's what we're doing."

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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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