As always, you can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase, use the submission form or scroll to the bottom of this page.*
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --From the Senior Bowl to the Pro Bowl, let's jump back into the mailbag for our weekly dive through your questions …
What is happening with the Broncos' free agents, especially Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas?
-- B.J. Paton
Nothing yet, although Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway pointed to the Thomases as priorities in attacking the offseason, so stay tuned.
The key dates are Feb. 16-March 2. That is the window in which the Broncos must designate a franchise player. If they can get one of those two re-signed to a long-term deal during that period, there's a good chance they will franchise the other, buying the team a year to work on a longer contract.
If not, then the Broncos will franchise one and roll the dice on the other, knowing he will likely hit the open market at 2 p.m. MST on March 10 (and, in reality, the game changes March 7, when teams may negotiated with players who hit free agency March 10, a.k.a. the "legal tampering" period.
I discuss the Thomases further in the video embedded above.
@MaseDenver Is there any position that the Broncos wouldn't consider in the first round?
You learn never to rule anything out, but I'd say the chances are extraordinarily slim that they take a running back, cornerback, kicker, punter, weakside linebacker or wide receiver in the first round this year.
I'm excited to have Coach Kubiak back in the fold, but I have one concern. During the presser, John Elway said that Kubiak would have significant influence on personnel decisions; does this include the draft?**
-- Gabe Morris
You would think so, but "influence" does not mean "deciding power." One of the advantages of having "final say" authority with the general manager is that it ensures that decisions are made with the long-term development of the roster in mind, not just the short-term construction of the team.
"Influence" means being able to guide the personnel department toward the types of players that best fit from a scheme and personality standpoint. A common tenet of functional organizations is a smooth flow of communication between personnel and coaching. The coaches convey what types of players will help them succeed, and then the personnel department procures them. With pro scouts watching everyone else's players year-round and college scouts spread throughout the country, they're best equipped to recommend players who fit what the coaches want to do.
But nothing happens without a clear exchange of information. That's a major reason why you need cohesion between the head coach and the primary personnel executive. If they don't see eye-to-eye, eventually the bond between the two departments frays.
@MaseDenver #AskMase Russell Wilson claims his God helped #Seahawks win. Does this mean God hates the #Packers?
If that's the case, I know a lot of people in Wisconsin who will have to re-think their place in the universe -- or at least, their team's place in it.
Personally, I believe in a god that doesn't fall victim to petty human emotions, possesses understanding of the universe far beyond what our little, sometimes inefficient human brains can comprehend, accepts that our minds are only wired to handle just so much -- and that, in the words of Irwin M. Fletcher, "doesn't need heavy financing."
I think it's human arrogance that causes one to think that a god favors them over others, or one team over another. I personally find these remarks a bit distasteful and intellectually insulting. But at the same time, they're a product of the brains we all possess, which have their strengths and weaknesses.
And people have been trying to create a god in their own image and to fit their own needs since time immemorial. This is a frailty we possess. I think a god who encompasses the universe can understand our limitations and doesn't get too upset about them. But then again, I don't know, because I have one of those limited brains, too. It's sort of like the plot of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which has some interesting ideas if you can get past the cheeseball scenes, of which there are many.
How many roads must a man travel down before you can call him a man?**
How many quarterbacks must a man coach before you can call him a football savant?
-- Harold Jackson
Homer Simpson said the answer to the first question was, "seven," although he didn't understand the nature of the question. As for the seventh, I'd say you need to coach three different quarterbacks to Pro Bowl seasons hit "savant" status in the pros. New Head Coach Gary Kubiak has coached five of them -- Steve Young, John Elway, Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Matt Schaub, three of whom were not selected with other coaches, so I'd say Kubiak qualifies.
Are we going to see more of Zac Dysert during next season, he seems to be way better than Brock Osweiler.
-- Amaru Villarreal
He's been re-signed, so he'll still be in the mix. Whether he's seen more depends on whether Peyton Manning returns, and how he progresses relative to Osweiler. That being said, from watching both in practices that are open to media and having a larger sample size than the preseason games offer, there's a reason why Dysert was on the practice squad in 2014 (after being No. 3 in 2013) and Osweiler was the No. 2 quarterback the last two years. Osweiler has a year's more experience under his belt, and it shows; he's more consistent and can do more things well on a day-to-day basis at this point than Dysert. And when they play in the preseason, Osweiler has faced a much higher caliber of competition than Dysert, so that must be factored into the evaluation.
Is there a special room in hell for Broncos fans who boo their own team?
-- Scott Wheeler
Not even close.
Now, I'm not in favor of indiscriminate booing. You've got to have a reason for it: a lousy official's call, a player who's been convicted of some malfeasance, an obvious lack of effort, or someone who was a turncoat. Only one of those should be directed at your own team.
There's nothing wrong with booing as long as there's a good reason. Booing just for the sake of doing so, however, is boring. It's important to be discerning and know it's not a knife you'll use every day; you want to keep it sharp and use it for special occasions, and not just to cut through an aluminum can because you can, so to speak. You don't boo because of the result on the scoreboard; you boo because maybe you don't see someone playing to the whistle.
And remember this: booing is better than the alternative, which is indifference. People care. People invest their disposable income, their emotion, their passion. When you don't hear booing at an appropriate time -- which, admittedly, is rare, but there are moments -- then you start to worry that the fire of a fan base has extinguished. Fortunately, that is far from the case with the Broncos.
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