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Mason's Mailbag: When the Broncos wore white at home

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.*

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Why does Trevor Siemian only have one star on his captain's badge? Does he not get credit for last year's partial captaincy?**

-- Terry Choo

It would seem not, at least for how the league determines how the stars on the patches are dispersed (one gold star for a first-year captain, two for a second-year captain, etc., on through having a gold "C" with four stars for a player in at least his fourth season as a captain for that team).

It is worth noting that although Siemian was a captain late last season, he did not have the "C" patch on his jersey in 2016. That designation was reserved for the Broncos' full-season captains.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did the Broncos wear white at home once against the Dallas Cowboys?

-- Scott Dooley

Yes, for a Week 2 game in 1980. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, teams would often go away from their traditional jersey choices at home to make the Cowboys wear their blue jerseys, which were perceived to be unlucky. In the 1980 NFC Championship Game, for example, the Eagles wore white as the home team, even though they wore their home kelly green jerseys for the previous week's game against the Minnesota Vikings. In the NFC East, the Eagles, Cardinals and Giants all used to regularly wear white jerseys at home against Dallas while wearing green, red and blue, respectively, for most, if not all other home games. (The Redskins would wear white at home for all games from 1981 through 2000.)

(As recently as the 2003 postseason, the Panthers opted to wear white at home for a divisional-round playoff game against the Cowboys, in part because of this notion; they also chose to wear white against Dallas in the 1996 divisional playoffs. Both times, Carolina defeated Dallas. The Panthers then wore black for their next two home playoff games, against Arizona in January 2009 and San Francisco five years later; they lost both games. Since then, they have opted to wear white for all home postseason games.)

The Broncos have not worn white at home since 2003. That was when the league gave the Chargers jersey choice for a game in Denver after the Broncos brought their white jerseys to San Diego for a Week 2 game when the Chargers had opted to wear white for the contest. The Chargers chose to wear blue in Denver, which remains the only time the Broncos have ever worn white jerseys at what is now known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Am I mistaken, or didn't we sign Zach Kerr to improve our defensive line play? If I remember right, he was supposed to supplant Crick as the starter. What does that say about our defensive line?

-- Jason Wiley

It doesn't say anything, really. Kerr wasn't brought in to "supplant" anyone in particular. He was brought in to provide more depth and be a player who had the versatility to rotate in at the defensive end and nose tackle spots, which is exactly what he did before he suffered a knee bruise and what he is expected to do when he returns to the lineup -- hopefully on Sunday (he is questionable for the game, but practiced all week).

*What causes the West Coast teams to not perform well or get into a slow start once they play on the East Coast in a early game? *

-- Shane Brooks

There are myriad studies about the impact of time-zone changes on the human body, and typically it takes one day per time zone to adjust -- so, for example, if you traveled three time zones, you wouldn't fully adjust for three days.

That being said, I think the impact is overrated. While the Broncos are not a West Coast team, they are a western team, and their recent experience in early games is illuminating. Since 2011, the Broncos are 14-4 in games played at 11 a.m. MT (1 p.m. ET or noon CT). That includes an 8-1 record in early games played in the Eastern Time Zone. If you go back to 2000, the Broncos are 27-24 in early games, compared with 46-39 in games played in the late afternoon or evening since 2000. The percentage-point difference between those two records is minimal: 1.2.

That said, you certainly hope the Broncos' recent early-afternoon success continues, since they are scheduled to have four games in the 11 a.m. MT window this season, starting with the Week 3 trip to Buffalo.

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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