In a new edition of Aqib Talib’s “Call to the Booth” podcast, he sat down with fellow former Broncos star Terrell Davis to look back on their years with the Broncos and much more.
One of the most interesting parts, to me at least, came early on when Talib told Davis about how the Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII championship teams inspired them on the road to Super Bowl 50.
That year, Talib and Co. found themselves in the company of Davis' 1997 team when Denver hosted the Packers in Week 8. That weekend was the team's Ring of Fame weekend, when dozens of team alumni return annually to Denver. The day before the game, former Broncos players — including the Super Bowl XXXII team, which reunited as part of the celebration for team owner Pat Bowlen's induction into the Ring — observed the Saturday walkthrough and mingled with Broncos past and present.
"When y'all guys came through, I feel like that propelled us," Talib said. "[It] actually was tangible. We could touch the champions. We could see y'all, we could see they vibe. And we're like … 'We're the same! We vibe the same as y'all.' So I think that definitely helped us out a little bit."
The next day, as the Broncos played the 1997 team's Super Bowl opponent in a match of undefeated teams, the current Broncos also marked the occasion by wearing their alternate uniforms — blue jerseys and white pants — which was the same uniform the Broncos wore when they won Super Bowl XXXII.
It was arguably the 2015 Broncos' finest regular-season performance, as the defense held Aaron Rodgers to just 77 passing yards, sacked Rodgers three times and forced three fumbles while the offense romped with 500 total yards, including 340 through the air from Peyton Manning and 160 on the ground.
When the season progressed and the team encountered a few rough patches, they looked back on the 1997 team, Talib recalled.
"We look up to y'all, man," Talib said. "… We just found ourselves sitting at Von's crib, like, 'Man, we're 8-2 right now.' … Von asks it like, 'When they was 8-2, man, what do y'all think their mindset was?' Von asks it like he was a scientist, almost. He asked it like that. So we found ourselves talking about y'all so much, kind of like comparing ourselves, like, 'You're the such-and-such of that team.'"
In reflecting on how that 1997 team became the franchise's first Super Bowl champion, Davis noted the culture they had built with their veteran leadership in part laid the foundation for years to come.
"We were glad and happy to be able to leave a legacy, and to look at the Broncos teams like your team, the 2015 team, that you guys put the work in," Davis said. "You guys saw kind of what we had set — you see those banners in the stadium. It was kind of cool to see you guys strive for that and finally hit that goal."
Below the Fold
On Thursday, Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked if he recalled his draft evaluation of Broncos rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy. In looking back, he noted a few of Jeudy's best traits: "He's got great transition and so that means two things — that obviously a player can run extremely well, but they can also stop well. He has good hips. He's savvy."
One of several bright spots from the Broncos' win over the Dolphins was the performance of punter Sam Martin, Kyle Frederickson writes for The Denver Post. "Martin's right foot aced all three categories with poetic punting. His best game of the year came against one of the NFL's top return men, speedy Miami wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who entered the game at 14.3 yards per runback," Frederickson writes.