Denver Broncos | News

Sundays with Sacco: Water is rising, again

From Osweiler's 57-yard TD pass to the game-winning TD reception by Corbin Louks, here are our very best photos from the Broncos' 14-10 win over the Texans. (Photos by Eric Bakke unless otherwise noted)

One of the things that many Denver residents sadly discovered during those huge rainstorms in May was that water indeed does seek its own level. You cannot guide it or direct it, short of a dam.

And now the Denver Broncos have played their second preseason football game, and sure enough, the water level represented by new talent is finding its place once again.

A very common mistake made by any observer is that of predetermined knowledge. Usually that knowledge, that which we think we have, is based on familiarity and name recognition. Almost every fan assumes that he or she knows all the quality players.

This is largely based on recognition of names whom we have known from the past, coupled with a somewhat natural assumption that if one has not heard of a player, he cannot be any good. But this is fallacious logic. The Broncos have been a very good team over the past 10 years, and in each of those seasons an undrafted rookie free agent made the team.

Coaches respect the universal law of the game. Players make the team on the field, in the meeting room, in the weight room — never on the base of a big pile of press clippings.

The history of every team is littered with late draft choices and free agents who made the team. Denver is no exception, and that process is underway right now.

I hate ranking and labeling young players. That is the job of the coaches, and the press certainly jump into that fray, as it is par of their job. For me, with a life-long career inside the business, I hate putting one player ahead of another.

In the Broncos' Saturday 14-10 win over the Texans in Houston, rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian threw the winning touchdown pass for Denver. But just using Siemian as an example, he is a young player whom Head Coach Gary Kubiak liked coming into the draft.

He is a very bright guy, having played his college football at Northwestern University, but he was taken so late in the draft that Siemian was regarded as an afterthought by most observers.

I will make no pretense as to having any knowledge of how it will all work out, but in the opportunities he has been given, Siemian has excelled.

Another common mistake is to say that yes, player "X" is doing real well, but there is a limit to what he might do. Why? Once the development process begins, it is not limited by our perceptions of how the player does.

Linebacker James Harrison was defensive player of the year for the Pittsburgh Steelers a few years ago, but he had previously been cut not just by the Steelers but by several others teams as well.

And that is the beginning of how it all happens.

The first thing that happens in a locker room is that the players take off their street clothes and put on the uniform, the same uniform for everybody.

But they do not take any excess onto the practice field -- no contracts, no press clippings, no well wishes of supporters. In fact, the only support they are looking for is from the coaches, and it will only come from their performances.

As the Broncos get ready for preseason Week 3, including a full practice week with the San Francisco 49ers before they play each other Saturday night, fans are excited because the third preseason game is historically one in which he "regular" teams gets a lot of playing time.

But the coaches are like railroad men who are watching different tracks at the same time. Not only are Gary Kubiak and his coaches getting the veterans ready, but they are watching very closely what is happening on the other track as well.

Which young players are making a bid for the roster?

Which might do more than just make the roster? Might a player or players fit in for more playing time right away?

Here are the top photos from the entire practice on the final day of training camp at UCHealth Training Center. (All photos by Eric Bakke)

Going into Week 3, this is just about the time when previous generations of coaches have quietly moved young guys up in their minds, often without the player even having an idea.

Rod Smith, Steve Watson, Tyrone Braxton, Karl Mecklenburg, Terrell Davis and Chris Harris Jr. are just a few of the players who forced their way onto rosters, and four of those aforementioned players are in the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. Or how about Steve Foley, a college quarterback who never played safety before the Broncos asked him to?

So watch the 49ers game like a coach.

Do not assume that unfamiliarity with a player tells us something about him.

It does not. It tells us something about ourselves.

Keep an open mind, so you do not get caught by surprise when the water rises to create the 2015 roster for the Broncos.

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