LAST YEAR: Denver posted back-to-back losing seasons for first time since 1971-72, costing head coach Vance Joseph and QB Case Keenum their jobs. Broncos had hope at 6-6 but lost CB Chris Harris Jr. (leg), RB Phillip Lindsay (wrist) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles tendon) to injuries that led to winless December and stretched playoff drought to three seasons.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Coach Vic Fangio, QBs Joe Flacco and Drew Lock, RT Ja’Wuan James, CBs Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan, OLB Dekoda Watson, G Dalton Risner, TE Noah Fant, DE Dre’Mont Jones, OL coach Mike Munchak.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: C Matt Paradis, QB Case Keenum, RT Jared Veldheer, NT Domata Peko, ILB Brandon Marshall, CB Bradley Roby, SS Darian Stewart.
CAMP NEEDS: Broncos need Munchak to work his magic on LT Garett Bolles, whose holding and footwork issues need to get fixed so that Flacco can stay upright. Denver also needs first-time offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello to find ways to get Fant and Lindsay ball through air to take pressure off young receiving corps as Sanders works his way back.
EXPECTATIONS: Elway has gone from “No Plan-B” with Peyton Manning to “day to day,” refusing to publicly divulge his expectations with Flacco under center and Fangio on sideline. Denver remains way behind Chiefs and Chargers in AFC West, so 8-8 would represent stop-bleeding sort of progress.
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