News 5 Sports Director Dylan Scott chats with Denver 7 Broncos Insider Troy Renck about the team's busy off-season.
Dylan: First off the bat, what do you think of the Broncos off-season?
Troy: I think it has been a very good off-season, you can argue it's the most important off-season John Elway has had since the 2014 off-season. When he was able to land Emmanuel Sanders, Demarcus Ware, TJ Ward and Aqib Talib. This off-season was crucial to get them back into the playoff hunt and picture. You get eight Pro Bowl bids combined between Melvin Gordon, Jurrell Casey and AJ Bouye. You stabilize the line with Graham Glasgow. There's a lot of things to like, you get a new punter. I like the way they were aggressive and showed some discipline. Getting trades that minimize their commitment long-term with Bouye and Casey, if it doesn't work out. They protected themselves there, really solid off-season. I'd give it a B+ with a chance for an A with the draft coming up.
Dylan: Some of these were moves that were expected but did any surprise you?
Troy: The most surprising in terms of guys getting paid money was Shelby Harris; where he ends up taking a pay cut and signs for a base salary. He had a good mindset on it saying, "He was just lucky to have a job when millions don't." It didn't look like there would be any way they could put him in the budget but the market fell flat on him and he wanted to come back to a place where he is familiar. The Casey one was a shrewd move. I didn't think they had enough money left over for a punter (Sam Martin) but again that's an area they needed to address. You can't be bad in the margins of the game when you're trying to get back to the playoffs.
Dylan: What kind of dynamic does this bring to the back field now with two Pro Bowl type running backs (Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay) with two different styles?
Troy: It was one of the dark secrets of last season, they were 20th in rushing (103 yards per game). It will make them better and the onus is on Pat Shurmur, the offensive coordinator, to use both of these guys because they need a better offense and Gordon and Lindsay should make them better but they've got to be utilized correctly.
Dylan: The Broncos sitting in a pretty good position, they have a ton of draft picks, including 15th overall, do you think it's a wide receiver to complement Courtland Sutton or the best player available? How do you see their mindset heading into the draft?
Troy: I believe if Henry Ruggs III is on the board at No. 15, the temptation will be too great and they'll have to do it.
Dylan: So does Broncos Country have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the team they're going to put on the field this year?
Troy: I think they're a lot more like the team that finished last season at 7-5. I think 9-7 and 10-6 is realistic, especially if they address their offense in the draft and add more depth. Head Coach Vic Fangio is in his second year, they also have a better offensive coordinator. There's really no excuses for them not to be in the playoffs this year.