Sports

Football excitement is growing state-wide

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aaronwolking.jpgExcitement is building throughout the local collegiate community as the early success of the 2008 Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves football program bolsters the spirits of the local football faithful.

However, one can see reasons for the rest of Colorado’s football enthusiasts to be excited as well. Everyone is excited for the new and improved 2008 Denver Broncos.

It was tough to be a Broncos fan in 2007. Even a die-hard fan such as myself, had plenty moments of disappointment and despair. The beginning of the 2007-2008 off-season was much the same. Serious questions ran through our minds. Questions like “Has Mike Shanahan lost his freaking mind?”

The Broncos faithful should not lose heart, even with those memories are fresh in our minds. It looks as though the Broncos are primed to make some noise in the NFL, especially since many of the sports commentators are counting them out before the season has even begun. Let us take a look at some of the elements of the 2008 Broncos and the reasons for this turbo-optimism.

Reason #1
Jay Cutler. Need I say more? This is a guy who played all of last year unknowingly with diabetes. It wore him down to the point where he weighed 35 pounds less at the end of the season.

Reports from the Broncos and the media said his energy was drained, his desire to play was dimmed and he lost a significant amount of the power on his infamous cannon-shot throws.

Even with all this against him, he still threw for 3,497 yards, 20 touchdowns and completed 63.6 percent of his passes according. Just think what he will accomplish with his diabetes under control.

Reason #2
I’m also excited about the rest of the Broncos offense. It appears Brandon Marshall has his tendencies for stupidity under wraps. He will look to redeem himself to his teammates, coaches and fans by pulling together another season with 100+ receptions and double-digit touchdown receptions. Even Bronco doubters see Marshall as an exceptional talent. Football fans will be hearing “Cutler to Marshall” for a long time to come.

The rest of the offense has looked good through training camp and preseason. Going point by point through the entire offense would take more time than I have here, so I will just mention a few of the highlights.

Getting Brandon Stokley back to the third receiver position, where he belongs, will be a significant boost.

Rookie left tackle Ryan Clady will probably have some growing pains, but the 6-foot-6-inch, 325 pound behemoth will quickly assume the role of brick wall for Cutler’s blind side.

Finally, we come to the staple of the Broncos offense.

The running game.

Running backs Selvin Young and Andre Hall have looked spectacular in training camp and preseason. Both players look like they have the talent to be featured running backs. Putting them together with the Cutler-led passing attack should give opposing defenses a serious headache.

2008 Broncos Offensive Prediction
Jay Cutler will throw for at least 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. Brandon Marshall will catch at least 100 passes for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. Selvin Young and Andre Hall will both rush for more than 1,000 yards and re-establish the Broncos as one of the premier running teams in the NFL.

If the Denver defense can find a way to stop anyone we’ll be in business. Look for the Broncos to make a serious playoff push throughout the season. They will finally get back to the winning ways we all were so accustomed to in the Elway years.

There were, and perhaps still are, many Broncos skeptics in the NFL. You only have to read the season predictions of sports writers to see not many people believe in the 2008 Broncos.

However, the recent success against Oakland and San Diego (many thanks to Ed Hochuli) has given the rest of the Broncos nation a reason to believe. Plain and simple, the 2008 Broncos are going to be pretty darn good. You heard it here first, or at least one of the first.

Go Broncos!