MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: Prime thankfully takes attention away from Broncos

Dec 5, 2022, 6:00 AM
Coach Prime...
Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for Aflac

The Colorado Buffaloes are the talk of the town. While the Denver Broncos continue to disappoint, the Buffaloes have now dominated the news cycle over the last 48 hours with the hiring of their new superstar coach Deion Sanders.

I like it when the Buffs are relevant. This state will get excited about college football again with Sanders running the Buffs, and I can’t wait to talk more and write more about the Buffs.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Welcome Coach Prime

I am a lifelong fan of Deion Sanders. From his playing days with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys, I’ve always enjoyed watching “Prime Time” play football. He has an infectious personality, and Sanders has always been a fan favorite and media darling because of his confidence and persona. Months ago, I suggested the Colorado Buffaloes should think outside the box and hire Sanders – then a coach at Jackson State.

Well, imagine my joy when it was officially announced that Sanders accepted the job and will be the head coach of the Buffaloes. The Buffaloes have been down in the dumps for a couple of decades (with some brief flashes here and there), and this season they were among the worst teams in all of college football. Now, with Coach Prime here, they should return to where I think they should be every year – in the nation’s top-25 teams.

Sanders is going to get top recruits from all over the country, something the Buffaloes have not been able to do consistently since the 80s and 90s. The arrival of Sanders also means that any high school player in the state of Colorado will want to go to Boulder instead of leaving home. Sanders is cool, and the cool factor goes a long way when it comes to college recruiting. Add in NIL rules, which the Buffs will now embrace, and the transfer portal changes the Buffs are making, and you can see how a bowl game in the near future is not out of the question.

I’m so glad the Buffaloes are back in the spotlight. I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life, and I remember when the Buffaloes were the pride of the state. That fan base is still there, and that excitement for college football has not been completely doused because the Buffaloes have been mostly irrelevant for the past 20 years. Coach Prime is here, and that means Buffs football is back!

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No Jackson, No Problem

Going up against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Broncos had their hands full with superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson. When Jackson went out with a knee injury, the chances the Broncos had to win the game increased – but they did not take advantage of backup quarterback Tyler Huntley. Instead, it was Huntley who beat the Broncos in the end.

The Ravens earned their first lead in the game against the Broncos with less than 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Broncos kept settling for field goals, and the team has only scored three touchdowns since Halloween, so the ineptitude should not surprise anyone. Huntley was rough as a passer to start, but after throwing an interception to Broncos’ safety Justin Simmons, he put together a string of 13 straight completions.
With the game on the line, Huntley did his best Jackson impression with a 2-yard touchdown run to put the Ravens in the lead. Like Jackson, Huntley is supremely gifted as an athlete and can be incredibly dangerous as a runner. The Broncos were having trouble stopping Huntley as a passer late, and then his legs did them in.

The Broncos’ defense has played some good football this year. However, there have been times late in games where they fall apart. I can see why, the offense does nothing to help them, but we need to pump the brakes before we start comparing this unit to a historical all-time defense like the Broncos had in 2015. They’ve just lost eight of their last nine games, and the last two quarterbacks to beat them are Sam Darnold and Huntley. It goes without saying, but the 2015 defense would’ve chewed those guys up and spit them out.

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Potential Pause Created by Wilson

Some have been speculating about why the Broncos have yet to fire Hackett. I think it should have already happened, but the Broncos ownership has not yet chosen to move on from a head coach who is clearly in over his head. We’re only left to speculate, and many have repeatedly said the new ownership does not want to send the wrong message to potential head coaches in the future by firing Hackett before the season is done.

To that I say; bull****.

There are only 32 of these jobs in the NFL, and no coach out there is going to drag their feet if and when they’re offered one of those jobs. The Broncos will have no problem filling that spot when they move on from Hackett. Any coach will be able to recognize that Hackett is not just bad – but he’s historically bad and things are worse than they’ve been over the last 50 years for this team. This is all on Hackett’s watch.

Any potential head coach for the Broncos is going to have much more pause when it comes to Russell Wilson. The Broncos already paid Wilson, and he’s likely to be their starter come hell or high water over the next couple of seasons at least. A new head coach will have to make it work with Wilson, and their coaching success will rely on how they fit with the veteran quarterback. Hackett genuflected too much to Wilson, and the new coach will have to take some of his perks away like the extra office, the six parking spots, and his team having full access to the building.

A new coach is not going to be concerned about how this team treated Hackett. They already know this is a pressure-packed and results-based business, and Hackett could not cut it. Dealing with Wilson – a player with a notorious relatability problem on two teams – is the thing that would give any potential coach something to think about. The coach will need to be the ultimate alpha in the building, and Wilson will have to listen to him. Hackett’s biggest problem is that he’s been a fan boy of Wilson (and his wife Ciara) more than a coach.

To summarize; Wilson is the one potential coaches will be most concerned with – as they should be. How do you get the best out of Wilson? How much does Wilson have left in the tank? Will Wilson listen to a stronger leader? These are larger questions, and the whole “worried about their reputation as ownership” is a bunch of bunk.

***

Return of the Guardians

As a comic book fan, I have to say I had trepidation before the release of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” back in 2014. I read the comic book back in the 90s, and the Guardians of the Galaxy were a cosmic group of misfits but overall, they weren’t that interesting. When the first film came out, I was pleasantly surprised. The film debut of the Guardians was fantastic, with plenty of laughs and action to make everyone happy. I know a lot of non-comic book fans who loved what the first Guardians movie was all about.

The sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” came out in 2017, and it was nowhere near as good as the original. I think I’ve watched that film all the way through just once because it’s so bad. I might watch a little bit of it here and there, but I just don’t care about the plot (or main villain). That’s why I was nervous about how director James Gunn would wrap things up with the finale in the trilogy of movies.

Let’s just say, the trailer that was released last week for “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” has me over-the-moon excited. This looks like another fun movie, but it also looks like there will be plenty of pulling on the heartstrings as the franchise finishes its trilogy. I won’t venture into spoiler territory, because not much is known about the plot, but there are rumblings that multiple deaths of fan favorites will occur in this movie.

Are you excited for the “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” movie? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

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