MILE HIGH MONDAY

Sean Payton needs to open up his playbook for Russell Wilson

Oct 16, 2023, 6:34 AM | Updated: 10:32 am

The Denver Broncos lost on Thursday night in Week 6 and now at 1-5 they are likely moving towards the future. This season is lost, so what’s best for the team? That could be collecting assets for players and going with a full rebuild.

I like when things are going better for the Broncos. This is a low point for the franchise in my lifetime, and it may take more time for them to climb back up the ladder to be at least playoff contenders.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler 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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Hurry Up and Trade Jeudy

Broncos general manager George Paton needs to trade some players away, and the sooner the better. Perhaps a player at the top of the list should be wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. The former first-round pick (2020) does not produce up to the expected level, and his behavior this season shows his desire to be with the Broncos is not as strong as you’d like.

There have been rumblings about the Carolina Panthers being interested in Jeudy, but that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Adam Thielen is their top target, and D.J. Chark is there to take the top off the defense. Behind those two, rookie WR Jonathan Mingo has made Terrace Marshall (a 2021 second-round pick) expendable. With so much talent, I can’t see the Panthers trading for Jeudy unless they move on from Marshall (recent reports indicate he is on the trade block).

There is also buzz about the Indianapolis Colts having interest in Jeudy. This move would make a bit more sense, as they could use a player like Jeudy. He’s not a no.1 receiver, regardless of his draft status, but Jeudy could work as a no.2 receiver for the Colts opposite of Michael Pittman. Sure, they have young receivers like Josh Downs or Alec Pierce, but perhaps they see Jeudy as an upgrade. There is talk of rookie QB Anthony Richardson needing season-ending surgery, so this move for Jeudy might be moot – regardless of any perceived need.

The Colts and Panthers aren’t the only teams interested in Jeudy, so perhaps the Broncos can get more for the former first-round pick than I believe they will. Either way, Paton needs to get on the phone and deal Jeudy (and others) before the trade deadline on Halloween.

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For Who, For What?

With the Broncos lousy start to the season, there are now analysts who are suggesting the team should bench QB Russell Wilson. This suggestion is at least premature if not incredibly ignorant. Of all the problems the Broncos have, Wilson is far down the list. Yes, he’s not been perfect this season, but benching him in favor of backup QB Jarrett Stidham makes no sense.

The Broncos won’t get better with Stidham running the show. In fact, Wilson is running what HC Sean Payton wants him to – and I think Payton could allow him to do a bit more. I’ve seen too many plays where Wilson is running a simplified scheme. This doesn’t look like the Payton offense I’m used to from his days with the Saints – even in 2021 with QB Jameis Winston.

Wilson is getting the most out of what Payton is asking him to do. If Payton opened the playbook for him, Wilson would likely respond with better play. When you see Wilson take off and run, it’s not only the receivers who aren’t getting open – it’s the scheme that is not getting these players in position to make plays. Again, this is very odd compared to what we’re used to from Payton.

Stidham isn’t going to win more games, and I don’t believe he’s got future franchise quarterback potential. The Broncos could get a legit franchise quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft, and that’s where their focus needs to be at the position.

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Starting Early

I love the NFL Draft. There is nobody in the local media that will put more work into preparing for the draft than I do. I love traveling to All-Star games, talking to scouts and GMs, and learning the most about these players as I possibly can. I love watching film to analyze physical talent, and then I want to see if these traits continue to show up in person.

Each year in December, I start going over the incoming class of players. It takes me a few months to put together my big board of prospects and ranking of players. With my job covering the entire NFL, I don’t have much time to watch college football on Saturdays. I try to mostly get through the regular season before putting one eye on the draft. I’ve done this for almost 20 years, but that’s going to change this year.

The Broncos are so bad that I’m going to dive into the draft class in November. They’re not going anywhere this season, but with the right picks next year this team could be much more competitive. Not only does this class potentially feature two “can’t miss” quarterbacks (Caleb Williams, Drake May) but a quick look at the potential incoming class reveals six left tackles who could be first-round picks. This is an incredible group of quarterbacks and left tackles coming into this league. If there’s ever a year to select one of those positions, it looks like 2024 is your year.

The Broncos are possibly in position to get something they’ve never had before, and securing a franchise quarterback like Williams would be exhilarating for the fan base.

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Just Do it Right

As a comic book fan, I’m mostly excited about upcoming shows and movies in the superhero genre. I loved the Daredevil show on Netflix, and for a time it was the only reason I subscribed to the streaming service, so you know I was over the moon when it was announced most of that cast was coming to Disney-Plus for a new series “Daredevil: Born Again.”

Charlie Cox, the actor who plays Matt Murdock (the hidden identity of Daredevil) was coming over from Netflix to reprise his role. Again, not everybody was coming over to the new series but securing Cox to play the role was huge. The “Born Again” storyline from the comics is one of the greatest tales of all time when it comes to the man without fear. I won’t spoil the story here, but just know it was one of my favorite storylines of all time for any comic book character – not just Daredevil.

Well, let’s just say Marvel shows on Disney-Plus have not been great, and they certainly have not been “must see TV.” That’s why I was okay when the news broke last week that Kevin Feige (president of Marvel studios) let go of all the writers and shut down production on “Daredevil: Born Again.” Fewer than half the episodes had already been shot, but Feige deemed the show not good enough for the new standards he’s setting for that part of the company. With the failures of recent Marvel shows, I’m glad Feige would make that power move rather than push out a product that lacks the quality standards they want to get back to.

What are some upcoming movies and TV shows you’re excited about? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

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