We already know the Broncos (and Texans) are preparing for Sunday's game as if it's a regular season tilt. But the Broncos fans are happy to have Gary Kubiak back for a visit, and will give him a loud roar when he's introduced Sunday night.
Seldom do you get this pumped for a preseason game, but it is the third one, which means that the starters will play about three quarters. Add the Kubiak home-away-from-homecoming story and you've got a juicy event to look forward to.
Things to do in Denver...
**1) Get some big plays from David Carr
**We're not asking for an all-out aerial assault. Just make a big play or two to get the fans pumped up about the passing game and squash some of the media rumblings of a potential quarterback controversy.
**2) Stop the run AND the pass
**Last week I wrote about a need for better run defense and got it, but the Rams put up nearly 300 yards through the air. Defensive coordinator Richard Smith wants to see his players slow down the Denver ground game (easier said than done), get Jake Plummer in some long down-and-distance situations and let his pass rushers tee off.
**3) Get the strong side linebacker spot ironed out
**4) Get confidence in the kicking game
**What's up with Kris Brown missing some field goals that he would normally make? He's been through tough times before, and this is nothing compared to what he went through in Pittsburgh, so I'm not worried.
You have to love Phillip Buchanon as a punt return man, but is he defending well enough to take a spot? Plus, you could make a reality show with the kick returner candidates. It could be any one of four players when Sept, 10 rolls around.
More on the Broncos...
Denver has been in the top 10 in offense in eight of the 11 years Kubiak was the offensive coordinator there. The defense has yielded similar results. If you are going to model your team after a franchise, you could do a lot worse. The Texans are third in rushing in the NFL through two preseason games. It's not much of a sample size, but it's a step in the right direction.