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5 Denver Broncos youngsters who must perform for team to realize Super Bowl goal

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July 1, 2015


Congratulations, Denver Broncos fans. Your team’s front office has done wonderful work to set up the orange and blue with one of the most talent-filled squads in the NFL.

Denver has won the AFC West for four straight years, demonstrating their dominance on the division while guaranteeing a place in the playoffs each season. Peyton Manning has been central to the winning, as have stars like Von Miller, Chris Harris, Demaryius Thomas and multiple others.

Certainly, the team is loaded with elite, veteran players who show up every week. They’re the easy ones to spot on film; the game-changers, Denver’s most important players.

But, what makes football so great is the team aspect. 53 men must come together to realize the ultimate goal of winning one game at a time, and if they’re somehow lucky enough, win it all.

If the Broncos want to win the Super Bowl – a goal John Elway charged them with by saying they’re “Chasing Lombardi” in 2013 – multiple youngsters must immediately impact the team in positive, tangible ways. Some are more obvious than others; this is our list.

  1. Ty Sambrailo – The most obvious of them all is Ty Sambrailo, the likely starting left tackle with Ryan Clady sidelined for the season due to his torn ACL. Sambrailo has impressed coaches, including Gary Kubiak, and players – like Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware – in OTAs. As training camp rapidly approaches, kicking off July 31, the rookie Sambrailo out of Colorado State is in line to continue at that spot as the season ramps up. The 23-year old must continue to grow at a fast pace, adapting to the professional style of preparation while learning Kubiak’s offense. If he can play well, Denver’s offense will be able to do what it needs to; both in running the rock and giving Manning time to pass the pigskin. If not, it could be quite troublesome for the O.
  2. Bradley Roby – While the defensive backfield is stacked with stars like Harris – the best cornerback in the NFL – as well as T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib, Roby is still quite important. Harris’ versatility shines when he can play both inside the slot and outside on an island. When Harris is asked to play inside, Roby will play outside, usually against the opponent’s third-best receiver. Roby did well as a rookie last year, with 65 tackles, 13 passes defended, two interceptions, two fumbles forced and recoveries each. He was an unsung performer last season and if he plays slightly better, it will only benefit the Broncos on their “Super Bowl or Bust” drive.
  3. C.J. Anderson – With Kubiak comes a more run-oriented offense. Meaning C.J. Anderson’s performance will spotlighted at times. Anderson excelled as the team’s featured back in the second half of 2014, running for the bulk of his 849 yards and eight touchdowns from November on. Will he be featured again, or split time with Montee Ball and Denver’s deep backfield? It’s unknown at this point, but Anderson’s importance as the team’s top back is clear currently.
  4. Sylvester Williams – Williams, like the last two players, enters his third season in the NFL. And to this point, he’s been little more than a backup. Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense needs a nose tackle and the 2013 first-round pick is the man in line to take the spot following Terrance Knighton’s departure. Will this be the year “Sly” finally lives up to his potential? Denver sure needs it to be.
  5. Cody Latimer – Latimer, a rookie in 2014, didn’t get much chance to showcase his talents with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders ahead of him on the depth chart. Add in Julius Thomas’ breakout season and Latimer saw only two receptions. But anyone who saw his touchdown in the preseason knows the kid can play. How big a role will he have in Kubiak’s offense? It’s rumored to increase and his ability to produce will only improve Denver’s deadliness on offense.

Football is a total team game and there’s no doubt everyone who makes the active roster will be asked to contribute this season. These five young men know the light will be shining brightly on them, early and often.


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