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I visited the Denver Broncos' official website this morning and discovered a "team photo" button on the "team" page. When I clicked it, however, I was surprised to see an image of the 2007 squad, complete with Mike Shanahan doing his weird little squint in row six and Jay Cutler up front wearing predominately orange.
Is this the Broncos' way of letting us know they wish they could turn back the clock just hours before tonight's 2009 preseason debut against the San Francisco 49ers? If so, I'd certainly understand. A few hours ago, Mile High Sports Radio's Renaud Notaro imagined that every Broncos fan must be "excited" to see the team in something akin to actual competition, but "filled with existential dread" is more like it. New quarterback Kyle Orton's performance at last Thursday's Invesco Field practice was so awful that apologists have been working overtime to say how good he's looked at training camp since then, as if that means squat. And the defense is cobbled together with holdovers from last season's pathetic squad and other teams' castoffs. No wonder the Vegas line, which predicts the Broncos will go 7-9 this season, seems overly optimistic -- and 2007 looks rosier in retrospect.