Ten Things on the Broncos' 2016 To-Do List

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5. Don’t Get Stuck on Anderson
Every Broncos fan loves C.J. Anderson. The guy’s overflowing with heart, and he’s an asset to the team on-field and off. But Denver can’t rely on him to run us out of every clinch, and he doesn’t need to be our starter in every game. If Anderson needs time to recognize the holes in the zone-blocking scheme, give it to him. Move on to Devontae Booker, and use him until and unless Anderson can truly fill the role.

4. Same Goes for the Run
We’ve got to admit it: We no longer have a dependable arm (or even the presumption of one) to get us out of third-and-longs possession after possession after possession. Yes, we’re going to press the run this season, and we’re not making a secret of that. Everyone’s going to be ready for exactly that. Which means we’re going to have to be more than that, and have a few surprises left.

3. Pray Just a Little that Letting Britton Colquitt Go Wasn’t a Huge Mistake
Creating another Prater-style kicking emergency probably wasn’t the best way to start our 2016 season. All we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that Riley Dixon can step up strong.

2. Listen to the “Experts”
You know, the ones giving the Broncos little to no shot at even making the playoffs this season, let alone the Super Bowl. Let the columnists crow about how Oakland or Kansas City will win the AFC West and how Bill “Bellicheat” will take his Patriots all the way. Broncos bridle at that sort of prognostication. Embrace that. Channel it. Make that chip on your shoulder become motivation — but do it wisely.

1. ...But Forget Super Bowl 50
First and foremost: Play like last year never happened. Play like Westword contributor Brian Badzmierowski was right. Don’t play like we’re defending a title; play hungry, play smart, play like we have something to prove, because we do. What happened last year has no relevance to what will happen this year; we have no laurels upon which to rest. Get out there and leave it all on the field, for the Mile High fans here and across the country. Go, Broncos!
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen