DaeSean Hamilton is Broncos’ most targeted receiver in absence of Emmanuel Sanders (Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)
Hamilton, 23, was lauded for exceptional route running through his NFL draft evaluation. Those talents don’t fully translate, though, without confidence.
“It’s grown tremendously, just (Hamilton’s) demeanor, just the way he’s talking when he comes back to the huddle — like, ‘Hey, I’m winning.’” Keenum said. “I like receivers that come back and tell me they want the ball. He’s been progressing and I think he’s going to keep getting better.”
Hamilton missed games against the Chiefs and Texans with a knee injury, but has since returned to full health. He has two more games to show his potential as Denver’s starting slot receiver.
“I just want to keep balling,” Hamilton said. “I know guys on this team just want to keep playing. I love football. I like competing against guys. We played against the Browns, they played man-to-man all game and I loved it. It didn’t really matter. I can speak on behalf of the receivers — we are going to play our hardest. We are going to do everything we possibly can do. We are going to do everything the coaches tell us to do and play hard every single day.”
For Phillip Lindsay, 1,000-yard season would be fitting end to Cinderella year (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
And despite the Broncos’ current 6-8 mark, a 1,000-yard rushing season would mean plenty.
“I’m an undrafted free agent, to be able to have 100 yards in a game was great, to get a touchdown, to be able to play (at Broncos Stadium at Mile High), that’s the stuff right there that I dreamed about,” Lindsay said. “The Pro Bowl is something that you think like five years down the line, three years down the line. It’s an honor to get it … It’s an accolade that we all get to cherish. Going over 1,000 yards and possibly breaking the record for (an undrafted rookie), it’s just a milestone that the offensive line deserves because they’ve been working.’’
Dominic Rhodes, with 1,104 yards rushing in 2001, holds the league record for rushing yards by an undrafted rookie. Lindsay would need 113 yards rushing combined against the Oakland Raiders Monday night and in the Dec. 30 season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Inactive for most of the season, DeMarcus Walker has relied on the mentorship of a future Hall of Famer (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)
“I hope he becomes full-time. D-Ware really helped me,” Walker said. “He’s a (future) Hall of Famer for a reason. He can just watch everybody rush and go, ‘Well, this here we got to work on’ and it just goes on from there. Coach Kollar teaches the run and D-Ware teaches the pass. … Small things that I thought weren’t my weakness, he pointed them out and I trust him.”
When the Broncos’ season officially ends and focus likely shifts to revamping their coaching staff and their roster, Walker says he will continue to heed the advice of Ware and train with him in the offseason.
“I’m a quick learner, and the stuff that he showed me and I applied it, it worked every time,” Walker said. “So he came to me, saying he wants to work with me this offseason. We’re seeing eye-to-eye. A lot more beach workouts. Just training. I worked my tail off last year. That’s why I was really upset when I was down.
“But I see the bigger picture, and I want the stuff that I want.”
Broncos distribute lifesaving armor to Colorado first responders through Shield 616 (Ryan O’Halloran and Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)
Miller led an effort last month to rally support within the organization to donate more than $200,000 to Shield 616, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit founded in 2015, to first responders around the state. The group used the Broncos’ donation to provide over 130 advanced protective kits, including a ballistic vest, helmet and wound trauma kit that upgrades protection against automatic weapons and assault rifles.
Almost 20 players, CEO Joe Ellis, general manager John Elway and coach Vance Joseph made personal donations to the initiative. The team also pledged continued involvement with volunteer opportunities to build and maintain meaningful relationships between police and the communities they serve. Miller said mass shootings nationwide prompted him to act.
“There was a guy here (today) who was shot a year ago and if he would have had this equipment, it would have protected him,” Miller said. “Hearing stories like that, it feels good. I can’t put it into any better words than that. It feels good to help the community.”