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Broncos, Briefly: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018

Phillip Lindsay: From Undrafted to Unstoppable (Matt Verderame, Fansided)

Once in Denver, it didn’t take the Broncos long to see his potential. Lindsay peaked interest at OTAs and minicamp, setting the stage for training camp.

At Englewood for the summer, the longshot seized the moment. Instead of taking rotations with the other backups, Lindsay accidentally found himself in the midst of a first-team rep. It was his Welcome to the NFL moment.

“The first practice I was a slot receiver, and I don’t know why but I was with the 1s,” Lindsay said. “I don’t think I was supposed to be. I made a play against Brandon Marshall on a stop and go, and my first play in there I scored a 60-yard touchdown. The next day I did again.”

Denver’s initial plan was for Lindsay to be a core special teams contributor. He was supposed to play returner and gunner, potentially working his way onto the field as a situational back. Instead, the Broncos now have a star who can dominate a game.

Vance Joseph wants less caution from Case Keenum (Mike Klis, 9 News)

Keenum’s top two receiving targets Sunday – Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton – were the Broncos’ No. 5 and 4 receivers through the first half of this season. But whatever the reasons, Keenum should get more than 186 yards from 42 pass attempts.

“I think it’s a combination of Case wanting to be safe with the ball and obviously seeing different looks,’’ Joseph said. “In my opinion, being safe with the ball allows you to have great numbers in that category, but as far as making plays on the field, you can’t be safe doing that. He’s got to take more chances down the middle of the field and he will tell you that.”

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns are coming to town Saturday with this exciting young quarterback. Baker Mayfield.

With the Broncos needing to beat the Browns and then the Raiders on Christmas Eve to keep their playoff hopes alive entering their season finale against the Chargers, now is the time, Case, to let it rip.

Brandon Marshall: Putting in the work for his career and his cause (Nicki Jhabvala, The Athletic)

In the two-plus years since his initial protest, Marshall has spread himself thin. His attendance challenge for fourth-grade students in Denver boosted numbers at Swansea Elementary for the first time in years. After a subsequent challenge last year, he returned to the school in January armed with pizzas as a reward.

In 2016, to pair action with his protests, Marshall donated more than $15,000 ($300 per tackle he made that season) to local organizations addressing social issues. Over the years, he has served meals at Denver Rescue Mission, prepared Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds at the Salvation Army, visited patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado and adopted families over the holidays to shower them with gifts.

Marshall also turned his annual football camp in Las Vegas — a USA Football FUNdamentals clinic — into a developmental workshop for boys, incorporating classroom sessions about healthy relationships and communication. The leftover pizzas from the camps were distributed to the homeless.

“I started doing community service in high school,” Marshall said. “I was a part of this organization that kind of taught us how to be men and we did community service. We had fun, too, but I started doing it then and I think as I got older, I just enjoyed it. I loved it. Obviously, I’m helping other people, but it makes me feel good as well.”

Bradley Chubb tops Miller’s Broncos rookie sack mark (Kevin Patra,

With three games left, Chubb has shot at Jevon Kearse’s NFL rookie record of 14.5 sacks.

“It’s an incredible feat, especially here where — the Denver Broncos, we have a history of pass rushers,” Miller said. “Especially young pass rushers that come in and play well. For Chubb to not only break the Broncos’ rookie sack record but have an opportunity to break the league record is incredible.

“I’ve said that since Day One. He’s a helluva player and I’m blessed to have a top-five pick and a player like him. I was watching today and just his excitement and his energy on plays people don’t even see. He’s going to be a great player for us and I’m excited to be able to play with him for years.”

Broncos briefs: Vance Joseph reflects on experience with QB Baker Mayfield at Senior Bowl (Ryan O’Halloran and Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)

Denver hosts the Browns and their rookie quarterback, Baker Mayfield, on Saturday at Mile High. Back in January, it was the Broncos’ coaching staff leading Mayfield and the North Team at the 2018 Senior Bowl. Joseph received a first-hand look at what made Cleveland decide to build its franchise around the 6-foot1 gunslinger from Oklahoma.

“Baker was a great guy to be around,” Joseph said. “Very confident, obviously, he’s a winner. He had great arm talent for a smaller quarterback. He has a big arm and he plays to that.”

Mayfield is 4-6 as the Browns’ starter this season, completing 242-of-376 (64 percent) passes for 2,877 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Cleveland defeated the Panthers 26-20 last week with Mayfield connecting on 81 percent of his throws for 238 yards, one touchdown and zero picks. Interim Browns coach Gregg Williams told local Cleveland media: “The really good quarterbacks throw their receivers open in tight coverage, and they have to be able to hit the very small window. I think you are seeing some of that with Baker right now.”

Broncos coach wants QB Case Keenum to take more chances (Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press)

“It’s all of us,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to obviously coach better early and play better early. In the last month we’ve had chances to keep plays alive and we haven’t. Missing throws. Drops on third down. Play calling. So, it’s everything.”

Against San Francisco, the Broncos didn’t score until the 38th minute and by then were down 20 points, leaving Keenum stumped.

“I felt like everybody had the right focus, had the right intensity, knew what was at stake, but I don’t know what it is,” Keenum said afterward. “We’ve just got to go out and slap ourselves in the face or something and get going early.”

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