Did you know the Broncos went into the offseason looking for some “juice” on offense?
Well, if you only watched the first three quarters on Thursday night in the preseason opener, you probably came away quite thirsty. Like any Thirsty Thursday, though, you had to stay late for the action.
Sure, it took the Chicago Bears putting in dudes with numbers like 47 and 39 on the field for the Broncos to get anything done on the offensive side of the ball, but it was two of the Broncos juice picks from the NFL Draft that finally got fans salivating.
It started with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter. With the Broncos trailing 17-10, No. 1 quarterback—he literally wears No. 1—Kyle Sloter found fifth-round draft pick and all-purpose swiss-army knife Isaiah McKenzie for a 47-yard touchdown to tie the game.
“84, he’s been special all camp,” head coach Vance Joseph told 9 News after the game with a juicy smile. “33 has been special also, so I’m not surprised.”
84, of course, is McKenzie. 33, the proverbial “hero” of the meaningless game, is fellow rookie and sixth-round draft pick, De’Angelo Henderson. With just under two minutes left in the contest, Henderson found a massive hole on the left side of the line, burst through, cut back towards the right sideline, picked up a big block from wide receiver Anthony Nash and crossed the goal line for the game-winning touchdown. A 41-yard dash from the training camp standout.
“Once I made my cut I knew they couldn’t keep up,” the rookie who believes he’s faster than Jamaal Charles told KUSA. “Going into that play, coach told us to make a play, stay calm and let’s go down there and win the game, let’s not kick a field goal, let’s go score a touchdown. We executed pretty well, it opened up real well, and I was just trying to make a play.”
He made a play alright, listening to his coaches like he listened to his teammate just prior to that.
“The series before we sat and we talked about some things, and it’s just good that he retained it and saw it… He sat there asking a bunch of questions, I told him about some things… It was amazing, man.”
It was a small step for the Broncos rookies, running past guys who will be looking for work in a couple weeks, but it was a glimpse into just what Vance Joseph may have conjured up with his juicer.
“It’s surreal right now, it’s fun,” Henderson concluded. “I just can’t wait to keep rolling with the guys and grow more. I’m learning a lot from the older guys, and they’re teaching me as I go along. I’m just excited right now.”