Broncos Football
Caption +

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) and Denver Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton (17) take part in drills during practice at the NFL football team’s headquarters Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Show MoreShow Less

The Gazette’s Paul Klee has three observations on Sunday’s Broncos game at San Francisco:

The “next man up” is DaeSean Hamilton

Put my $5 on DaeSean Hamilton scoring a breakout game Sunday. Via trade and attrition, the fourth-round draft pick has risen to a starting spot on the wide receiver depth chart. And a season-ending injury to Emmanuel Sanders arrived just days after Hamilton earned a career-high 47 snaps at Cincinnati. Hamilton is one confident dude who won’t flinch from an increased workload. “I see guys my age making plays all the time. There’s a reason I’m in the NFL,” said Hamilton. To open opportunities for star rusher Phillip Lindsay, they must elevate the passing game to a respectable level. Defensive coordinators adjust. With Demaryius Thomas in Houston and Sanders recovering from surgery, now they’re going to stack the box. “We’re making some subtle changes and we think we’ll still be effective,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said.

Kyle Shanahan on Broncos job: Not happenin’

When Gary Kubiak resigned as Broncos coach, the Broncos were always going with Vance Joseph. No other candidates had a chance at the job. San Francisco coach and Cherry Creek grad Kyle Shanahan proved the point when he was asked if losing out on the Broncos job injected extra juice into facing the Broncos: “It was a big deal when it happened because I know a lot of people, especially friends and stuff, were pulling for you. They thought I was going to be there,” Shanahan said. “But my wife and I never really thought it was going to happen. We didn’t have our hopes up or anything like that.” Truth is, Joseph clinched the Broncos job when he interviewed here ... for the defensive coordinator gig, back when Wade Phillips was hired.

Von Miller, real-life superhero

The mentee is now the mentor, in more ways than sacking quarterbacks. To watch Von Miller mature into one of the great ambassadors in Colorado sports history has been a privilege. Get a load of this guy: Von’s Vision has blessed 6,500 students with everything from eye screenings to corrective glasses. Thursday the NFL took notice: Miller was named the Broncos’ nominee for the Walter Payton Award. The Super Bowl MVP is now a community MVP. “It’s really still like a dream,” Von said, and he was talking about the impact he’s had on so many kids around these hills — not the award. What I learned from interviewing Miller at his Von’s Vision events is that he has zero interest in the publicity that stories like this provide. He’s simply a Texan-turned-Coloradan with a heart of gold. Who else wants to be like Vonnie Football when they grow up?

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

Sports columnist

Denver sports columnist for The Gazette

Load comments