Ahead of tonight’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos, we had a chance to chat with Ty Walden, site expert for Predominantly Orange
Although the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos will not play each other again in the regular season until 2023, the two are annual preseason partners. There are some ties between the teams, particularly among the coaching staffs of the 2018 Broncos and 2019 Cardinals.
We asked several questions we thought not just Cardinals fans but football fans in general would like to hear answers to. There have been a number of changes in Denver, although they won’t all be in play Thursday night.
RZ: So you guys have Joe Flacco now as the new field general. However you also have Drew Lock in house behind him. I know he’s injured currently but do you expect Flacco to last the season as the starter?
PO: I believe the plan will be to have Joe Flacco as the starter for the 2019 season. It could very well be longer while Drew Lock develops. Lock has shown that he can do well in the NFL, but does need some development. I think sitting behind Flacco for a season or two will really help him out.
RZ: Former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph is the Cardinals defensive coordinator. What went wrong for Joseph in Denver?
PO: I am going to be completely honest. I absolutely did not like the Vance Joseph hiring when it happened in 2017. From the moment I saw the Dolphins defense destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card game, I would not have trusted him as a head coach. I took his hiring with a grain of salt and hoped that he would do something. My suspensions were correct after two seasons and a 11-21 record.
As for what went wrong, I just do not think he was a true leader for the Denver Broncos. He lost the locker room easily with every loss that occurred. Throwing his own players under the bus did not help his cause either. It was so bad that Elway considered bringing Mike Shanahan out of retirement after Joseph’s first season in Denver. And it almost happened. As a fan, I am excited that the team is moving in a new direction.
RZ: How will Vic Fangio change the fortunes of the team in 2019?
PO: His old school, non sense approach will really help the team out. Even though he will be coaching his first NFL game on September 9th, he seems to have the team under control and looks to be a solid addition to the coaching staff after the two abysmal years they went through.
RZ: What will you be looking for from the Broncos on Thursday night? Anyone on the bubble you want to see a lot of?
PO: All I want to see is this team compete for 60 minutes instead of 30. If they can do well for both halves, I will be impressed. On offense, I really want to see Devontae Booker because he is one name that could be in danger of being cut if he cannot have a solid game. Defensively, Su’a Cravens is one that I am keeping an eye on.
RZ: Do you expect Phillip Lindsay to have a big season and is there anyone behind him that could make some noise?
I think he will have a solid year, but will not be on the field much. They are looking to split time between him and Royce Freeman. If Khalfani Muhammand ends up making the final roster, he would be a player to keep an eye on. But I would keep a close eye on Freeman.
At the very least, there seems to be some good fantasy advice buried in these answers. That’s if you were considering any Broncos of course.
It is interesting he doesn’t believe Lindsay will be limited in action this season because of the up and comers behind him. That is certainly something to keep an eye on.
Cardinals fans won’t see him play on Thursday night but it is certainly still something to pay attention to once the regular season starts. For now, enjoy the game. We thank Ty for taking the time to give us some insight to what’s going on in Denver.