That in turn has made the Denver faithful concerned about where Elway goes next.

Denver’s biggest problem last season was a QB trio of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch that combined to post a 73.0 rating, second worst in the NFL to the quarterback-clueless Browns. The trio also threw 22 interceptions, second most in the league.

Lynch has been a major disappointment over his first two seasons after Elway traded up to draft him in the first round. The big signal caller could not beat out Siemian in his rookie season and battled injuries and inconsistency in Year 2. The dreaded bust word is in play, as Lynch has not shown enough promise to engender confidence that he was worthy of such a high pick.

Does Elway try to make a splash in free agency when the new league year begins March 14? Drew Brees at 39 is still elite but unlikely to leave New Orleans. Kirk Cousins is the next best if we discount Minnesota’s trio of free-agent quarterbacks due to injury concerns with Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, plus the lack of long-term success by Case Keenum even after his excellent 2017 season.

If he ends up playing bigger minutes, Mudiay might have to adjust his conditioning a bit; he averaged around 18 minutes per game for the Nuggets.

We also might see the rookie Ntilikina starting at some point for New York. It sounds as if the coaching staff has been hesitant to play Ntilikina big minutes because of fatigue issues and occasional knee pain, but he will play a bigger role for the remainder of the season.

They are selfless, humble, hard-working players who don’t bark like other vibrant NFL wide receivers. But they are not wallflowers.

During this Super Bowl media week, neither would allow anyone to back them into a corner. Both gave among the most direct, succinct, piercing answers of any players here. Cooks, for example, when asked if he had “arrived,” snapped: “No, I haven’t arrived. I’m not even sure what that is. I’m still pressing forward.”

Jeffery, when asked about the analysis of him as an “average” Bears receiver compared with this prime Eagles season quipped: “Writers and fans have their opinions, but last time I checked, their opinions don’t pay checks.”

Two no-nonsense receivers who make plenty of sense.

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