Hope springs eternal for Todd Davis.
On his third Broncos head coach since 2014, the starting off-ball linebacker is joining his teammates in embracing the culture change under first-time boss Vic Fangio.
“I think it’s exciting,” he recently told Mike Klis of 9News. “Especially with the new head coach and new coaching staff and new defense to learn, I’m excited to get in there and learn it as quickly as possible.”
Davis is a relic of sorts — a remaining survivor from the Broncos’ 2015 championship squad. He has watched so much star talent depart, it would only be natural to express pessimism about his short-term security or the collective process. Doubly so when his partner-in-crime, Brandon Marshall, was pink-slipped this offseason.
But the 29-year-old former undrafted free agent, who led the team with 114 tackles last season, is familiar with the peaks and valleys of this business. He’s not kidding himself.
“I think it will be a little different,” Davis said. “Every year it changes but the guys we just lost were players I had played with a long time. So it’ll be different, but you have to build some new bonds and take in some new family members.”
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The Broncos’ family has indeed grown by four, with Joe Flacco, Kareem Jackson, Ja’Wuan James and Bryce Callahan moving in. There remains much to prove from the wayward franchise, and especially from Davis, a limited, two-down inside ‘backer.
But you can’t — you won’t — curtail the ambition.
“I think this season is going to be good,” he said. “Our new quarterback, I think Joe will come in and do a great job for us. A great leader, a veteran presence. I think we picked up some good cornerbacks, some people who know how to play. And then we picked up a big right tackle, so I think we made the right moves during the offseason.”
Entering the second of the three-year contract he signed last year, Davis is penciled in atop the depth chart, alongside Josey Jewell. For now, as it’s possible, if not probable, the Broncos add competition via the NFL draft.
Davis, however, can take solace knowing some of this newfound optimism coursing through Colorado points his way, too.
“I like those guys with what little I’ve seen of them,” Fangio said at last week’s league meetings. “I haven’t seen a lot. I actually saw more of [ILB] Josey [Jewell] as a college player. That’s more fresh in my mind because I watched him last year. I like those guys.”