- Jon Schlosser All 22
Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray won the Super Bowl as a rookie. That’s the level of play he’s used to. The Broncos are now 3-5, having their worst season since Josh McDaniels was the head coach.
Ray hates it. He especially hated the blowout loss to the Eagles because it was a high-profile game on national TV, selected because it was supposed to be great, so the whole country saw exactly how bad Denver looked.
“We got to fix things. We were embarrassed on national television. They changed the game,” Ray said, per BSN’s Zac Stevens. “They took us off air. That’s embarrassing to lose like that. Don’t think any of us are taking it lightly. We are all just as pissed as the fan base and everyone else. We are mad. We are trying to figure it out.”
He’s not the only member of the team to talk about this same level of extreme frustration. The team does want to win. They do want to improve. It’s just not happening.
To turn it around, the defense is holding everyone responsible for their own mistakes. No one gets any leeway.
“It’s a very blunt meeting,” Ray said. “If I miss an assignment, I’m getting called out on my assignment in front of my whole team, my defense. If I was supposed to do this and I cost us a big play, that’s seen. It keeps the truth. It keeps the realness because what happens is when you start losing and thing start looking bad, you get guys that start pointing fingers at everybody, or this guy could have done this or this guy could have did this. That’s what makes the difference. We are just being real, we are being pros and we are putting it in your face because the way the record is we can’t sugar coat stuff, things have to change to be fixed now.”
The Broncos play another high-profile game when they take on the New England Patriots. It’s the night game, so there’s no pulling it off the air if Tom Brady is shredding the defense. The Patriots have long followed the “do your job” mantra, and Ray adopted a similar one.
“Shit happens and it’s a frustrating thing because we are losing,” Ray said. “Guys are trying to do this—‘Maybe if I do this, we’ll make this play.’ It creates diffusion with the team. Focus on your job. Don’t point fingers at nobody else. Point fingers at yourself. What could I have done better?”
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