Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice as holiday season arrives?


Parker Gabriel, Post Broncos reporter

Alright, gents. ‘Tis the season. We’re giving out one present and one lump of coal each. Make your list and copy edit it twice.

In a bad season for the Broncos, a present nonetheless for outside linebacker Baron Browning. He’s been a revelation for Denver in his first year playing the position. Life got tougher for him and the rest of the group when Randy Gregory missed 10 weeks with a knee injury and Bradley Chubb got traded, but he’s shown he can be a central part of the Broncos’ plan on the edge. It’s still likely GM George Paton will try to add to the group next spring in the draft, but they found a good player in Browning.

As for the coal, how about hamstrings? They’ve not done any favors to Denver this year. A dozen players have missed games due to hamstring injuries and several — tight ends Greg Dulcich and Andrew Beck, wide receiver KJ Hamler, and defensive back Darrius Phillips among them — have had aggravations along the way that caused additional problems. When coach Nathaniel Hackett said, “hamstrings are weird,” during training camp, he had no idea what was coming his way this season. Not Denver’s only coal candidate this year by a long shot, but a worthy recipient nonetheless. What say you Santas?

Matt Schubert, deputy sports editor

Does Santa ever actually leave a lump of coal? I knew a lot of awful children growing up who got some really great Christmas presents every year. But I digress…

If we’re handing out Tickle Me Elmos in the Broncos locker room, one must be reserved for Justin Simmons — the consummate professional who never stops producing for a franchise that so rarely deserves it. Now at five interceptions for the third consecutive season (and one fumble recovery), the veteran safety is one of few players on the roster whose selection to the Pro Bowl wouldn’t immediately elicit a double-take. Can the Broncos get this man get one playoff appearance before he leaves Denver? Just one?


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