ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It never hurts to get an expert opinion.
When it comes to what the Denver Broncos' offense will look like, play like and be like this season, consider Terrell Davis an expert.
Davis, who powered back-to-back Super Bowl wins for the Broncos to close out the 1997 and 1998 seasons, was at Monday's practice with the NFL Network. He believes Mark Sanchez will be the Broncos starting quarterback this season, the team will pass the ball plenty, and running back C.J. Anderson will have a big season if he can have some consistency.
Davis points to Broncos coach Gary Kubiak as the main reason, despite the national narrative about the Broncos’ potential struggles, the offense can flourish.
“I don’t think [Kubiak] gets enough credit for what he did last year," Davis said. “... It wasn’t even a true system. It was kind of a hybrid. And each week, you’re trying to figure out: What do we do? How do we make the quarterback comfortable? How do we make the backs comfortable? How do we do this? And you figure it out ... and go ahead and win the Super Bowl. Man, they don’t get enough credit for that."
Having played for the Broncos when Kubiak was the team’s offensive coordinator, Davis added: “I am biased, but I’ve seen what he can do. ... Everywhere he’s been, he’s proven he can get a quarterback to play at a high level. That’s part of the equation I feel for Mark Sanchez."
Although Kubiak has promised the Broncos will run the ball more than last year, Davis believes the Broncos receivers can still have big years. In 1997 and 1998, Davis rushed for 1,750 and 2,008 yards, respectively, and the Broncos still had two players finish with at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of those seasons.
“Who are we fooling?" Davis said. “It’s the quarterback. If Mark Sanchez proves he’s capable of throwing the ball down the field, of protecting the ball, they’ll open up the offense more. If not, then they’ll use more ball control, and yeah, the receivers would probably suffer doing that."
Of Anderson, Davis said the fourth-year back fits the Broncos' offense but needs to show more early in the season. Anderson has four career 100-yard rushing games and has never had one before Halloween. Davis also pointed out that last season Anderson didn't have 20 rushing attempts in a game until the Super Bowl, in which he had 23 carries. Until Super Bowl 50, Anderson did not have more than 16 carries in a game.
“For me, something happens at the beginning of the season. I’m not sure what it is," Davis said. "For him, to me, it’s consistency over the year. But it’s also opportunity. You’ve got to get them going. You can’t give me five carries, think I’m going to have a 6.5-yard rushing average. ... You’ve got to get him some reps."