Courtland Sutton missed the Peyton Manning era in Denver by three seasons and instead was there for the Broncos’ revolving door at quarterback. From Case Keenum to Joe Flacco to Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater and a host of subs, Sutton caught passes from a cavalcade of QBs.
With the Broncos executing the seismic trade for Russell Wilson this offseason, Sutton can already sense the altered atmosphere surrounding the club.
“We can all feel it,” Sutton said Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “The juice is just different. I wasn’t there when Peyton came or was here, but from what I hear from everyone who was here when Peyton was here, the juice and energy is pretty similar. , knowing that we have a guy who’s already been on top of that mountain, has already won a Super Bowl, [who] knows what it’s like to be at the top of your job and lead a team to a Super Bowl.”
With the new star quarterback, expectations are higher for a team that sported a playoff-caliber roster but has been underwater by the quarterback position in recent years.
“Everyone in the building understands that the expectations, the standards, are brought to the best of everyone – from the cooks to the equipment guys, to the video – everyone in the building understands that we have to operate at a different level, operating at a different standard,” Sutton added. “It’s Russ, plus coach (Nathaniel) Hackett and the new coaching staff. Everyone brings this new juice, this new energy into the building. I think everyone buys into it and understands what the norm is.”
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, the Broncos sport a well-rounded roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The receiving quartet of Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler is diverse and talented; Javonte Williams is a stallion out of the backfield; and the offensive line is solid with the potential to be very good. The defensive secondary is locked down, led by Justin Simmons and Patrick Surtain. The pass rush added Randy Gregory and brought in underrated defensive tackle DJ Jones.
The addition of Wilson is seen as the most important piece to finally bringing the Broncos back to competition in the tough AFC West. But Sutton knows championships aren’t won in March and April.
“Nothing will be given to us because we have a lot of names on the list,” he said. “It’s up to us to be able to go out and work, day in and day out, so that at the end of the day, we can look up and be where we want to be.
“Everyone wants to be on top of the mountain with the Lombardi Trophy and be world champion.”