ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Even while mired in his worst season as a head coach, Bill Belichick demands respect.
As a defensive coordinator, Belichick remains known for taking away a team’s primary offensive weapon, making the group play left-handed if you will. If the Patriots double Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy could emerge as the right option in the passing game.
Despite an uneven season, Jeudy told Denver7 he will be ready.
“I think I am open every week,” said Jeudy, who bounced back from a tough outing vs. the Chargers with three catches for 74 yards at the Lions. “(A tough game) doesn’t faze me. I am always confident. Just because somebody has a drop doesn’t mean they lose confidence. I know me. I know the type of player I am. At the end of the day, I know what I am capable of. I know what it is and what it ain’t.”
Jeudy sparked the offense with a 40-yard reception on the first drive, but a scoring opportunity fizzled when quarterback Russell Wilson fumbled. Wilson was a catalyst during the Broncos’ five-game winning streak, posting eight touchdowns with two turnovers. Over the last three games, the passing attack has been inconsistent, with Wilson posting four touchdowns and five turnovers.
When the Broncos failed at the goal line in the third quarter, Wilson heard an earful from coach Sean Payton. Players and coaches continued to explain that the incident, from their perspective, was overblown.
“It’s football. Coaches yell every day. That ain’t nothing. Fix the situation for what you got yelled at and focus on the next play and the next game,” said Jeudy, explaining that he was yelled at the previous week. “That ain’t nothing. We are grown men out here.”
Added offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who knows Payton as well as anyone on the staff, “Game days are like Vegas. What goes on on game day stays on game day. It’s an emotional time. You can’t take things personal. We’ve all been on the end of that and been Sean in those situations as well, yelling at somebody. It’s just the emotions of the game. I don’t think it’s nearly as big a deal. You laugh about it later. Russ came up yesterday and said it’s his turn to yell at Sean. Everybody in this situation has good relationships with each other. It’s just part of being in a family.”
Jackson hopeful of returning
Strong safety Kareem Jackson remains hopeful that he will be activated this Sunday following his four-game suspension. The team remains non-committal and has until Monday to decide given his roster exemption. Jackson is thrilled with how P.J. Locke has performed in his absence. He is a captain for a reason and happy to be back in the locker room.
“It feels good. My relationship with these guys will always be bigger than just a game. I mean obviously we have built a bond through the game. But once we are all said and done, these are guys I plan on having a relationship with and hanging out with,” Jackson said. “And definitely my group of guys, the DBs. It’s always special to see them excel.”
Payton and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph both said they wanted to see where Jackson was physically after his four-week absence. It is understandable and could lead to him remaining inactive. Jackson, however, believes he is good to go.
“It’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget,” Jackson said. “I worked out quite a bit. I have been playing this game my entire life. The game atmosphere is a little different than practice. But there aren’t any adjustments I can’t make.”
Tight end Greg Dulcich (foot/hamstring) and outside linebacker Nik Bonitto (knee MCL) did not practice Thursday. Bonitto has been making steady progress, suggesting he could return against the Chargers if he does not play this week. … Joseph said the key with the rush defense is getting back to fundamentals and winning on first down. “When we dictate, we are much better,” Joseph said.