DENVER — The Denver Broncos ranked 20th in an NFLPA survey of players taken this season, failing to finish in the upper half because of poor scores in support of families, locker room facilities and food service and nutrition.
Roughly 1,300 players responded to the union survey that examined eight facets of NFL teams' operations and facilities. The categories included treatment of families, food service/nutrition, weight room, strength coaches, training room, training staff, locker room and team travel.
The Broncos received a D in food service and nutritional offerings, D+ in treatment of families and D+ for its locker room, which was criticized for small lockers, and lack of space and bathroom stalls.
As for the nutritional offerings, the NFLPA said the Broncos were "one of only two teams to not provide vitamins" and that multiple players did not feel like there was an individualized nutrition plan or support.
Regarding treatment of families, the Broncos received a poor score, in part, because they are "one of 14 teams that do not offer a family room."
The Broncos ranked well in weight room and strength coach rankings, the players indiciating they had enough coaches and were provided customized workout plans. Ironically, the Broncos parted ways with longtime strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow this offseason with the arrival of new coach Sean Payton. The Broncos ranked among the most injured teams last season, especially with hamstring issues, but this survey implies that the responding players did not blame Landow.
The Broncos training staff received a B ranking. Denver is hoping to improve its health and create more consistency in treatment of players with the hiring of Beau Lowery as the team's vice president of player health & performance.
In the NFLPA summary of the Broncos' report card, it noted that 100 percent of respondents believe "the new ownership group is willing to invest in upgrading facilities," citing the CEO Greg Penner's decision to replace the grass playing field for the final home game of the season.
The Vikings, Dolphins and Raiders received the highest grades in the survey.