Since the announcement, the overwhelming response has been negative from the Denver fanbase. The arguments against the practice are logical: What if the Broncos meet up with the Texans in the playoffs? Why would a team show a competitor their plays? What if Bill O’Brien were to collude with other coaches with whom he has a relationship? Won’t the likelihood of injury increase?
Despite some of these concerns, the Broncos made the right decision by inviting the Texans to train in August. Throughout the course of training camp, players can become fatigued by the general monotonous nature of their daily routine. Bringing in another squad to compete against will reinvigorate the competitive nature of camp.
The biggest downfall for the Broncos in their Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks was failing to protect Peyton Manning and to give the offense enough time for plays to develop downfield. It is clear that, for the Broncos to win the big game, they must gain an ability to compete against defenses with an elite pass rush. Practicing against the Texans gives Denver that opportunity.
By selecting Jadeveon Clowney in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Texans have built perhaps the toughest defensive line in the league. The August 23 showdown between the two teams will mark Week 3 of pre-season. There is no sure way to know how many snaps the offense will play in a given pre-season game. But regardless of how many snaps are played, the training camp practices with the Texans will allow the Broncos to test their O-Line against one of the toughest defensive fronts in the league in a controlled environment.
In addition to aiding the training of the pass defense and the rushing offense, the game will also help second-year running back Montee Ball, who will benefit from the crossover. The Broncos, who should be looking to become a more balanced offense in 2014, will need to lean on Ball’s superb field vision throughout the season against a tough schedule that features the NFC West.
The benefits of competing with another team during training camp far outweigh the potential negatives. Look for the Broncos to play host to a team annually as long as the current front office is intact. Denver’s Week 1 game against the Seahawks should demonstrate any growth the team made in their offensive line throughout the upcoming training camp.
Zachary D’Argonne is a Denver Broncos Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZacDargonne.