There seems to be a real concern among the Denver Broncos that it’s imperative they win the first quarter of Super Bowl 50.
The Broncos are very aware of the Carolina Panthers’ fast starts in this post-season. Quarterback Peyton Manning joked this week that the Panthers tend to score before the guy singing the national anthem is off the field.
Coach Gary Kubiak was asked about that Friday.
"They’ve jumped out on a lot of teams this year. They’ve played ahead," Kubiak said.
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"They’ve won turnover battles, the field-position battles. To win 17 games in this league, you’ve got to be doing a lot of things right, but that is something that’s a big factor—they’ve played very well early in games. Every time you cut the film on, the end of the first quarter, it’s 14-0 or it’s 17-3. So, yeah they’ve gotten off to some fast starts. It’ll be important that we play well early."
Inclusion: Kubiak is bringing everyone on his squad – including players on injured reserve – to the Bay Area Sunday. Two years ago then-Broncos coach John Fox didn’t bring injured players to the Super Bowl until the Thursday before the game.
Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who was injured two years ago, sees this as a better course.
"Leaving on Thursday, the end of the week, everything is already done with and over with," Miller recalled. "I’m a team guy. I like being around my guys. So it was tough (two years ago}. That process being without my teammates and them being there and me being here probably was the toughest thing out of everything."
Why not dance: Miller finds it absurd that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton draws criticism for how he celebrates.
"I mean, what, dancing after making big plays? I mean, I do the same thing," Miller said. "If I was a quarterback, I’d probably be doing the exact same thing that he’s doing."
Family legacy: What would the NFL be without a Colquitt special-teamer? Craig Colquitt won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now one of his sons, Britton, can win a ring as the Broncos’ punter. Another son, Dustin, punts for the Kansas City Chiefs.
"I feel extremely blessed just to be in the NFL," Britton Colquitt said Friday. "I feel lucky and blessed and I think about this when I play Dustin -- how many brothers are in the NFL? How many get to play each other twice a year? When you go to the Super Bowl, I think to go once is amazing. So many people don’t even make it to the playoffs very often."