Bradley Chubb left his heart out in Dove Valley. He found it again Monday, nestled in a pile of socks, T-shirts, and sundries he didn’t have time to pack as the NFL trade deadline swept south.
“I was on the sidelines of our[Sunday]game, and I watched the[other]scores,” the former Broncos quarterback and new Miami Dolphins QB-masher told me as Empower Field shimmered in the distance.
And I was like, ‘Okay, he (Denver) got a chance. Well, they go 10-0. Well, they look good.”
As much as the Broncos missed Chubb in Nashville, it wasn’t as bad as missing them. While the Flippers were busy stomping the Cleveland Browns, Chubb’s thoughts couldn’t help but drift to Nissan Stadium. To old habits, old friends, and old wounds.
Said the defender to the 3-6 Broncos, who sealed him with the 2024 fifth-round draft, and traded him to Miami on November 2 in exchange for a first-round pick in 2023, a fourth-round pick in 2024 and running back Chase Edmonds. “I have complete confidence in them. Complete support.”
Monday night, they offered that support at right back. Chubb could not throw the ball at Larimer’s Ironworks without injuring a former teammate. Dozens of current Denver players showed up to support their former running mate at the CHEP Foundation Opening Ceremony, a fund-raising event for the Denver Public Schools and Clayton Early Education Foundation.
“These kids that we’re trying to help with donations, they still have aspirations, they still have dreams and goals,” Chubb explained. “And the main thing for me is just trying to help them get into the right mindset and help them activate that potential. So it’s bigger than football. I had to be here.”
The Monday night ceremony was scheduled weeks before the trade. Chapp appeared anyway, embracing familiar faces and posing happily for photos with donors, sponsors, and colleagues.
Sorry. former classmates.
“I have to remind myself, all the time, (that they are) my ex-teammates, my ex-team,” Chubb laughed. “I’ll keep things (in Miami) like, ‘Yeah, I remember when we played for the Jets… I mean, when the Broncos played for the Jets. ‘” “
That was only three weeks ago, though it feels like 10. For the last 15 days, Chubb has returned from a business trip to London; They were dealt from the Broncos to Miami; He signed a five-year extension worth up to $119 million with his new franchise; He recorded four tackles and half a sack over his first two games to help the Dolphins rise atop Bonkers AFC East.
“It was crazy,” Chubb laughed. “I still have a lot of stuff here. Partly that’s why I came back — to get myself out. But at the end of the day, it was great. The people of Miami welcomed me with open arms.”
Thanks to the trade, this is the first NFL season in Chubb’s five-year career in which the #5 player in the 2018 draft played on a record-winning team after 10 games. Dolphins (7-3) 5-1 in tilt clinched by eight points or fewer.
“I’ve been telling a lot of these guys (from the Broncos) that there isn’t much difference (between the rosters),” said Chubb. “It’s not a plan or a play or anything — it’s just knowing how to win. And I feel like in Miami, we have that now. And we’re trying to keep that going.”
Chubb credits much of that juice to first-year Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, a 43-year-old Aurora native and Smoky Hill High School alum. Advocates say McDaniel is essentially cut from the same cloth as Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. And that the canvas is a Starbucks apron.
“Very, very small. “Very energetic,” Chubb said. “Quirky. He loves jokes. There are a lot of guys (out there) who like him very much. So they are very similar in this aspect. The only difference is probably just the names, to be honest with you.
Well, records. But we digress.
“Everyone in the (Broncos) locker room is much more than capable (of turning),” the former Denver linebacker confirmed. “It’s just about getting the first two or three wins… I feel like that’s just going to make the guys more confident. And once that happens, I feel like the sky’s the limit.”
You can transfer Chubb to Denver. But you’re never going to completely turn Denver into Chubb. No matter where you end, your NFL journey, NFL season, always started here.
“(Denver) means the world to me, just because (this) was the first chance I had to live out my childhood dream,” Chubb said. “And all the relationships I’ve built, all the teammates in the past, all the coaches I’ve met — everything that’s happened has made me a better person.” It made me a better man.”