Preseason Primer


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Jan 22, 2006
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Preseason Primer

Training Camp Site: Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Centre
Location: Englewood, Colo.
Rookies Report: July 27
Veterans Report: July 27

Record: 13-3 (1st in AFC West)
Total Offense: 360.4 (5th)
Rushing: 158.7 (2nd)
Passing: 201.7 (18th)
Total Defense: 312.9 (15th)
Rushing: 85.2 (2nd)
Passing: 227.7 (29th)

After back-to-back humiliating exits from the playoffs in Indianapolis, Denver had its best postseason run since January 1999, but lost in the AFC title game to a team of destiny. With Rod Smith turning 36, John Lynch about to turn 35 and Jake Plummer staring at his 32nd birthday and a possible exit from Denver, the urgency to reach the Super Bowl will be great this season.

The Broncos said goodbye to defensive end Trevor Pryce, but brought in another defensive lineman from Cleveland, Kenard Lang. Javon Walker was acquired from Green Bay, and he might wind up starting opposite Smith if Ashley Lelie is dealt away.

However, the biggest change to this team occurred when longtime offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak became the head coach at Houston. Kubiak was the architect of the offense that helped so many unheralded running backs like Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson become 1,000-yard rushers. It will be interesting to see how the offense will perform without Kubiak drawing up the plays.

Who will emerge as the starting running back?
With Mike Anderson gone, Mike Shanahan has these options: Ron Dayne, Tatum Bell, Cedric Cobbs and undrafted rookie Mike Bell. Dayne won the 1999 Heisman Trophy but eventually fell out of favor with Giants coach Jim Fassel while Tiki Barber developed into a star. But Dayne did gain 5.1 yards per carry in limited action last season and he's 28 with low mileage. Last season, Bell gained 921 yards on 5.3 yards per carry, but he missed one game with a bruised chest and there has been talk the coaches are skeptical about his durability. Perhaps Dayne will be the starter with Bell being a change-of-pace back.

Will the Broncos get by without Ashley Lelie?
Unless there's an injury to Rod Smith or Javon Walker, it's likely Ashley Lelie will be on another team by the season opener. Darius Watts has been impressive so far in offseason practices, which has weakened Lelie's leverage. The Broncos also added some depth here by drafting Central Florida's Brandon Marshall, known to some as "Baby T.O.," in Round 4. Denver also has David Terrell, whom Chicago took in Round 1 in 2001 and who gained 16.6 yards per catch in 2004.

How will Jake Plummer respond to having Jay Cutler around?
Eyebrows shot up everywhere when Denver traded up to take the strong-armed Cutler out of Vanderbilt. Cutler has been impressive in minicamp and offseason workouts so far. Although the Broncos would prefer to bring him along slowly, it might make for an interesting summer if Cutler outplays Plummer in preseason games. But Plummer's initial reaction to the selection was positive, and if he can remind himself he is 32-11 as Denver's starter and is coming off his best season as a pro, then Cutler's presence probably won't affect him.

Roster Additions Players Lost
T.J. Hollowell, LB
Kenard Lang, DE
Willie Middlebrooks, CB
Javon Walker, WR
Nate Webster, LB
Mike Anderson, RB
Marco Coleman, DE
Wesley Duke, TE
Monsanto Pope, DT
Trevor Pryce, DE
Jeb Putzier, TE

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 11 Cutler, Jay QB 6-3 225 Vanderbilt
2 61 Scheffler, Tony TE 6-5 255 Western Michigan
4 119 Marshall, Brandon WR 6-4 230 Central Florida
4 126 Dumervil, Elvis DE 5-11 258 Louisville
4 130 Hixon, Domenik WR 6-2 210 Akron
5 161 Kuper, Chris G 6-4 302 North Dakota
6 198 Eslinger, Greg C 6-3 291 Minnesota
Man, it's a ghost town in this place.

Where are all the Denver fans?
CrossBones said:
Man, it's a ghost town in this place.

Where are all the Denver fans?
Isn't BD the only one we had?
I have been bothering Connie about BD for weeks.

Seriously, I hope BD is doing fine in her personal life.
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