The Denver Broncos training camp is crawling, if you’ll pardon the pun, with their wounded. They’re the most injured team in the NFL. The most serious is the torn pectoral muscle linebacker Elvis Dumervil suffered, which probably keeps him out for the season. Less serious, but troubling injuries bother starting backs Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno, and receivers Eric Decker and Demaryious Thomas. To round out the list tackle Ryan Clady, safety Brian Dawkins and linebackers Jarris Moss and D. J. Williams are hurting.
The good news, except for Dumervil all should be back in the near future, but will they be in game shape when their first game arrives, on September 12…and they still have Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow has more eyes on him than any other rookie in the NFL. From his friar haircut, a gift from team veterans, to possibly being behind center in short yardage situations, and probably the Wildcat formation when the season starts. Will this move affect continuity and will the team accept it?
There’s no doubt Tebow is heir-apparent for the quarterback job in the mind of Coach Josh McDaniels, and he’ll see playing time as a rookie, says the article “Camp Confidential: Denver Broncos. A problem arises; though, having three quarterbacks on a 45-man roster, because it takes away a back-up from another position. However, will Tebow replace Brady Quinn as the #2 quarterback when the season begins?
Speaking of Quinn, his passing accuracy has been a problem in training camp. The Broncos continue to support him to the media, but with Kyle firmly entrenched as the #1 quarterback, and Tebow the future, where does Quinn fit in. Orton is having a good camp, but knows Tebow is the future. He wants to have a good season, because he’s a free agent in 2011.
The Rest of the Story
Denver plans to start rookies at guard and center, raising some eyebrows, but McDaniels wants to switch from zone-blocking, to a power-blocking format. This keeps linemen fresher toward the end of the season, but necessitates bulkier linemen.
The receivers are a pleasant surprise. The coaching staff had some concern when they traded talented, but troubled Brandon Marshall. However, the remaining receivers picked up their pace, and it appears Marshall won’t be missed.
The Broncos need Buckhalter and Moreno to stay healthy to pose a running threat. When they’re healthy they do, but Buckhalter has an injury riddled past in the NFL.
Overall, the progress of their rookies and off-season acquisitions pleases Denver, and they have a good mix of veteran leadership. Perhaps most important the team seems adjusted to the coaching changes, and embraces McDaniels style and innovations.
Espn.com: Camp Confidential: Denver Broncos: Espn.com