Postcard from camp: Broncos
The Broncos have continued the recent tradition of holding training camp practices at their year-round facility in Englewood, Colo. Unlike some first-year head coaches who prefer to take their teams away,
Fans were treated to musical choices that included Elvis and rap while the players stretched at the Tuesday practice I attended. Because the Broncos were prepping for their preseason matchup on Friday night with San Francisco, the practice was conducted at a slightly reduced tempo, with the emphasis on providing the first offense and defense schematic looks that are similar to what they can expect from the Niners.
Keep in mind, Orton had a .636 winning percentage after two years in Chicago, where he received substantial playing time. His supporting cast in Denver is significantly better than what he had in Chicago. The offensive line is one of the better units in the league and he has a full complement of other weapons at his disposal, including receivers
The fans are restless, as evidenced by some booing at a recent scrimmage. If McDaniels gets off to a bad start or Orton performs poorly, things could get ugly in short order. The good news is McDaniels doesn't seem to care all that much and has the thick skin of a veteran head coach. He has a plan and is sticking to it. Win or lose, it seems McDaniels will be able to walk away with little to no regrets.
The problem is in the front seven. Even though new coordinator
The longtime Philadelphia Eagle was his typical focused and confident self when I spoke with him, expressing serious frustration at the bad-mouthing his new defense has received. Expect Dawkins to play a major role in the run defense as the eighth man in the box. The Broncos front seven simply isn't good enough to get the job done on their own and will need the hard-hitting Dawkins to set the tone in the running game and then rely on the new secondary to handle its business on the back end.
In part because he is catching up after a fairly lengthy holdout, Moreno got a number of touches at the practice I watched as the Broncos worked to get him ready for the opener. Even though a number of capable veterans can spell him, Moreno was drafted 12th because he has the skills to be an every down player. With defenses likely focusing on stopping Marshall, Royal and the other Broncos weapons, look for Moreno to have a big year running the football and catching passes out of the backfield.
By far the best play of the day belonged to rookie tight end
Evidence of that was in full display at practice when Quinn, impersonating San Francisco 49ers tight end
• Don't get too caught up in the hoopla surrounding Marshall's "demotion" on the depth chart. He will be the number one receiver as long as he is healthy and eligible to play.
• McDaniels has run a very physical camp. One vet told me it was one of the hardest he has gone through, and estimated that the starting units were receiving close to 80 percent of the reps.
• Broncos second-string nose guard
• The Broncos offensive line looked as if it were already in midseason form. The only problem for this unit is depth. Denver likes the young but talented
• Even though they were going against the backups on the scout team for the most part, the Broncos had trouble generating much of a pass rush. That is not a good sign for a team that also looks to have some liabilities against the run.
• Speaking of lack of a pass rush, the Broncos are counting on their other first-round pick, outside linebacker