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Wile_E_Coyote
06-22-2005, 09:37 PM
Training Camp Preview: BroncosBy Jason Powell, Associate Editor
June 22, 2005 6:00 PM ET

http://www.fanball.com/fb/article.cfm/ID.4060

Leading up to the start of Training Camps in July, Fanball.com is taking a team-by-team tour with fantasy previews for each NFL squad. We'll detail the key offseason moves, position battles to watch, and other things to keep an eye on as the clubs prepare for the season ahead.

Notable Offseason Moves: In what would have been huge news 10 years ago, the Broncos added ancient free agent Jerry Rice. Actually, this move was more like a mercy killing, as the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game had to stoop so low as to send out a message to all 32 teams offering his services. Broncos' head coach Mike Shanahan worked with Rice previously, but that wasn't enough to earn Jerry any special favors beyond the contract offer, as Rice will be the No. 4 receiver on the depth chart.

In two moves that will earn yawns from fantasy owners, the Broncos signed running back Ron Dayne and tight end Stephen Alexander during the free agency period. Dayne, a first-round pick in the 2000 draft, was a bust throughout his run with the G-Men, and Alexander has suffered more freak injuries than one of Ike Turner's female companions throughout his career.

Reuben Droughns, who led the team in rushing yards last season, was dealt to the Browns in exchange for defensive linemen Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers. Droughns became the second Broncos' back in as many years to be shipped out of town after asking for a pay increase.

In a move that sparked a series of free agent additions, the Broncos hired for Browns' defensive line coach Andre Patterson to serve in the same capacity. One might have thought that Patterson would have been happy to get out of Cleveland and away from the team's slew of high draft pick busts who occupied his line. Instead, Patterson was instrumental in convincing the Broncos' brass to acquire Ekuban and Myers in the Droughns trade, and to sign free agents Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren. Although Brown missed 14 games last year, the other three members of the unit combined for just 13 sacks and were heavily criticized by the Cleveland media.

Position Battles: Let's start with the obvious. Shanahan is clearly insane when it comes to his running backs. Earlier this year, he stated that Quentin Griffin was the man to beat for the starting job. After a few minicamp workouts, Tatum Bell told reporters he was under the impression that former Marine turned running back turned fullback turned running back again Mike Anderson had been promoted to top dog. Adding to this clustermess are the offseason additions of Ron Dayne and Maurice Clarett.

The move to draft Clarett should have been enough to lead Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen to question the sanity of his head coach. After all, most draft followers predicted that Clarett would be picked in the sixth or seventh round of the draft. Some observers went so far as to question whether the former Buckeye would even be selected on draft day due to his slow 40-yard dash time at the scouting combines. So what does Shanahan do? He takes Clarett in the fourth round ahead of some highly regarded prospects such as Marion Barber and Ciatrick Fason.

At this point, I have no clue as to who the starting back will be in Denver. Most of my colleagues are big believers in Bell, who was selected in the second-round of the 2004 draft and immediately fitted with the No. 26 jersey, which previously belonged to Clinton Portis. Bell has breakaway speed and very well could get the starting nod, but I just don't trust Shanahan enough to invest heavily in Tatum this year when the running back pool is deeper than ever.

Keep an Eye On: The Broncos are suddenly thin in the defensive backfield after losing safety Kenoy Kennedy and cornerback Kelly Herdon in free agency. Of course, they still have All-World cornerback Champ Bailey working the left side of the field, while Lenny Walls will attempt to hold down the right side. John Lynch is back for another hard-hitting season at free safety, but the unproven Nick Ferguson is expected to start at strong safety. With the exception of Ferguson, the starting defensive backs are solid, but there isn't much depth behind them.

Speaking of depth issues, the Broncos failed to address their need for a solid backup quarterback. Some might even say that Denver should have replaced starter Jake Plummer, but that's beside the point. If the mustached gun slinger misses playing time, the Broncos would be forced to turn to Danny Kanell or Matt Mauck. Kanell took the majority of the snaps in three games during the 2003 season and failed to lead the team to a single victory.

|Zach|
06-22-2005, 09:38 PM
I just browsing the OM today and they basically ripped into this as bunk from a fantual stand point. Athanesque...take it for what its worth.

LiL stumppy
06-22-2005, 09:41 PM
Good read. :clap:

keg in kc
06-22-2005, 09:43 PM
I just browsing the OM today and they basically ripped into this as bunk from a fantual stand point. I might have to go to the mange, that sounds like quite the entertaining 'bury head in sand' read.

|Zach|
06-22-2005, 09:43 PM
I might have to go to the mange, that sounds like quite the entertaining 'bury head in sand' read. For as much time as they spend burying their heads in the sand I think there are a few other threads that would be much much better for that. This report seems to be bogus.

keg in kc
06-22-2005, 09:45 PM
For as much time as they spend burying their heads in the sand I think there are a few other threads that would be much much better for that. This report seems to be bogus.It's a fantasy football article in June. Anybody who'd take one of those seriously needs their head examined.

But I have to admit I enjoyed it because of the tone/tenor.

stevieray
06-22-2005, 09:48 PM
mustached gunslinger...

ROFL...

|Zach|
06-22-2005, 09:48 PM
It's a fantasy football article in June. Anybody who'd take one of those seriously needs their head examined.

But I have to admit I enjoyed it because of the tone/tenor.Much like the people who do Mock Drafts of the next year a week after a draft.

chiefs4me
06-22-2005, 09:57 PM
ROFL..........ha ha ha ha....

Tuckdaddy
06-22-2005, 10:46 PM
That was the best article I ever read. True all the way through. Dare I say our secondary is now superior to theirs.

Ghost
06-23-2005, 02:33 AM
That was the best article I ever read. True all the way through. Dare I say our secondary is now superior to theirs.


Our secondary is completely unproven as a unit, and right now only looks good on paper. We are another injury away from a crisis.

beer bacon
06-23-2005, 03:36 AM
Our secondary is completely unproven as a unit, and right now only looks good on paper. We are another injury away from a crisis.

In the playoff game Manning passed for 458 yards and Reggie Wayne had 221 yards receiving. Denver's pass defense is somewhat of a paper tiger. They definately have a knack for folding under pressure. Also, just to complete the dog pile on Denver, Manning also had a rushing TD that game.

Mile High Mania
06-23-2005, 05:31 AM
It's a fantasy article, so yes from a fantasy standpoint "there's nothing to see here". Denver didn't add any fantasy talent, so you still have Rod, Lelie, Plummer, Putzier (possibly), Bell (et al),Elam and a handful of IDP.

cmh6476
06-23-2005, 07:54 AM
we're gonna suck :(


thought I'd help ya out there :thumb:

Rain Man
06-23-2005, 08:50 AM
So what does Shanahan do? He takes Clarett in the fourth round ahead of some highly regarded prospects such as Marion Barber and Ciatrick Fason.



Didn't they draft Slo Mo in the third?

Coach
06-23-2005, 08:54 AM
Didn't they draft Slo Mo in the third?

Yes

Mile High Mania
06-23-2005, 08:54 AM
thought I'd help ya out there :thumb:

Enh, I dunno about that...

Rain Man
06-23-2005, 08:59 AM
On a serious note, I'd be surprised if Bell isn't the starter this year. I'm saddened to say that I was impressed with him last year.