Broncos Update Insider - 11/9

Tim Tebow isn't standing idly by while waiting for a few snaps here and there. He's studying Kyle Orton and trying to take Orton's strengths and apply them to his own game.

But most of all, he's trying to run the offense through his head while others execute it, taking stock of the decision-making process as it occurs in real time.

"Even though you're just standing there most of the time, you can still get better getting those mental reps and trying to see what he's seeing and playing the game in your head," Tebow said before the bye, which culminates with Denver's first on-field practice for the Chiefs on Tuesday.

Tebow already has settled into the routine of game-plan installations, meetings, scouting opposing defenses and the like.

Settling into his own residence also has created a sense of calm that didn't exist this offseason.

"It's nice to be able to just wake up and do this every day and not worry about school or other things," he said. "This is your job. And it's much more than a 9-to-5er. I enjoy getting up and coming to work."

Still, obstacles currently stand in Tebow's way before the first-round pick will feel he's fully prepared to display his talents.

"It's doing all the little things better," he said. "It's not just fundamentals here or learning the defense there. But overall it's making little things my strengths -- the nuances of the offense, or the nuances you find in setting defenses or your relationship with guys and getting the timing down."

Tebow's typical day at Dove Valley starts with 6 a.m. treatments and meetings, then runs through the practice schedule. He'll often watch extra film and then head home between 6 and 8 p.m., where he may put on additional tape to study special defensive packages Denver is expected to see on a given week.

But, bigger picture, he's playing the waiting game after being the centerpiece of a dominant University of Florida offense for years.

That is another change that's taken getting used to.

"Just being a competitor, I want to be out there hitting people actually and playing. So that's hard. But you have to prepare your mind for this and handle it mentally and be patient and learn and just try to improve. Every day it's keeping focus on getting better, because you never know when you'll get the opportunity and your number's called."

Tebow added he has "no timetable" personally on when he might get a full-time opportunity with the Broncos. The potential exists for increased snaps in November and December if Denver falls out of the AFC West race.

"You never know until you're out there," Tebow said.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Wide receiver Eric Decker is getting a little more grief than your average rookie in recent weeks after appearing in the November issue of GQ magazine.

The photo spread was shot last July at a half-dozen locations around his alma mater, the University of Minnesota.

"It was definitely an experience, doing it on campus," Decker said. "And it was a 12-hour ordeal, pretty much an all-day thing. It was pretty crazy to me because I've never been involved in something like that."

Decker joked that he'd signed on with "Claiborne to do makeup," but otherwise added that he prefers the creature comforts of being an NFL player, even if it means his posed glamour shots appear on the big screen in the team meeting room for all the Broncos to see.

"From a day-to-day standpoint, I'd rather be in the locker room than in the modeling world," Decker said. "But it was fun."

--Nose tackle Jamal Williams is in his 13th season. And with age, knowledge definitely becomes power, or at least adds to his innate strength.

"There's not too many offensive players you haven't seen over the years, so you can react that much quicker and faster and expect what's coming," he said.

Williams also has surmised that with his past and current workload, there's no longer a feeling of "freshness" for him as an NFL player.

It's more about managing survival.

"You always want to have that football soreness Monday," he said. "Your body builds up calluses, I think, over the weeks, and you get kind of numb to all that stuff."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Jabar Gaffney on Sunday plays the Chiefs for the first time since Jan. 3, 2010, when he smashed personal bests in both catches (14) and yards (213). Gaffney's production that day -- his yardage was second all-time by a Broncos player -- was helped by a pregame suspension of then-Broncos WR Brandon Marshall.

--CB Champ Bailey will start his 175th consecutive game Sunday. Only Ronde Barber (182) has started more games in a row since 1999 at the position.

--WR Brandon Lloyd leads all non-running backs with 39 first downs.

--PK Matt Prater ranks third in the NFL in field-goal percentage (92.3) and fourth in touchbacks (14).

--RB Knowshon Moreno is one of just three players who entered the league in 2009 who have recorded at least three multiple-TD games. Arian Foster and Jeremy Maclin are the others.

REPORT CARD AFTER EIGHT GAMES

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- There's no questioning the statistical impact. Kyle Orton has thrown for more yards by a Denver quarterback after eight games than anyone in history. Brandon Lloyd should be a shoo-in for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. But the air attack is often lacking when it counts most -- building early leads, coming back late, and in the red zone.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- When Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter each got hurt on the opening day of camp, and then offensive linemen started to fall, coach Josh McDaniels admitted it might take time for this area to hit its stride. Everyone's still waiting. Despite numerous combinations up front and using various backs, Denver is at historic lows running the ball.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Broncos have held up fairly well on the back end, considering the absences of both S Brian Dawkins and CB Andre Goodman that created a young, patchwork secondary. But the team still can't generate a pass rush, with just nine sacks. And the average of 7.7 yards per completion is too high.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Denver has had its moments where it appears to play a disciplined, physical brand of run defense. It usually is fleeting, though, most noticeable this year in games against Tennessee and three quarters vs. the Jets. Injuries, gap issues and a lack of interior depth have resulted in a bottom-line 154.6 rushing yards allowed per game. Improvement overall has to start here.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- New punter Britton Colquitt has been solid, his San Francisco performance notwithstanding. Kicker Matt Prater is as solid as they come. But there have been inconsistencies, particularly early, on the coverage units that cost valuable field position. And Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas haven't brought an explosive element to Denver's punt and kickoff returns, respectively.

COACHING: D-plus -- It's clear that most of the players respect McDaniels' football acumen and ability to teach concepts that should improve them as players. But whether the personnel simply isn't good enough or the message isn't getting through, this team talks a lot about tough, smart and physical but doesn't demonstrate those desired qualities consistently enough on the field. Penalties have piled up with the losses. Points have been harder to come by, and the Broncos haven't been able to produce a balanced offensive attack.



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