Centennial, Colo.—Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is taking over a unit that broke almost every major record in the NFL book two years ago. That was then, this is now. Dennison knows his unit is largely inexperienced, especially along the offensive line.
“We have some rough patches here and there,” Dennison said Tuesday, “But, the one thing about this group with the leadership is that they seem to pull things back together.”
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That leadership is going to be critical if the Broncos are going to compete in 2015.
As Broncos training camp slugs along, Dennison finds himself in a unique position. He’s trying to build for the future, developing the young talent on the Broncos roster, while keeping his sights set on an old goal—bringing a world championship to Denver with Peyton Manning at the helm.
For now, Dennison’s focus seems to be on development as he tries to bring rookie tackle Ty Sambrailo and the rest of his young offensive line up to speed.
“We’re just evaluating,” Dennison said, “We have a number of tackles. We’re just throwing them all around and we’re trying to find the top five.”
Following All-Pro tackle Ryan Clady’s season-ending ACL injury, it was assumed Sambrailo would take his place. However, Sambrailo has struggled at times during camp, showing a lack of functional strength at the left tackle spot. Dennison now says that Sambrailo’s ascension to the left tackle spot isn’t guaranteed.
“He’s going against great competition,” Dennison said, “Hopefully it will train him faster if he’s one of our guys.”
Dennison has more than just the left tackle spot to worry about. He’s also keeping a close eye on his running back corps, and the development of his backup quarterbacks. Dennison had high praise for the running back group, led by C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball.
“I think that they have done a great job,” Dennison said. “Three days ago, I really felt the urgency of their foot in the ground and going downhill. They’re feeling the soft spot, understanding what we want done and I feel the surge into the line of scrimmage.”
While there’s no question who’s going to be the Broncos starting quarterback Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Dennison acknowledges he’s keeping a close eye on Denver’s three other gunslingers. He had particularly high praise for the Broncos seventh round draft pick, rookie Trevor Siemian.
“He’s doing well,” Dennison said, “He didn’t get as many reps in the OTAs as the rest of the guys so this is all about training our guys to get them ready for the preseason games.”
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