Inside the Broncos

As the Broncos get ready for their first appearance of the season at Invesco at Mile High, read the latest update on personnel. Which players are in and who may be out as the next round of roster cuts approaches.

The first few days of regular practice have given the Broncos an even better taste of the football season. Two-a-days are over, but that doesn't mean that the intensity of practice has lessened.

"This week is totally different," said veteran wide receiver Rod Smith. "We have a better understanding about a lot of the young guys, as well as Jake (Plummer). In our system, he (Plummer) is a young guy because he is new to it. He gets to actually see how the coaches come up with different moves and how they can be creative."

Jake Plummer is excited about the upcoming season, but is maximizing his time remaining in the preseason. He is ready for his debut at Invesco, but he makes clear there is no rush.

"I need this game," said Plummer. "I need every chance I get to practice, I need it all. I'd be foolish to say I am ready, that I know the full thing and have everything down-pat. This is going to be a learning process as things go. This week is another chance for me to get adjusted to how a week goes."

These are the final days for, not only Jake Plummer to become more confident and comfortable with his team, but also for many players to show their potential with hopes to embrace a spot with the Broncos.

ALREADY CUT:
Right tackles Freddie Moore and Trohn Carswell and cornerback Corey Chamblin were released Thursday, August 21. There are still 13 players to cut by Tuesday, August 26.

COMPETING FOR A POSITION, ON THE BUBBLE:
Be sure to watch the following players perform Monday night; it could be their make or break appearance.
Mario Fatafehi - Defensive tackle has a slight chance, but not exactly promising. He still has a game to show his ability to perform.
Bobby Walker - Safety from Kansas State has not impressed many observers, so odds are against him.
Jashon Sykes and Louis Green - Competing for a linebacker position, but neither one has been a consistent standout.
Cecil Sapp - Rookie free agent running back from Colorado State has made his mark this training camp, and still has at least one game to prove himself. He averaged 3.3 yards per carry against the Bears last weekend.
Keith Burns - Terry Pierce looks like a keeper at middle linebacker position, so coaches have switched Burns to back up strong side linebacker John Mobley. He's not likely to be cut, but nothing is definite.
Marlion Jackson - The running back's performance has been remarkable, but he is still not likely to not make the team.
Ben Claxton and Heath Irwin - The coaches have been less than impressed with center Claxton's performance, which has given Heath Irwin an opportunity to step up.

A HEATED BATTLE AT WIDE RECEIVER:
Frank Rice: - Stood out against the Bears last weekend and has been progressive during camp. Only the future can tell what is in store for him, but based on his performance thus far, his position seems somewhat promising.
Adrian Madise and Charlie Adams - There are 9 wide receivers practicing with the Broncos with those who will remain yet to be determined. Adrian Madise and Charlie Adams still have a fairly decent chance, but neither is ensured a spot on the team. The performance of these players during training camp has been neck and neck, but since Coach Mike Shanahan focuses on a player's consistency, game performance and upcoming practices are vital for these players.

BACKUP QUARTERBACKS:
Jarious Jackson, after leading his team to victory against the Chicago Bears in preseason, has almost definitely secured his position as third string quarterback. Danny Kanell and Nick Rolovich, one of whom will probably make first cuts, are still competing for a position. The Broncos may decide to keep another quarterback for the practice squad and Kanell may have the edge at this time, but that could change at any given moment.

PLAYER UPDATES:
Jeb Putzier - Separated his shoulder in the preseason game against the Bears, but the tight end should be able to participate in the first regular season game against Cincinnati.
Willie Middlebrooks - Despite his leg injury in 2002, he has proven his ability and it looks as if he may pick up the position as second-string cornerback.
George Foster - First round pick from Georgia still has a lot to improve since his ankle injury, but still has time to adjust since we don't foresee him journeying elsewhere. The offensive tackle knows he missed a lot and is willing to put forth the effort to catch up and the coaches are receptive to his intentions.
Micah Knorr - This training camp was almost second nature to Knorr. He has improved and become much more comfortable this season. The competition with punter Mat McBriar, who was recently released, has helped Knorr.
Daryl Gardener - Defensive tackle is scheduled to get his pins out of his wrist September 3. Gardener expects to return to the playing field by September 7, but we will have to wait until the report is back from the doctors to see if this premonition is accurate.
Lional Dalton - Unsatisfied and anxious defensive tackle waits to see a glimpse into his own future, which is in Mike Shanahan's hands as the wait to trade him extends due to pending negotiations.
Ephraim Salaam - Offensive tackle is expected to play in the preseason game against the Colts on Monday, August 25, after having knee surgery earlier this month.

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