Based on what you've seen through the first two weeks of preseason – do you think the Broncos have what it takes to advance in the playoffs?
– Jerry, Arvada, CO.
Well, you've hit the number one question among NFL critics these days and quite honestly after playing two rollover teams like Houston and San Francisco it's impossible to tell. Despite the off season moves I doubt there's anyone around Dove Valley right now that's thoroughly convinced they've made the big jump. Saturday's game against Indianapolis will be the first real test the Broncos have faced, and if there's anybody in the league that can expose Denver's weaknesses, it's Peyton Manning.
Do you think weight played any role in the death of Thomas Herrion?
– Artie, San Dimas, CA.
Without a doubt it played a role. To what extent remains unknown, Herrion's father suffered from diabetes and died last year of a stroke, and his mother suffers from high blood pressure, so there's an indication that genetics played into the equation, but that aside, weight has taken the forefront in league concern. There were 552 players listed at 300 pounds or more on NFL training camp rosters this summer, and according to a study at the University of North Carolina, 97 percent of NFL players were found to be overweight while 56 percent qualified as obese (30 pounds or more over a healthy weight).
Schon, what's up with Randy Moss in Oakland? I really haven't heard anything about him except for the dope smoking bit on Real Sports.
– J.C., Mesa,AZ.
Randy's been a non-factor in Oakland's first two preseason games and I doubt anything much will change over the next two. The Raiders have too much invested in their number one receiver to risk anything during the meaningless games of preseason. Once the regular season starts Moss will see plenty of field time but I certainly don't expect his numbers to be what they were in Minnesota. Hauling in passes from Daunte Culpepper is a far cry from hoping Kerry Collins is able to find you in double coverage.
Being a North Carolina State alumni, I want to ask what your take is on the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego?
– Donnie, Aberdeen, NC.
As it stands right now, Rivers is a $41 million bench warmer, backing up an $8 million Drew Brees - the team's designated franchise player. Coming off last year's Pro Bowl season, Brees is number one, and nothing that's happened to this point is going to change that. Rivers looked good during camp and has been fairly consistent in the preseason, but his only shot this year at field time is behind the clipboard and not behind center.
On FOXSport.com the NFL Power Rankings has the Broncos listed at #20, the lowest place of any AFC West team - is it a lack of respect or do the so called experts think Denver is really that bad?
– Stephan, Port Angeles, WA.
Well Stephan, a little of both at this point. Admittedly the Broncos have done little over the past few years to garner a great deal of respect, and many of those so called experts questioned Mike Shanahan's off season move of bringing in a mediocre Browns defensive line. Keep in mind those same experts doubted the Chargers would even see the playoffs, let alone grab an AFC West title last year. So much for experts, huh?
After reading your last few columns I was just wondering if you've officially joined the Bradlee Van Pelt bandwagon like the rest of the Denver media?
– ChiefsFan, Kansas City, MO.
Not just yet, I'm waiting for a few more checks to clear so I can afford the membership dues.
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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