Battle of the Week/Player of the Week - 8/14

Denver Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler makes his share of rookie mistakes and has a few concentration lapses in the running game and catching the ball, but overall he has been pretty impressive. Read the latest on the Player of the Week as well as all the position battles.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Paul Ernster vs. Micah Knorr for the punting and kickoff job the first four weeks of the season. Todd Sauerbrun will miss the first four games of the season because of a NFL suspension and Ernster is the early favorite to replace him on punts and kickoffs. Ernster handled all kickoffs and punts in the Broncos preseason opener and looked good. His punts got good hang time and his kickoffs were solid. Knorr is a veteran and the Broncos know what he can do if Ernster, who is in his second year, falters.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Cecil Sapp and Kyle Johnson, who are battling to be Denver's starting fullback, split time in the preseason opener against Detroit. Sapp missed some time with a groin injury last week.

--Darius Watts had a good game against Detroit and might hold on to his third receiver job for a while. Brandon Marshall, the fourth receiver, could miss some time with a minor knee injury. David Kircus had a good first preseason game and could make a move.

--Nobody has distinguished themselves in the return game. Kircus, Mike Bell and rookie receiver Brian Clark are battling for the kickoff return job. The Broncos need a reliable backup punt returner behind Darrent Williams, who will get spelled occasionally because he starts at cornerback. Kircus and Bell are up for that job as well.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: TE Tony Scheffler. Scheffler makes his share of rookie mistakes and has a few concentration lapses in the running game and catching the ball, but overall he has been pretty impressive. A second-round pick, Scheffler has worked as the second tight end, a position the Broncos use a lot in passing situations. Scheffler can get downfield and has good hands.

"He's been exceptional," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's got great hands, runs routes extremely well and in the running game it looks like he just keeps on making strides so hopefully he can keep it going."



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