Battle of the Week - Week 1

Strong side linebacker, right side guard and backup safety and running back are at the forefront of this week's Denver Broncos battles.

EXPECTED BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Warrick Holdman vs. Nate Webster vs. D.D. Lewis for starting strong-side LB -- When Eddie Moore went down with a knee injury, the strong-side linebacker position became even more wide open. Jim Bates said he had five candidates in mind -- Cameron Vaughn and Louis Green should also factor in -- and the best man would win the job. Even though the job is open, Holdman probably has the early lead. He was a starter last season for Washington.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Chris Kuper has a clear edge for the starting right guard spot on the Broncos. Kuper is a strong, athletic lineman who fits Denver's style. However, Kuper hasn't played a regular-season game on offense, and if he struggles Denver has veteran Montrae Holland as insurance.

Hamza Abdullah and Curome Cox are Denver's top backup safeties. One could emerge in training camp and earn some playing time if the Broncos employ their "big nickel" package with an extra safety on the field to cover tight ends.

Cecil Sapp, not Mike Bell, opened camp as Denver's backup tailback. Bell could earn the job back with a good camp, but the team likes Sapp, who was a standout tailback in college at Colorado State. Sapp has been at fullback the last two years.

Brandon Stokley has experience on Domenik Hixon for the third receiver position, but Hixon had a great offseason. Hixon could win the spot with a great camp.

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