The Broncos had a busy offseason, attacking their weaknesses with a purpose. They were one of the most active teams in the NFL, adding a number of veterans who should help right away.
The three biggest acquisitions were running back Travis Henry and tight end Daniel Graham in free agency, and cornerback Dre Bly in a trade with Denver. The Broncos are happy with that haul, and all three stars are happy to be in a new situation.
"Since I've been in the league I haven't really had a winning season, so the chemistry and the atmosphere is just different," said Henry, who has played in Buffalo and Tennessee. "I can sense that and I can feel it, in meetings and the way they do things around here. When it's practice time, it's business time."
Henry has made some powerful runs during training camp, and if he stays healthy he should add himself to the list of 1,000-yard running backs under Mike Shanahan.
Graham, who went to high school in Denver and attended the University of Colorado, should give Denver a big upgrade at tight end. He is a mauler in the running game, and through the first week of camp he has been a regular target of the team's quarterbacks. He wants to contribute more in the passing game than he did at New England, and the early indication is he will.
The second tight end in Denver's offense has become the more popular receiver, with former starter Stephen Alexander being utilized mostly as a blocker. Although the team has a promising young receiver at tight end in Tony Scheffler, and converted receiver Nate Jackson is having a very good camp, Graham could post career highs in receiving stats. The Broncos like to use the tight end in the passing game, and many tight ends have had good years in Shanahan's offense.
"I'm going out here just playing my game," Graham said. "I'm sure a lot of guys out here knew what I could do."
Bly has had a few more ups and downs during his first week of Broncos training camp. He has made some spectacular interceptions, which the team expects playing opposite Champ Bailey.
"I'm excited and giddy, just coming back to a winning organization with a high standard," Bly said.
Bly will be tested all season. Teams won't throw towards Bailey much after Bailey's nearly perfect 2006 season. Bly's style is to take some chances, which will result in some big plays. He'll also give up a few small plays, but said at the end of the season he will make more plays than he gives up.
"It happens," Bly said about giving up big catches. "I'll tell you
what, you won't make a living doing that on me. You're entitled to have
a day where them guys make plays, and that's what it is."
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