Battle and Player of the Week - Week 3

Mike Bell (in photo) and Cecil Sapp are locked in a battle for the number two running back position.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Cecil Sapp vs. Mike Bell for backup tailback -- Bell and Sapp split repetitions behind Travis Henry. Sapp was listed ahead of Bell, who was No. 2 behind Tatum Bell last year, on the depth chart, but the coaches say that is not permanent. Sapp is a tough runner who was converted from fullback this offseason. Bell said he feels more confident than he did last year as a rookie.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: D.D. Lewis appears to have taken a small lead in the battle for the starting strong-side linebacker spot. Louis Green was placed at the top of the first depth chart that was released, but he missed four days of practice with a knee injury. Lewis took advantage and worked with the starters on back-to-back days at the end of the second week of camp. Nate Webster is also in the competition.

--Quincy Morgan is holding off Hixon as the team's top kickoff returner. Morgan has also made many nice catches on offense during camp, which could help him win a roster spot.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: CB Jeff Shoate -- Shoate was a fifth-round pick of the Broncos in 2004. He played a bit as a rookie, and hasn't done anything the past two years, spending one on injured reserve and the other on the practice squad. Knee problems that have hampered Shoate seem to be behind him, and he has made many nice plays in camp. In one practice, the Broncos had injuries and absences in the secondary, so Shoate was the starting nickel cornerback ahead of Karl Paymah, who was ahead of Shoate at the start of camp.

"I think I'm a lot faster," Shoate said. "I think I'm right where I was when they drafted me."



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