Broncos Update Insider - 5/10

Like the rest of the Denver Broncos rookies, running back Knowshon Moreno didn't take a lot of repetitions during his first minicamp. But he did enough to show he belongs.

Moreno, the 12th overall pick of the draft, will be a big part of Denver's offense this season. His role isn't known yet but he will play.

"He definitely looks like a good running back," offensive tackle Ryan Harris said. "He's got all the physical tools."

Moreno admitted to dealing with all of the same nerves most rookies experience in their first minicamp. He has a long way to go getting the offense down.

"It's all in the learning stage right now," Moreno said.

He didn't appear fazed by the physical aspect of the game, nor should he. He was a first-team all-SEC pick last season. Eventually, the Broncos think he can contribute in all situations -- not just running the ball but in pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.

Moreno did cause a bit of a stir with his choice of numbers. He wanted to wear No. 27, which hadn't been issued by the Broncos since cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed on Jan. 1, 2007.

Moreno asked the Williams family about wearing the number. They requested he put in some time at the Darrent Williams Teen Center in the Denver area, and Moreno said he planned on doing that.

"It's a great thing," Moreno said. "It's a privilege and I'm going to honor it in the right ways, on and off the field."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Josh McDaniels will make the Denver Broncos rookies prove they're ready before they get to show much on the practice field.

In Denver's minicamp the weekend after the draft, the rookies got some practice time, but not much. Most got limited repetitions, because McDaniels is unwilling to waste practice time while rookies make mistakes on the fly.

"We're not going to run a bad practice because we're trying to do too much with guys that don't know what to do yet," McDaniels said.

Even highly-drafted rookies like Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers and Alphonso Smith were behind veteran counterparts at their positions.

McDaniels subjects rookies to the same meetings and practice routines as the veterans. Whatever they can do right away without slowing down practice, they're able to do.

And one steadfast rule is if a rookie makes a mistake, a repeat of the same mistake isn't tolerated.

"If I make a mistake, I'm coming back and quizzing myself like 'Can't do this again, can't do that again,'" rookie receiver Kenny McKinley said. "You don't want to get in the doghouse."

The Broncos will have to rely on some rookies this season as they fill in depth, and some rookies will start. They didn't do too much in practice right away, but that doesn't mean the coaching staff was upset.

"There's enough to look at out there and there's some promise out there," McDaniels said.

--In Denver's first minicamp, both quarterbacks looked a bit rusty and struggled with some parts of the playbook. Two weeks later, Chris Simms and Kyle Orton weren't perfect in another minicamp, but looked like they were making progress.

"It was better, definitely better," Simms said. "I think Friday and Saturday were really good, for me personally, and (Sunday) I missed a few throws and screwed a few things up. There's work to be done and overall we're doing pretty good."

"Getting better, have a long way to go," Orton said.

--The Broncos hired Matt Russell as their director of college scouting. Russell is a former standout linebacker with the University of Colorado.

Russell, who was with New England and Josh McDaniels for four years earlier this decade, comes from Philadelphia. He was with the Eagles three seasons, including the last one as a national scout.

--Denver hired Lenny McGill as its assistant director of college scouting. The Broncos' front office was thin since February, when Jim and Jeff Goodman -- two of the three main cogs in the front office -- were fired.

McGill was a college scout for the Packers from 2000-08.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're in the same meetings as the veterans are in. Whatever goes in, they're subjected to." -- Broncos coach Josh McDaniels on his approach with rookies.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--RB Tatum Bell.
--DE Ebenezer Ekuban.
--WR Darrell Jackson.
--S Marlon McCree.
--C Tom Nalen.
--RB Michael Pittman.
--WR Edell Shepherd.
--LB Nate Webster.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)
--RB Andre Hall (not tendered as ERFA) has played well at times and should get a shot to make the team in training camp.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--DL Kenny Peterson: UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--TE Jeb Putzier: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--RB J.J. Arrington: UFA Cardinals; $10M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.
--RB Correll Buckhalter: UFA Eagles; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--LB Andra Davis: UFA Browns; $5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.
--S Brian Dawkins: UFA Eagles; $17M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed; can void to $9.5M/2 yrs.
--DT Ronald Fields: UFA 49ers; $5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--WR Jabar Gaffney: UFA Patriots; $10M/4 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
--CB Andre' Goodman: UFA Dolphins; $25M/5 yrs, $10M guaranteed.
--OT Brandon Gorin: UFA Rams; terms unknown.
--LB Nick Greisen: FA Ravens; terms unknown.
--S Renaldo Hill: UFA Dolphins; $10M/4 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
--P Dirk Johnson: FA Redskins; terms unknown.
--RB LaMont Jordan: UFA Patriots; $2.5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.
--OG Matt McChesney: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.
--QB Kyle Orton (trade Bears).
--DT J'Vonne Parker: Not tendered as ERFA by Panthers; terms unknown.
--LS Lonie Paxton: UFA Patriots; $5.38M/5 yrs, $1M SB.
--DT Darrell Reid: UFA Colts; $6.8M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--QB Chris Simms: UFA Titans; $6M/2 yrs, $1.5M SB; 2009 cap: $2.71M.
--OG Scott Young: UFA Browns; terms unknown (subsequently retired).

PLAYERS LOST
--RB Anthony Alridge (released).
--TE Adam Bergen (released).
--CB Dre' Bly (released).
--QB Jay Cutler (traded Bears).
--DE John Engelberger (released).
--QB Darrell Hackney (released).
--RB Alex Haynes (released).
--TE Nate Jackson (released).
--LB Niko Koutouvides (released).
--LS Mike Leach (released).
--S Marquand Manuel (released).
--TE Chad Mustard (released).
--CB Karl Paymah: UFA Vikings; $1.55M/1 yr.
--OT Erik Pears: Not tendered as RFA/Raiders; terms unknown.
--FB Andrew Pinnock (released).
--RB P.J. Pope (released).
--QB Patrick Ramsey: UFA Titans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DT Dewayne Robertson (released).
--WR Cliff Russell (released/failed physical).
--DT Josh Shaw (released).
--LB Jamie Winborn (released).
--RB Selvin Young (released/failed physical).





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