Denver Broncos Insider - 6/7

Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has made it plainly clear through his dispersal of practice repetitions that rookies will not get much time before they know what they're doing.

Therefore, Robert Ayers must be doing very well in his progression. The second of Denver's two first-round picks has been with the first-team defense in the team's passing camp at the beginning of June.

Ayers lined up with the starting defense at outside linebacker because Elvis Dumervil was excused to tend to family issues. Even if the promotion was only temporary, he was happy with it.

"I've been doing pretty good," Ayers said. "Right now that spot is Elvis' and we're battling for it."

Ayers, the Broncos hope, could have a major impact on the defense as a rookie -- because the Broncos need him. Even though he was supposed to start his career at end, and was there for most of his first few offseason practices, he has spent much more time at outside linebacker in the passing camp. Ayers said he is fine playing either position but figures he might see more time at outside linebacker.

"Wherever they ask me to play, whatever position," Ayers said. "I feel comfortable at both."

Ayers was selected with the 18th overall pick and the Broncos plan on using his versatility. He is likely to see time at end in certain situations, even if he spends most of his time standing up at outside linebacker. At 272 pounds, he can play with his hand on the ground as an end, and he also has the athletic ability to play in space.

Ayers said he is grasping the defense well, but he still needs as much practice time as he can get before training camp.

"I'm still making some minor errors, and I'm making big errors too, but the good thing about it is I'm getting better and learning," Ayers said.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RB Knowshon Moreno was selected with the 12th overall pick, but that doesn't mean he instantly became a starter. Moreno was still running with the third team during Denver's passing camp.

LaMont Jordan was running first, backed up by Correll Buckhalter.

--Wide receiver Brandon Marshall will not be suspended for an arrest over disorderly conduct charges in March. The charges were quickly dropped. The NFL informed him he would not face a suspension for that incident.

Marshall was suspended last year for violating the league's conduct policy. The suspension was for three games, but it was reduced to one. Marshall could still face further punishment from the league based on the result of an ongoing court case involving an arrest for misdemeanor battery in Atlanta in March 2008.

--Marshall has been in Orlando rehabilitating after offseason hip surgery instead of working out in Denver. He wouldn't be practicing anyway, so coach Josh McDaniels didn't seem concerned he wasn't around during the voluntary passing camp. Marshall is expected to be present for the mandatory minicamp June 12-14, and McDaniels wasn't worried about him being behind.

"There'll be plenty of time," McDaniels said. "We have a lot of practices in August."

--The Broncos didn't bring in any competition for kicker Matt Prater this offseason, even though Prater is coming off an up-and-down season as Denver's kicker.

"We feel good about where he's at and what he's done and what he's capable of doing," McDaniels said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sometimes you have to look in the mirror. I think in the past I haven't done a great job of putting myself in the best of environments to uphold that image of a professional athlete." -- Brandon Marshall, on an ESPN show discussing his off-field incidents.



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