Denver Broncos News & Notes

Broncos Update takes a look at where the team stands as they prepare for the 2009 season, and what the loss of Brandon Marshall might mean in the long run.

The Denver Broncos already lost quarterback Jay Cutler this offseason, so dealing another Pro Bowl offensive player is far from ideal. Receiver Brandon Marshall wants to be dealt, but the Broncos don't appear in a rush to accommodate that wish.

That could lead to more drama for a team that has had its share this offseason. Marshall could hold out of training camp, creating a distraction.

Marshall would also fall behind in learning the new offense and working with new quarterback Kyle Orton, which would hurt the team on the field. Marshall hasn't practiced at all this offseason because of hip surgery.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he's willing to go with the receivers that are willing to play for him, which he might have to do if Marshall digs in and doesn't report to the Broncos for a while.

OFFSEASON STANDOUT: Tight end Tony Scheffler started his offseason wondering what his role was with the team. As OTA practices went on, it became very apparent that McDaniels will find a big role for him. The Patriots weren't tight-end friendly with McDaniels calling plays, but Scheffler is the kind of talent McDaniels has to utilize. He is fast and has great hands, and is a matchup problem for most teams. Also, Scheffler had a healthy offseason, and could have a breakout year if he avoids injuries this season.

LINEUP WATCH: The Broncos are set in the middle of the defense with Andra Davis and D.J. Williams holding the inside linebacker spots. On the outside, it's a little tougher to project, especially since the team decided to move on without Boss Bailey, who was coming off major knee surgery and was released.

Most of the best options - Elvis Dumervil, Darrell Reid, Tim Crowder and rookie Robert Ayers - are natural 4-3 defensive linemen making the adjustment to playing standing up. Ayers spent most of the latter part of the minicamp practices at outside linebacker and not end, but the coaching staff plans to use him in both spots.

ROOKIE IMPRESSIONS: While Knowshon Moreno was running behind LaMont Jordan and Correll Buckhalter for the offseason practices, the Broncos will use the 12th overall pick of the draft often this season. His exact role is uncertain - McDaniels liked to use a full committee in New England with many backs providing different looks - but he has shown he has the ability to play in the NFL. As soon as he shows a veteran-like command of the playbook, he should move quickly up the depth chart.

INJURY WATCH: Although all eyes are on Marshall and his potential holdout, he is still recovering from hip surgery. The team hopes he would be physically ready to go by the start of training camp, but they haven't had a chance to test it out. If the team decides not to trade Marshall, and Marshall comes to camp, his health will bear watching.

CONTRACT TO WATCH: The main issue Denver has before training camp will be with Marshall, but the Broncos also have two first-round picks to sign. Denver has never had two first-round picks in team history. There will be a challenge to get Moreno and Ayers both signed before the first practices. The Broncos have had a great track record getting their draft picks into camp on time, but that was under the old regime.



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