Schon: Week One is in the Books

The Denver Broncos have wrapped up Week One of Training Camp 2009 - and syndicated columnist Michael John Schon has plenty to say about what he's seen so far.

Wake up Denver, there's a new sheriff in town and despite the fact that he's only thirteen-years older than my first daughter, you might want to give him a chance. The guy actually seems like he's got it together.

Full pads, accountability and earning your position are back at Dove Valley in the McDaniels regime, almost like a breath of fresh air, with a little Metallica tossed in for good measure.

Here's some of the highlights from McD's Camp Week One –

Kyle Orton is definitely outplaying Chris Simms – as far as the running backs go Correll Buckhalter and Peyton Hillis are the stand outs – not that that means a great deal but, Hillis is may be the sleeper fantasy pick of the decade. WR Jabar Gaffney looks like a lock to make the team and Alphonso Smith is gold.

Offensive assistant Ben McDaniels and defensive assistant Jay Rodgers spent time getting soaked in the team's slip and slide drill, a combination of Noah's Ark meets "grab the fumble in adverse conditions" drll. Gotta hand it to McD…

Other standouts include Elvis Dumervil, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and Tim Crowder – the closest thing you can find to Al Wilson these days…

Over 13,000 showed up for the teams' first camp practice at Invesco Field – three-quarters of which let Orton and kicker Matt Prater know they were definitely not pleased with their performance. First time I've ever heard fans boo at Training Camp…

The dawn of the Knowshon Moreno era begins on Sunday… really think this kid could be huge – possibly the saving grace on this year's schedule. Props to management for putting this one together.

Brian Dawkins was a major pickup – but he busted his hand and there's some strong speculation that the injury is far worse than the team or McD will admit. Same goes with Brandon Marshall, who's spent more time on the sidelines than he has on the field. Although they've tried their best to downplay the issue, off-season hip surgery looks like it may play a huge part in 2009.

Still up in the air on Jarvis Moss – pretty much a disappointment since he was drafted and he's still trying to figure out if he should be here. My guess is he's back to save the $3+ mill he would owe on his contract if he bailed. Maybe he can find a spot and prove his worth under the new system… I just wouldn't be investing in a jersey at this stage.

General observations – for a team that constantly denies they're rebuilding – they're doing a really good job… rebuilding. Don't kid yourself – despite management's spin this is a team that has undergone way too many changes, under the umbrella of a completely jacked schedule, to make any serious run in the AFC West.

But I promise, it will be exciting to watch…



Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve-years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio and Internet stations around the country. You can follow all of Schon's updates on Twitter or drop him an email at Michael John Schon



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