Personel moves begin for Broncos

The Broncos got a jump on the free agency period by releasing a couple of veterans.

Denver let go center Casey Wiegmann and running back LaMont Jordan. While Jordan was a bit of a surprise, given his history with coach Josh McDaniels back to their days together in New England and that the Broncos don't have a lot of depth at running back, Wiegmann was the more notable transaction.

Wiegmann was a 2008 Pro Bowl center, but that was in a different offense. He worked very well in the zone-blocking scheme of Mike Shanahan. But with McDaniels wanting to get bigger on the line, the 285-pound Wiegmann wasn't a great fit.

Wiegmann started all season but at 36 years old didn't replicate his Pro Bowl performance from two years ago. By letting him go now, Wiegmann has a chance to sign with another team that needs a veteran center.

The move is one of many this offseason -- including the departures of two assistants, offensive line coach Rick Dennison and running backs coach Bobby Turner -- that signify the Broncos will move completely in the direction of a power-running scheme under McDaniels. They used a hybrid of the two philosophies last year, with mixed results.

Denver now very obviously needs to find a center. With Wiegmann gone and Ben Hamilton unlikely to return as a free agent, there are no true centers on the roster. When Seth Olsen was drafted last year, the possibility of him learning the position was brought up, but he is a guard.

While Denver will have to find its next starting center, there also is a lack of depth at running back as well. Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter will be back, as will Peyton Hillis. But the coaching staff was reluctant to use Hillis last year. After those three, the only other tailback is Bruce Hall, who was signed after the season and has not played in a NFL game.

Denver will look into acquiring a running back in either the upcoming free agency period or with a late-round draft pick. After drafting Moreno 12th overall last season, it seems tailback wouldn't be a very high priority early in the draft.



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