Denver Broncos Notes & Quotes

Denver running backs Correll Buckhalter, Knowshon Moreno and LenDale White had plenty of time to commiserate while rehabilitating injuries for most of training camp. Meanwhile, Denver proceeded to just about abandon the rushing attack in its first two preseason games.

Denver running backs Correll Buckhalter, Knowshon Moreno and LenDale White had plenty of time to commiserate while rehabilitating injuries for most of training camp.

Meanwhile, Denver proceeded to just about abandon the rushing attack in its first two preseason games. The Broncos ran the ball 35 times for a 55.5 per-game average while breaking in two rookie starters and playing two newcomers extensively on the offensive line.

White believes that will begin to change once the trio returns.

"Every offensive that I've ever been a part of, if the run goes, the offense goes really well and I've been part of top-five running offenses when I was at Tennessee," White said.

"So I told them if we run the way Kyle is out there calling the plays now - he's comfortable and has learned everything -- I think the run game will take a lot of pressure off everybody and we'll be able to win some ballgames."

Problem is, Buckhalter and Moreno may not play in live action until the regular season opener. White is suspended the first four games under the league's drug policy. --Rookie cornerback Perrish Cox been thrown into the fire this month, facing Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Calvin Johnson in preseason games.

"Once you're up against those dudes we've all been watching, the big names everybody wants to see, it's tough being on the other side. Everybody's cheering for that person and you just try not to make any mistakes. There's a lot of stuff running through your mind. But you've got to stay poised and stay focused on the task at hand."

--For all the talk from outside the Denver locker room about who will become the team's top pass-catching option, the candidates themselves have veered away from the subject as if trying to shake a cornerback.

"We're just all out there and whoever happens to catch the ball that day will catch it," Jabar Gaffney said. "We're getting out of that whole No. 1 guy mindset. We're a group. We're trying to be the No. 1 receiving group, not No. 1 receivers as individuals."

--The move of Mario Haggan back to middle linebacker, where he spent the offseason before a spate of injuries to other players, should help settle the interior of Denver's defense.

"We're going to put him where he's most comfortable and where he's had the most reps and let him have an opportunity to play there and play fast," McDaniels said.

--Two of the Broncos longest-tenured NFL players came out strongly against a proposed 18-game schedule. The main objection from safety Brian Dawkins and wide receiver Brandon Stokley related to the extra toll on players' bodies.

"I think you're going to see guys' careers get shortened a lot," said Stokley, entering his 12th pro season. "I think a lot of guys feel the same way about it, that 18 games is too much. Fans want it. Owners probably want it. But from my standpoint, I don't buy into it. Sixteen games is plenty."

Commissioner Roger Goodell cited "a tremendous amount of momentum" for the change, but the issue will have to be collectively bargained into a new labor agreement between the league and players.

"There are too many question marks and not enough answers for that," said Dawkins, the Broncos' lead union representative and a member of the 11-player NFLPA executive committee last season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This idea of you're going to hide what you do and that stuff for the regular season is getting a little bit outdated. I know offensively, we're not going to show everything, but we did a lot of things. I think it's more important to get used to executing what you want to do during the season. I think defenses are taking the same approach." -- QB Kyle Orton, on what he considers a changing preseason dynamic.



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