2012 season opener

So the season is back.

Denver made its 53 man roster and no major surprises happened. Drayton Florence has been the only major cut, most notably for the 1,5 M signing bonus than for anything else. He lost the position battle to Chris Harris for the nickel corner and at that point, he had too much of a salary to be kept and paid for the whole year.

I think the Broncos were very unhappy at the starting of training camp when a couple of undrafted free agents didn’t pass the physical and were consequently waived: Coryell Judie and Eric Page. I think Denver was really happy to grab them after the draft and find a really good returner out of one of them. It happens that the reason why to 4th round prospects went undrafted is because they were injured and even if they participate in some OTA and rookie training session, Denver had to give up un them and look for another solution at the returning positions.

Other than that, two undrafted free agent made the team: Aaron Brewer as the team new long snapper, mainly because he has close to the same abilities than Lonie Paxton, but his salary is so much cheaper. This move was crystal clear as soon as the Broncos pick him up as CFA. The other CFA that made the team, and was widely announced by the way he played and trained for the whole training camp period is Steven Johnson, former walk-on Kansas University alumni, Chris Harris fellow teammate.

Through all pre-season games my main impression is that still Denver has a weak Oline second string, and Denver just adjusted it, a bit, after the first week of the season, signing C Dan Kopper that has been cut by New England during final cuts. CJ Davis was cut to make room on the roster. Kopper could end up winning the starting C position, even though I guess that he will provide a reliable and experienced competition to Walton and the team hopes in this way Walton would become the good and solid player they hope he could become, rather sooner than later.  I guess Manning had a lot to do with this personnel decision.

Finally, Denver had to put Ty Warren on the Injury report after 2 quarter of week 1, ending his 2 years Broncos stint and probably his career: it’s now 3 years in a row that Warren is not playing and entire meaningful football game. This loss is relevant to me because he was the experienced side of a nice Dline and losing him leave the Broncos without any real big men upfront that knows how to get to the super bowl. Unrein did really well against Pittsburg but now the DT rotation is quite thin in terms of winning experience and bodies. Siliga was promoted from the practice squad and he was a player that during OTA was very much hyped by all Denver media covering the team, only to lose backup position battle to Unrein and Vickerson. Denver is trying out some DT during this week: Brian Price (2nd round pick in 2010, a player that most of Draft analysts were putting under Denver Draft radar at that point), Terrell McClain (2011 3rd round pick by Carolina that was not atrocious last year but still not good enough in training camp this year to keep in position in the roster) and Daniel Muir that had six year career between Green Bay and Indianapolis. I don’t think that any of these guys is the answer to Denver, Price could be a deep backup at this point of the season, and The Broncos are better suited up in trusting their players in the roster and hope that one between Unrein, Malik Jackson and Vickerson step up big, because this is the year that Denver could go deep in the playoffs. There is no question that Manning started the season performing really well and could go on playing even better, barring injuries. Next year he’ll be one year older and is to be taking in count that he didn’t play last year and so was hit free….

Last tough is for DJ Williams and Virgil Green when they’d back from suspension? Green will be back in week 5, who will be released? DJ Williams suspension could easily prolong due to his DUI case (and is his 2nd DUI)…..Goodell could easily suspend him 6 more weeks. Once he has to be reinstated in the team, who’ll be cut? Steven Johnson won the MLB backup position. Travethan was a6th round pick and impressed during all the training camp. Brooking is on the roster mainly, IMO, for the experience and leadership. Who will be cut?

Most noticeable happening from week 1 Denver performance:

1)      Tracy Porter made the play that won the game, even with Manning as QB, period!

2)      Manning performance was incredible while playing the no-huddle offence. He is the best ever for no-huddle and playing it at mile high will probably kill any opponent during the second half.

3)      The defense fade in the third quarter but still show up big playing all but 30 seconds in that quarter…..incredible.

4)      Denver offensive plan should develop better running calls in the first quarter to be preferable to the no-huddle.

5)      While rushing the Qb late in the 4th quarter Denver looked unstoppable.

6)      Joe Mays has to improve to became the big MLB that he and us want him to be.


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