The journey that is the 2010 season has begun for the Denver Broncos.
It has started out as an interesting journey, to say the least. Undoubtedly, the Broncos did not expect the trailhead to be frought with adversity.
But so it is.
Injuries to running backs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter hit on the first day of training camp. Then this week, linebacker Elvis Dumervil went down and he will likely be out for about four months. Wide receiver Kenny McKinley and safety Josh Barrett are already on injured reserve.
That is a whole lot of adversity for one week, no doubt. And let’s not forget that Ryan Clady and Darrell Reid are also trying to get healthy in a hurry.
The week before training camp started, if you had asked me what one word best summarized my attitude towards the Broncos’ 2010 season, I would have said, “Intrigued.”
I am a generally positive and upbeat person so I am always excited when a new season begins. But after the way the Broncos finished in 2009, coupled with the changes they made in the offseason, I was, more than anything, intrigued about what might be ahead for the Broncos this year.
I am still intrigued, even more so now.
Keep in mind that to me, being intrigued is not the same as being pessimistic. It is simply being really interested and curious to see how things unfold as the preseason goes along and the Broncos get into regular season games.
In particular, I am intrigued by:
1 – HOW THE BRONCOS WILL RESPOND TO THIS EARLY ADVERSITY. Buckhalter will hopefully be back soon. Moreno will probably take a little longer. But there is no way to sugarcoat Dumervil’s loss. It is big. McKinley and Barrett both had a great chance to contribute.
But the fact is, the season will go on. And the Broncos will have to figure out a way to be competitive despite the losses. Yes, that is easier said than done. No, nobody will want to hear about injuries regardless of what the Broncos’ record is.
The Broncos, however, have talent. They have leaders. They also have to have other guys fill the shoes of those who are out. I am intrigued to see how all of this plays out.
2 – WHO THE PLAYMAKERS ARE ON OFFENSE. I think the Broncos offense has more going for it than many people probably do. There are good players. For instance, quarterback Kyle Orton seems extremely focused and determined to have a great year. Time will tell I he has the talent to back it up.
Once Buckhalter and Moreno get back, and it seems like they should by the time the regular season opener rolls around, I like the stable of running backs. If LenDale White returns to his form from a couple of seasons ago, I like that group even more.
But here is what I am interested in watching: Which guys will be the ones that cause opposing defensive coordinators to lose sleep over when they’re developing their game plans? Who on the Broncos’ offense will be the big threats, who will come to the fore when the Broncos have to have a big play?
There are candidates. Let’s see what happens when the games count.
3 – HOW DOMINATING THIS DEFENSE CAN BE. I love the additions on the defensive line. Jamal Williams, Justin Bannan and Jarvis Green bring talent, experience and toughness. After what happened down the stretch last year, we can probably all agree that the Broncos needed more of all three of those attributes.
I love the mix of youth and experience in the secondary. On the one hand there is Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill. Then there are the up-and-comers such as Darcel McBath and David Bruton. Finally, let’s see what a rookie like Perrish Cox can bring to the table.
I also think there is big-time upside to a guy like Robert Ayers. No one can become Elvis Dumervil overnight. But guys are going to have to make up for Elvis’ loss. Ayers is one guy who could help in that regard. Jarvis Moss might be another.
If the first week is any indication, the unexpected might become the theme of the 2010. It is way to early to know, but I’m certainly intrigued to find out.
What interests you the most in the early part of training camp? I appreciate your reading and posting.