This is link bait (and it obviously worked). Adam Schein’s core argument here is that the Broncos have key injuries and a looming suspension that will effect them early in the season.
Then he ends with this:
Don’t get me wrong, I still think Denver wins the AFC West. But the Broncos are closer to a 10-win team than a juggernaut. I don’t view them as an AFC powerhouse, let alone an NFL powerhouse.
The last three Super Bowl winners have 10, 9 & 10 wins and none was a strong favorite even going into the playoffs. Yes, the Broncos aren’t a gimme for the Super Bowl, and there is plenty of competition in the AFC, but the arguments here aren’t strong.
I’m more concerned about the Broncos potentially patchwork offensive line all season long, or the struggles stopping the run up the middle in the preseason — those could cause more problems for the Broncos than Schein’s surface arguments.
the fact is, Manning may have to play with this patch-work offensive line during the regular season if any of the o-lineman have reoccurring injuries. The time is now for Manning to get on the same page with his line.
I agree with Jon’s reasoning, and Manning has said this week it will be good to get reps against different players. But I’ll be happy to see him jogging off the field after a series or two.
5. Running back remains one of the positions to watch, and the full-speed, play-to-the-whistle style of preseason games could play into Montee Ball’s hands. In recent days, Ball has seen a handful of carries blown dead at contact, not giving him a chance to break tackles, which he did exceptionally well at Wisconsin.
The quick whistles of training camp are designed to keep players as healthy as possible, avoiding superfluous contact. The standards of preseason games might serve Ball better and provide a confidence boost as training camp continues.
There’s lots of competition, but I think Ball lands at the top of my "Players I’m most interested in watching in the first preseason game" list.
Duke Ihenacho is one of the stories of camp so far, but I have to love with what Mike Adams, the veteran he’s competing against, has to say about it:
“I was a free agent like Duke was coming into the league. I had (former safety) Tony Parrish looking after me when I was in San Francisco. He always told me to pay it forward. I made sure when Duke came in — young guy, hungry, safety, free agent just grinding, you see the potential. I told him: ‘Keep going. Don’t worry about anybody else. Make it hard for the coaches. Make it hard for everybody. Make it hard for myself.’ And he’s doing just that.”