During NFL training camps, we'll be taking some looks at the local reporting to see what stories the hometown papers and fan blogs are saying about their teams. Today, the Denver Broncos and the offense around Peyton Manning.
The arrival of Peyton Manning in the Mile High City has made the Denver Broncos one of the NFL's most talked about teams. The questions about how he will play after missing a full season after neck surgeries and whether or not his body can take an NFL beating will have many more eyes focused on the blue and orange this year. And while an elite QB is a key ingredient to winning, every QB needs reliable weapons.
Manning shouldn't worry about the man standing behind him most snaps, running back Willis McGahee has proven to be mostly dependable in his career. Entering his 10th season, McGahee has rushed for 7,366 yards and 59 touchdowns. Last year, his first in Denver, McGahee amassed 1,199 yards but only 4 touchdowns. Two of those TDs came in one game against Oakland, coming on runs of 60 and 24 yards.
Lindsay H. Jones of the Denver Post writes that Willis has a firm grip on the number one RB spot.
He has clearly been the No. 1 running back in training camp and has been getting the veteran treatment through the first two weeks of practice. He will take all of the first repetitions but cede other snaps to the younger guys behind him, such as Lance Ball, Jeremiah Johnson and Xavier Omon.
The Broncos' goal is to keep McGahee fresh for Sundays when it counts. When he's healthy, McGahee can be dangerous.
Obviously Manning needs to throw the ball. The Broncos released their depth chart today, and the receivers aren't exactly causing defenses to lose sleep at night. But with Manning back there, receivers tend to get better.
Eric Decker, Andre Caldwell and Brandon Stokley are all capable receivers, but none of them are big-time game changers. But like I said, with Peyton Manning at QB, everyone seems to play above their previous limitations.
Monty at Broncotalk.net writes that an electrical problem with the headsets coaches and QBs use to communicate didn't stop Manning and Decker from hooking up for a TD during Saturday's scrimmage. During a drive, Manning couldn't get the play call from the sideline, so he called one himself.
With one second on the play clock, Manning hiked the football. Wide receiver Eric Decker pulled a double-move on corner Drayton Florence, then zinged toward the front left corner of the end zone. Manning sent the football skyward, and it floated perfectly into Decker’s hands, over his back shoulder, and in stride. Touchdown.
Stuff like is certain to have Denver fans looking forward to the regular season, which for the Broncos begins September 9th against the Pittsburgh Steelers on the NBC Sunday night game.